HAL offers four new Asia ports in '09

Holland America Line will offer nine Asia Pacific voyages on the Volendam in 2009.

Next fall, the Volendam will call at locales in China, Southeast Asia, Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam and Russia. Four maiden ports of call are Puerto Princesa, Philippines; Otaru, Japan; Sanya, China; and Keelung, Taiwan.

Holland America also will offer a roundtrip Hong Kong itinerary for the first time. The 14-day journey departs Oct. 26 and will visit ports in China (including an overnight stay in Shanghai) and Vietnam.

On a cruise from Singapore to Hong Kong, the Volendam will visit Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. There are two itineraries: a 14-day cruise starting April 4 and a 12-day cruise starting Nov. 7. Highlights of the 14-day itinerary include a call at Puerto Princesa in the Philippines, famous for its crocodile farms, underground rivers and dive spots. An overnight stay in Laem Chabang, Thailand, allows guests time for shopping and exploring the pagodas and temples of Bangkok, which is about 60 miles from the port.

Guests wanting a cruise with breathtaking scenery and diverse ports can opt for the Japan, eastern Russia and Alaska itinerary. The 19-day cruise from Kobe, Japan, departs May 2 and sails to Vancouver. The 16-day cruise in the reverse direction departs Vancouver on Sept. 23, or guests can board a 15-day version sailing from Seattle on Sept. 24, and take the ship to Kobe.

On the cruise between Kobe and Vancouver, the ship will explore Petropavlovsk, known as Russia's Far East, with its scores of volcanoes. Passengers will also visit the scenic Kuril Islands off the coast of Russia and Alaska's Aleutian Islands and Inside Passage. An overnight stay in Yokohama, Japan, allows guests time to experience Tokyo and take in the Sensoji and Kannon temples.

Holland America is also offering 15- and 19-day itineraries to explore Indonesian Islands and the Great Barrier Reef, and 14-day cruises and a 16-day holiday sailing between Australia and New Zealand.

For more on Holland America's Asia Pacific cruises in 2009, visit www.hollandamerica.com.

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