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Cruises and Sailing

 November 02, 2001
Holland America's ms Volendam To Sail 32-Day Asia Explorer

 Holland America Line will offer two exceptional Asia Explorer and South Pacific Explorer Cruises aboard the 1,266-passenger ms Volendam in the fall of 2002. Both 32 days in length, the Explorer cruises can be combined to create a phenomenal, 64-day adventure calling at 20 exotic ports ranging from Sihanoukville, Cambodia, to Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands.

For the first time, Holland America will call at Petropavlovsk, on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula, and then cruise along the rugged, volcanic Kuril Islands, which stretch 750 miles to the tip of northern Japan. Cruise segments ranging from 12 to 20 days also are offered for guests with limited time and a desire to focus on specific ports.

"While Holland America is re-deploying many of its ships in 2002, the Volendam's published cruising schedule remains unchanged," said David A. Giersdorf, senior vice president, marketing and sales. "After cruising the Caribbean in the winter/spring and Alaska in the summer, the Volendam will sail these two extraordinary Pacific itineraries, departing from Vancouver and returning to Los Angeles. Guests who take the entire 64-day cruise enjoy the convenience and security of major West Coast embarkation and disembarkation ports."

The Asia Explorer Cruise will depart Vancouver Sept. 23 and arrive in Singapore Oct. 25, continuing as the South Pacific Explorer Cruise from Singapore to Los Angeles with arrival on Nov. 26. Guests taking shorter cruise segments can board or disembark in Tokyo, Singapore and Sydney. Guests also have the option of cruising Vancouver to Sydney (46 days) or Tokyo to Los Angeles (52 days).

As Explorer cruises, these sailings feature innovative and more extensive opportunities for guests to learn about the cultures of the destinations. Each cruise features extraordinary shore excursions, in-depth learning experiences, the finest cuisine highlighting regional recipes and special gifts representative of the countries visited.

For example, the planned optional shore excursions and overland tours include a bullet train ride to Mt. Fuji in Japan and a catamaran trip to the Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Archaeology fans can explore Angkor Wat in Cambodia and the Great Wall, Ming Tombs and Xian's terra-cotta warrior excavations in China. Cultural buffs can learn about the history, art, music, politics, economics, wildlife and geography of various destinations via the on-board Flagship Forum lecture series.

The Asia Explorer Cruise departs Vancouver for these exciting ports of call:

- Petropavlovsk in the Russian Far East, a dramatic contrast of tundra and volcanoes.
- Tokyo, Japan's powerhouse capital, where ancient temples mix with modern skyscrapers.
- Osaka, with its splendid castle and tour options to Hiroshima and shrine-filled Kyoto.
- Nagasaki, where Peace Memorial Park commemorates lives lost to World War II's second atomic bomb.
- Cheju City, South Korea, on a lush volcanic island overlooking the Yellow Sea.
- Xingang, port city for China's capital, Beijing, and its fabled Forbidden City.
- Shanghai, China's most modern city, with tour options to Suzhou and Wuxi.
- Xiamen, with the 1,000-year old Nanputo Buddhist Temple.
- Hong Kong, with two full days in port, tour options to Angkor Wat, Cambodia; Rangoon, Myanmar; and Guilin, China.
- Sihanoukville, Cambodia, with tour options to Angkor Wat and Phnom Penh.
- Singapore, dynamic city-state with soaring skyline above, orchid gardens below.

From Singapore, the South Pacific Explorer Cruise ventures to:

- Darwin, Australia, featuring planned tour options to Ayers Rock and Kakadu National Park.
- Cairns, with tour options to Australia's Great Barrier Reef and Kuranda Scenic Railway.
- Sydney, Australia's premier city dominated by its landmark Opera House "sails."
- Bay of Islands, New Zealand, encompassing 144 unspoiled islands, Rotorua tour option.
- Auckland, "City of Sails" on New Zealand's beautiful North Island.
- Bora Bora, Society Islands, James Michener's "Bali Hai" ringed with a blue lagoon.
- Papeete, Tahiti, where Paul Gauguin captured this tropical paradise on canvas.
- Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands, remote hideaway of ancient artists.

As the Volendam sails back across the Pacific to Los Angeles, guests can relax completely in the five-star service, cuisine and amenities for which Holland America is known. In addition, several gentleman hosts will be on board as conversational companions and dance partners for women guests traveling solo.

Guests who opt for shorter segments of the Explorer cruises can extend their trips with pre/post-cruise tours from Tokyo, Singapore and Sydney. The two-, three- and five-night tours feature such highlights as Bangkok, Angkor Wat and Tasmania.

With Early Booking Savings of 43 percent, cruise fares for either of the 32-day Asia Explorer or South Pacific Explorer sailings start at $5,249 (CAN$7,959) per person, double occupancy, including port charges. Combined into the 64-day cruise, fares start at $9,619 (CAN$14,579) with a 45 percent Early Booking Savings.