(5:45 p.m. EDT) -- Holland America's newest cruise ship will spend its maiden season in the Caribbean.
Nieuw Statendam, which is due for delivery December 1, 2018, will offer seven-night Caribbean cruises -- as well as select three-, four- and 10-night options -- roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. Following its delivery in Venice, the ship will transfer to Rome, where it will depart on a 14-night transatlantic crossing to the U.S. (its first passenger sailing).
The first cruise from Fort Lauderdale will kick off December 19 and span four nights, visiting Key West and the line's private island, Half Moon Cay. Nieuw Statendam will then embark on a series of weeklong cruises, including a December 23 cruise that calls at Amber Cove, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay as well as a New Year's cruise that departs December 30 for Half Moon Cay, Ocho Rios, George Town and Cozumel.
Additionally, a 10-night cruise that departs January 20 will take passengers to the ABC Islands, with calls at Bonaire, Curacao, Aruba, Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk and Amber Cove, a private island operated by Carnival Corp. The cruises are now open for booking.
Like its sister ship Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam will include a handful of Pinnacle class features, such as the French-style brasserie Sel de Mer, Dinner at the Culinary Arts Center, Blend wine-making venue, a two-tiered Lido Pool with a movie screen, and Music Walk (home to Billboard Onboard, Lincoln Center Stage and B.B. King's Blues Club at the Queen's Lounge).
--By Gina Kramer, Editor