Holland America has been a preferred partner of Cruise World for over 25 years. We love their elegant mid-size ships with accommodations that are larger than average. Our clients consistently give rave reviews on the gracious service and delicious gourmet food. With 140 years in the business they have perfected cruising, but times are changing… A new president is in charge now –someone who had never cruised before! I had the opportunity to meet with him onboard their newest ship the Koningsdam and I can confirm Holland America is being revitalized.
We are seeing fabulous new entertainment options coming to many of the existing ships as well as their new builds. I thoroughly enjoyed the Music Walk area. The dueling pianos were usually a fun competition with audience participation. A lasting memory is how the whole room was moved when the pianists paid homage to the late Leonard Cohen with a rendition of Hallelujah. The B.B. King’s Blues Club kept people dancing to the wee hours, and the live orchestra performances at Lincoln Center Stage were outstanding. Holland’s newly announced partnership with Rolling Stone will enhance their new theater design. We saw high energy live performance shows with state-of-the-art wrap around video screens and a stage that can move. Everything from comedians to ballet & tango to Janet Jackson, Queen and the Beatles had the crowd engaged. Another partnership with BBC Earth presents high-definition shows of the cutest penguins, polar bears and marine life – with the live orchestra performing in conjunction with their movements. Spectacular!
Another flagship (pun intended) of Holland’s new design is the incorporation of art. Unique and original portraits created from buttons & pins, or matchbox toy cars. Huge installations surrounding the atrium and smaller displays of musical instruments peak your interest at every turn. Valued at over $4 million dollars on the Koningsdam it’s like walking through a contemporary art museum every day! The lido area has a more modern feel to it, with long sofa loungers on the top deck overlooking the pool. A huge LED screen allows you to enjoy movies, concerts and sporting events from the pool or hot tubs. The aft pool is a great place to grab a cocktail and watch the wake and the setting sun.
If you have sailed Holland before your know the food options are outstanding. The Koningsdam does not disappoint, but in a new brighter and more open Main Dining Room. New options are the best New York Deli Pizza, a Seafood Brasserie with a yummy French twist to the menu, a lovely Dutch Café for specialty coffees, teas and delicious nibbles. Wine & Whiskey connoisseurs will love the tasting options and the chance to blend your own vintage to bring home. Foodies can watch live cooking shows or participate in classes at the Test Kitchen. In case you over indulge the fitness options are endless. New to Holland is exercise equipment outside on deck, so you can breathe in the sea air as you work out.