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Setting sail from Fort Lauderdale
These days Fort Lauderdale is a sophisticated place awash with upmarket hotels and excellent restaurants. The glorious weather and swathes of golden beach are still a huge draw, but there are also plenty of cultural attractions, such as the Museum of Art and the Museum of Discovery and Science. The city also boasts 300 miles of navigable waterways and canals, meaning there's plenty of space for the resident millionaires to park their yachts, and the cruise port is one of the busiest in the world.
Bonnet House Museum and Gardens is a great visit, with remains dating back to 2000 BC – in Florida - who knew there was anything so old there?! It’s a fascinating museum too, and the gardens are beautiful.
United States: Key West
Colourful and eccentric, the island city of Key West stands apart from the rest of Florida. A strong Caribbean influence reflects the city’s proximity to Cuba and the Bahamas, and it has long been known as a bohemian hangout, a welcoming and open-minded place that Ernest Hemingway once called home.
Cozumel first made its name as an off the beaten track destination for divers, thanks to the crystalline waters and low key beach vibe. These days the cat is very much out of the bag, but get away from the craft shops and jewellery stores of the busy port and you’ll find a welcoming island community that is still authentically Mexican.
The crumbling colonial mansions, the classic American cars, the cigars, the music drifting through the air… There's nowhere quite like Havana, and while it’s true that things are changing, this isn’t always a bad thing; the culinary scene has improved immeasurably in recent years with the rise of 'paladares' (small, privately owned restaurants).
Founded by French settlers in 1819, Cienfuegos is known as the ‘Pearl of the South’ thanks to its elegant UNESCO-listed architecture and picturesque setting. Be sure to take a stroll along the Paseo del Prado and admire the Palacio de Valle, a dazzling fusion of Gothic, Baroque and Mudejar influences.
Jamaica: Montego Bay
Montego Bay is Jamaica’s tourism capital, and is the second largest city on the island after Kingston. The beach bars along the ‘Hip Strip’ offer a taste of the Jamaican way of life, with the ubiquitous Bob Marley providing the soundtrack; alternatively you may prefer an excursion to nearby sights such as Dunn’s River Falls or Seven Mile Beach.
Cayman Islands: Grand Cayman
Far more than just an offshore tax haven, Grand Cayman boasts the staggeringly beautiful white sands of Seven Mile Beach and some fantastic snorkelling in crystal clear waters. The capital, George Town, is a compact and friendly place, home to some interesting architecture and a suspiciously large number of registered companies.
United States: Fort Lauderdale
These days Fort Lauderdale is a sophisticated place awash with upmarket hotels and excellent restaurants. The glorious weather and swathes of golden beach are still a huge draw, but there are also plenty of cultural attractions, such as the Museum of Art and the Museum of Discovery and Science.
Bahamas: Half Moon Cay
The island of Little San Salvador, now known as Half Moon Cay, was purchased by Holland America Line for $6 million in 1997. This private island retreat features villas and cabanas available for rent, along with restaurants, watersports facilities and a tranquil wildlife reserve.
Turks and Caicos Islands: Grand Turk
Grand Turk is the capital of the Turks and Caicos, a collection of sleepy and spectacularly beautiful coral islands to the east of the Bahamas. The pristine white sands and turquoise waters are the main attraction, and the extensive barrier reef makes this a popular destination for divers in the know.
Dominican Republic: Punta Cana
Punta Cana is the broad swathe of coastline where the majority of the Dominican Republic’s resorts are clustered. The beaches are stunning, if rather overdeveloped in places, while inland attractions include the beautiful Ojos Indígenas ecological reserve.
Puerto Rico: San Juan
Founded by the Spanish in 1521, Puerto Rico’s capital is the second oldest European settlement in the Americas. Modern San Juan is a bustling city, home to over a third of the island’s population, but the cobbled streets of the Old Town remain the biggest tourist draw.
Arriving in Fort Lauderdale
A great way to see Fort Lauderdale is on the hop on hop off water taxi tour – a one day pass gives you unlimited travel and it’s a great way to sightsee as well as to get around.
Your home from home
This classic member of the Holland America Line fleet, with an attractive capacity of 1,350, has recently undergone a major enhancement to bring her in line with the more recent builds, giving guests the advantage of intimacy and style.
What we love
The grand proportions of Veendam are enhanced by a Holland America Line art and antique collection worth over two million dollars. We do like the new Lanai staterooms, with sliding glass doors opening onto the walk-around Lower Promenade Deck.
|Crew||580 International Staff|
A choice of dining and entertainment makes for a lovely friendly atmosphere on board, with plenty of opportunity for guests to make new friends, both on board and ashore.
|Cruising Speed||22 knots|
Tailor-make your trip
Overnight in Fort Lauderdale
The Hyatt Regency Pier 66 has been THE hotel of choice for cruise passengers for as long as we can remember.
See more of Florida
Go out into the Florida Everglades and Sawgrass Recreation Park with native flora and fauna and reconstructed Seminole villages.