Sun, Feb 24: Fly to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Embark in the late afternoon on Holland America Line’s ms Koningsdam. Due to the possibility of weather related flight delays at this time of year, Ambassadair recommends flying into Fort Lauderdale on February 23rd and booking a pre-cruise overnight hotel.
Mon, Feb 25: Arrive in the early morning at Half Moon Cay, Holland America’s private island paradise in the Bahamas complete with an international bird sanctuary. There are a variety of activities to choose from while on the island, including horseback riding on trails and on the beach, a stingray swimming adventure, walking a nature trail or just relaxing at a private beachfront cabana.
Tue, Feb 26: Sugar-white sand, brilliant blue waters, kaleidoscopic sea life—all this is plentiful in the Caribbean archipelago nation of Turks & Caicos. Grand Turk, a jewel of an isle that measures just 18 square kilometers (seven square miles), is awesomely rich in natural wonders. Ringed by translucent warm waters teeming with coral and fish, it’s a bonanza for divers, snorkelers and anglers. Of course, you can always simply kick back and just enjoy the view from under a palm tree or beach umbrella. Or explore the fascinating history of Turks & Caicos in its capital, Cockburn Town, which is lined with Bermudan-style buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Wed, Feb 27: Located on the Dominican Republic's north coast, the port of Amber Cove, near Puerto Plata, is a new phenomenon. The area was fashioned as an homage to the country’s colonial architecture and features restaurants, bars and shops, as well as an activity center, a pool and cabanas. But it’s the neighboring region, known as the Amber Coast for its plethora of the semiprecious stone, that’s this port’s true draw. Along with golden-sand beaches and dramatic cliffs, there's the city of Puerto Plata, one of the Caribbean’s oldest, founded in the early 1500s. Another nearby option is Santiago de los Caballeros, known locally as simply Santiago, about an hour's drive from the port. The second-largest city in the Dominican Republic, it is home to excellent museums, historic buildings and cigar and rum makers.
Thu, Feb 28: At sea.
Fri, Mar 1: Almost as soon as you pull into the port of Kralendijk, Bonaire you’ll realize it’s one of the most laid-back landings around, which helps maintain the island’s chief attributes: legendarily pristine wilderness, both above and below the surface; mangroves full of baby fish; and salt flats full of flamingos - nature’s cup overflows here. Try the cactus liqueur even if you try no other local beverage. The island is culturally rich, with layers of Amerindian, Spanish, African, Dutch and British influences. You’ll hear traces of the languages of all of the above, plus some French and Portuguese during any given conversation in Papiamento, the creole language spoken throughout the Netherlands Antilles.
Sat, Mar 2: The capital of Curaçao, the town of Willemstad, is almost as old as a more famous Dutch settlement—it was founded in 1634, just 10 years after New Amsterdam, (later called New York). But while the Dutch control of New Amsterdam was relatively brief, Curaçao remains a part of the Netherlands to this day. A unique mixture of Dutch architecture and Caribbean pastels, the entire historic center of Willemstad has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Highlights of history can be explored at institutions like the Kura Hulanda and Curaçao Maritime Museum, or some may prefer a stop at the floating market and a visit to a Curaçao distillery to taste the famous local liqueur. Natural wonders await as well; some of the Caribbean’s most stunning diving and snorkeling spots are here.
Sun, Mar 3: In Oranjestad, Aruba, the beaches are spectacularly pristine, and the island's consistent trade winds are part of the destination's allure - they keep the humidity, rain and hurricanes at bay. The main port and capital city, Oranjestad, is a maze of Dutch-colonial architecture painted in a palette of Caribbean pastels. There are some historic sites of note and myriad shops, from boutiques to megastores, selling all sorts of keepsakes, while farther afield are lighthouses, gold mine ruins and natural wonders that reflect the rugged appeal of Aruba.
Mon, Mar 4: At sea.
Tue, Mar 5: At sea.
Wed, Mar 6: Disembarkation in Fort Lauderdale.
Launched in March 2016, this new ship is the largest ever built for Holland America Line and the first of the new Pinnacle-class cruise ships. The Koningsdam raises the bar for 21st-century elegance, with a mix of something contemporary and something classic. The beautiful architectural elements were inspired by music, and he ship is full of light-filled spaces. At the heart of the ship is a central atrium that soar three decks high. Upscale dining, family ocean-view cabins and a two-tiered Lido Pool area with an outdoor movie screen are just some of the exciting features. Highlights: staterooms with mini-refrigerators, complimentary fruit (on request), 100% Egyptian cotton towels, use of bathrobes during your voyage, and bedside USB ports• eleven restaurants • seven bar/lounges • in-room dining • fitness center with fitness classes • two pools • three whirlpools • jogging track • sport court • Greenhouse Spa and Salon • Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine, with classes, demonstrations and dining • theater • Lincoln Center Stage • casino • Club HAL youth program