Holland America Line


Fodor’s Expert Review

Ship Overview

Holland America Line
Cruise StylePremium
Ship SizeSmall

The fourth and final Statendam-class ship, Veendam entered service in the Holland America Line fleet in 1996. The ship’s floral theme is expressed through the art and decor, from classic paintings of still-life flowers, to the stylized flowers in the small panels on the ceiling of the Piano Bar. Also displayed is a large collection of museum-quality ship models, including valuable prisoner of war models made from bone.Read More

The sister ships included in the S- or Statendam-class retain the most classic and traditional characteristics of Holland America Line vessels. Routinely updated with innovative features, including Signature of Excellence upgrades, they combine all the advantages of intimate, midsize vessels with high-tech and stylish details.

At the heart of the ships, triple-deck atriums graced by suspended glass sculptures open onto three so-called promenade decks; the lowest contains staterooms encircled by a wide, teak outdoor deck furnished with padded steamer chairs, while interior, art-filled passageways flow past lounges and public rooms on the two decks above. Either reach the lower dining room floor via the aft elevator, or enter one deck above and make a grand entrance down the sweeping staircase.

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.

  • 10 passenger decks
  • specialty restaurant, dining room, buffet, pizzeria
  • Wi-Fi, safe, refrigerator, DVD
  • 2 pools (1 indoor), 2 children’s pools
  • fitness classes, gym, hot tubs, spa
  • 9 bars, casino, dance club, library, showroom, video game room
  • children’s programs
  • dry cleaning, laundry facilities, laundry service
  • Internet terminal
  • no-smoking cabins


Statendam-class ships have some of the fleet’s most trendy bars
The Ocean Bar hits the right balance for socializing with the after-dinner crowd
Movie theaters double as Culinary Arts Centers
Railings on the balcony level of the main show lounge obstruct the view of the stage
Club HAL can feel empty on some cruises
The addition of Explorations Café means no more free coffee bar

What to expect on board

Staterooms & Cabins


Staterooms are spacious and comfortable, although fewer of them have private balconies than on newer ships. Lanai cabins, with a door that directly accesses the promenade deck, were added to Maasdam and Veendam during the ships’ latest upgrades. Every cabin has adequate closet and drawer/shelf storage, as well as bathroom shelves. Connecting cabins are featured in a range of categories.

Suites have duvets on beds, a fully stocked minibar, and personalized stationery. Penthouse Verandah and Deluxe Verandah suites have exclusive use of the private Neptune Lounge, personal concierge service, canapés before dinner on request, binoculars and umbrellas for use during the cruise, an invitation to a VIP party with the captain, and complimentary laundry, pressing, and dry-cleaning services.

All staterooms and suites are now appointed with pillow-top mattresses, 250-thread-count cotton bed linens, magnifying lighted mirrors, hair dryers, a fruit basket, and flat-panel TVs. Bathroom extras include Egyptian cotton towels, shampoo, body lotion, and bath gel, plus deluxe bathrobes to use during the cruise. Accommodations near the spa offer extras such as a yoga mat and iPod docking station.

Nine cabins on each ship are modified with ramps although doors are standard width.

Food & Drink


The formal dining room offers open seating breakfast and lunch, as well as both assigned and open seating dinner. Pinnacle Grill (reservation, cover charge) serves lunch and dinner. A casual Lido restaurant serves buffet breakfast and lunch; at dinner the Lido offers combination buffet/table service; Italian fare is served in the adjacent Canaletto Restaurant (reservation, cover charge). Poolside lunch is served at Dive In at the Terrace Grill; on Veendam the pizzeria is in the aft pool Retreat area. The Explorations Café offers specialty coffees for an extra charge and free pastries. Daily afternoon tea service is elevated to Royal Dutch High Tea once per cruise. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres are served by waiters during cocktail hour, hand-dipped chocolates are offered after dinner in the Explorer’s Lounge, and a late-night buffet and chocolate extravaganza is served in the Lido restaurant during every cruise. Room service is available 24 hours.


Popular before-dinner spots are the Ocean Club and Explorer’s Lounge, where servers pass through with appetizers. After dinner and a show, a movie, or concert, those bars are quiet spots for drinks and conversation. For livelier action, try Mix—where champagne, martinis, ales, and spirits are served near the piano. The late-night spot for a nightcap is still the Crow’s Nest.

Spa & Fitness

Treatments in the Greenhouse Spa include a variety of massages, body wraps, and facials, as well as acupuncture services and tooth-whitening treatments. A thermal suite with heated ceramic loungers for relaxation as well as dry saunas and steam rooms can be used by anyone for a fee or is complimentary when a spa appointment is booked.

Key cruising tips


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

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