The Holy Lands & Ancient Kingdoms

Holland America Line on 

Ms Prinsendam

October 19 - November 2, 2019

15 Days / 14 Nights

(Roundtrip from Rome)

Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy ~ Katakolon (Olympia), Greece ~ Piraeus (Athens), Greece ~ Ashdod (Jerusalem), Israel ~ Haifa (Tel Aviv), Israel ~ Limassol, Cyprus ~ Rhodes, Greece ~ Souda (Chania), Greece ~ Messina, Italy ~ Sorrento, Italy ~ Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy 

Explore seldom-visited destinations larger ships can’t reach. With a capacity of just 835 guests, ms Prinsendam is intimate, yet comfortably spacious. Recently refurbished, from the Lido Market and Java Café to her Explorer's Lounge, Spa and Salon, our "Elegant Explorer" shines brighter than ever.
A special signature sculpture dominates the three-story atrium featuring etched fish, turtles and dolphins climbing a stunning cylinder of Bolle glass and lit with state-of-the-art fiber optics. Other works of art include a remarkable abstract marble sculpture of a Viking ship by contemporary Norwegian artist Nicholas Widerberg, a series of paintings by impressionist painter Neil Pinkett, and an outstanding collection of Roman Amphorae from 50 - 150 AD. Prinsendam, or "Princes" ship, is truly a classic ship worthy of her name.
While on board, choose from an array of onboard activities that allow you to pursue new interests or relax and rejuvenate. Enjoy onboard cooking shows and hands-on workshops in partnership with America’s Test Kitchen. Learn how to edit, display and share your vacation videos and photographs through our Digital Workshop powered by Windows®. Or simply relax and rejuvenate at the Greenhouse Spa & Salon.

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Or scroll down for more details and day by day itinerary


The Holy Lands & Ancient Kingdoms

Holland America Line on 

Ms Prinsendam

October 19 - November 2, 2019

15 Days / 14 Nights

(Roundtrip from Rome)

Day 1

Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy ~ Depart 7:00 PM

Step off the cruise ship, linger at a sidewalk café in the early evening and take in the pageant: the taste of your cappuccino, the kiss of warm air, the immaculately attired locals just getting their evenings started. Rome is nicknamed the Eternal City, and rightly so, for the array of icons – the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Castel Sant'Angelo, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Bascillica – and for the role it played shaping the Western world. But there is perhaps a less-recognized genius in the way the city embraces the sensual side of life, as if to acknowledge there's no eternity like the present.


Day 2

At Sea

For breakfast, lunch or an unforgettable five-course dinner, the elegant Dining Room is your destination for sophisticated dining, with menu selections from classic favorites to vegetarian options, to dishes inspired by the regions you’ll visit.


Day 3

Katakolon (Olympia), Greece ~ 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

The port of Katakolon is the gateway to the Peloponnese, one of Greece’s most intriguing and least well-known areas. Beyond the region’s famous site of ancient Olympia—one of the most treasured remnants of the classical world—the Peloponnese gets little of the glory given the Greek islands and Athens. And it deserves much more, as you’re about to discover.

A distinctly Greek welcome can be experienced here like nowhere else. The region reveals what it means to be Greek: traditions that go back thousands of years, simple but delicious and healthy cuisine, towering mountains, crystal blue seas and, above all, the true hospitality of the people. In Greek, xenos means "stranger," but the word also means "guest," and a respectful traveler will be treated like a favored friend.

In addition to Olympia, which is unmissable, the Peloponnese offers lesser-known but majestic and ancient sites, natural wonders and an insight into the traditional rural life that still endures in this country. Take the time to explore and see as much as possible—your efforts will be more than rewarded.


Day 4 

Piraeus (Athens), Greece ~ 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

No modern metropolis is more steeped in myth than Athens, Greece. From the gritty port of Piraeus—gateway to Greece’s fabled isles—to the Parthenon—eternal symbol of Western civilization—Athens has attracted adventurers and classicists for centuries. This heritage is still very much alive for modern visitors sightseeing in Athens: ancient stadiums and temples dwell alongside apartment blocks, modern performances are staged in the marble amphitheaters where Greek drama was born and millennia-old monuments are scattered in the archaeological park that circles the Acropolis.

One of the world’s oldest maritime powers, Athens is blessed with a balmy climate and stunning coastline. The seaside suburbs of Athens are scalloped with sandy beaches, fancy yacht clubs and glamorous beach bars. While the Athenian lifestyle is known for late-night dinners and dancing until dawn, the city shines brightly by day in the bustling markets, lively cafés and fascinating museums that illuminate Greece's past and present. Contemplate the magnitude of all that culture and ancient tourist attractions while marveling at the sun setting into the Aegean or rising over the Acropolis.


Day 5

At Sea

Enjoy a wide variety of duty-free shopping in the Signature Shops such as Merabella, a luxury jewelry boutique featuring high-end watches and pieces from noted designers.


Day 6

Ashdod (Jerusalem), Israel ~ 8:00 AM - 11:00 PM

Jerusalem is one of the world’s most fabled cities, with an extraordinary history. Travelers today can’t help but be struck by the overwhelming sense of antiquity and the powerful feeling of being in the midst of more than 26 centuries of civilization. At countless sites, the city’s layers are peeled away and exposed.

The spiritual heart of Judaism, the Western Wall is the last remnant of the Temple of Jerusalem. For Christian travelers—or those interested in the early days of Christianity—visiting the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and the Garden of Gethsemane are unforgettable experiences. For the third great monotheistic religion, Islam, Jerusalem is also a holy city. The Al Aqsa Mosque, the third most important holy site of that faith, is located on the Temple Mount, the holiest site of Judaism.

Much of the magic of Jerusalem, however, is that it’s also a living vibrant city. As you make your way to its landmarks, you’ll pass through neighborhoods bustling with Israelis, Palestinians and travelers and pilgrims from every corner of the globe. William Faulkner’s famous phrase, “The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past,” describes the experience of Jerusalem perfectly as it continues its role as a unique cultural crossroads to this day.

In Ashdod, meander along the seaside promenade, or HaMidrehof this area is being termed the Southern Riviera of the city and includes many spectacular beaches. Dip your toes in the Dead Sea waters, long known for their health benefits. Visit the Bar-Gera Museum to view a collection of art by artists who were either banned or persecuted by the Nazis and other fascist governments. The Yad Vashem Memorial Museum is dedicated to the six million Jews who lost their lives during the Holocaust.


Day 7

Haifa (Tel Aviv), Israel ~ 8:00 AM - Overnight 

Haifa, the largest city in northern Israel, has an enviable location, built along the slopes of Mount Carmel, overlooking the Mediterranean. The port is also a gateway to a region with an almost unreal collection of captivating historic sites and natural beauty—snowcapped mountains, undeveloped wilderness and diverse, culturally rich cities that trace their histories back to ancient empires. In fact, the area can claim some of the oldest continuously occupied sites in the world, as well as archaeological ruins where ancient Roman, early Christian and Byzantine relics have been unearthed all within feet of each other.

For many travelers, Haifa and the surrounding area offer the chance to visit sites associated with the life of Jesus. Travelers can follow in his footsteps in Nazareth and along the Sea of Galilee. Others are drawn by the area’s natural wonders and scenic beauty, such as the forests and volcanic hills of the Golan Heights. Wherever you turn and whatever draws you to Haifa, you’ll find fascinating multicultural cities where Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities thrive side by side.


Day 8

Haifa (Tel Aviv), Israel ~ Depart 6:00 PM


Day 9

Limassol, Cyprus ~ 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

On the island's south coast, Limassol is very much in the Greek sector of Cyprus. A delicious place to sun-worship. Limassol Castle is where Richard the Lionhearted married Queen Berengaria in 1191. Wizened lacemakers weave the traditions of their ancestors into their detailed work.


Day 10

Rhodes, Greece ~ 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Rhodes, the largest of the Dodecanese (the name translates as "twelve islands"), draws more visitors than most other Greek islands. Its capital, Rhodes Town, offers an enduring blend of history and architecture, and the island's interior is filled with lushly forested hills. To the south, Lindos, one of the most stunning villages in all of Greece, is watched over by a picture-perfect ancient ruin on the hill above.

The island owes its rich history to a good climate and a strategically valuable position between Asia and Europe. Adding to this is a fine natural port where its former main attraction, an immense statue of the sun god Helios—the Colossus of Rhodes—once stood. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the statue made Rhodes a must-visit destination for ancient world travelers until it collapsed in an earthquake in 226 B.C.E. Even the statue’s ruins were grand enough to bring curious travelers to Rhodes for another 800 years until the metal pieces were melted and sold off by an occupying army.

Though many civilizations have left their mark on Rhodes, its independent spirit has endured and the island has managed to retain its natural beauty, from the mountain heights down to the gorgeous beaches and coves. 


Day 11

Souda (Chania), Greece ~ 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM


Day 12

At Sea

We take great pride in our onboard art collections. Now, fine art goes high tech. Take a self-guided walking tour highlighting your ship's eclectic collection, valued at tens of millions of dollars.


Day 13

Messina, Italy ~ 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Gateway to Mt. Etna, the awe-inspiring and still-active volcano, the seaport of Messina is the third-largest city in Sicily. Known for its fine cathedral, museums and for its rich Sicilian wines, Messina and the surrounding area was also the location for much of the Godfather series of films. An afternoon or a day in Messina can include a drive up to the windswept side of Mt. Etna (hold on to your hat—it is seriously windy here!) or to the shop-lined streets of Taormina. Many stores sell Sicilian ceramics, with colorful hues painted on volcanic earthen pottery, pieces created in the same way that they have been for centuries. Look also for jewelry and crafts made from beautiful black volcanic glass, collected from the slopes of Etna.

Don’t miss a chance to taste the wines of the region, which are gaining fame worldwide for their rich body and incomparable flavor. The 62-acre San Michele Estate, within driving distance of the port, creates wines that take advantage of the location's unusual, sheltered microclimate and volcanic soil.


Day 14

Sorrento, Italy ~ 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Situated on a terrace overlooking the splendid Amalfi coastline, Sorrento is imbued with charm and echoes of the ancient past. Delight in its stunning panorama of the bay of Naples, as well as its parks, villas, orange, lemon and olive groves and picturesque narrow streets. Revel in the city’s rustic simplicity, as you visit quaint artisan workshops packed together onto a maze of medieval alleys, and savor the delicate light as it falls across uneven cobbled streets from overhanging balconies and terraces which almost meet overhead.


Day 15

Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy ~ Depart 7:00 AM



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