Holland America's University at Sea Program Combines Continuing Education And Vacation

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SEATTLE, Jan. 25, 2002 -- Health care professionals such as doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, chiropractors and veterinarians typically have to juggle time for continuing education against time relaxing on true vacation.

With Holland America Line's University at Sea program, they can do both: earn continuing education credits in their profession while enjoying a five-star vacation aboard a premium cruise ship in the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Alaska, Mediterranean and -- for the first time -- Canada and New England.

Holland America is offering a total of 35 professional University at Sea courses in 2002, the majority designed for physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and health care providers. They can select from 20 accredited courses including such diverse topics as anesthesiology, gastroenterology, emergency medicine, family practice, pediatrics, pain management, dermatology and women's health. Eight other courses provide updates in dentistry, chiropractic, pharmacy and veterinary medicine.

University at Sea courses are offered primarily on Holland America's seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises aboard the ms Maasdam, plus two 10-day Southern Caribbean/Panama Canal cruises on the ms Rotterdam. The seven-day cruises sail virtually year-round, and the 10-day cruises operate in February and October 2002.

For the first time, Holland America will feature a University at Sea course on its seven-day Canada and New England cruise aboard the Rotterdam departing July 6. The "Update in Family Medicine" course is geared toward MDs, RNs, NPs and other medical professionals and provides accreditation of 16 CME hours or 19 contact hours.

Holland America features University at Sea courses on numerous seven-day Glacier Discovery cruises to Alaska aboard the ms Statendam between May 19 and Aug. 25. The company also is offering a course on its 10-day Mediterranean cruise aboard the Rotterdam departing Oct. 31.

The professional course fees range from $299 to $695 (CAN $455 to $1,055). Participants receive 12 to 19 hours of classroom time, depending on the course, plus complete course materials, appropriate credit registration and certificate of attendance.

Interested guests should reserve their space in a course at least 60 days prior to sailing. Guests should contact their travel agent for information on program details, speakers, fees, credentials, and credits. For additional information, phone University at Sea at 1-800-926-3775 or visit www.universityatsea.com for a complete course schedule.

About Holland America Line

Holland America's premium cruises feature spacious staterooms, superb dining, renowned service, casino, first-rate entertainment, duty-free on-board shops, internet centers, the Club HAL children's program, complete fitness centers and popular "tipping not required" and "cashless" ship policies.

Holland America Line has 11 luxury ships sailing to more than 280 ports of call and scenic cruising destinations on all seven continents, including Antarctica. The company is a member of the exclusive World's Leading Cruise Lines alliance, which also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Cunard Line, Seabourn Cruise Line, Costa Cruises and Windstar Cruises. Together, these member lines share a commitment to quality and value, offering cruise vacations that appeal to the widest range of lifestyles and budgets and sail to some of the world's most exciting destinations.

In 2002, Holland America Line will offer 360 sailings within a half-day's drive of 40 percent of North American households and departing from 15 North American home ports.

Affordable air arrangements are available through the Home City Air program and Holland America offers the only trip cancellation program in the industry that offers cash back for canceling for any reason prior to 24 hours before departure.

Holland America Line is the highest-rated premium cruise line in the world in the 2001 "Travel & Leisure" magazine "World's Best" Awards and one of the word's three highest rated large-ship cruise lines in the 2001 "Conde Nast Traveler" Readers' Choice Awards. The company also has won its 10th consecutive "Best Overall Cruise Value" award from the World Ocean & Cruise Liner Society (WOCLS).