Guests aboard an upcoming Holland America Line Legendary Voyages cruise that sails within the Arctic Circle will traverse the routes of Erik the Red, the Norse explorer who was first to settle Greenland. The new itinerary debuts in 2025 and features port calls in five countries.

Holland America Line has unveiled an itinerary that its Nieuw Statendam will sail in June 2025, a 28-day “Arctic Circle Crossing: Greenland & Iceland” cruise roundtrip from Rotterdam, Netherlands. The routing, inspired by the explorations of 10th century Viking Erik the Red, features 15 port calls in five countries and passes through the Arctic Circle.

The Viking explorer is believed to have founded the first settlement in Greenland, and the country plays a big role in the itinerary. Nieuw Statendam will make four maiden calls in Greenland, at Nuuk, Ittoqqortoormiit, Sisimiut, and Ilulissat. (Erik the Red’s son was Leif Erikson, one of the first Europeans to reach North America.)

Photo Credit: StudioPortoSabbia / Shutterstock

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The 2,666-guest Pinnacle-class ship that launched in 2017 will also call at several destinations in Iceland, including an overnight in Reykjavik and a visit to Isafjördur. Cruisers will be able to take full advantage of extended daylight hours in the northern destinations, as the cruise departs on June 29, 2025, from Rotterdam.

Other port calls the ship will make include Ålesund, Trondheim, Honningsvåg (North Cape) and Tromsø, Norway; Stornoway (Isle of Lewis) and Invergordon (Inverness), Scotland; and Dover (London), England.

The cruise line in March 2023 announced the launch of its Legendary Voyages cruise category, which features longer, destination-immersive sailings ranging up to 59 days. The new product unveiling was part of the line’s commemoration of its 150th anniversary this year.

Legendary Voyages give us the opportunity to create longer cruises that delve deeper into a region and include ports we don’t normally visit, like the four maiden calls in Greenland on the new Arctic Circle Crossing,said Beth Bodensteiner, chief commercial officer of Holland America Line.

We’re taking this itinerary up to Norway’s North Cape, then heading farther north in Greenland on both coasts and adding amazing opportunities in Iceland. At 28 days, it’s the perfect length to showcase this area and give our guests an experience that goes beyond a brief introduction to the countries,Bodensteiner added.

Guests aboard Nieuw Statendam also will enjoy scenic cruising opportunities in North Cape (Norway); Jan Mayen Island, in the Arctic Ocean; Scoresbysund (Greenland); and Eyjafjördur and Ísafjardardjúr (Iceland).

Cruises to the farthest reaches of the earth have gained steam since the industry began its recovery from the pandemic, with several major lines introducing voyages to polar regions and the Northwest Passage, which runs from the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska, to the North Atlantic, near Canada’s Baffin Island.

Among the lines that have embraced these routes is Viking, which earlier this year announced that two of its ships would undertake Arctic and Northwest Passage itineraries. With cruises up to 27 days, the line’s Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will sail Arctic and Northwest Passage cruises between July and September 2025.

Holland America Line operates 11 cruise ships and is one of nine cruise brands owned by Carnival Corporation.

News of the line’s Arctic voyage was the second announcement Holland America Line made this month. Earlier in August it detailed a series of holiday cruises planned for 2023, where guests can celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year 2024 onboard several ships headed to warm destinations.

Sailings during the holiday weeks are planned for the Caribbean and the Mexican Riviera, from US ports such as Fort Lauderdale and San Diego. Onboard activities will include tree-lighting ceremonies, dreidel games, holiday movies, caroling parties, and a New Year’s ball, among other events.

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