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Holland America Line

Wave Awards winner: Winners 2021 Best for Enrichment

Holland America Line, part of the Carnival Corporation family, offers more than 500 cruises to more than 470 ports in 98 countries, territories or dependencies around the world. The brand is steeped in 147 years of Dutch maritime tradition. Established in 1873, it served primarily ferry passengers (the majority were emigrants) between the Netherlands and the US. Today, the cruise line is made up of 11 mid-sized cruise ships (carrying between 1,432 and 2,500 passengers). Classic HAL ships include Westerdam, Oosterdam, Noordam, Volendam, Zaandam and Zuiderdam. Eurodam is the second Signature-class ship and Nieuw Amsterdam the second. Newest ship, 2,668-passenger Rotterdam, is the third in the Pinnacle-class after Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam.

Why choose this cruise line?

Holland America Line cruises are well-known for their good food - and passengers can choose from an array of complimentary and speciality restaurants onboard.

Along with fine dining, the line offers excellent entertainment and enrichment programmes, including Music Walk comprising live music venues, as well as regional cooking demonstrations and food and wine tastings.

HAL cruises are fairly good value for money, with the majority of restaurants and facilities free of charge, although there are some extras. The line has introduced a Club Orange programme – named after the Dutch House of Orange – offering exclusive benefits to guests in certain suite categories, with some available for purchase by other passengers. Perks include priority check-in, a private dining venue and a concierge hotline.

HAL has been named Number One for cruises to Alaska, the Mexican Riviera, and the Panama Canal & Central America in Cruise Critic’s 2019 Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards.

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Who should travel with Holland America Line?

Holland America Line cruises are ideal for mature and seasoned travellers who want to relax and see the world. The cruise line’s fleet of ships have become known for their personalised service, premium amenities and fine dining.

Most of the activities and entertainment onboard are geared towards more mature cruisers – so do not expect water parks or gaming arcades – although its ships do include kids and teens clubs for families.

- READ MORE: How Holland America Line caters for big and small cruisers -

In a bid to attract a slightly younger audience, the addition of HAL’s signature Music Walk (a set of entertainment venues) onboard its ships has certainly livened up nightlife and given the fleet a more youthful persona.

And yet, you’ll find that the typical demographic for a Holland America Line cruise are North American passengers of retiree age.

Holland America Line cruise destinations

HAL ships sail to destinations across the world, but one of the cruise line’s most popular destinations is Alaska.

The ocean-going cruise line also sails to Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii and Tahiti, the Mediterranean, Mexico, Northern Europe, Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, Antarctica and transatlantic.

- READ MORE: Top 10 reasons to choose Holland America Line for a Caribbean cruise -

Holland America Line food and drink

Already known for a wide range of superb cuisine ranging from regional specialities and itinerary-based dishes to traditional favourites, HAL has taken this to the next level with new dining choices and venues for guests to enjoy.

In the elegant Main Dining Room, which offers set and 'as you wish' dining, guests will find classic favourites and vegetarian choices, as well as regionally inspired cuisine prepared by chefs - all backed by HAL's Culinary Council, an elite team of seven world-renowned chefs.

In the intimate steakhouse Pinnacle Grill, (available on all ships) tables are set with crisp linens and dazzling stemware. The menu features a selection of 28-day wet-aged USDA Prime steaks plus as well as classic steakhouse dishes and innovative recipes. There are also regionally inspired cuisine and vegetarian dishes.

The Pan-Asian Tamarind, onboard Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam and Rotterdam offers exotic menus that evoke the culinary traditions of Southeast Asia, China and Japan, with dishes that honour the elements of water, wood, fire and earth. A new partnership with Top Sushi Chef, Andy Matsuda of the Los Angeles Sushi institute, sees his signature sushi rolls being introduced for guests to enjoy at Tamarind.

Other speciality joints are French restaurant Rudi's Sel de Mer and Italian spot Canaletto.

For casual alfresco dining by the pool, Dive-In includes gourmet burgers plus lighter fare, like a grilled chicken breast sandwich and vegetarian-friendly Portobello mushroom stack. Plus crisp Italian salads and made to order thin-crusted pizzas.

Other casual eateries include the Lido Market, New York Pizza, Grand Dutch Cafe and Explorations Cafe.

Holland America Line entertainment

There's plenty of live music and entertainment to keep you busy on a HAL cruise.

The Lincoln Center Stage, showcases top musicians performing multiple programs of chamber music most evenings, as well as afternoon recitals during leisurely days at sea.

B.B. King's All Stars bring the best of Memphis music to sea, playing everything from funky and fast to soulful and smooth tunes.

Live bands perform iconic rock hits in the Rolling Stone Rock Room while The Step One Dance Company, comprised of six elite dancers, tours the Holland America Line fleet presenting works from notable choreographers.

There's also venue the World Stage which boasts a two-story, 270-degree wraparound LED screen.

Holland American Line cabins

Accommodation onboard HAL's ships range from inside cabins to the very best suites depending on your needs and budget.

All cabins include:

  • Complimentary 24-hour In-Room Dining
  • Daily Housekeeping
  • Generous Storage
  • Safes for your valuables
  • Deluxe bathrobes
  • Elemis Aromapure bath amenities
  • Complimentary fresh fruit
  • Complimentary shoeshine service
  • Complimentary ice service
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Cruise inclusions

  • All standard dining in the ship's complimentary restaurants, which include the Dining Room, Lido Market, Dive-In and New York Pizza. Room service and afternoon tea at tea time are also included in the cost of your cruise
  • Use of the on-board sports facilities and swimming pools
  • Access to a wide range of entertainment, including full-scale theatre productions
  • Freshly squeezed juices at breakfast time