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Holland America to drop Bermuda cruises

In a blow to Bermuda’s tourist industry, Holland America has decided to drop regular sailings to the destination after one final season in 2012.

The line says the 1,350-passenger Veendam, which has sailed roundtrip to Bermuda from New York during summers since 2010, will reposition elsewhere for the summer of 2013, though it did not give specifics.

“The 2012 season will mark three years of Bermuda cruising roundtrip from New York, and in 2013 other destinations are being considered as part of our overall global deployment,” the line says in a statement sent to USA TODAY. “Specific details of 2013 itineraries will be announced throughout the next year.”

The statement says Holland America ships will continue to call in Bermuda occasionally as part of other itineraries.

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Holland America did not say why it plans to shift the Veendam away from Bermuda, but it’s no secret that the line has struggled a bit with the itinerary. One possible alternative destination for the ship in 2013 is Alaska, where demand for summer cruises this year was strong.

“We sincerely appreciate and value the partnership of the Bermuda government, tour operators, vendors, local businesses and the people of Bermuda for welcoming our guests and sharing their beautiful country,” the line says in the statement. “We look forward to a successful 2012 season in Bermuda.”

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