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.