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Setting sail from San Diego
Laid-back, friendly and blessed with near-perfect weather all year round, San Diego is one of America's most likeable cities. Enjoy a stroll through Balboa Park, dotted with beautiful Spanish Renaissance-style architecture, take a whale watching trip along the coast, or sample the nightlife of the trendy Gaslamp Quarter. The swells of Mission Beach and Pacific Beach attract a surfer crowd, while the Old Town has a strong Hispanic influence thanks to the city's proximity to the Mexican border. There are also plenty of family-friendly attractions, including Legoland, SeaWorld and the famous San Diego Zoo.
Plan ahead – there are great cultural opportunities in San Diego, so you might want to pre-book concert tickets or a show.
Mexico: Puerto Vallarta
The resort town of Puerto Vallarta, on Mexico’s Pacific coast, has bags of charm in spite of its popularity. Spend some time exploring the pretty old town, with its cobbled streets and quirky boutiques, or relax on the beach. Humpback whales breed out in the bay during the winter months, and dolphins can be spotted year round.
Guatemala: Puerto Quetzal
Puerto Quetzal is the jumping off point for exploring the fascinating interior of Guatemala, and the highlight of this intriguing country has to be UNESCO-listed Antigua. This colourful colonial town, 90 minutes from the port, enjoys a spectacular setting against a backdrop of volcanoes, and is well worth the trip.
Costa Rica: Puerto Caldera
Cartagena was founded by Spanish conquistadors in 1533, and the beautifully preserved centre is a real highlight of Colombia’s Caribbean coast. The walled old town, the Ciudad Amurallada, is a camera-friendly collection of cobbled streets and colourful, colonial-era buildings.
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.
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.
United States: Charleston
A visit to Charleston is like travelling back in time, so perfectly preserved is the town’s 19th century ambience, and you’ll often hear the clip-clop of a horse-drawn carriage ferrying tourists along the cobbled streets.
Arriving in Boston
Boston is one of the oldest cities in the USA, and in amongst the skyscrapers are plenty of red-brick buildings, a Georgian architecture that lends the city a distinctly European feel. The Freedom Trail is a 2 ½ mile walking route around the city that gives an excellent introduction to American history, and Boston is home to a wealth of cultural riches, including the superb Museum of Fine Arts, as well as the world famous Harvard University. Bostonians are also big sports fans, and one of the country's biggest baseball teams, the Red Sox, play their home matches at Fenway Park.
Whatever else you do, walk the Freedom Trail, the perfect introduction to Colonial Revolutionary Boston, covering 16 historical sites in the course of two or three hours. You can do it on your own!
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
Our favourite San Diego hotel
It’s about 20 miles north of central San Diego, but we have to recommend the Fairmont Grand Del Mar.
If you are here in the summer or autumn, take the opportunity to go and find a blue whale leaving from San Diego’s Big Bay.
Our recommended hotel in Boston
We like the family owned Lenox – great location and very cosy.
Private tours in Boston
If you’re here at the right time of the year, don’t be cynical about a Fall Foliage tour – it’s breathtaking!