Maldives

Cruise Around the World in 2026: Holland America Line’s Grand World Cruise Unveiled

In a recent cruise news, Holland America Line has unveiled its most ambitious Grand World Voyage to date, set to take place aboard the Volendam in January 2026.

Embarking on a roundtrip journey from Fort Lauderdale in Florida, this 132-day cruise will encompass 47 ports across 39 countries, spread over seven continents, featuring a particularly unique four-day Antarctic Experience.

President Gus Antorchasaid “This may be one of our most thoroughly researched routes ever for a world cruise” and announced a carefully crafted itinerary that will “allow more time to explore the destinations we visit and to create a voyage that does not feel rushed”.

This meticulously planned itinerary boasts overnight calls in nine captivating destinations and late-night departures from five ports, allowing enough time for exploration and creating unforgettable experiences.

The Cruise Overnight Calls Include:

Malé, Maldives

The Maldives, a paradise of overwater bungalows and crystal-clear waters, is renowned for water activities, relaxation on pristine beaches, and an intimate encounter with marine life including turtles, sharks and dolphins.

With the emergence of new luxury hotels in the Maldives, there are now even more reasons to be drawn to this enchanting tropical paradise. New hotels in Maldives have already started to welcome their visitors.

Lisbon, Portugal

Lsibon Curise Terminal
Lisbon Cruise Terminal, image by: adventourbegins.com

After landing to your cruise port, spending a night in Portugal’s capital will allow you to explore the historical charmof Alfama District, Lisbon’s oldest neighborhood, and discover the iconic landmarks, including the Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery. Time permitting, you can visit Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage renowned for its colorful palaces, historic castles, and charming gardens.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, nicknamed the “Marvelous City,” is a dynamic fusion of lush mountains and renowned beaches. In a brief visit, visitors can explore its lively nightlife, experience the rhythmic beats of samba, and enjoy panoramic views from Sugarloaf Mountain.

Exploring the charming streets of Santa Teresa, soaking up the vibrant energy of Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, and visiting the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue make an inevitable part of every visit.

Brazil has announced the reinstatement of e-visa requirements for nationals from the United States, Canada, and Australia starting January 10, 2024. Later announced its postponement to April 10, 2024.

Papeete, Tahiti

Papeete, the heart of French Polynesia, offers a fusion of French sophistication and Polynesian vibe. Overnight in this paradise allows travelers to explore vibrant markets, immerse in lush landscapes, and witness the mesmerizing Pacific sunset.

Sydney, Australia

Sydney’s iconic landmarks, including the Opera House and Harbor Bridge, set the stage for an unforgettable overnight stay. Guests can indulge in diverse culinary delights, wander through the historic Rocks district, and enjoy numerous exhibitions and festivals at a relaxed pace.

Bali, Indonesia

Also known as the “Island of the Gods,” Bali invites guests to partake in traditional ceremonies, visit ancient temples, and experience the island’s warm hospitality during overnight calls. Famous for its breathtaking landscapes, Bali offers guests the opportunity to explore lush rice terraces, pristine beaches, and vibrant marketplaces, creating a sensory-rich and memorable experience.

Singapore

A melting pot of cultures, Singapore attracts visitors with futuristic architecture and a dynamic food scene. Overnight stays provide the opportunity to explore diverse neighborhoods, from the historic Chinatown to the vibrant Little India.

Safaga (Luxor) and Alexandria (Cairo), Egypt

Egypt’s ancient wonders come alive in Safaga and Alexandria, the crown jewels of ancient Egypt. Guests can immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of this historic land and explore its awe-inspiring temples, including the Karnak and Luxor Temples, and the iconic Valley of the Kings, where pharaohs found their eternal resting place.

The Cruise Late-Night Departures:

Bahia d’ Opunoha, French Polynesia

In this stunning bay, visitors can explore the vibrant coral reefs, relax on pristine beaches with turquoise waters, and immerse themselves in the Polynesian culture by attending traditional dance performances or indulging in local cuisine.

Late-night departures from French Polynesia promise a moonlit experience of these exotic islands.

Colombo, Sri Lanka

The capital city of Sri Lanka offers a blend of rich history, vibrant culture, and modern attractions. Known for its colonial charm, the city comes alive after dark. Late-night departures offer the chance to explore illuminated landmarks and soak up the authentic energy of the city.

Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

Rome
Image by: adventourbegins.com

Late-night departure from Civitavecchia allows visitors to explore Italy’s capital city of Rome at ease, without the hustle of rushing back to the ship. Admire the mighty Colosseum, explore the treasures of Vatican Museums, and discover the charming squares and monuments of the eternal city.

Oslo, Norway

Oslo’s late-night departure allows you to discover stunning fjords from a different perspective, beneath the Norwegian night sky. During your stay, do not miss to visit the iconic Viking Ship Museum, housing remarkably preserved Viking vessels, and marvel at the works of Edvard Munch, including his famous painting “The Scream,” at the Munch Museum.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan’s historic forts and vibrant streets are even more captivating after sunset. Late departures provide the opportunity to wander through Old San Juan’s cobblestone streets at sunset, absorbing the lively Caribbean atmosphere.

Antarctic Experience

The absolute highlight of this grand cruise is the four-day Antarctic Experience. As the Volendam navigates the Chilean fjords, passengers will be treated to awe-inspiring landscapes, towering icebergs, and encounters with unique wildlife. Stops at the Easter Island and Bordeaux add a cultural layer to this already extraordinary journey.

Embarking on the 2026 Grand World Cruise with Holland America Line promises a journey that definitely goes beyond the ordinary cruise experience. With a thoughtfully crafted itinerary that blends luxury, adventure, and cultural discovery, this world-cruising adventure feels anything but ordinary.

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