Holland America Line
With more than 135 years experience, venerable Holland America Line prides itself on its “Tradition of Excellence,” the company’s trademark slogan and its guiding principle. Holland America Line operates 14 cruise ships.
Founded more than a century ago in the Netherlands, Holland America (HAL) continues to work its Dutch heritage into the design of its ships and into the elegant but affordable cruise experience it offers.
The Holland America Line cruise ships are named for classic vessels in the line’s history (Rotterdam, for example, is the sixth HAL ship to bear that name). Large paintings of old HAL ships hang in the stairways, and floral themes, ship memorabilia, antiques and Indonesia touches (the Asian country being a former Dutch colony) all provide a subtle link to the line’s heritage.
Activities On Board The ‘Dam’ Ships
At the same time, HAL very much rolls with the times, and you’ll find ships feature trendy Internet cafes, fun piano and sports bars, demonstration kitchens for cooking classes, roomy cabins with all the latest amenities, and cool new poolside pizzerias called Slice. Overall, the décor of the line’s newer ships is bolder and more colorful than the older ones.
Traditionally HAL has attracted an older clientele, but in the past decade has succeeded in appealing to a broader demographic, including families on its summer and holiday cruises especially. There are cheerful playrooms, video arcades and teen rooms, plus most ships also have a secluded outdoor teen area called the Oasis.
When there are 25 to 30 plus kids aboard, supervised activities are programmed for at least three age groups between 3 and 17; at other times of the year, there’s always at least one counselor on board every sailing.
While there are plenty of quiet nooks and crannies to hide with a good book or a deck of card, for active adults, HAL’s activities range from ballroom dance lessons to bingo, bridge, wine tasting, trivia contests, free computer workshops and self-guided iPod tours of the ship’s art collection. There are also well-stocked libraries with gorgeous inlaid marble tables.
Goofy team games poolside or in a lounge cater to the young (and silly) at heart and always attract a big crowd. Evenings, each ship puts on small-scale Vegas-style shows, plus feature soloists, trios, and quartets that play jazz, pop, and light-classical standards around the ship. There are also movies shown in the onboard cinema and on a few ships, large LED screens on up on deck (part of a new concept at the ships’ stern called the Retreat, which also includes a new pool bar and pizzeria), plus crew and passenger talent shows that are always a hit.
Dining On The ‘Dam’ Ships
When it comes to dining, restaurants are windowed and elegant throwbacks to bygone age of cruising, and the cuisine is generally tasty and varied.
The line’s As You Wish dining program means you can opt for either traditional early — or late-seating dining at an assigned table or instead make a reservation and show up whenever you like.
All the ships’ have an intimate Pinnacle Grill alternative restaurant focused mostly on steaks, chops, and fish (there is a $29 per person cover charge at dinner, $10 at lunch) as well as the Italian Canaletto venue at no extra cost.
The line’s newest ships also have the Pan-Asian Tamarind ($20 at dinner; no charge for dim sum at lunch).
The Lido buffet restaurants offer pizza, grilled burgers, soft ice-cream and a taco bar stocked with all the fixins.
HAL is well known for its daily afternoon high tea elegantly presented and served by white-gloved waiters, and you can enjoy free hot canapés in some of the bars/lounges during cocktail hour. Service is high point from the attentive and genteel mostly Indonesian and Filipino crew.
Holland America ships’ cruise the world, with an especially strong presence in Alaska, Europe, the Caribbean and Panama Canal.
These People Will Love Holland America Line
- Destination Collectors. Holland America Line’s expansive fleet sails to more than 320 ports on the nearly 500 cruises offered annually from 27 homeports. Itineraries range from two days to 108 days and visit all seven continents.
- Premium ship lovers. Holland America’s ships are mid-sized, carrying from 793 to 2,104 passengers, and featuring wraparound teak decks and staterooms that are on average 25 percent larger than other ships in its class.
- World cruisers. Holland America Line has operated world cruises for more than 25 years.
- Long cruisers. Holland America Line’s Grand Voyages allow passengers to explore a specific region of the world on an extended Holland cruise. Combine Grand Voyages to circumnavigate the globe.
What’s Included On Holland America Line
- All meals, except for dining in the optional reservations-only restaurant Pinnacle Grill (US$25 per guest) and Tamarind (US$15 for dinner). Round-the-clock room service is complimentary.
- Fitness Center, except for instructor-led classes such as Spin, Yoga and Pilates.
- Entertainment, including Broadway-style shows and cinema.
- The New York Times online edition at internet stations in Explorations Café.
- Youth Programs, catering to kids, including Club HAL Kids for kids 3-7; Club HAL Tweens for kids 8-12; and The Loft and The Oasis, for teens 13-17. Only the smaller Prinsendam varies, with programs for kids ages 5-17.
Destinations Served By Holland America Line
- Asia & Pacific
- Australia & New Zealand
- Canada & New England
- Panama Canal
- South America
- West Coast
Holland America Line Ship ReviewsTo read a review of a particular ship, click the link under "Read the Review." If applicable, our Live Voyage Reports offer a day-by-day overview of an actual cruise onboard. In some cases, there may be more than one report, to be sure to see if your favorite destination is represented.
Articles About Holland America Line
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- Traveling With Children On Premium, Upper-Premium, And Luxury Cruise Lines
- Cruise Line Loyalty Programs, Part Two – Premium Cruise Lines
- Avid Travel With Britton Frost – Cruise Line Loyalty Programs, Part Two
- Holland America Line’s 2020-2021 Early Booking Bonus
- Avid Travel With Britton Frost – Nieuw Statendam, Final Thoughts
- A Recap Of My Time Aboard Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam
- Voyage Report – Nieuw Statendam, Half Moon Cay
- Voyage Report – Nieuw Statendam, At Sea
- Voyage Report – Nieuw Statendam, St. Thomas
- Voyage Report – Nieuw Statendam, San Juan
- Avid Travel With Britton Frost – Live From Nieuw Statendam
- Follow Me On Holland America’s Nieuw Statendam
- Six Holland America Line Ships Will Sail Europe In 2020
- Holland America Line Takes Delivery Of Nieuw Statendam
- Eight Holland America Line Ships To Sail The Caribbean
- Cruise Deal Roundup: September 2018
- Holland America Line Unveils Special Guest Line-Up for O Magazine Cruise
- Holland America Line Will Welcome Nieuw Statendam To Fleet
- Holland America Line Outlines Asia Itineraries
- Holland America Line Offers Reduced Fares
- Holland America To Visit Hawaii In 2018 and 2019
- Prinsendam Will Leave Holland America Line’s Fleet
- Holland America Line Will Launch New EXC In-Depth Voyages
- Live From Cuba: On Holland America Line’s Veendam
- Holland America Line’s New Ship Will Sail Northern Europe and the Mediterranean
- From the Rivers to the Oceans: Viking’s New Combination Itineraries
- World Cruise Segments and Grand Voyages, Demystified
- Which Lines Offer 2019-2020 World Cruises
- Unique Itinerary: Cruising Japan
- Holland America’s Grand Voyages: A Grand Way to Cruise
- Holland America Line’s Explore4 Promotion Returns for 2018
- Holland America Line Offers More Ways to Experience the Panama Canal with Eight Ships and 35 Cruises
- 2018-19 World Cruise Roundup
- Holland America Line Announces Enhancements to Holland America Line’s ms Westerdam
- Holland America Line Introduces New Ship, ms Nieuw Statendam
- New Ships for Holland America Line, Princess Cruises: What Do We Know?
- HAL’s Koningsdam comes to America
- Holland America Debuts New BBC Earth Experiences, Cruises
- Cruising the Mexican Riviera with Holland America Line
- Koningsdam Review: A Quick Peek With Photos & Video
- In Depth: The ‘New’ Eurodam & Why Holland America Is A Special Place For Me
- We See What’s New On Holland America Line’s Eurodam & Get A Taste Of What’s To Come On Koningsdam
- Volendam Photo Tour & Review Update
- Zaandam Photo Tour & Review Update
- New Audio Podcast: Our January Recap & What’s Ahead
- What Sets Koningsdam Apart
- Four Things To Like About Koningsdam
- A Tearful Farewell: ms Rotterdam Departs Her Namesake City Following 100th Call
- Day 4 – Exploring Greenhouse Spa on Noordam
- Day 3 – Exploring Palermo, Sicily on Noordam
- Day 2 – Exploring Naples, Italy on Noordam
- Cruising’s Quest For More Varied Cuisine
- Volendam To Get Lanai Staterooms, Mix, In Refurbishment
- The Panama Canal, 100 Years On
- Your Alaska Questions Answered, Plus Our 2014 Alaska Guide
- Sailing East: A Look at Cruising in Asia in 2014
- Saguenay Celebrates: Eurodam Marks 100th Cruise Ship Call
- Fall Foliage, Canada-New England Cruises
- Thoughts On The End Of Sweden, Silver Whisper, Eurodam and Breaking Away
- Avid Cruiser Voyages: Asia
- Avid Cruiser Voyages: The South Pacific
- Epicurean Adventure: Final Day Aboard Holland America’s Oosterdam
- Into the Wild—Ketchikan: Day 6 Aboard Holland America’s Oosterdam
- Thrills and Chills in Sitka: Day 5 Aboard Holland America’s Oosterdam
- Whale of a Tale: Day 4 Aboard Holland America’s Oosterdam
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- Splendor of the Sea: Day 2 Aboard Holland America’s Oosterdam
- Seattle’s Best: Holland America’s Oosterdam Day 1
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- Doing The ABCs On Holland America Line’s Noordam, Conclusion
- Doing The ABCs On Holland America Line’s Noordam, Part III
- Doing The ABCs On Holland America Line’s Noordam, Part II
- Doing The ABCs On Holland America Line’s Noordam
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- Introducing Cool Cruise Week, Seeking The Lost City Of Atlantis, Dutch Stroopwafels & Swedish Crayfish
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- On Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam, Deck By Deck
- Not So Much New About Nieuw Amsterdam, And That’s Just How Holland America Line Wanted It
- Live From Venice: Nieuw Amsterdam Naming Ceremony
- In Venice On Nieuw Amsterdam: Princess Maxima Arrives To Christen Holland America Line’s Newest Ship
- Builder Of Ships: 55 And Counting, A Brief Encounter With Corrado Antonini, Chairman of Fincantieri, Italy
- Heading To Amsterdam, The Nieuw Amsterdam
- Kids On Cruises: Assessing Holland America Line For All Ages
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- Expert Advice On Choosing An Alaska Cruisetour
- Cruising Europe 2010
- ‘Awesome’ Alaska: The Great Land Through The Eyes Of A Kid
- In-Depth Alaska: Cruise + Tour = Cruisetour
- Ship Make-Overs: As Good As New Ships?
- Cruising With Kids, Cruise Line Policies for Infants, Toddlers and Teens
- 10 Reasons To Cruise Over The Winter Holidays
- Fall Brings Good Values On Cruises
- News, book and music stars to join Holland America’s world voyage
- Eating Elsewhere: Reservations-Only Dining Venues On Ships
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- Holland America Line expands free computer training for guests
- Suite Surrender
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- A Better Life
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- Read The Summer Issue of Avid Cruiser Magazine
- You’re Aboard Eurodam
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- Holland America Line’s Noordam
- Hello Down There
- A Concierge Level Sampler
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- Dining Destinations At Sea
- Holland America Line’s New Eurodam
- Confessions of a first-time cruiser
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- Noordam: A Work of Art
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