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Setting sail from Brisbane
As Queensland's largest city, Brisbane is often used as a gateway to the excellent (although very popular) beaches of Australia's Gold Coast, which lie south of the city, or the more upmarket Sunshine Coast to the north. The modern city, on the banks of the Brisbane River, has plenty of shopping malls and, with great weather, a fantastic café culture. Amongst the steel and glass skyscrapers are some interesting historic buildings, and with plenty surrounding the city there's enough on offer to make for an interesting short stay.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is just a short drive from the city and home to over one hundred koalas, plus a host of other Aussie wildlife.
Hamilton is Bermuda’s charming capital, filled with pretty pastel-hued buildings and bursting with British colonial history. Learn more about this past at the Royal Naval Dockyard, take a stroll along colourful Front Street, or relax on one of Bermuda’s beautiful pink sand beaches.
Cairns is a buzzing tourist hub, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. A snorkelling trip out to the reef is the most obvious excursion to take here, but other options include riding the Skyrail cableway over the rainforest canopy or swimming in the croc-free saltwater lagoon.
Australia: Great Barrier Reef
More of a large town than a city, Darwin is less about what’s contained within the city limits and more about the huge expanse of wild landscape that’s outside it. Closer to Jakarta than Sydney, the city really does feel remote in its tropical perch.
Indonesia: Komodo Island
Komodo Island is situated within an area of spectacular natural beauty, home to the famous Komodo dragon. The stunning beaches are tinged with pink thanks to the high concentration of red coral just offshore, and the waters draw intrepid divers from all over the world.
Indonesia: Benoa (Bali)
The beaches, spectacular volcanic scenery and lush green rice terraces lend Bali a natural beauty that seems to dovetail perfectly with the island’s distinct Hindu culture, which adorns the landscape with stunning temples.
Situated at the tip of the North West Cape in Western Australia, the tourist town of Exmouth is the gateway to the Ningaloo Reef marine reserve. This is a spectacular place to snorkel, and the reef’s most famous visitors are the whale sharks that pass through here between April and July.
Arriving in Fremantle (Perth)
The capital of Western Australia, Perth sits in glorious isolation on the shores of the Indian Ocean, where the Swan River meets the sea. Laid back and relaxed, this must be one of the most easy-going capital cities in the world, with everything within easy reach. It's great for a short visit, or you can use it as gateway to Margaret River's glorious vineyards to the south, and to the great wilderness of the Kimberley to the north. Swim and surf from its extraordinary clean and uncrowded beaches - or just sit and watch the sunset.
Use Perth as the gateway to explore Western Australia – drive out to Wave Rock, three to four hours’ drive. This is a multi-coloured granite cliff, some 110 metres long and towering fifteen metres above the plain.
Your home from home
The classic Maasdam is an inviting size – spacious, but carrying just over 1,200 guests. Her stylish take on the Holland America traditions make her an excellent choice for those who enjoy a distinctive and cosy ambience.
What we love
Every Holland America ship boasts a wealth of artworks and artefacts, and on Maasdam the theme is the Dutch East and West India companies of the 17th to 19th Centuries - a great trading era. This is an excellent backdrop to the high levels of service and attention on board.
|Crew||580 International Staff|
|Style||The Holland America style is warm and welcoming, with a charming crew and attentive smiling service. A stimulating onboard programme keeps guests busy at sea, and they enjoy the sociable contrast to their time exploring ashore.|
|Cruising Speed||22 knots|
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Brisbane
Although not super luxury, we like the Spicers Balfour.
Moreton Bay is home to a great diversity of marine life, with stunning beaches and excellent wreck diving, and offers exciting 4x4 adventures.
Where to stay in Perth
We love The Richardson – intimate and contemporary.
Sightseeing in Perth
Historic Fremantle is great to see, and further enhanced if you go with a story telling guide.