Holland America Line's $525 million, fleetwide Signature of Excellence enhancements feature new programs and amenities including the Culinary Arts Centre presented by Food & Wine magazine - a state-of-the-art onboard show kitchen where more than 60 celebrated guest chefs and culinary experts will provide cooking demonstrations and classes. Features also include the Explorations Café powered by the New York Times, teens-only activity areas and all new cabin amenities highlighted by flat-panel TVs and plush-top Mariner's Dream Beds.
During summer 2012 and autumn 2013, two Holland America Line ships -- ms Oosterdam and ms Volendam -- will sail a series of Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific cruises, visiting more than 50 ports where guests can revel in the cosmopolitan attractions of Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland, and explore the exotic landscapes of Vanuatu and Fiji in the South Pacific.
Christened in 2003 and taking up to 1,848 passengers, to symbolise Holland America Line's more than 135-year history of circumnavigating the globe, the centerpiece of the ms Oosterdam is a magnificent Waterford crystal globe, prominently displayed in a three-story atrium.
Offering a range of cabin categories, her best feature is that 67% of these include a veranda, with 85% offering oceanviews.
The Oosterdam offers 5 dining choices including the Main Dining Room, Lido buffet, Canaletto (Classic Italian), Terrace Grill and the Pinnacle Grill (Specialty restaurant charges apply). There are also 7 bars and lounges to choose from.
Click here to view Oosterdam Itineraries (Australia) Click here to view Oosterdam Itineraries (New Zealand)
The Volendam reflects a beautiful garden
|Crows Nest Lounge|
theme throughout, with floral motifs and fresh tropical floral arrangements on display around the ship.
She offers 17 different cabin categories, 5 bars and lounges including the Crows Nest (Offers sweeping 270° views during the day, and a hip, fashionable nightclub each evening).
I have had the privilege of dining in the Pinnacle grill on the Volendam, the elegance and atmosphere is outstanding. With choices of aged beef or fresh seafood, it is an ideal night for those special occasions.
Click here to view Volendam itineraries (Australia pricing only).
Unique Activities onboard
Holland America offers Shows, Live Music, Movies and Casinos onboard to keep you entertained as well as the following unique features:
Culinary Arts Centre An innovative theatre-style venue with a state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen, where you can watch live cooking demonstrations and try your hand at a few recipes yourself
Windows Digital Workshop A variety of classes including enhancing photos, joining Facebook or creating a Blog and sharing your cruise holiday with family & friends back home
Holland Americas childrens programme is called Club HAL.
Club HAL Kids is for children 3-7 years, with activities that include: ice-cream parties, Little Artists crafts, storytelling and pirate treasure hunts.
Club HAL Tweens is for those aged 8-12 years and offers Wii and Xbox tournaments, scavenger hunts and karaoke parties.
The Loft and Oasis is for the 13-17 year teenagers with plenty of activities arranged or they can just chill out in the outdoor teen only Oasis
Club HAL Kids
As Holland America is an American ship, tipping (or gratuities) are required. These are automatically added to your onboard cabin account of US$11.50 per person per day or $12 per person per day in Suites. You are however welcome to adjust this amount with the purser at the end of your cruise. All tips are given directly to the staff onboard from your waiter and cabin steward to the laundry and galley crew.
Is it for Me?
The exceptional onboard cruise experience delivered by Holland America Line and the Signature of Excellence enhancements appeal to discerning cruisers who prefer mid-sized ships, personalized service, five-star dining, and sophisticated ambiance throughout both public areas and staterooms. Happy Kruizing!