Holland America

History, Review, Itineraries, Ships, Deck Plans, News

Holland America fleet

Review of Holland America

One of the oldest shipping companies, the Holland America Line (HAL) was founded in 1873 as the Netherlands-America Steamship Company (NASM) – a mail and cargo passenger ship operator between Europe and the Americas, offering its first sea vacation in 1895. Nowadays, the Holland America company’s best assets include the Westmark hotel chain (in Alaska-Yukon region), Worldwide Shore Services (warehouses and logistics), and the best Caribbean Private Island. The line’s very own Little San Salvador Island, widely known as Half Moon Cay, is at about 160 kilometers southeast of Nassau, and is an exclusive port of call for all HAL and Carnival passenger ships. The Westmark chain allows Holland America to dominate completly the Alaskan cruise tours market, offering the most various and cheap land and sea Alaska sea travel packages.

One of the best cruise lines for couples, the first among the best lines for Alaska, and offering the cheapest Alaska land and sea packages, Holland America is a feature brand of the Carnival Corporation & plc – the world’s largest ship travel operator. One of the main operating companies in the Carnival group, Holland America is also a member of the exclusive World’s Leading Cruise Lines Alliance (WLCLA), along with Carnival, Cunard, Costa, Seabourn, Princess, and Windstar. Headquarters: Holland America Line, 300 Elliott Avenue W, Seattle, WA, 98119 USA.Holland America Koningsdam cruise ship model

Also one of the best lines for adults, Holland America fills in the category of large, premium-deluxe, mainstream, classic lines, and since 1989 is fully owned by Carnival Corporation. HAL carries more than 700,000 passengers a year, calling on more than 300 ports in more than 100 countries on all continents, with nearly 500 traditional and Transoceanic voyages a year. The length of the itineraries range from 2-day itinerary to 110 days on the annual Round the World Voyages of ms Prinsendam, ms Amsterdam, and ms Rotterdam. The majority of Holland America sailings are 7-day sailings, and many ranging from 10 to 21 days.

With go along with their fantastic ships and itineraries to award-winning service, the experience onboard the fleet of Holland America Line is unparalleled in cruise industry. 'Home aboard' accommodations make passengers feel as if they are cruising in a room prepared by a family member - whether it's an Oceanview Stateroom or a Penthouse Veranda. Broadway and Las Vegas style shows, health and beauty enhancing services, University at Sea and Holland America's Club HAL programs provide an excellent experience for both kids and adult cruisers.

HAL cruise ships names

In the Holland America Lines over 130 years of maritime history there are some quite charmingly special traditions and truly unique practices. One of them is that all HAL ships go with the “dam” suffix.

Absolutely all Holland America ships names are named with the “dam” ending. They usually bear names of famous Dutch landmarks, the 4 compass points, or some of the most prominent river dams in Kingdom of the Netherlands. And this special list of “Dutch landmarks” includes rivers, mountains, sea, city/town and the four directional bearings, of course.

Some HAL cruise ships names have been reused (some of them several times) with the ship’s retirement. This practice of renewing ship names allows the Holland America company to emotionally connect its glorious past with its amazing business growth in our times.

Holland America ships classes (ordered high to low)

  • Pinnacle-class are Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam. These are the company's newest and ever largest vessels.
  • Signature-class are Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam. These two have an enhanced Vista design. In addition to Vista-ships, they both have 1 deck between Lido and Observation, allowing more space for cabins (mostly spa staterooms) and additional public venues (“Tamarind”, and “Silk Den”).
  • Vista-class are Zuiderdam, Oosterdam, Westerdam and Noordam. “Green Planet Award” (2006) for their high environmental standards.
  • Single-class is Prinsendam.
  • Rotterdam-class (R-class) are Rotterdam, Volendam, Zaandam and Amsterdam.
  • Statendam-class (S-class) are Statendam, Maasdam, Ryndam and Veendam. They were the 1st in the HAL’s fleet to have the atrium are, 2-deck dining room, show lounge, Lido pool (retractable glass roof).

SOE (“Signature of Excellence”) program upgrades – multimillion dollar ship enhancements to older vessels, with new venues, stateroom categories, amenities, etc.

Itinerary of Holland America

The list of Holland America cruise 2016-2017 destinations features Alaska, Caribbean, Hawaii, Europe (Mediterranean), Australia, Asia, Canada New England, Transatlantic (repositioning), South America, Caribbean, and Round The World Cruises. Here you will be able to easily compare all Holland America cruise line itinerary changes – all the new HAL itineraries and new cruises on a single page. The comparison on all Holland America destinations by ship will give you all home-port and itinerary changes in the HAL’s sailing program.

Holland America cruise itinerary changes

For season 2017-2018, Holland America pulled from its Mexican Riviera cruise itineraries the Acapulco port due to concerns about violent crime in the region. The company (Carnival Corporation subsidiary) had scheduled 8 different itineraries to Pacific Mexico ports, but  the popular resort destination Acapulco was scrapped and replaced with alternative Mexican ports. The changed Itineraries included 7 Panama Canal transits and 7 South American cruise.

Departure Ports – Holland America Itineraries

ms Amsterdam

115d World (Florida to South America, AU NZ, Asia, Africa, Brazil, plus the 2nd 75d World Tour from Vancouver (Asia and Pacific Islands to Los Angeles).7d Alaska from Vancouver

  • to Glacier Bay, Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan
  • to Juneau, Skagway, Tracy Arm and Ketchikan.

(December special) 15-17d Panama Canal California to Florida (leaving from San Francisco and San Diego to Fort Lauderdale).

ms Eurodam

7d Caribbean

  • Eastern (Grand Turk, Puerto Rico, St Thomas, Half Moon Cay)
  • Western (Half Moon, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Key West)
  • 14d combined


  • Mediterranean from Rome
  • 10d Western Med
  • 11d Eastern Med
  • 22d “collectors”.
  • Baltic
  • Baltic Capitals – 12d from Amsterdam, 10d from Copenhagen
  • 12d Around Britain and Norway Fjords from Copenhagen to Amsterdam.
  • 7d Fjords from Amsterdam.

10d Canada New England (Fall) 10d NYC-Quebec City, and the reverse).


  • Rome-Copenhagen
  • Transatlantic (Lauderdale-Rome, Amsterdam-NYC with Iceland-Greenland-Canada)
  • Canada-Florda.

April – October 2016

  • new Mediterranean cruises
  • back-to-back 7d voyages

In 2017 ms Eurodam will replace Westerdam sailing from Seattle.

ms Koningsdam

  • 12d Eastern Mediterranean from Rome (Greece, Turkey, Greek Isles)
  • 12d Western Mediterranean from Rome (Sicily, Sardinia, Spain)
  • MS Koningsdam will homeport in Fort Lauderdale for 5 months from November 2016 to sail the Caribbean.

ms Maasdam

Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale

  • 10d Eastern (Puerto Rico, St Thomas, Dominica, Antigua, BVI, Half Moon Cay).
  • Southern
  • 11d (St Maarten, St Kitts, St Vincent, Barbados, Martinique, St Croix, Half Moon Cay)
  • 14d (St Thomas, St Barthelemy, St Lucia, Barbados, Grenada, Bonaire, Curacao, Half Moon Cay
  • 21-24-25d combined
  • (Dec) 14d roundtrip Panama Canal (Grand Turk, Dominican Republic, Curacao, Aruba, Colon, Puerto Limon, Jamaica (Falmouth), Half Moon.

7-14d Canada New England from Boston and Montreal

  • 7d Montreal-Boston
  • 7d Boston-Montreal
  • 14d “collectors” (roundtrips from Boston and Montreal).

(Oct-Nov) Transatlantic (21d Florida-Rome, 21d Rome-Florida, 42d roundtrip).

(Jan-Feb) South America

  • 23d Florida-Brazil
  • 49d round-trip Florida
  • 26d Brazil-Florida.

ms Nieuw Amsterdam

Mediterranean (itinerary changes)

  • 12d Venice-Barcelona and Barcelona-Venice (with France and Monaco)
  • 12-24d roundtrip Venice
  • (special) 7d roundtrip Barcelona
  • 19-24d “collectors”

7d Caribbean from Lauderdale

  • Eastern
  • (special) Nassau, Puerto Rico, St Maarten, Half Moon
  • Grand Turk, Puerto Rico, St Thomas, Half Moon
  • Western
  • Half Moon, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Key West
  • (NYE special) with Jamaica (Montego Bay).
  • 14d combined.

Transatlantic repositioning (Florida-Barcelona, Barcelona-Florida.

ms Nieuw Statendam

Entering service in Nov 2018 - Pinnacle-class ship (100,000 tons) currently under construction in Italy

ms Noordam

new Mediterranean itineraries

  • from Barcelona – 7d roundtrip, 11d to Rome, 22d to Athens, 33d to Istanbul.
  • from Rome – 11d to Athens, 22d to Istanbul, 11d to Barcelona, 22d roundtrip.
  • from Athens – 11d to Istanbul, 11d to Rome, 22d to Barcelona.
  • from Istanbul – 11d to Athens, 22d to Rome, 33d to Barcelona.

Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale

  • Southern
  • 10d Half Moon, Grand Turk, Dominican Republic, Curacao, Bonaire, Aruba
  • 11d St Maarten, St Lucia, Barbados, Martinique, Dominica, St Thomas, Half Moon
  • 21d combined
  • (Dec)
  • 7d Western (Half Moon, Jamaica (Falmouth), Grand Cayman, Key West)
  • 7d Eastern (Grand Turk, Puerto Rico, St Thomas, Half Moon).

Transatlantic Florida-Barcelona, Rome-Florida.

ms Oosterdam

7d Alaska from Seattle (Tracy Arm, Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, Victoria). Australia from Sydney

  • 14d Tasmania, New Zealand
  • 14d South Pacific Islands (New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji)
  • 28d combined
  • 14d one-way Sydney-Auckland and Auckland-Sydney.

repositioning from Alaska to Australia New Zealand, and reverse.

  • Auckland-Vancouver, Sydney-Vancouver, Sydney-Seattle
  • Seattle-NZ, LA-Sydney, LA-New Zealand.

April – October 2016

  • new Mediterranean cruises
  • back-to-back 7d voyages

Homeprted in Tampa, November 2016 - 7-day, 14-day and 21-day itineraries to the western and southern Caribbean.

In 2017 HAL shifts Oosterdam from Europe to Alaska.

ms Prinsendam

68d Around South America from Fort Lauderdale.(Nov) 26d Florida to Amazon Brazil.Transatlantic USA Europe (Spring and Fall).Europe

  • 64d round-trip Transatlantic Mediterranean cruise from Florida (Fortt Lauderdale).
  • various round-trips from Athens (Black Sea, Holy Land) and Rome
  • Baltic from London and Amsterdam
  • 14-16d Scandinavia Russia
  • 21d Top of the World Voyage (Norway, Spitzbergen, Iceland).
  • 14d Around Britain
  • 14d West Europe relocation Amsterdam-Barcelona.

(December special) 14d Southern Caribbean from Ft Lauderdale (no changes).

ms Rotterdam

Europe from Amsterdam (departing from Rotterdam)

  • Baltic (plus combined itineraries)
  • 7d Norway Fjords (also with Oslo)
  • 14d Arctic
  • 14d Norway and UK
  • 14d Baltic Capitals tours to Scandinavia Russia
  • 14d Western Europe (Spain and Portugal)
  • Mediterranean – 17d Central Med (roundtrip), 8d one-way
  • 17d roundtrip Canary Islands, 8d one-way.

World cruise (90d from Rotterdam (88d from Southampton).

(Nov) 35d Transatlantic roundtrip to Caribbean from Europe (departing from Rotterdam) and 33d from departing from UK (Southampton).

ms Veendam

South America cruises

  • Grand Tours
  • 13d Santiago-Buenos Aires, and the reverse Buenos Aires-Santiago
  • (special) 20d Santiago-Buenos Aires (with Chiloe Island)
  • (March) Grand Voyages 31d Buenos Aires – Ft Lauderdale, 34d to Boston.

7d Canada New England (Boston-Quebec City, and the reverse Quebec City – Boston), special 7d roundtrip Boston.

(July) Transatlantic with Iceland and Greenland

  • (one-way) 17d Boston-Amsterdam, 18d Amsterdam-Boston
  • (roundtrip) 35d Boston to Europe.

from San Diego CA

  • 7d Mexican Riviera (Cabo, Mazatlán, Vallarta)
  • 17-18-d Hawaii (Hilo, Honolulu, Nawiliwili, Lahaina, Kailua Kona) and Ensenada.

Panama Canal repositioning

  • 18d Santiago-Fort Lauderdale, 21d Santiago-Boston.
  • 21d Boston – San Diego, 17d Fort Lauderdale – San Diego.

ms Volendam

7d Alaska from Vancouver (Tracy Arm, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan).34d Around Australia (50d combined with Sydney to Singapore).Asia cruises

  • 14d Singapore – Hong Kong (with Cambodia), and the reverse Hong Kong – Singapore.
  • 14d Hong Kong – Japan (Kobe), 28d from Singapore), 14d Kobe – Hong Kong
  • 14d roundtrip from Japan

Transpacific relocation

  • 14d Kobe-Vancouver), 24d Vancouver-Sydney, 58d combined with Around Australia.
  • 21s LA-Sydney, 55d combined Round AU.
  • 16d Sydney-Singapore (30d Sydney – Hong Kong).

ms Westerdam

7d Alaska from Seattle (Juneau, Glacier Bay, Sitka, Ketchikan, Victoria).Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale

  • 7d Eastern (Grand Turk, Puerto Rico, St Maarten, Half Moon)
  • 7d Western (Half Moon, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Key West)
  • (Dec special) 7d Grand Turk, Jamaica (Ocho Rios), Grand Cayman
  • 7d Southern (Half Moon, Aruba, Curacao)
  • (special) 7d Southern, 7-8-d themed.

(special) 30d roundtrip to Hawaii and Tahiti from San Diego, California.

relocation (Spring) Panama Canal (Florida-Alaska), San Diego – Vancouver, Vancouver-Seattle, and the reverse in Fall.

During October 2016 - February 2017, ms Westerdam will sail thirteen 7-day round-trip cruises from San Diego, including 2 special holiday departures in December 2016.

Holland America's 2016-2017 schedule shows a doubled number of Mexico Riviera cruises on a larger ship (Westerdam) leaving on 7-day round-trips out of San Diego CA to Cabo, Vallarta and Mazatlan.

ms Zaandam

7d Vancouver to Alaska

  • Vancouver-Seward (Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay)
  • Seward-Vancouver (Glacier Bay, Haines, Juneau, Ketchikan)
  • 8d roundtrip Vancouver
  • 16d roundtrip Vancouver-Hawaii.

from San Diego CA (21d “collectors”)

  • 7d Mexican Riviera (Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cabo)
  • 14d Hawaii Ensenada
  • 21d combined.

South America

  • 13d Valparaiso – Buenos Aires
  • 13d Buenos Aires – Valparaiso
  • 18d Valparaiso – Rio De Janeiro
  • 21d Rio – Valparaiso.


  • (Spring) 12d San Diego – Vancouver
  • (Panama Canal in Fall) 18d Vancouver – Fort Lauderdale FL, 17d Ft Lauderdale – Valparaiso, 30d Ft Lauderdale – Buenos Aires.

ms Zuiderdam

7d Vancouver to Alaska (Tracy Arm, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan).(Caribbean) Panama Canal cruises from Fort Lauderdale (Florida round-trips to Panama)

  • 10d (Half Moon, Aruba, Curacao, Panama Canal, Colon, Puerto Limon)
  • 11d plus Cartagena (Colombia).
  • (Dec specials)
  • Eastern (Grand Turk, Puerto Rico, St Thomas, Half Moon)
  • 14-17d combined.

(Dec Caribbean Holiday specials)

  • 7d Eastern (Grand Turk, Puerto Rico, St Maarten, Half Moon)
  • 7d Western (Half Moon, Grand Cayman, Roatan, Costa Maya).

repositioning (with Panama Canal crossing)

  • Florida-Vancouver
  • Vancouver-San Francisco
  • San Francisco-Florida
  • Vancouver-Florida.

Holland America related cruise news