Holland America enjoys one of the proudest traditions of any cruise line currently operating in the world today. Since its first ship, the Rotterdam, set sail in 1873 on a route between Holland and New York, Holland America has always placed a great deal of importance on quality and class. For years, Holland America handled both transatlantic passenger trade and commercial freight shipping; upon discontinuing its commercial shipping operations during the 1970s, however, it turned its focus entirely to cruises. Holland America celebrated its 130th anniversary in 2003, and its tradition for excellence continues to draw in new customers every day. A continuous focus on improvement helps Holland America stand apart as it heads toward its 150th anniversary.
Without question, one of the things that really distinguishes Holland America from many other cruise lines is its emphasis on turning out new and exciting features on a regular basis. These days, passengers aboard Holland America’s ships enjoy a bevy of great new amenities. In a nod to modern technology, for example, Holland America’s entire fleet of ships now boast Internet cafes with state of the art wireless access. Tours of the ships’ exceptional collection of art have always been popular; today, guests can take self-guided iPod tours, allowing them to take in the art at their own pace. Holland America also recently unveiled its new “As You Wish” dining, which offers passengers more flexibility than ever before when it comes to mealtime.
In many ways, Holland America is all about the small touches. Take the following key features into consideration:
Each of Holland America’s 14 ships has its own unique design, décor and style. Guests can board a different ship on each vacation and will never confuse one with another. The designs are clean, tasteful and colorful. One of the first things that many first-time passengers remark on is the impeccable interior design featured throughout any given Holland America ship.
Guests on board Holland America cruises are, without a doubt, catered to. On cold-weather cruises, waiters and waitresses bring around steaming hot mugs of soup for passengers out enjoying the view. Similarly, in hot weather climates the staff on Holland America cruises continually roam about offering ice cold lemonades and iced teas passengers.
The Holland America fleet is known for its impressive art collection. Each ship features stunning works of art throughout. Tours of the most interesting pieces are a popular way for guests to spend time while on board. In this way, a Holland America cruise can be considered an art museum at sea!
Old Fashioned Charm
Small but much-appreciated gestures are also a part of what helps Holland America distinguish itself. Every ship, for instance, holds a daily afternoon tea that helps give a bit of routine to the days spent on board. It is a tradition that has continued since the cruise line’s earliest days. Passengers are also fond of the ship’s tradition of ringing a chime to announce dinnertime.
Alaska is one of Holland America’s top itineraries. Passengers enjoy ports of call as varied as Glacier Bay National Park, Juneau and Ketchikan, all the while taking in some of the most stunning scenery that Mother Nature has to offer.
Mexican Riviera/Sea of Cortez
Enjoy the best beach destinations that Mexico has to offer, amid truly world-class surroundings. Popular ports of call include Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlan.
Marvel at some of the most breathtaking sights in South America on this decadent – and truly one of a kind - cruise. Features ports of call like Curacao, Gatun Lake and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica.
Perhaps the most famous of Holland America’s ships, the 1,316-passenger Rotterdam boasts some of the most spacious standard cabins available. An abundance of outside cabins with verandas further helps distinguish the Rotterdam from other ships on the seas nowadays. When you add the unbeatable Italian cuisine offered at alternative dining option the Pinnacle Grill – and a gorgeous atrium – into the mix, you have a truly unforgettable ship.
As Holland America’s newest ship, the Eurodam has already made an enviable reputation for itself. In lieu of the traditional tennis court, this ship boasts a basketball/dodgeball court. Tamarind – one of the few Asian cuisine restaurants on the Holland America line – boasts a serene, sumptuous ambiance and truly delectable dishes. Finally, the private cabanas that are available around the massive pool give guests one extra, opulent option to enjoy.
Zuiderdam was the first ship in Holland America’s exciting Vista class, and was an incredibly showy addition to the cruise line’s fleet. In many ways, the Zuiderdam seeks to accommodate – and attract – a younger audience, as evidenced by details like in-cabin DVD players. With a movie theater, a delightful assortment of shops and a total capacity of 1,916 passengers, the Zuiderdam is a truly world-class ship.
The Statendam undoubtedly exemplifies what Holland America’s fantastic art tradition is all about, featuring an art collection that is valued at more than $2 million. As passengers sail through some incredibly exotic locales, they can enjoy the thoroughly modern amenities aboard the Statendam, including Internet access at the Explorations Cafe. Don’t miss the “Fountain of the Sirens,” a 26-foot-high masterpiece in the middle of the ship’s three-story atrium.