HOLLAND AMERICA LINE IS, by many measures, a large cruise operator, with 14 ships calling on more than 400 ports and all seven continents. Yet its fleet consists solely of medium-sized vessels, each classically designed with sleek, navy-blue hulls evoking the golden age of ocean liners. Holland America resisted adding mega-ships to its line, favoring smaller, tradition-laden vessels while discretely incorporating modern perks and luxury appointments along the way. There are no climbing walls, water slides or amusement park rides on board, but Holland America passengers can expect exceptional afternoon teas and, in colder waters, hearty mugs of pea soup served on deck.
The pea soup is a playful nod to Holland America’s Dutch origins, dating back to 1873. Although Holland America Line is now owned by Carnival and headquartered in Seattle, many crew members are graduates of the line’s own training school in Indonesia (the former Dutch East Indies).
Although anchored to maritime traditions, Holland America sails with the times. This year America’s Test Kitchen goes fleet-wide, offering cooking shows and hands-on workshops run by its TV stars. Passengers can also now consult with experts before booking shore excursions in the shiny new topdeck coffeehouse/internet café known as Explorations Central, or EXC. And, after dark, Holland America’s Music Walk lights up with chamber music conducted on the Lincoln Center Stage, chart-topping bands rocking the night away at Billboard Onboard, and groups in the groove performing at B.B. King’s Blues Club.
Holland America Line’s newest and largest ship, the 2,650-passenger ms Koningsdam, takes an even bolder track into the future with facilities and programs designed to appeal to the rising tide of younger travelers and families. The ship’s theater is equipped with a 270-degree LED screen; the Lido Pool operates its own movie screen; and several innovative dining venues take the spotlight, including the up-to-date Culinary Arts Center’s farm-to-table show kitchen. Meanwhile, Holland America’s wide choice of spacious staterooms widens even further on the ms Koningsdam to include spa cabins, singles’ cabins and family staterooms (sleeping up to five, with extra closet space and two separate bathrooms).
By combining a classic maritime atmosphere with contemporary cruising trends, Holland America can treat its passengers to the quintessential premium cruise experience. This is especially evident in Alaska, where Holland America remains the industry leader, devoting fully half its fleet to more than 130 voyages each summer and, as owner of the Westmark Hotels chain in Alaska, offering passengers a seamless way to combine land and sea journeys that encompass America’s last frontier.
As harmful to the environment as air travel is, some airports are taking measures to become more environmentally conscious. One example is Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where an adjacent solar farm powers certain airport operations.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Ryanair will soon start its first round-trip Georgia flights. The flights, which start this November, will connect the capital Tbilisi (TBS) to Milan Bergamo (BGY) four times weekly and the western city of Kutaisi (KUT) to Bologna (BLQ) and Marseille (MRS), both twice weekly. Then, in April, Ryanair will add twice weekly flights between Tbilisi and Cologne (CGN).
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
Attend one of the most acclaimed fall events, Autumn at the Arboretum, in Dallas. In its 14th year, the annual event is known as one of the best pumpkin festivals in the country, with its creative displays featuring more than 90,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash. The event takes place at Dallas Arboretum, Sept. 21 –Oct. 31. Alongside thousands of pumpkins, guests glimpse 150,000 autumn flowers across the 66-acre space.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.