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Holland America’s latest epic cruise is an Aussie lover’s dream

Looking for an easy and affordable way to see large swaths of Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific in a single trip?

Holland America is out with an epic new itinerary that will allow for just that.

The only catch: You’ll need to set aside three months to do it.

The “Grand Australia and New Zealand” voyage, as Holland America is calling it, will kick off Jan. 4, 2026, in San Diego and bring calls at 44 destinations across the Pacific. It’ll end back in San Diego on April 7, 2026 — a 93-day span.

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Announced on Tuesday, the sailing will take place on Holland America’s 1,432-passenger Zaandam, one of the Seattle-based line’s smaller vessels capable of accessing the smaller ports that are common across the regions.

As it begins, the sailing will resemble a classic transpacific cruise from America to Australia, with five days at sea on the way to the Hawaiian Islands. But it’ll be a far longer transpacific crossing than is typical.

A route map of Holland America's Grand Australia and New Zealand itinerary

Upon arriving in Hawaii, Zaandam will spend an extended four days at three of Hawaii’s main islands: Oahu, Hawaii and Maui. It’ll then continue westward for three weeks of island hopping toward Australia and will bring 13 stops across the islands of American Samoa, Samoa, Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

Among the stops in Papua New Guinea will be Alotau, a busy harbor that was the site of the Battle of Milne Bay — often billed as Japan’s first defeat in the Pacific during World War II. Zaandam will also visit Papua New Guinea’s Conflict Islands and Kiriwina, the largest of the country’s Trobriand Islands.

Related: The 5 best destinations you can visit on a Holland America ship

In the Solomon Islands, Zaandam will stop at Guadalcanal — the site of another well-known World War II battle. Nowadays, it’s known for its unspoiled beauty, including mountain spires, rocky coastlines, dense rainforest and spectacular waterfalls.

The Australia portion of the trip will be particularly epic, with a nearly complete circumnavigation of the continent over four weeks.

The stops in Australia will include the city of Cairns, a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. The ship will also spend two full days sailing along the Great Barrier Reef in what Holland America calls the “Great Barrier Reef Experience.”

Other port stops during the Australia leg of the trip will include Darwin, Broome, Exmouth, Fremantle (the port for Perth), Albany, Adelaide, Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island, Melbourne and Sydney.

Sydney Opera House
An overnight visit to Sydney is among the highlights of Holland America’s new Grand Australia and New Zealand itinerary. KEITH ZHU/UNSPLASH

Visits to Hobart and Port Arthur on the Australian island state of Tasmania are also on tap as part of a five-night diversion as Zaandam travels from Melbourne to Sydney.

From Australia, Zaandam will begin the long return journey eastward across the Pacific with a series of stops in New Zealand. Multiple island visits across Tonga and French Polynesia will follow.

The French Polynesian islands of Tahiti, Moorea, Raiatea and Huahine, plus the Tuamotu Archipelago, are among the destinations during this part of the trip.

Related: Holland America is out with another truly epic cruise

The newly announced voyage has similarities to a 94-day sailing to Australia and New Zealand that Holland America operated this year but features a number of new destinations, including stops in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. It also has more port stops in Hawaii, Fiji, French Polynesia and Vanuatu than this year’s trip.

Holland America has built in a lot of overnight calls into the sailing, as it often does with its longer trips. The ship will stay overnight in Honolulu in Hawaii; Fremantle, Sydney and Hobart in Australia; Auckland in New Zealand; and Papeete, Tahiti, in French Polynesia.

The overnight visit to Sydney will be particularly notable, as it’ll include a meetup between Zaandam and its sister ship, the 1,432-passenger Volendam. The latter vessel will be on an around-the-world cruise. Zaandam will arrive in Sydney on March 6, 2026, for an overnight stay. Volendam will arrive the next day for an overnight stay, with the two ships’ visits overlapping March 7, 2026.

Holland America has long been known for longer sailings from U.S. ports that brought people to far-flung places around the globe.

Fares for the new Grand Australia and New Zealand itinerary start at $17,699 per person, not including taxes, fees and port charges.

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