Great news for Holland America fans living near New York City: The cruise line announced that it will continue sailings on the 1,350-passenger ms Veendam from New York to Bermuda with 24 cruises slated from May through October next year. I’ve never really been a cruise guy but this is easily a win-win for cruisers and Bermuda alike. The Veendam is one of the few ships that docks in Hamilton and St. George’s, bucking the growing trend of ships heading directly to the Royal Naval Dockyard, which is the only island port able to hold larger ships now so prevalent throughout the industry. Bottom line, it’s good news for a sleepy town in need and for fans of smaller cruise ships—and apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so. According to comments left on USA Today’s The Cruise Log, Veendam fans are pleased with the announcement. Writes Dam55, “This is a 'deal MAKER' for anyone trying to decide which ship to take to Bermuda. You cannot beat the Hamilton docking opportunity. There are larger and newer ships cruising to Bermuda, but if you know the island THIS is the one to take. Kudos to [Holland America Line]!” And then there’s this from Celebfans, “Chalk up one for small(er) vessel fans with this announcement. We're happy for [Holland America Line] cruisers in the NY/NJ/CT area.” Even historians have reason to rejoice: According to The Cruise Log, “It was another Holland America ship called the Veendam, the 500-passenger Veendam II, that offered the line's first Bermuda cruises out of New York in 1930 and 1931.” Very cool, Holland America. We here in Bermuda will be looking forward to your arrival—and with cruises to the island starting at $699 per person (based on double occupancy) so will the folks living in the New York metropolitan area.
is a Bermuda-based travel writer and television correspondent. To read his work visit DavidLaHuta.com or to follow him on Twitter visit Twitter.com/DavidLaHuta. Visiting Bermuda? Read his story, 36 Hours in Bermuda, which appeared in the New York Times travel section in September 2009 (http://bit.ly/36HoursBermuda) and Jetsetter's The Many Faces of Bermuda, which ran in January 2011 (http://bit.ly/FacesOfBDA).