HOLLAND AMERICA LINE CRUISES REVIEWS – LOOKING AT A GREAT MARITIME TRADITION – HAL HAS A GREAT PLACE IN SOCIAL TRAVEL HISTORY
(LEFT – FAMOUS STAR GARY GRANT WAS A BIG FAN OF HOLLAND AMERICA LINE) Holland America Line has enjoyed a distinguished record of traditional cruises, world exploration, and transatlantic crossings since 1873all 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; however, with an infusion of younger adults and families on board, 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.
Entertainment tends to be more Broadway-stylish than Las Vegas-brash. Colorful revues are presented in main show lounges by the ships’ companies of singers and dancers. Other performances might include a range of cabaret acts: comedians, magicians, jugglers, and acrobats. Live bands play a wide range of musical styles for dancing and listening in smaller lounges and piano bars. Movies are shown daily in cinemas that double as the Culinary Arts Centers.
Holland America Line may never be considered cutting edge, but the Signature of Excellence concept introduced in 2003 sets them apart from other premium cruise lines. An interactive Culinary Arts Center offers cooking demonstrations and wine-tasting sessions; Explorations Caf (powered by the New York Times) is a coffeehouse-style library and Internet center; and the Explorations Guest Speakers Series is supported by in-cabin televised programming on flat-screen TVs in all cabins; the traditional Crow’s Nest observation lounge has a new nightclub-disco layout, video wall, and sound-and-light systems; and facilities for children and teens have been greatly expanded. Signature of Excellence upgrades were completed on the entire Holland America fleet in 2006.
HOLLAND AMERICA LINE – 300 Elliott Avenue W, Seattle, WA, 98119. 206/281-3535 or 800/577-1728. The Holland America Line style is Premium Deluxe.
The following are wonderful paintings of the SS NIEUW AMSTERDAM by Captain Stephen J. Card. Please visit the link to his terrific website by clicking here.
The SS NIEUW AMSTERDAM (1) – Summer evening in New York – 1920s.
The SS NIEUW AMSTERDAM (2) – Arriving in Southampton – 1950s.
The SS NIEUW AMSTERDAM (3) – during the 1980s.
The SS NIEUW AMSTERDAM (4) – arriving 2010.