Prinsendam Heads to San Francisco

HAL cancels Europe, Asia programs for 2003; Alaska program is selling briskly

By: Theresa Norton Masek

Holland America Line will base the Prinsendam in San Francisco next summer to operate eight 14-day Alaska cruises.

The Prinsendam formerly known as the Seabourn Sun and Royal Viking Sun was originally scheduled to spend spring and summer 2003 in Asia and Europe.

The Prinsendam’s first Alaska cruise departs May 17, and its Alaska season concludes with a 22-day Panama Canal cruise from San Francisco to Boston departing Sept. 10.

Alaska fares start at $2,449 per person, double. The Panama Canal repositioning cruise is priced from $2,979, double.

“The Prinsendam was scheduled to spend the holidays in Australia/ New Zealand, then to Asia-Pacific and then heading to Europe through the Suez Canal,” said Rose Abello, Holland America’s vice president of public relations. “Now it will head straight to San Francisco.”

Abello said the ship was redeployed in part because of uncertainty about cruising through the Suez Canal but also because of high demand for Alaska cruises.

“Right now, our Alaska program is booking really well,” she said. “We were able to bring the ship to San Francisco and there’s the appeal of that homeport.”

Holland America will operate three other ships in Europe next summer, including the new 1,848-passenger Oosterdam, the Rotterdam and the Noordam.