Holland America is out with another truly epic cruise

Holland America is known for its luxurious and immersive cruise experiences, and its latest offering is no exception. The Seattle-based line has announced plans for an epic 45-day sailing from North America to the Mediterranean and back, inspired by a historic voyage the company offered in 1925.

Scheduled to depart on October 7, 2025, the Ultimate Mediterranean & Atlantic Passage itinerary will give North American travelers the opportunity to experience a grand tour of the Mediterranean without having to take a transatlantic flight, just like in the 1920s. This is the second such voyage the line has added to its schedule in the past year, following a 42-night sailing from the U.S. to the Mediterranean and back that is already set for November.

One notable difference between the newly announced sailing and the one taking place later this year is the starting and ending points. The first voyage begins and ends in Fort Lauderdale, while the new sailing begins and ends in New York City. Both cruises will take place on Holland America’s 1,432-passenger Volendam.

The itinerary for the Ultimate Mediterranean & Atlantic Passage includes 18 ports across eight countries, with multiple stops in Greece for visits to historic sites such as the Parthenon in Athens and Knossos Palace on the island of Crete. Other stops include Ponta Delgada in the Azores, Lisbon in Portugal, Civitavecchia in Italy (the gateway port for Rome), Alexandria in Egypt (the gateway port for Cairo and its pyramids), Istanbul, Barcelona, La Goulette in Tunisia (the port for Tunis and the ruins of Carthage), Gibraltar, Cadiz and Cartagena in Spain, Kusadasi in Turkey (a gateway port to the ruins of Ephesus), Livorno in Italy (the gateway port for Pisa and Florence), and Naples in Italy (a jumping-off point for visits to the ancient ruins of Pompeii). The cruise concludes on November 21 in New York City after a return trip across the Atlantic.

The 1925 version of this itinerary was relatively similar, also beginning and ending in New York and including stops at ports near many of the Mediterranean’s most famous historic sites. However, it was a longer 67-day voyage, with the ship spending nine full days docked in Egypt for off-ship touring of the country’s historic sites. Unlike the new itineraries, the 1925 voyage did not return passengers to North America on the same ship that took them to Europe. Instead, the voyage ended in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and passengers had to switch to another Holland America ship for the final transatlantic leg back to New York City.

Holland America has a rich history in transatlantic crossings, originally operating as a shipping and passenger line that transported people between North America and Europe. In the 1920s, the company began offering more traditional leisure cruises to destinations such as the Mediterranean. These cruises allowed leisure travelers to explore far-off places and experience sightseeing and cultural immersion.

The new Mediterranean itinerary is part of a series of Legendary Voyages that Holland America introduced in 2023. These extra-long sailings range from 25 to 59 nights and focus on a single region, offering special programming and unique experiences. The initial lineup of Legendary Voyages included previously offered routes as well as new itineraries, such as an epic voyage focused on Japan in 2024. These voyages aim to bring North American passengers to distant places without the need for international flights.

The fares for the Ultimate Mediterranean & Atlantic Passage start at $5,749 per person, excluding taxes, fees, and port charges. Holland America’s focus on longer sailings and immersive experiences reflects its commitment to providing unforgettable journeys for its passengers. Whether inspired by historic voyages or exploring new destinations, Holland America continues to set the standard for luxury cruising.

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