The company remained quiet about the switch, but Australia and New Zealand cruises of Maasdam have been selling for the past few months. The ship's berth bookings were also publicly listed on local port websites earlier this year.
The 60,890-tonne, 1,432-passenger Volendam, which sailed into Sydney yesterday morning, departed in the afternoon on the epic 50-day Australia Circumnavigation & Great Barrier Reef Collector, via Bali, ending in Singapore in December.
The ship won't return, with newcomer Noordam picking up Holland America's Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific itineraries for the rest of the season. Noordam arrives in Sydney for the first time on October 25 and leaves in March 2016, before returning next season with Maasdam.
The 55,451-tonne, 1,258-passenger Maasdam makes its debut in November 2016, offering a series of cruises around Australia and New Zealand. The mid-sized, classic vessel was launched in 1994 and refurbished in 2011 with the addition of three modern bars and two more specialty restaurants, while also retaining many of the traditions of cruising such as high tea, formal nights and ballroom dancing.
In February 2016, Holland America's Amsterdam will also visit Australia and New Zealand as part of its annual world voyage, while Ryndam and Statendam, renamed as Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden and sailing under the P&O Cruises brand, arrive next month.