Holland America Line


Fodor’s Expert Review

Ship Overview

Holland America Line
Cruise StylePremium
Ship SizeMidsize

The second ship in Holland America Line’s history to bear the name, Prinsendam includes many of the features found on her newer, larger fleetmates and offers classic-style cruises to far-flung, exotic ports with all the contemporary conveniences expected by today’s travelers. She can be found on Grand Voyages from the Mediterranean to South America and even on occasional sailings in the Caribbean.Read More

Alongside her newer fleetmates, Prinsendam appears positively diminutive. Launched in 1988 and originally christened Royal Viking Sun for the now-defunct Royal Viking Line, the luxury ship subsequently sailed as Seabourn Cruise Line’s Seabourn Sun before joining Holland America Line in 2002. Extensive renovations added signature Holland America Line features to the boutique-style Prinsendam. Artwork, antiques, and Signature of Excellence elements such as a Culinary Arts Center and upgraded cabin amenities have now made their way onboard.

Originally designed for lengthy worldwide cruising, Holland America has dubbed Prinsendam the “Elegant Explorer,” and filled her interiors with classic and comfortable public rooms. A traditional 360-degree promenade deck floored in teak and lined with cushioned deck chairs encircles Lower promenade deck.

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 onboard, 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.

  • 8 passenger decks
  • specialty restaurant
  • dining room
  • buffet
  • Wi-Fi
  • safe
  • refrigerator (some)
  • DVD
  • 2 pools
  • fitness classes
  • gym
  • hot tubs
  • sauna
  • spa
  • steam room
  • 6 bars
  • casino
  • library
  • showroom
  • children’s programs
  • dry cleaning
  • laundry facilities
  • laundry service
  • Internet terminal
  • no-smoking cabins


Magnifying makeup mirrors and salon-quality hair dryers are in all accommodations
The sports deck has bocce and croquet courts as well as putting greens
With classic styling, Prinsendam feels more like a large yacht than a cruise ship
Inside staterooms are small and have two lower beds that cannot be combined
Prinsendam is more adult-oriented than other HAL ships and not particularly family-friendly
There’s little nightlife after dinner

What to expect on board

Staterooms & Cabins


Staterooms are spacious, but furniture placement and amenities within each category can vary. Only a handful of cabins are inside, but a mere 40% of outside cabins and suites have private balconies. Every stateroom has adequate storage for long cruises, and most have walk-in closets. All staterooms and suites are appointed with pillow-top mattresses, 250-thread-count cotton bed linens, magnifying lighted mirror, hair dryer, fruit basket, and flat-panel TV. Balcony cabins have refrigerators. Bathroom extras include Egyptian-cotton towels, shampoo, body lotion, and bath gel, plus bathrobes to use during the cruise. Cabin selection must be made carefully, as some cabins near the bow have portholes instead of large windows. Fortunately, the ship’s deck plan is very detailed. One interior and two ocean view staterooms are designated single occupancy.

Suites have a stocked minibar and personalized stationery. Occupants have the use of the private Neptune Lounge, concierge service, predinner canapés, binoculars, and umbrellas for use during the cruise, an invitation to a VIP party, and complimentary laundry, pressing, and dry-cleaning service.

Ten staterooms are wheelchair accessible.

Food & Drink


The formal dining room has two dinner seatings. Alternatives are Pinnacle Grill, the elegant specialty restaurant, and the casual Lido restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. The Lido buffet and poolside grill also serve breakfast and lunch, and the dining room offers open seating for those meals. Afternoon tea is a daily event, and room service is available around the clock.


The nautically appointed Ocean Bar and Explorer’s Lounge, where servers pass through with appetizers, are favorite gathering spots for predinner drinks, live music, and dancing. After an evening show, movie, or concert, the Crow’s Nest offers music for dancing.

Spa & Fitness

The smallest Greenhouse Spa in the fleet nevertheless offers a variety of massages, body wraps, and facials, as well as acupuncture services and tooth-whitening treatments. For relaxation there are complimentary saunas and steam rooms.

Key cruising tips


Entered Service
Number of Cabins
Passenger Capacity
Crew Members
Passengers to Crew Ratio
Gross Tons
106 feet
669 feet
206/281–3535 or 800/577–1728

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