17 Days in the South Pacific with Holland America

The South Pacific cruise with Holland America was both adventurous and relaxing. The itinerary included stops at 12 ports in Australia, New Caledonia and Vanuatu as well as Fiji and New Zealand. It was a perfect pace with stunning scenery and interesting learning opportunities.

We boarded Holland America Maasdam on this particular trip. It was a medium-sized vessel that offered great food and entertainment and was perfectly sized to stop at smaller ports.

This is what you can expect on a Holland America 17-day cruise through the South Pacific.

The Itinerary

The 17-day South Pacific cruise was a great way to balance adventure and relaxation.

After starting our journey in Brisbane, we spent a few days at sea, before arriving at Noumea and Tadine (New Caledonia), where we continued on to Luganville and Port Vila, Vanuatu. We then headed to Fiji, where we explored travel umbrella Lautoka and Savusavu. After that, we continued on to Luganville, Port Vila, and Mystery Island, Vanuatu.

  • Brisbane, Australia
  • At Sea
  • At Sea
  • Noumea, New Caledonia
  • Tadine in New Caledonia
  • Luganville, Vanuatu
  • Port Vila, Vanuatu
  • Mystery Island, Vanuatu
  • Lautoka, Fiji
  • Savusavu, Fiji
  • Dravuni Island, Fiji
  • Waitangi (Bay of Islands), New Zealand
  • Tauranga (Rotorua), New Zealand
  • Auckland, New Zealand

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The Ship

The MS Maasdam measures 719 feet in length and can accommodate 1258 guests. It is a medium-sized ship, which makes it easy to travel umbrella reach off-the-beaten path ports. The ship’s size was great for exploring the area. I also appreciated the attention paid by the staff to details – I loved the adorable zoo animals made from towels that they created for us!

Explorations of Central In-Depth Voyages

The Holland America Fleet’s only ship dedicated to Explorations Central In depth Voyages is the MS Maasdam. These voyages can be tailored to your interests, and you will stop at multiple ports within each region to allow you to experience all aspects of the local culture.

These voyages also offer lectures, workshops, performances, and other educational opportunities for passengers.

The Cuisine

Holland America offers a wide range of fine dining options onboard their ships as well as great casual dining options.

Lido Market

Lido Market offers a wide variety of food, from classics to more exotic options. You can find everything you need, from sandwiches and salads to delicious local cuisines and hearty desserts.


Do you want a delicious burger with fries? Dive-In is your place. There are many casual options, as well as high-end dishes.

The Dining Room

The Dining Room is a great place to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner. The Dining Room’s chefs are not only world-renowned but also prepare everything from staples to regional dishes and vegetarian options.

Pinnacle Grill

Pinnacle Grill, a restaurant that emphasizes premium ingredients is the perfect place to eat lunch or dinner onboard a ship. The menu is based on the best fish from America’s Pacific Northwest.


Canaletto, a traditional Italian restaurant featuring all your favorite classics, prepares delicious dishes that will be enjoyed by everyone. Their pasta is made fresh each day!

Rudi’s Sel De Mer

Rudi’s Sel de Mer is a great choice if you lomas travel are looking for French classic cuisine. This intimate French-Mediterranean seafood brasserie is sure to delight both the traditional and modern connoisseurs.

You can find Rudi’s Sel De Mer at Pinnacle Restaurant while aboard the Maasdam.

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The Rooms

Holland America ships are known for their luxury and comfort, which is evident in the rooms. I was a guest in an Ocean View room on the Maasdam and loved the ability to wake up every morning and see the ocean. The ship’s linens and beds are amazing – it was an incredible night of sleep every night!

Five room options are available on the Maasdam: Inside, Ocean View and Lanai, Vista Suite and Neptune & Pinnacle Suite. Each option has different amenities and further customization options.

Things to Do onboard the Maasdam

The entertainment on the Maasdam was amazing. Many of these options were only available to Explorations In-Depth Voyages. They were designed to relax or teach guests about the culture and regions they were visiting.

Two different pools are available, each with ample space to relax. One morning, we woke up to a whole zoo full of towels made by staff. They were so cute!


The Maasdam’s performances were outstanding and tied in with the local cultures. These included vocal work, dancing, and drumming.

Culinary Experiences

Nothing is better than learning about a place through its food. Each In-Depth Voyage will have a guest chef on board to help you learn about local food traditions. These experiences include tastings of food, wine pairings and cooking demonstrations.

Workshops & Presentations

It was great to have naturalists, writers, historians, and photographers onboard the Maasdam so we could learn about our destinations. They led workshops and gave presentations to help us better understand each region.

Digital Workshops

Holland America offers amazing digital workshops aboard the Maasdam. Each workshop includes photo editing, movie creation and digital organization. Storage, security tips, and storage tips are also included. These sessions are very small and can be used by anyone of any skill level.

Greenhouse Spa & Salon

After a hard day exploring, what’s the best way for you to relax? The spa, of course. Greenhouse Spa & Salon offers heated lomas travel lounges, facial treatment, massages, and many other services.

Spa treatments can be purchased at an additional charge.

BBC Earth Experiences and Movies

The Maasdam has a large movie library for those nights when you want to just relax in your room. It was great to see that you could also watch BBC Earth films and concerts onboard.

Fitness Center

The Maasdam has a great gym to offset all the heavy lifting. You can work out alone or take one of the many classes that they offer.

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