The Weekend Australian - Travel - - DESTINATION AFLOAT -

Hol­land Amer­ica op­er­ates spe­cial sail­ings sched­uled as BBC theme cruises, which in­clude talks and mas­ter­classes on wildlife film­ing and fea­ture BBC’s Nat­u­ral His­tory Unit cre­ative direc­tor, an ecol­o­gist, writer and nat­u­ral his­tory pre­sen­ter. Next are MS Volen­dam (departs Oc­to­ber 27 on a 14-day sail­ing from Shang­hai to Hong Kong via ports in Tai­wan and Ja­pan); MS Kon­ings­dam (departs June 3, 2018, on a sev­en­day Norse Le­gends round-trip from Am­s­ter­dam to four ports in Nor­way) and MS Euro­dam (departs Au­gust 4, 2018, on a seven-day round-trip from Seattle to Alaska). More: 1300 987 322; hol­lan­damer­ large-screen pro­duc­tion on MS Wes­ter­dam’s Main Stage. The breath­tak­ing colours and shapes of tow­er­ing ice­bergs and ice-wreathed po­lar re­gions cap­tured in BBC Earth’s mem­o­rable film move across a gi­ant screen flanked by the ship’s orches­tra per­form­ing mu­sic com­posed by Ge­orge Fen­ton and ar­ranged to ac­com­pany the film.

Hol­land Amer­ica’s BBC Earth part­ner­ship of­fers pro­grams on all its ships ex­cept MS Prin­sendam. Apart from Frozen Planet Live and Alaska in Con­cert (a per­for­mance of live mu­sic and footage from BBC Earth’s Wild Alaska tele­vi­sion se­ries), both cre­ated for Hol­land Amer­ica line, there are spe­cial chil­dren’s and fam­ily ac­tiv­i­ties on sea crea­tures, di­nosaurs and other an­i­mals, In­side Earth doc­u­men­taries, team quizzes, game shows and BBC Trivia.

Both the BBC Earth and Ri­jksmu­seum part­ner­ships high­light a price­less gift of sea travel, link­ing as it does with the most mem­o­rable of the world’s cul­tural and nat­u­ral land­scapes. On my jour­ney from Barcelona to Civ­i­tavec­chia, the port for Rome, we moor at the Span­ish ports of Cadiz, Malaga, Ali­cante and Palma de Mal­lorca; the Bri­tish ter­ri­tory of Gi­bral­tar; Toulon in France and Cor­sica; Monte Carlo with ac­cess to the French Riviera and, fi­nally, Livorno in Italy, gate­way to Siena, San Gimignano or Florence.

Way more than brief ports of call, each of­fers mem­o­rable land tour op­tions, many half or full-day trips. And on our sea days, op­por­tu­ni­ties for a dif­fer­ent kind of vi­sion. The best cruises have space for re­flec­tion.

Ju­dith Elen was a guest of Hol­land Amer­ica Line.

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