Plan Your Holland America Line Vacation
Holland America Line has enjoyed a distinguished record of traditional cruises, world exploration, and transatlantic crossings since 1873—all facets of its history that are reflected in the fleet's multimillion-dollar shipboard art and antiques collections. Even the
ships' names follow a pattern set long ago: all end in the suffix dam and are either derived from the names of various dams that cross Holland's rivers, important Dutch landmarks, or points of the compass. The names are even recycled when vessels are retired, and some are in their fifth and sixth generation of use.
Noted for focusing on passenger comfort, Holland America Line cruises are classic in design and style, and with an infusion of younger adults and families on board, they remain refined without being stuffy or stodgy. Following a basic design theme, returning passengers feel as at home on the newest Holland America vessels as they do on older ones.
Key Holland America Line Tips
Are you a first-time cruiser? View our helpful hints and tips on Your Shipmates, Dress Code, Junior Cruisers, and much more! See Tips
Top Reasons To Cruise
- Comfort Ships in the fleet are noted for their cozy and warm atmosphere.
- Consistency From afternoon tea to the chimes that announce dinner, each ship in the fleet delivers the expected experience.
- The Promenade A trademark of each ship is its wraparound promenade deck for walking, jogging, or stretching out in the shade on a padded steamer chair.
- Service It’s not unusual for crew members to remember passengers’ names, even if they haven’t seen them for years.
- Tradition Rules Holland America Line is one of the most traditional cruise lines, and the line's history is an important part of the experience.
Is This Line Right For You?
Choose This Line If
- You crave relaxation. Grab a padded steamer chair on the teak promenade deck and watch the sea pass by.
- You like to go to the movies, especially when the popcorn is free.
- You want to bring the kids. Areas designed exclusively for children and teens are hot new features on all ships.
Don't Choose This Line If
- You want to party hard. Most of the action on these ships ends relatively early.
- Dressing for dinner isn't your thing. Passengers tend to ramp up the dress code most evenings.
- You have an aversion to extending tips. The line's "tipping not required" policy has been dropped.
What To Expect On Board
Holland America Line chefs, led by Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, utilize more than 500 different food items on a typical weeklong cruise to create the modern Continental cuisine and traditional favorites served to their passengers. Vegetarian options as well as health-conscious
cuisine are available, and special dietary requests can be handled with advance notice. But the food quality, taste, and selection have greatly improved in recent years. A case in point is the reservations-required Pinnacle Grill alternative restaurants, where fresh seafood and premium cuts of Sterling Silver beef are used to prepare creative specialty dishes. The $25-per-person charge for dinner would be worth it for the Dungeness crab cakes starter and dessert alone. Other delicious traditions are afternoon tea, a Dutch Chocolate Extravaganza, and Holland America Line's signature bread pudding.
Flexible scheduling allows for early or late seatings in the two-deck, formal restaurants. An open seating option from 5:15 to 9 has been introduced fleetwide.
Entertainment tends to be more Broadway-stylish than Las Vegas–brash. Colorful revues are presented in main show lounges by the ships' companies of singers and dancers. Other performances might include a range of cabaret acts: comedians, magicians, jugglers, and acrobats.
Live bands play a wide range of musical styles for dancing and listening in smaller lounges and piano bars. Movies are shown daily in cinemas that double as the Culinary Arts Centers.
Holland America Line may never be considered cutting-edge, but their innovative Signature of Excellence concept sets it apart from other premium cruise lines. An interactive Culinary Arts Center offers cooking demonstrations and wine-tasting sessions; Explorations Café (powered by the New York Times) is a coffeehouse, library, and Internet center; the Explorations Guest Speakers Series is supported by in-cabin televised programming on flat-screen TVs in all cabins; the traditional Crow's Nest observation lounge has a nightclub-disco layout, video wall, and sound-and-light systems; and facilities for children and teens have been greatly expanded.
Fitness and Recreation
Well-equipped and fully staffed fitness facilities contain state-of-the-art exercise equipment; basic fitness classes are available at no charge. There's a fee for personal training, body composition analysis, and specialized classes such as yoga and Pilates.
in the Greenhouse Spa include a variety of massages, body wraps, and facials. Hair styling and nail services are offered in the salons. All ships have a jogging track, multiple swimming pools, and sports courts; some have hydrotherapy pools and soothing thermal suites.