|As cruise lines continue to emphasize regional - and seasonal - U.S.-based home porting, Holland America has selected Norfolk, Virginia, which lies at the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay, as a base from which to sail the Caribbean. Beginning in 2004, Maasdam will offer 10- and 11-day itineraries that go deep into the Caribbean, including calls at islands such as the British Virgin Island's Tortola, Guadeloupe, Dominica and Barbados. |
Up until now, Norfolk - like Jacksonville, Florida, which recently nabbed a couple of seasonal home port assignments - has not been a major embarkation/de-embarkation player. At this point in 2003, only Carnival Cruise Lines is offering sailings from that destination; Carnival Victory will offer two-day cruise-to-nowhere and six day Bahamas options.
Maasdam's Norfolk schedule, which includes 15 sailings that alternate between southern and eastern Caribbean itineraries, will run throughout 2004, primarily in the winter months of January, February and March (stretching slightly into spring with some April departures) and then again in October, November and December.