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Holland America Line began life in 1873 as a Dutch shipping line, and for more than 140 years since then it has sailed the world's oceans developing the nautical legacy which is still alive and well today. The line has built a reputation for classic, elegant cruises, and the Holland America ships are a handsome fleet.
Holland America ships: In the navy
The line's vessels are easily recognisable thanks to their stately navy-coloured hulls and names ending in -dam. Here are a few details about the Holland America ships which you might spot in Australasia and the South Pacific:
Maasdam: This mid-sized ship can be spotted Down Under during the summer season. Although updated in 2011, it has retained its traditional sensibilities which mix well with contemporary elements. The Maasdam sails from a variety of the larger Australian ports when in the region.
Noordam: A member of Holland America's Vista class, this ship also strikes a good balance between old and new. The variety of educational activities and glamorous decor make her a great way to travel the South Pacific - she regularly visits New Zealand, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji from her Australian homeport of Sydney.
While these two navy-hulled ships are the ones you are likely to come across in Australasia, the line has quite a roster of vessels. These include the Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Volendam, Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Oosterdam, Prinsendam, Veendam, Westerdam, Zaandam, Zuiderdam and the brand-new Koningsdam which are based in different countries all around the world:
- The Amsterdam is usually based in San Diego.
- The Rotterdam sails from Fort Lauderdale.
- The Volendam has its homeport in Asia.
- The Eurodam's home is Fort Lauderdale.
- The Nieuw Amsterdam offers cruises from Fort Lauderdale.
- The Oosterdam starts its journeys from Tampa.
- The Prinsendam's homeport is in Fort Lauderdale.
- The Veendam has its base in the USA.
- The Westerdam cruises from San Diego.
- The Zaandam's itineraries start from South America.
- The Zuiderdam is based in Fort Lauderdale.
- The Koningsdam is usually departing from Fort Lauderdale.
Holland America activities and entertainment
Daily activities are plenty and varied on Holland America cruises, and the opportunities to stay busy and expand your mind are what keep many passengers coming back. There are cooking classes, wine tastings, digital workshops, trivia, art events and more during the daytime, with dancing, live music, shows and many places to relax with a drink in the evening. One of the signature features of Holland America ships is the Culinary Arts Centre found on each ship, where passengers can participate in demos and classes.
Dining onboard Holland America
The devotion to the culinary arts continues in the line's fantastic restaurants, both the main dining and specialty venues. They pioneered the alternative dining concept and are famous for their Pinnacle Grill with cuisine inspired by the Pacific Northwest. "As You Wish" dining has introduced some flexibility into dinnertime schedules, and there is a buffet for casual meals.
Holland America special features
There are touches of luxury and tradition everywhere aboard the navy-hulled ships, and it makes for a great cruise experience. Afternoon tea, refined decor, great service and extensive art collections are evidence of this in the public areas, and it continues in the accommodation where comfort is foremost. As part of an ongoing "Signature of Excellence" program, they have been adding luxury carpeting, premium Euro-top mattresses and high quality linens to make sure every stateroom is a haven.
Booking your Holland America Line Cruise
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