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 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.
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.
In 2017, HAL celebrated the company's 70 years of Alaskan cruise operations. HAL's Alaska passenger shipping service was started in 1947 with a spontaneous cruise tour in Fairbanks, to grow into the company's "Alaska Land+Sea Journeys" itinerary program that combines cruise and land-based adventure tours to Denali and Yukon Canada.
HAL's newest vessels are from the Pinnacle-class - named Koningsdam (2016) and Nieuw Statendam (2018). These are also the company's ever largest ships, with gross tonnage almost 100,000 (99500 tons) and max passenger capacity 3194.
In the end of January 2017, the shipowner Carnival Corporation announced 2 more shipbuilding orders. The new cruise ships were ordered for the fleets of Princess (Royal-class) and Holland America Line (Pinnacle-class). The announcement said Carnival had signed a MoA (memorandum of agreement) with the shipbuilder Fincantieri (Italy) to construct both new vessels, with scheduled delivery in 2021 (for HAL, at Marghera yard) and 2022 (for Princess, at Monfalcone yard). By the time when both shipbuilding contracts were finalized (February 2017), Carnival Corporation had a total of 19 new ships scheduled for delivery between 2017 and 2022.
HAL 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.
HAL ships classes (ordered high to low)
- Pinnacle-class are Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam - 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.
Holland America ship refurbishments
In November 2015, HAL announced the company's USD 300 million fleetwide drydock refurbishment program. The fleet upgrade project included Suite improvements (new decors, furnishings, amenities and services upgrades for all suite stateroom categories on Vista-Class, Signature-Class and R-Class vessels.
- The first scheduled for dry-docks ships were Oosterdam and Eurodam, followed by Westerdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Zuiderdam, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Volendam and Zaandam. Eurodam was drydock refited in December 2015 (Dec 7-20, in Freeport Bahamas). Oosterdam was drydock refited in 2016 (April 3-18, in Fincantieri’s Palermo Sicily yard).
- Each cruise suite was upgraded with new sofa, chairs, headboard, carpet and wall coverings, privacy curtain, drapery, bed runner, bed skirt, quartz stone top (on the vanity desk), vanity lighting, dresser, dressing table, nightstands.
- Other upgrades included 1 new USB outlet (on the bed’s headboard), bedside LED lights, upgraded electrical outlets, lighted closet rod, new interactive TV system (allowing complimentary movies-on-demand, access to the ship's daily scheduled activities program, ship information - restaurants, bars, spa services, checking onboard accounts, Internet).
- Suite bathrooms received a wall of designer glass tiles (backdrop to the new dressing area with new stone top, modern taps, undermount sink), new mirrors (with integrated LED lighting), stylish floor tiles, nightlight.
- Since 2016, all suites fleetwide received the following exclusive amenities - priority services (embarkation, disembarkation, tendering, dining reservations), complimentary services (laundry, pressing, dry cleaning), exclusive access to Neptune Lounge, private breakfast service (at Pinnacle Grill).
- The list of new suite cabin amenities includes: premium duvet, luxury bathrobes and slippers, luxury bath products (by Elemis). BOSE SoundDock (iPod docking station), umbrella, binoculars, complimentary mimosa cocktails (with in-cabin breakfast), Nespresso coffee machine.
Holland America cruise gratuities (2017-2018 cruises)
Daily gratuities are per person (pp):
- USD 13,50 pp (interior, oceanview, balcony staterooms, both adults and kids)
- USD 15 (suites)
- Daily gratuity is an automatic service charge added to the passenger's onboard account each day.
- Passengers can prepay gratuities.
- The amount of gratuities is split between the ship's staff (dining, housekeeping, cabin stewards).
Holland America fly-cruise deals
In August 2015, Holland America added enhanced features to its flight booking program "Flight Ease". HAL's website allows travelers to choose flights (departure and return) separately, also to compare real-time air fares, plus detailed schedules. HAL also allows adding of stopover flight segments.
Flight Ease's improved functionality includes:
- calendar for flight cruise planning based on the cruise itinerary's departure and arrival dates
- independent selection of departing / return flights
- improved website navigation - you can move across fly bookings, including search, select, summary, pay
- improved search box filters to select best flights as preferred airlines, number of stops, ticket price, departure time, flight duration
- easy airfare comparison for the same flight
- flight schedules with detailed info on aircraft types, flight connections, layover times.
HAL's "Flight Ease" air booking program offers up-to-the-minute flight schedules and selection of 2 competitive pricing on flights with arrival / departure dates same as the booked cruise itinerary. All flight cruise deals booked through HAL's Flight Ease program feature 24-hour assistance and “Next Port Protection”. The latter guarantees that in case of flight delays or cancellations, Holland America Line takes care of the flight changes in order to join the cruise ship at the next port of call along the booked itinerary.
Airfare payments are due with HAL cruise's final payment. Restricted Fares include cancellation fees and require full payment for the flight reservation at booking time.
Holland America smoking policy
Implemented in January 2017, Holland America Line has a new cruise ship smoking policy banning smoking on all cabin balconies. As previously, in-cabin smoking is also not allowed. Smoking E-cigarettes and vaping devices is permitted in designated areas, as well as inside passenger staterooms (but not on cabin balconies).
Passengers who violate the company's ship' smoking policy will be fined a cleaning fee USD 250 per day.
There are smoking-allowed areas for active slot machine players located in all HAl cruise ship casinos - excepting on MS Oosterdam and MS Eurodam, which casinos are entirely smoke-free. Follows the list of Holland America ships' designated smoking-allowed areas:
- MS Maasdam - Seaview Bar/Pool on starboard side; Sports Deck forward and aft of Crow's Nest on starboard side
- MS Veendam - Seaview Bar/Pool on starboard side; Sports Deck forward and aft of Crow's Nest on starboard side
- MS Volendam - Seaview Bar/Pool on starboard side; Sports Deck forward and aft of Crow's Nest on starboard side
- MS Zaandam - Seaview Bar/Pool on starboard side; Sports Deck forward and aft of Crow's Nest on starboard side
- MS Rotterdam - Seaview Bar/Pool on starboard side; Sports Deck forward and aft of Crow's Nest on starboard side
- MS Amsterdam - Seaview Bar/Pool on starboard side; Sports Deck forward and aft of Crow's Nest on starboard side
- MS Noordam - Seaview Bar/Pool on starboard side and the Oak Room
- MS Oosterdam - Seaview Bar/Pool on starboard side
- MS Eurodam - Seaview Bar/Pool on starboard side
- MS Zuiderdam - Seaview Bar/Pool on starboard side
- MS Prinsendam - Seaview Bar/Pool on port side
- MS Nieuw Amsterdam - Seaview Bar/Pool on starboard side
- MS Westerdam - Seaview Bar/Pool on starboard side
- MS Koningsdam and MS Nieuw Statendam - Seaview Bar/ Pool (aft portside on deck 9) and Sun Bar (aft starboard on deck 11).
Itinerary of Holland America
The list of Holland America cruise 2017-2018 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 offers new culturally immersive Signature Experiences on its select 2018 cruise itineraries departing out of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and 5 of the most popular cities in Europe: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Rome and Venice.
HAL cruises to Cuba 2017-2018
Starting December 22, 2017 through April 2018, HAL Holland America Line (Carnival Corporation's brand) scheduled cruises to Cuba roundtrip from Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale Florida) on ms Veendam. HAL's 7-, 11-and 12-days long Cuban cruise itineraries also visit other Caribbean ports of call. HAL's prices started from USD 900 per person (double occupancy inside cabin rates). Bookings were opened on May 26, 2017.
The current list of passenger shipping lines offering cruises to Cuba in 2017-2018 includes:
- Carnival Paradise leaving from Tampa Florida - prices started from USD 480 pp
- Royal Caribbean (ship Empress of the Seas) from Miami and Tampa since April 2017
- MSC Cruises (ship MSC Opera, leaving from Havana)
- Oceania Cruises (ships Marina and Regatta) starting in 2017, Cuba circumnavigation, stops in Cienfuegos and Havana, also part of some Panama Canal transition itineraries.
- NCL (ship Norwegian Sky) 4-day itineraries with Havana overnights - starting May 2017
- Azamara Cruises (ship on Azamara Quest from Miami)
- Compagnie du Ponant (yacht Le Ponant, leaving from Miami Florida)
- Pearl Seas Cruises (ship Pearl Mist, leaving from Fort Lauderdale Florida) since January 2017
- Thomson Cruises (ship Thomson Dream) 7-day, leaving roundtrip from Jamaica (Montego Bay) to Havana
- Lindblad Expeditions (chartered sailing ship MS Panorama II, leaving from Havana)
- Celestyal Cruises (ship Celestyal Crystal, leaving from Havana and Montego Bay Jamaica)
- Grand Circle Cruise Line (ship MV Clio / ex Tere Moana) one-way from Miami to Havana, or the reverse from Havana to Miami (embarkation/disembarkation in port Cienfuegos).
- International Expeditions (leaving from Havana, charter flights out of Miami)
- Victory Cruise Lines - MS Victory I (former MS Saint Laurent) - fly-cruises from Miami to Havana (home-port Cienfuegos /departures)
- Note: According to the current Cuban law, US citizens of Cuban origin (born in Cuba) are not allowed to visit the island country (including on cruise ships). Regardless of their US citizenship status, Cuban-born Americans were denied booking on cruise itineraries visiting ports in Cuba. However, the situation changed in April 2016, after Carnival Corporation negotiated with the Cuban government for allowing ships with Cuban-born passengers, as such US citizens are allowed to visit the country on USA-Cuba charter flights. The Carnival-fathom line started Miami to Cuba cruises in May 2016.
- Alaska Airlines offers regular nonstop flights to Havana from Los Angeles (California USA). An 80-min ling JetBlue flight from Fort Lauderdale (Florida) to Havana costs less than USD 100. Previously, air travel from USA to Cuba was thought charter flights only.
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.
Travelers who wish to transit the lakes and locks of Panama Canal have 8 Holland America Line cruise ships and 19 voyages to choose from between fall 2017 and spring 2018. In addition to full transits, ms Zuiderdam features 2 Southern Caribbean & Panama Canal Sunfarer itineraries that offer a partial transit through Panama Canal. With transits ranging between 14 and 23 days, Holland America provides passengers with more ways to experience the waterway than any other premium line. During 2017–2018 season, Holland America’s full and partial transits will carry over 400,500 guests through the man-made marvel of Central America.
|Departure Ports – Holland America Itineraries|
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
(December special) 15-17d Panama Canal California to Florida (leaving from San Francisco and San Diego to Fort Lauderdale).
10d Canada New England (Fall) 10d NYC-Quebec City, and the reverse).
April – October 2016
In 2017 ms Eurodam will replace Westerdam sailing from Seattle.
Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale
7-14d Canada New England from Boston and Montreal
(Oct-Nov) Transatlantic (21d Florida-Rome, 21d Rome-Florida, 42d roundtrip).
(Jan-Feb) South America
Mediterranean (itinerary changes)
7d Caribbean from Lauderdale
Transatlantic repositioning (Florida-Barcelona, Barcelona-Florida.
Entering service in Nov 2018 - Pinnacle-class ship (100,000 tons) currently under construction in Italy
new Mediterranean itineraries
Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale
Transatlantic Florida-Barcelona, Rome-Florida.
7d Alaska from Seattle (Tracy Arm, Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, Victoria). Australia from Sydney
repositioning from Alaska to Australia New Zealand, and reverse.
April – October 2016
Homeprted in Tampa, November 2016 - 7-day, 14-day and 21-day itineraries to the western and southern Caribbean.
In 2017 HAL redeployed Oosterdam from Europe to Alaska. For 2017-2018 Mexico cruise season, ms Oosterdam is joining ms Westerdam on roundtrip itineraries out of San Diego CA. September 2017 through February 2018, the ship had scheduled a total of 11 seven-day Mexico Riviera cruises to Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta.
68d Around South America from Fort Lauderdale.(Nov) 26d Florida to Amazon Brazil.Transatlantic USA Europe (Spring and Fall).Europe
(December special) 14d Southern Caribbean from Ft Lauderdale (no changes).
Europe from Amsterdam (departing from Rotterdam)
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).
South America cruises
7d Canada New England (Boston-Quebec City, and the reverse Quebec City – Boston), special 7d roundtrip Boston.
(July) Transatlantic with Iceland and Greenland
from San Diego CA
Panama Canal repositioning
(December 22, 2017, through April 2018) Veendam operates on cruises to Cuba roundtrip from Port Everglades. HAL's 7-, 11-and 12-days long Cuban cruise itineraries additionally visit other Caribbean ports of call.
7d Alaska from Vancouver (Tracy Arm, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan).34d Around Australia (50d combined with Sydney to Singapore).Asia cruises
7d Alaska from Seattle (Juneau, Glacier Bay, Sitka, Ketchikan, Victoria).Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale
(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.
7d Vancouver to Alaska
from San Diego CA (21d “collectors”)
7d Vancouver to Alaska (Tracy Arm, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan).(Caribbean) Panama Canal cruises from Fort Lauderdale (Florida round-trips to Panama)
(Dec Caribbean Holiday specials)
repositioning (with Panama Canal crossing)
The Oprah Magazine themed HAL cruises "Adventure of Your Life"
In July 2017, the Eurodam ship hosted a specially themed cruise in Alaska. The "Share the Adventure Cruise" 2017 voyage (July 15-22) followed an exclusive partnership signed between Holland America and The Oprah Magazine.
Besides Oprah Winfrey, herself the list of special guests onboard included Gayle King (TV personality), India Arie (singer), Glennon Doyle Melton (activist, speaker) and Angela Davis (political activist, motivational speaker).
- Four more Oprah Magazine-themed "Adventure of Your Life" cruises were scheduled through 2018, all featuring onboard exclusive program activities
- The list of all The Oprah Magazine themed "Adventure of Your Life" HAL cruises included the following itineraries as dates and destinations: July 15, 2017 (7-Day Alaska from Seattle on Eurodam), November 29, 2017 (11-Day Southern Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale on Koningsdam), March 3, 2018 (7-Day Eastern Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale on Nieuw Amsterdam), August 11, 2018 (7-Day Alaska from Seattle on Eurodam) and October 28, 2018 (7-Day Western Caribbean roundtrip Fort Lauderdale on Nieuw Amsterdam).
- The following table shows HAL's first Opra-themed cruise itinerary on Eurodam as ports (times and sequence). Prices started from USD 2000 per person (double occupancy Inside cabin rates).
|15 Jul||Departing from Seattle, Washington|
|17 Jul 13:00 - 22:00||Juneau, Alaska|
|18 Jul 07:00 - 16:00||Glacier Bay, Alaska|
|19 Jul 07:00 - 15:00||Sitka, Baranof Island, Alaska|
|20 Jul 07:00 - 13:00||Ketchikan, Revillagigedo Island, Alaska|
|21 Jul 18:00 - 23:00||Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC Canada|
|22 Jul||Arriving in Seattle, Washington|
Holland America 2018 itineraries themed "Signature Experiences"
In late April 2017, HAL revealed the company's new culturally themed "Signature Experiences" available on select 2018 cruise itineraries departing out of Montreal (Quebec Canada) and in Europe - from Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Civitavecchia-Rome and Venice.
- These are pre-cruise packages created exclusively for HAL with included an evening event (themed on culture or culinary), 2-night luxury hotel stay and bus transfers to the cruise ship. Guests booking a suite cabin on these eligible cruises receive the package complimentary, but as space is limited reservations are required.
- The 2018 pre-cruise "Signature Experiences" tour packages for non-suite passengers as prices range between USD 700-1000 per person (double occupancy). Taxes and port fees are additional.
- "Taste of Montreal" pre-cruise tour package is on select Canada New England cruises from Montreal. The tour visits the city's most popular sights. The package also includes a 2-night hotel stay and complimentary ship transfers. HAL passengers visit Place Ville Marie and its observation deck (Au Sommet Place Ville Marie) for fabulous city views. The tour culminates with the Pointe-a-Calliere museum where a private party with appetizers and open bar is held.
- Port of Amsterdam Holland - the pre-cruise tour package includes an evening at Rijksmuseum - after-hours private tour, cocktail reception with hors d'oeuvres in the museum's foyer, Rijksmuseum Honor Gallery tour, followed by a 3-course dinner in its cafe.
- Port barcelona Spain - the pre-cruise tour package includes an evening at Casa Batllo - private tour, followed by informal dinner with tapas and drinks while enjoying flamenco music by Son de Cajon.
- Port Copenhagen Denmark - the pre-cruise tour package includes a night at Kronborg Castle (UNESCO Heritage Site) where guests are entertained by local actors providing a history of Shakespeare's Hamlet, then follow appetizers and beverages.
- Port Civitavecchia (Rome Italy) - the pre-cruise tour package "A Night Out in Ancient Rome" includes an evening at Casa dei Cavalieri di Rodi. The formal dinner is on a terrace overlooking the Roman Forum. After in appetizers and prosecco, guests enjoy a private tour of the Colosseum lead by an expert guide.
- Port Venice Italy - the pre-cruise tour package "An Evening on the Grand Canal" includes an evening canal cruise to the entrance of a privately owned palace overlooking the Grand Canal. There guests enjoy formal dinner with appetizers, drinks and live music, all in the company of the countess or member of her noble family.
- Signature Experiences" pre-cruise tour packages for departure ports in Australia, New Zealand, South America and Asia will be added soon.
Holland America related cruise news
Holland America Line's ms Nieuw Amsterdam with passengers onboard ran aground on Tuesday, October 10, at Huatulco, Mexico after the...October 13, 2017
Travelers who wish to transit the lakes and locks of Panama Canal will have 8 Holland America Line cruise ships and 19 voyages to choose from between...August 3, 2017
Oprah Winfrey is all for living one's best life, and that is exactly what she did while cruising onboard Holland America’s ms Eurodam...July 28, 2017
Sunday, May 28, is National Burger Day, and HAL (Holland America Line) pays homage to the American food classic. Pleasing the palates of vegetarians...May 28, 2017
Holland America is changing the way passengers digitally access shipboard information and experiences across the fleet with the launch of a new and...April 29, 2017
- show more news