Folks planning to cruise to warm-weather destinations from New York during the winter get yet another new option now that Holland America has decided to assign its still-under-construction Noordam to the Big Apple. The ship will launch in February of 2006 with a series of Caribbean voyages. The 10-night Eastern Caribbean trip will call at ports such as Grand Turk (Turks & Caicos), Tortola, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and San Juan. The 11-night Southern Caribbean swing will visit the islands of Dominica, Barbados, Puerto Rico, Tortola and St. Thomas.
According to a company release, Noordam's seasonal schedule marks the cruise line's first return, on a regular basis in winter (Holland America does occasionally operate out of New York for select autumn cruises, such as Canada/New England departures), since the 1970's. The Seattle-based cruise line actually operated out of Manhattan from 1978 until 1983.
Noordam is the fourth in Holland America's Vista class of ships (Zuiderdam, Oosterdam and Westerdam). The 81,769-ton, 1,848-passenger ship features all of the line's most contemporary services and amenities, from the full-on Signatures of Excellence treatment to a high ratio of cabins with private balconies.
Beyond its Caribbean calls, Noordam will also sail a pair of trans-Atlantic crossings -- one spring and one fall -- which of course means the ship will spend the summer of 2006 in Europe.