Holland America Cruise Line
A classic cruise experience in Alaska
Your shipmates: Holland America cruise lines used to cater to a much older crowd. Today, by placing more emphasis on their kids program, updating the onboard entertainment and revealing more middle-aged passenger profile results, this image is being dispelled. In Alaska, there is no doubt you’ll see more children in the mix mainly thanks to Holland America cruise lines effort to promote generational and family reunion travel encouraging young families to cruise together. You’ll find discerning couples seeking a more formal, traditional and elegant atmosphere. We hope you enjoy dressing up as this translates into more tuxedos and evening gowns on formal nights. Many of your shipmates are likely to be repeat passengers and will have sailed the line before. Overall, the mood is low key and the passengers tend to be more reserved.
- Classic ambiance evocative of the days of grand ocean liners the sound of delicate chimes still signal passengers for dinner seating.
- Holland America cruise line was formed back in 1873. The company’s expertise is apparent. The service is exceptional and the staff is professional, friendly and unobtrusive.
- Night owls may find themselves partying mostly with the staff. The line strives for a quieter, less hectic approach. Most of the action tends to end early. However, the cruise line is making improvements in this area.
- Passengers tend to raise the dress code up a notch in the evenings.
Accommodations/Cabins: Keyword: roomy. Holland America cruise line staterooms are among the industries’ largest. Most of the ocean view cabins have a bathtub and shower, a rare find, and typically reserved for suites on other cruise lines. Cabin décor is no frill with simple clean lines creating a comfortable cruise experience. All staterooms have twin beds that can be converted to a queen and, in some cases, a king. Closets and storage space is more generous than the industry standard, and bathrooms are well designed and well lit with adequate counter space.
All cabins include Holland America cruise lines new Signature of Excellence amenity enhancements. Each has a flat-panel plasma TV and DVD player, fluffy 100% Egyptian cotton towels, plush bathrobes for your use, massage shower head, lighted magnifying makeup mirror, salon quality hair dryers and Elemis toiletries. Beds feature Sealy premium Euro-top mattresses and fine cotton linens.
Larger than some staterooms found on more expensive lines, suites range from a very comfortable 292 square feet to 1,159 square feet. Additional amenities include a stocked mini-bar; firm, medium and soft pillows available, personalized stationary, one-touch telephone concierge service, oversized bath towels, fresh flowers and a complimentary DVD library. Penthouse and Deluxe Verandah suites offer all the above plus: exclusive use of the private Neptune Lounge, personal concierge service, hors d’oeuvres before dinner on request, use of binoculars and umbrellas during your cruise, corsages and boutonnieres provided on the first formal night, an invitation to a VIP cocktail party with the ship’s officers, premium duvet, complimentary laundry, pressing and dry-cleaning services, priority boarding for tendered ports of call, exclusive daily breakfast service, high tea service in your suite on request, special disembarkation service and priority dining and seating requests. Whew… do you think you could get used to livin’ this large?
A new addition available on the ms Statendam are Spa Suites and staterooms. These cabins provide a serene ambiance through in-room spa amenities such as yoga mats, iPod docking station and a countertop water feature.
Holland America cruise line features many accessible cabins, complemented by barrier-free access to all the ships’ amenities.
- ms Amsterdam – has 21 wheelchair accessible cabins
- ms Statendam – offers 6 wheelchair accessible cabins available on board
- ms Oosterdam/ms Zuiderdam/ms Westerdam – all three ships offer 28 wheelchair accessible staterooms
- ms Zaandam/ms Volendam – 21 staterooms are wheelchair accessible
Dining: The dining experience aboard Holland America cruise lines is superb. With menu design under the direction of Master Chef Rudi Sodium and food preparation carried out by Executive chefs inducted into the prestigious Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs, an international food and wine society, you’ll enjoy delicious and innovative dishes. The elegant main dining rooms feature five-course culinary delights from traditional favorites, regionally inspired fare to vegetarian options. Your entrees are served on fine china and linens with the surrounding décor graced by fine art and antiques. You’ll feel like royalty.
The Holland America cruise line “As You Wish” dining program offers you complete flexibility with your choice of traditional pre-set seating times or an open schedule to choose the venue and time that suit you.
Aboard every vessel you’ll find the reservations-required Pinnacle Grill specialty restaurant. The ambiance kicks it up a notch to a level of sophistication not typically found on the high seas. Intimate dining where the food will exceed your expectations, hand-selected aged Sterling Silver Beef, fresh seafood and an extensive wine list. Don't miss the opportunity to dine here at least once during your cruise. Make reservations as early as possible when you come aboard or before you leave home online or by contacting the cruise line directly. The cover charge is $20 per person for dinner and $15 for lunch.
For casual dining, onboard Holland America cruise line, the Lido Restaurants offer fresh, cooked-to-order menu selections for breakfast and lunch. In the evening, the Lido features tableside waiter service and entrees from both the main Dining Room and its own extensive menu for dinner. You can choose to dine indoors or al fresco on deck. The Terrace Grill, located poolside, serves up grilled burgers and hot dogs with all the trimmings, pizza, nachos, sandwiches and gourmet sausages. The Explorations Café coffee bar features pastries and espresso drinks. Should you decide to dine in your cabin complimentary 24-hour in-room dining is available.
Other delicious Holland America cruise line traditions are daily afternoon tea, elevated to Royal Dutch High Tea once per cruise, the midnight late-night snack available in the Lido restaurant and the Dessert Extravaganza, where the dessert chefs get the opportunity to go wild at least once during the cruise.
Special dietary needs, such as vegetarian, diabetic or gluten-free meals, are easily accommodated with advance requests. Kosher meals and a Health Conscious Dining option are also available.
Entertainment/Spa/Fitness: Holland America cruise lines on board activities tend to be more modest than its competitors. Nightly shows tend to be small-scale revues reminiscent of Broadway chic instead of Las Vegas showiness. The soloists, trios and quartets playing a wide range of musical styles in the smaller lounges and piano bars might be a better choice for overall quality. Since variety is the spice of life other entertainment options may include jugglers, magicians, comedians and acrobats.
With a more subdued atmosphere come more laid-back pursuits. You’ll find ballroom dance lessons, bridge programs, a trivia game or Pictionary tournament, ping-pong, golf putting, self-guided tours of the ships art collection or theater and wine tasting. Recent-release movies are shown daily and a crew talent show once a week round out the activities.
Powered by the New York Times, Holland America cruise lines developed the Explorations Café, a combination internet center, coffee bar and library. Another new addition is the Culinary Arts Center, providing complimentary cooking demonstrations, presented by Food & Wine Magazine.
In Alaska, on 7-night cruises, you’ll enjoy the Artists in Residence Program created with support from Anchorage’s Native Heritage Center. Demonstrations of traditional arts such as ivory and soapstone carving, basket weaving and mask making are performed by native artists.
The Asian-inspired Greenhouse Spa & Salon offers a variety of luxurious massage, body wrap and facial treatments as well as hair styling and nail services. Holland America cruise line fitness facilities are well-equipped with state-of-the-art exercise and weight-training equipment. Personal training and specialized classes such as yoga and Pilates are available for a fee. All ships have an outdoor pool with retractable roof, sports courts and a jogging track. Some vessels have hydrotherapy pools and thermal suites.
Junior sailors: Holland America cruise line has put a lot of effort into enhancing its youth program, Club HAL. A wide variety of youth-and-teen friendly activities and well-equipped dedicated facilities are available for junior sailors ages 3 to 17. Club HAL is programmed for three age brackets (Kids 3-7, Tweens 8-12 and Teens 13-17). Age appropriate activities for the youngest group may include storytelling, arts and crafts, ice-cream or pizza parties and games; for older kids there are arcade games, Sony Playstation, theme parties, on-deck sports events, scavenger hunts and participation in the award-winning Junior Park Ranger program in Alaska. For the teen set, dance contests, karaoke sessions, video games, sports tournaments, movies and trivia contests are offered. Teens particularly like the teen disco and the Oasis, a totally cool exclusive outdoor space available on some ships.
Your child's on board experience is safe and well-managed. All activities are supervised by permanent, full-time youth staff that holds degrees in education, childhood development, recreation, leisure studies or related fields.
Each evening, kids receive a program detailing the next day’s activities. Daily program times will vary based on age group, number of children on board, staffing and whether it’s a day at sea or in port.
In connection with the Holland America cruise line Culinary Arts Center on board youth can participate in Kids Culinary Workshops. The workshops are geared toward two age groups; ages 3-7 and ages 8 and up. Teens 15 and up can participate in the adult classes. Aside from the fun involved, kids learn cooking techniques, kitchen safety and how to follow recipe instructions.
Club HAL late-night activities for ages 3 to 12 (group babysitting) are offered from 10 PM until midnight for an hourly fee. In-cabin babysitting is also offered based on crewmember availability.
A limited number of high chairs, booster seats and cribs are available at no charge. These must be reserved in advance at the time of booking.
Cruise tours: Holland America cruise line offers an extensive range of cruise tours available in lengths from 10 to 20 days. There are four categories that combine a 3, 4 or 7-night cruise with land packages of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 or 13-nights. While many of the other cruise lines concentrate their land tours in the Denali corridor Holland America focuses on the Canadian interior.
You can choose a 3 or 4 night cruise with a land package that emphasizes Denali National Park and highlights the gold rush of the 1890’s on the Klondike Trail. Travel the scenic Alaska Highway and visit Tok, Beaver Creek and Denali National Park with 3 or 4 days of Inside Passage cruising. Or embark on a 7-day glacier discovery cruise combined with Denali National Park with choices in the Kenai Peninsula and Alyeska. Many of these itineraries also include Kluane National Park. Only Holland America spotlights this less traveled destination.
Just added last year is the Holland America cruise line Expedition Series Cruise tour. Adventures that promote a more remote wilderness experience.
ms Statendam - a 1,260 passenger vessel
ms Zaandam - a 1,432 passenger vessel
These two ships sail the Inside Passage/Gulf route between Seward and Vancouver, B.C. They feature Glacier Bay and College Fjord. They depart on Sundays for a 7-day cruise.
ms Zuiderdam - a 1,916 passenger vessel
ms Volendam - a 1,432 passenger vessel
Both ships sail rountrip from Vancouver, B.C. and include Glacier Bay in their 7-day itinerary. ms Zuiderdam departs on Saturdays and ms Volendam offers Wednesday departures.
ms Westerdam - a 1,916 passenger vessel
This ship sails roundtrip from Seattle. Her itinerary features Glacier Bay on a 7-day journey departing on Saturdays.
ms Oosterdam - a 1,916 passenger vessel
Hubbard Glacier is featured on this ships itinerary. She also sails roundtrip from Seattle departing on Sundays for a 7-day cruise.
ms Amsterdam - a 1,380 passenger vessel
Sailing roundtrip from Seattle and featuring a Hubbard Glacier itinerary ms Amsterdam offers a 14-day cruise departing on Fridays.
| "There is no moment of delight in any pilgrimage like the beginning of it." -- Charles Dudley Warner
Return from Holland America cruise line to Alaska cruise lines...