On my most recent Oceania Cruise aboard Riviera we opted to stay in Livorno for the day as the one week itinerary was intensive and we did not fancy travelling for hours to see Florence (at least 1.5 hours each way by road). Livorno is quite a nice city with...
CRUISE with Holland America
A Signature of Excellence
Holland America Line offers a 5-star premium cruise experience and has been repeatedly recognised for its quality and value, having won the ‘Best Cruise Value’ award for 17 years. There is almost one crew member for every two guests.
The ships have spacious wrap-around teak decks, panoramic views, spacious private verandas and large staterooms. Attention to detail and style is accompanied by good cuisine and large staterooms. Public rooms are elegant, with many antiques.
‘Signature of Excellence’ enhancements have been made to staterooms and public rooms between 2004 to date, with an ongoing programme of innovation and onboard enhancements. Several changes to the ship include: an earlier embarkation time, from 11am; a new Culinary Arts Centre for demonstrations and classes; table-side waiter service in the casual dining venue in an evening and many other features.
There is an exciting range of dining options, from the elegant 5 star dining room to a delicious snack. The main restaurant offers traditional dining with two sittings on one level and ‘As you Wish’ dining on the other; you can book your table for 3 days at a time to suit or phone down each morning with ‘Anytime Dining’. The more casual option in an evening is the Lido Cafe Restaurant with waiter service, and the informal atmosphere of Canaletto’s Italian Fare which adjoins the Lido. Another sophisticated alternative dining option is fine dining in the Pinnacle Grill; by reservation and carries a supplement. All these options apply to all ships apart from the Prinsendam mentioned below and Canaletto’s on the Volendam which is soon to be added.
Youth and children’s activities are offered on all ships for ages 3 – 17 years, normally split into three age bands. (On Prinsendam, 5 – 17 years).
The fleet of 15 ships cruise worldwide, offering guests new opportunities to explore some of the globe’s most far flung destinations. Discover miles of perfect beach and world-class diving in the Caribbean, circumnavigate South America, or explore the wilderness of Alaska.
Holland America has 15 elegant ships offering spacious staterooms, consisting of:
The Statendam Class (S Class) of four ships introduced 1993 – 96, the Statendam, Maasdam, Ryndam and Veendam all around 55,000 tons carrying 1226 passengers and 560 crew.
The Rotterdam Class (R Class) of four ships introduced 1997 – 2000, the Rotterdam, Volendam, Zaandam and Amsterdam, are quite different designs; all around 62,000 tons carrying approximately 1400 passengers and 600 crew.
The Vista Class of four ships introduced 2002 – 2006, the Zuiderdam, Oosterdam, Westerdam and Noordam, all 85,000 tons and carrying 1850 passenger with 800 crew. The Noordam was the first ship built with the Signature of Excellence standards already in place.
The Signature Class two ships introduced 2008 and 2010, the Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam both 86,000 tons carrying 1850 and 2000 passengers with 800 and 929 crew.
Known as ‘The Elegant Explorer’, the MS Prinsendam is the odd one out, formerly the much loved Seabourn Sun and before that the Royal Sun Viking. She is mainly used for longer and more unusual voyages worldwide. Open dining is offered in the La Fountaine Restaurant and alternative dining in The Odyssey Restaurant and The lido. She is a well liked smaller ship at around 38,000 tons carrying 790 guests and 460 crew, originally introduced in 1988.
New Pinnacle Class Ships
A new 99,500 ton ship, the MS Koningsdam was delivered in April 2016 which will carry 2650 guests and 1025 crew members. The vessel is the largest ever built for the company, includes several single ocean view cabins together with a programme of activities for solo travellers. There is also a brand new Culinary Arts Centre which will feature a show kitchen with individual cooking stations used for demonstrations and hands-on cooking by visiting celebrity chefs and the ship’s own chefs. In the evening the centre will transform into a new type of dining option called ‘The Diner’ described as a farm to table style of experience with guests enjoying each course freshly prepared. At the same time Holland America will bid farewell to two of its older ships, the MS Statendam and MS Ryndam. The line has announced the name of its second new ship in the Pinnacle Class as Nieuw Statendam, set for delivery in autumn 2018. Similar to its sister ship MS Koningsdam but it will include some new features yet to be announced.
Contact Simon at Designer Travel Tailor-made Holidays & Cruises
All details quoted are thought to be correct at time of posting but are always subject to confirmation at time of booking
Photos: Alaska (HAL) 72
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