Holland America to offer ex-UK cruises in 2026

HAL to homeport Nieuw Statendam in Dover 2026
By Linsey McNeill
29/04/2024
Home » Holland America to offer ex-UK cruises in 2026

Holland America Line has confirmed it will homeport its ship Nieuw Statendam in Dover for a second consecutive year in 2026.

The ship, HAL’s second newest, will start sailing from Dover for the first time in summer 2025, offering a series of 14-night cruises and one 28-day sailing to the Arctic and Greenland.

It will be the first time HAL has offered ex-UK cruises since 2015, and International Sales and Marketing Director Nico Bleichrodt said it had decided to return again with a similar programme in 2026.

Speaking from Nieuw Statendam’s sister ship Rotterdam while it was visiting Dover on Friday, Nico said the 2026 cruise programme will be confirmed ‘in the next couple of months’, but he said it might start ‘a little earlier’ than next year’s ex-UK cruises.

While HAL is most popular in the UK for its Alaska sailings, Nico said homeporting a ship in Dover again for 2025 has raised awareness of its closer-to-home cruises, including those to the Canaries.

Currently, the UK accounts for only about 5% of HAL’s bookings, but Nico said he hopes to see the number double next year when Nieuw Statendam starts operating its cruises to the Canaries, Great Britain, and the Arctic.

UK Director Sales and Marketing Karen Farndell added: “We are really pleased with the reaction in the market and from our partners as well.

“The Canaries cruises are selling really well. There is so much growth still in the UK cruise market and we really want to be part of that.

“We are really excited to be sailing from Dover again in 2026. It is a great achievement for us to have that continuation. “

HAL’s all-inclusive Have it All packages are especially popular in the UK, added Karen, with about 70% of customers opting to upgrade from the standard fare – more than the global average.

The all-inclusive Have it All package includes drinks, excursions, speciality dining, wi-fi and, since last year, staff gratuities, for £60 per person per day.

“Offering this package encourages people to book, they like having one all-inclusive price,” added Karen.

Since joining the line two years ago, Karen has increased the number of travel agents it works with and this year it will host agents on 10 ship visits, including one in Rotterdam. It will also take 100 agents on a cruise to the Mediterranean in September. 

She added; “We haven’t confirmed our plans for agents next year but we will continue with the same level of activity.”

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