In a press conference yesterday attended by the biggest names in cruise news, Holland America Line announced they finally have a date for their restart of operations! The cruise line received approval from the government of Greece to begin sailing from Piraeus on August 15, 2021 on board their ship Eurodam. There are four cruises from Piraeus to choose from and bookings for these cruises will open May 6.
New Greek Cruise Itineraries
Starting on August 15th, the “Idyllic Greek Isles” itinerary features calls on Kotor, Montenegro, plus the Greek isles of Kékira (Corfu), Thíra (Santorini) and Mykonos. The “Ancient Wonders” departs August 22nd with calls on Haifa, Israel, as well as Náfplion, Mykonos and Rhodes in Greece. Both sailings can be combined to form a longer, back-to-back 14-day Collectors’ Voyage.
There’s also a 7-day “Adriatic Allure” itinerary departing September 5, 2021 which will sail from Piraeus to Venice, Italy, with calls at Mykonos, Katakolon (Olympia) and Crete (Chania), Greece, and Sarandë, Albania. Holland America Line also plans to announce even more Mediterranean cruises aboard Eurodam in the fall which include ports in Italy and Greece. Eurodam will return to the United States to begin sailing Caribbean cruises in mid-November.
“Everyone at Holland America Line has been preparing for our return to service, and we are grateful to the government of Greece for allowing us to show that we can safely operate our cruises,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. “The beautiful islands of Greece have been a highlight of our Mediterranean itineraries for decades, and we are honored to be able to restart out of Athens and give our guests a memorable vacation after all this time without cruise travel.”
Holland America cited close coordination with the government of Greece in order to get everything ready to begin sailing again. Harry Theoharis, Greece’s Minister of Tourism, echoed that close partnership in a statement.
“The Greek Islands have been welcoming Holland America Line ships for many years, and we are proud to work together to welcome the cruise line back this summer,” said Theoharis. “We are sure that all visitors to Greece will once again have unique experiences to our beautiful destinations and fully enjoy the rich history, culture and gastronomy of our nation.”
What to Expect Onboard
Guests can expect the level of service and amenities that have made the cruise line so popular over the past 148 years in operation. Initially, cruises will be for vaccinated individuals only and the first few sailings will operate at only 50% capacity with a slow ramp up to fuller ships as the weeks and months progress. The vaccinated requirement is not something that’s being instituted fleet-wide, rather it depends on the local governments of each port visited. Holland America is taking it sailing by sailing and ship by ship rather than a blanket vaccine requirement.