Holland America Line


Fodor’s Expert Review

Ship Overview

Holland America Line
Cruise StylePremium
Ship SizeSmall

Introduced in 2000, Zaandam debuted as Holland America Line’s tribute to music. In addition to the artifacts and memorabilia from a variety of musical genres that decorate the ship, a working baroque-style Dutch pipe organ, inspired by the traditional barrel organs still found on the streets of the Netherlands, is the centerpiece of the ship’s atrium.Read More

Similar to Statendam-class vessels, these slightly larger sister ships have more playful design elements than Holland America Line’s classic vessels. Triple-deck atriums have a fantastic—and fiber-optic-lighted—Murano-glass sculpture (Volendam) or an almost scary towering pipe organ (Zaandam).

The interior decor and much of the artwork found in each vessel has a predominant theme—Volendam centers on flowers and Zaandam around music. Look for Zaandam‘s collection of guitars autographed by the Rolling Stones and a saxophone signed by President Bill Clinton. The extra space in these ships allows for a larger specialty restaurant and a roomier feel throughout.

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
  • Wi-Fi, safe, refrigerator, DVD
  • 2 pools (1 indoor), 2 children’s pools
  • fitness classes, gym, hot tubs, sauna, spa
  • 6 bars, casino, dance club, library, showroom, video game room
  • children’s programs
  • dry cleaning, laundry facilities, laundry service
  • Internet terminal
  • no-smoking cabins


Ship movie theaters are also home to the Culinary Arts Centers
Waiters serve made-to-order entrées in the Lido restaurant at dinner
An evening poolside barbecue buffet is usually scheduled during each cruise
Expanded spa facilities make the gym area somewhat tight
There are no longer complimentary men’s and women’s steam rooms
Sandwiched between the Lido pool and Lido bar, the children’s wading pool area can become quite boisterous

What to expect on board

Staterooms & Cabins


Staterooms are spacious and comfortable with a few more balconies than Statendam-class. Every cabin has adequate closet and drawer/shelf storage, as well as bathroom shelves. Connecting cabins are featured in a range of categories. However, although the number of triple cabins is generous, there are not many that accommodate four.

Suite amenities include 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, binoculars and umbrellas for use during the cruise, an invitation to a captain’s VIP party, and complimentary laundry, pressing, and dry cleaning.

All staterooms and suites are appointed with pillow-top mattresses, 250-thread-count cotton bed linens, magnifying halo-lighted mirrors, hair dryers, a fruit basket, and flat-panel TVs. Bathrooms have Egyptian cotton towels, shampoo, body lotion, and bath gel, plus deluxe bathrobes to use during the cruise.

Twenty-two staterooms are designed for wheelchair accessibility.

Food & Drink


The formal dining room offers open seating breakfast and lunch and a choice between two traditional assigned dinner seatings or open seating. The upscale Pinnacle Grill alternative restaurant serves lunch and dinner, requires reservations, and has a cover charge. A casual Lido restaurant serves buffet breakfast and lunch; at dinner the Lido offers combination buffet/table service featuring entrées from both the Lido and main dining room menus. Canaletto Restaurant, adjacent to the Lido restaurant dining area, serves classic Italian fare with table-side service for dinners only (reservation, cover charge). Poolside lunch at Dive In at the Terrace Grill offers hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, and gourmet sausages. 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 spots before dinner are the Ocean Club and Explorer’s Lounge, where servers pass through with appetizers. After dinner and a show or concert, those bars are quiet spots for drinks and conversation. For livelier action, there’s a Piano Bar or the Crow’s Nest for late-night dancing.

Spa & Fitness

Treatments in the Greenhouse Spa include a variety of massages, body wraps, and facials, as well as acupuncture and tooth-whitening. A thermal suite with heated ceramic loungers as well as sauna and steam rooms can be used by everyone for a fee or free whenever a spa appointment is booked. Changing rooms for men and women have free saunas.

Key cruising tips


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

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