The final word information to Holland America cruise ships and itineraries

Of the “Large Eight” cruise strains, Holland America Line is the one which prides itself most closely on legacy. Among the many different comparatively new gamers within the trade, HAL stands out due to its longevity, having begun passenger operations in 1873 to ferry passengers throughout the Atlantic between The Netherlands and New York Metropolis.

Ships within the Holland America fleet — previously the Nederlandsche-Amerikaansche Stoomvaart Maatschappij (Dutch-American Steamship Firm) — carried immigrants from Europe to North America at common intervals. As such, the road usually attracts older cruisers and family tree buffs trying to expertise sea journey very similar to their grandparents, great-grandparents and even great-great grandparents did (albeit with extra fashionable comforts). And veterans who discovered themselves on Holland America ships used as navy transport throughout World Battle II usually sail on the road’s fashionable vessels as a solution to reminisce.

However that does not imply the ships are stuffy, boring or restricted to an older demographic. In truth, HAL’s ships are extra fashionable than ever, with a few of its latest {hardware} that includes high-tech theater exhibits, in depth artwork collections and modern music that even members of Technology Z are more likely to admire. It is common to see multigenerational household teams on Holland America voyages.

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Tied to the cruise line’s wealthy backstory is a deal with high quality and upholding excessive requirements of service. The road’s ships usually provide wonderful meals, tastefully designed decor and a powerful number of music as leisure.

Holland America cruises are thought-about mainstream and mass market, however they don’t seem to be bargain-basement sailings. They fall according to manufacturers like Movie star Cruises and Princess Cruises, that means you will pay barely extra for them than a Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean or Norwegian Cruise Line cruise. However Holland America sailings aren’t luxurious. (The marginally greater value level additionally means you will not really feel such as you’re in the course of a unending frat occasion or a resort geared to households.)

Here is what it’s essential to know to find out if Holland America Line is true to your subsequent cruise.

3 issues TPG loves about Holland America Line

  • Scrumptious meals that is rigorously ready with a deal with sustainability
  • Considerable reside music choices to swimsuit many tastes
  • Intensive itineraries, from Alaska sailings that embody land stays to prolonged world voyages

What we may do with out

  • The stereotype that Holland America is just for passengers of a sure age

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The Holland America fleet


With solely 11 ships, Holland America’s fleet is on the small aspect when in comparison with the trade’s greatest gamers, a few of which have greater than two dozen vessels. HAL’s ships are divided into 4 courses: R Class, Vista Class, Signature Class and Pinnacle Class.

From oldest to latest, the ships have regularly elevated in dimension. Nevertheless, the biggest ones nonetheless accommodate fewer than half of the variety of passengers carried by the world’s largest ships — a nod to the truth that lots of the line’s most loyal clients choose a extra intimate expertise.

There are solely two R Class ships on the roster — Volendam and Zaandam, that are the road’s two oldest and smallest vessels, every with room for about 1,400 passengers. As a result of R Class vessels are practically 40% smaller than the road’s largest ships, they provide fewer facilities, making them excellent for anybody whose focus is the locations the ships go to somewhat than the onboard facilities. As such, these two vessels are inclined to sail to extra far-flung locales, together with on world cruises.

Launched between 2002 and 2006, the 4 ships — Zuiderdam, Oosterdam, Westerdam and Noordam — in HAL’s Vista Class are massive sufficient for barely greater than 1,900 passengers at double occupancy. Like their smaller R Class fleetmates, they provide solely two various eating places (a steakhouse and an Italian eatery) along with complimentary buffet and foremost eating room venues.

Holland America’s Signature Class, comprising Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam, represents the road’s midsize choices, with every vessel accommodating about 2,100 folks. Like Pinnacle Class ships, these on this class are house to Pan-Asian restaurant Tamarind, along with the free choices and for-fee Italian restaurant and steakhouse discovered on the road’s smaller vessels.

Nevertheless it was with Pinnacle Class ships that HAL actually started to overtake its choices by way of each eating and leisure. Koningsdam, which debuted in 2016, introduced with it the Grand Dutch Cafe (the place you will discover one of the best grilled cheese at sea, together with scrumptious break up pea soup) and Rudi’s Sel de Mer, a seafood restaurant developed by chef and meals artist Rudi Sodamin. It additionally boasts the Music Stroll idea, a central thoroughfare that homes a number of efficiency areas specializing in totally different genres of music.

Whereas Rudi’s and the Grand Dutch Cafe are solely discovered on the road’s Pinnacle Class ships (which maintain 2,650 folks and likewise embody Nieuw Statendam and Rotterdam), Music Stroll has been rolled out on Signature Class and Vista Class ships additionally, with R Class vessels that includes one or two of the person Music Stroll venues.

Locations and itineraries


The sheer breadth of locations Holland America covers is spectacular for such a small fleet. At the moment, the road has ships scheduled to name on six continents (plus a sail previous the seventh, Antarctica) with stops in additional than 50 international locations.

Itineraries run the gamut from customary Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Canada/New England and Pacific Coastal voyages to extra bucket-list areas like Alaska, the Mediterranean and the Panama Canal. Extra far-flung locations embody locations like South Africa, Oman, Egypt, China, Australia and New Zealand, Japan, Turkey, Morocco, Malaysia, Fiji and different areas of the world which can be usually cumbersome to achieve should you’re not on a ship.

Most of the extra off-the-beaten-path places are reached by way of Holland America’s two most spectacular crusing sorts: world cruises, which final greater than 100 days, and Grand Voyages that may embody circumnavigations of locations like Africa, Australia and New Zealand or South America and Antarctica. Each of most of these cruises are inclined to promote out a yr or two upfront.

Plus, with the road’s current deal with longer cruises that journey round-trip from U.S. ports, Holland America makes it simple for Individuals to set sail with out having to fly.

HAL’s hottest and frequented locations are the Caribbean and Europe, with different locales in proximity to North America — akin to Canada/New England and the Mexican Riviera — proving to be the second-most in style with Holland America vacationers.

Holland America has additionally had a commanding presence in Alaska for many years, providing a few of the most sturdy alternatives to go to the forty ninth State. In truth, the model is so established within the area that it owns and operates its personal lodges close to locations like Denali Nationwide Park, making for the proper pre- or post-cruise add-on.

Who sails Holland America cruises?


Passengers on Holland America’s ships are typically well-traveled retirees (largely {couples} however with some singles within the combine) and multigenerational household teams often consisting of grandparents, mother and father and youngsters touring collectively.

As a result of HAL vessels lack flashy top-deck points of interest like waterslides and curler coasters, the expertise is greatest loved by individuals who do not want fixed leisure. The perfect match for considered one of these sailings is somebody who likes vacation spot immersion and rest time, in addition to very good eating and eclectic music.

Though each Holland America ship has a children membership on board, the youth areas aren’t as expansive and tricked-out because the services on the bigger and extra family-friendly cruise strains. Nicely-behaved children who get pleasure from studying and visiting new locations will nonetheless have a good time.

Cabins and suites


Holland America cabins fall into 4 foremost classes: insides (no views), outsides (sealed home windows), balconies (walk-out verandas) and suites (high-end cabins, often with further house and extra facilities).

When you’re in search of a specialty cabin, these additionally can be found. Holland America presents a collection of accessible rooms on each vessel. They span all cabin sorts, together with suites, with absolutely accessible, absolutely accessible single-side method (with each left- and right-side approaches as choices) and ambulatory accessible varieties out there. (Particular room sorts differ by ship.)

Spa cabins are available all primary cabin classes, in addition to Neptune Suites. They embody the identical sq. footage as customary cabins in every of these classes and share the identical structure. What units them aside is that they supply spa-centric extras, akin to flavored water and minimize fruit, a spa concierge to help with reserving therapies and in-room health tools like train DVDs and yoga mats.

Sure HAL ships additionally provide solo cabins for one particular person. Designed with lone vacationers in thoughts, they function full-size beds in lieu of queens, and so they’re out there within the outdoors class solely, starting from 127 to 172 sq. toes of house.

The road’s solely rooms designed particularly with households in thoughts are outdoors household cabins, which provide from 222 to 231 sq. toes of dwelling house and accommodate as many as 5 folks with a queen mattress, a two-person couch mattress and a single bunk that pulls down from the ceiling. These cabins are additionally outfitted with a break up rest room setup — one room with a tub/bathe, sink and bathroom and one other with a bathe and sink.

Commonplace options in all Holland America ship cabins embody a queen mattress that may break up into two twins, a few nightstands, a conceit/desk space with a chair or stool and a cellphone. There’s additionally a closet with cabinets and room to hold garments. Rounding out the choices are a protected, a minifridge, quite a lot of shops and USB ports and a non-public rest room. An in-room TV supplies a handful of channels, ship-sponsored content material and complimentary films.

Choose cabins additionally embody sofas, a few of which have pull-out beds. Different rooms made to sleep greater than two folks might need bunks that pull down from the ceiling.

Day by day housekeeping service is included in all room sorts.

Commonplace facilities on Holland America vessels are a step up from these on most different strains. Some that you simply may get pleasure from embody Elemis toiletries, bathrobes, shoeshine service, recent fruit, signature pillow-top mattresses and complimentary 24/7 room service.

Eating places and eating


Holland America constantly cooks up a few of the greatest meals at sea. In truth, by means of its personal Culinary Council, the road presents menu objects — and even stand-alone eating places — developed by famend cooks like Ethan Stowell, Jacques Torres, Rudi Sodamin, Andy Matsuda, David Burke and Masaharu Morimoto. You possibly can even discover their objects in the principle eating rooms, that means you do not have to pay something further to attempt them.

All the line’s ships provide at the very least 4 eating choices: two complimentary (the buffet and foremost eating room) and two for a charge (Italian eatery Canaletto and the Pinnacle Grill steakhouse). Because the ships improve in dimension, so too does the actual property devoted to eating places.

The road’s Signature and Pinnacle courses each have added-fee Asian-fusion delicacies at joint venue Tamarind and Nami Sushi, and Pinnacle Class vessels are also house to quirky seafood restaurant Rudi’s Sel de Mer and the Holland-themed Grand Dutch Cafe. The latter is a improbable place to hunt out complimentary between-meal snacks and extra-charge alcohol and specialty espresso drinks.

Given the model’s deep roots in Alaska and dedication to serving a few of the greatest meals afloat, it makes use of sustainable Alaskan seafood sourced by means of a partnership with the Alaska Seafood Advertising Institute and authorized by Accountable Fisheries Administration.

Foodies will get pleasure from movie star chef-led eating experiences and cooking demonstrations on choose sailings. Plus, Holland America’s Important Alternative program supplies passengers with at-home fish deliveries and recipes from HAL cooks to allow them to replicate the meals they’ve eaten on board after they return to dry land.

Passengers are inclined to frequent the principle eating room on most nights. It supplies an upscale sit-down expertise with waiter-served meals. When you select As You Want eating, you may arrive on the eating room any time between set hours and eat at your personal desk (or a communal desk if you want). When you select set seating, you’ll dine at considered one of two set eating instances with assigned tablemates on the identical desk and with the identical waiters every evening.

Relying on every day’s schedule, the principle eating room may additionally be open for breakfast and lunch.

Moreover, every Holland America vessel has a buffet that serves numerous cuisines from a number of stations for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night snacking. And, talking of snacking, afternoon tea is obtainable on choose afternoons on every voyage.

Different noteworthy choices embody free pool deck pizza, burgers and sizzling canine, in addition to 24-hour room service. Though choose room service objects include a charge, most are free. (Holland America is the one mainstream cruise line that does not cost for traditional, around-the-clock room service.)

Leisure and actions


As a result of Holland America cruises deal with the locations visited, somewhat than onboard points of interest, the leisure roster is lighter than what you will discover with different mainstream strains. Nevertheless, simply because there are fewer choices does not imply those that exist aren’t wonderful.

For starters, the most recent vessels function a whole music-themed promenade, and every ship’s foremost theater, dubbed the World Stage, hosts a number of fabulous exhibits every cruise.

Theaters and exhibits

Essentially the most notable of Holland America’s leisure areas is the Music Stroll, a reside music-themed promenade that is house to a number of venues for every part from dueling pianos and blues performances to rock ‘n’ roll.

B.B. King’s Blues Membership is a well-liked venue on Signature Class and Pinnacle Class ships. Named for the famed blues artist, it homes reside performances of the identical style. On Vista Class, Signature Class and Pinnacle Class vessels, Billboard Onboard is the place you may catch dueling pianos with musicians enjoying in style tunes that high the Billboard charts.

On Pinnacle Class vessels, a reside band jams out to rock tunes within the Rolling Stone Rock Room. On ships within the Vista Class, the equally themed Rolling Stone Lounge hosts a seven-piece band that covers a variety of music kinds, together with R&B, rock, pop and nation.

However the reside music does not cease there. A 3-piece band performs pop preparations from the ’60s by means of right this moment on the Ocean Bar on all Vista Class and Signature Class ships.


The principle theater, World Stage, includes a altering roster of exhibits, together with the a capella group Cantare; Step One Dance Firm performances that meld technologically superior units with lovely choreography; and Island Magic, a contemporary tackle metal drum music.

Performances differ by ship, and a separate rotating record of performers additionally travels from vessel to vessel as a part of Holland America’s partnership with Lincoln Heart. (Notice that Lincoln Heart Stage, a venue beforehand devoted to instrumental performances within the Music Stroll space, is now not discovered on HAL vessels.)

Lastly, “Origin Story” is a high-tech, live-hosted documentary-style present that chronicles HAL’s historical past — from the unique Rotterdam by means of the pandemic-related shutdown of 2020 — in a manner that may depart you eager to see it greater than as soon as. (Convey tissues.)

Different points of interest and actions

Different actions you may count on to see on the day by day schedule may embody trivia, sport exhibits (assume Battle of the Sexes and the Newlywed/Not So Newlywed Recreation), scavenger hunts, pickleball, on line casino play, poolside films, basketball capturing competitions, afternoon tea, board video games, dance and mixology courses, spa seminars and wine tastings.

High-deck points of interest


In step with Holland America’s less-flashy fashion, you will not discover a lot in the best way of top-deck pastimes. There aren’t any waterslides, go-kart tracks, surf simulators or mountaineering partitions. What you will see that, nevertheless, are two swimming pools — a foremost pool coated by a retractable glass roof and one other adults-only pool that overlooks the wake — in addition to sizzling tubs for stress-free on every ship.

All ships even have tracks for strolling and jogging. Areas and distances differ by vessel.

Kids’s applications

Holland America presents the appropriately (albeit uninspiringly) named Children Membership on all of its ships. It accommodates kids from ages 3-17 beneath the supervision of professionally educated youth workers.

Kids are break up into three teams — Children (ages 3-6), Tweens (7-12) and Teenagers (13-17) — for age-appropriate actions that may embody online game play, arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, theme events and poker tournaments.

Notice that common Children Membership programming is not out there on sailings of 25 nights or longer, together with world cruises and Grand Voyages. Kids’s actions might be out there on occasion as wanted, relying on the quantity and ages of the youngsters on board.

What to know earlier than you go

Required paperwork


Until you are crusing a closed-loop cruise (one which leaves from and returns to the identical U.S. port) to considered one of a handful of locations, you will want a passport with a view to sail with Holland America. If you’re taking a closed-loop voyage, you may sail along with your unique delivery certificates and a government-issued picture ID, akin to a driver’s license, as a substitute of a passport.

Whether or not you are required to have a passport or not, TPG all the time recommends touring with one, simply in case there’s an emergency that requires you to disembark your crusing abroad.

Additionally, you will want your boarding paperwork, both printed or in your cell machine by way of the Holland America Line Navigator app, to indicate on the pier throughout embarkation.

Moreover, relying in your crusing, you might need to use for visas with a view to enter sure international locations. In lots of instances, the road will deal with the applying and procurement for you, however take note of particular directions in instances the place you could be accountable for acquiring your personal documentation.


Until you prepay gratuities or buy a cruise fare that has them included within the value, you may be charged $16 per particular person throughout every day of your cruise ($17.50 should you’re booked in a set). You possibly can alter the quantity up or down or take away it utterly (which we do not advocate doing) by visiting the visitor providers desk. You can’t alter or take away gratuities after your crusing has ended.

An 18% service cost might be added to bar, drink package deal and spa purchases.



Holland America presents two Wi-Fi package deal tiers for a charge. The Surf package deal permits for checking electronic mail, accessing webpages, utilizing choose apps and using message providers, akin to WhatsApp and iMessage. The Premium package deal presents entry to pick out streaming apps (excluding streaming providers like Hulu, Prime Video and Netflix) and audio and video name capabilities on apps like FaceTime, WhatsApp and Fb Messenger.

If you buy a cruise fare that features Wi-Fi, you’ll obtain the Surf package deal. To buy the Surf package deal individually, the worth begins at $18 per machine, per day; Premium begins at $23 per machine, per day. Passengers can improve from Surf to Premium or add further units at any time.

Carry-on drinks coverage

HAL’s alcohol coverage permits cruisers 21 years of age and older to carry bottles (750 milliliters or much less) of wine or Champagne on board for a corkage charge of $20 per bottle, no matter the place the alcohol is consumed. No beer, liquor or boxed wine is allowed.

You possibly can carry wine again on board if bought in port, however liquor and different forms of alcohol might be held for you till the tip of the voyage. Most nonalcoholic drinks will not be allowed to be introduced on board. Nevertheless, every passenger is allowed to carry cans or cartons of water, to not exceed six 1-liter cans or cartons or 12 500-milliliter cans or cartons. Plastic bottles will not be allowed.

Smoking coverage


Smoking usually shouldn’t be allowed in indoor areas on Holland America ships, together with cabins and cabin balconies. Designated smoking areas can be found open air and in particular areas of the casinos on choose ships. E-cigarettes are allowed for use in passenger cabins however not on balconies.

Violations of those insurance policies will lead to a $250 advantageous; repeated offenses may trigger a passenger to be disembarked from the crusing.


All of Holland America’s vessels provide send-out laundry, dry-cleaning and urgent providers for a charge. There aren’t any self-service laundry services on any of HAL’s ships.

Electrical shops

Ships have a mixture of North American 110-volt and European 220-volt shops of their cabins. All the line’s vessels even have USB ports of their rooms, together with some close to the beds for simple in a single day charging.



The foreign money on Holland America ships is the U.S. greenback. The road’s ships function on a cashless system whereby passengers hyperlink a bank card or sum of money to their room keycards, which may then be used to cost onboard purchases.

Consuming age

The ingesting age on Holland America ships is 21. Passengers youthful than 21 might not buy or devour alcohol, nor might they bring about it on board with them.

Costume code

Holland America has two forms of night costume codes: good informal and dressy. The previous contains denims with out rips, holes or tears. Shorts, ripped denims, beachwear and males’s tank tops aren’t allowed in eating places at dinner.

On dressy nights, denims aren’t allowed in eating places that are not thought-about informal. For males, jackets and ties are most well-liked, however collared shirts with slacks are permitted. For ladies, clothes and skirts or slacks with blouses are acceptable.

Daywear is informal and influenced by the vacation spot and present climate.

Holland America Line loyalty program


The Mariner Society, Holland America’s loyalty program, permits frequent passengers to earn standing over time in the event that they sail with the road sufficient.

This system is simple, with 5 tiers. You attain every tier after accumulating a sure variety of “cruise evening credit.” Merely, for every evening you spend on a Holland America ship, you will get credit score for one evening — or one level. Staying in a set? You will snag double factors.

The 5 tiers are 1-Star Mariner (after your first cruise), 2-Star Mariner (30-74 cruise nights), 3-Star Mariner (75-199), 4-Star Mariner (200-499) and 5-Star Mariner (500 nights or extra).

Cruisers produce other methods to earn factors, too, akin to spending a sure sum of money on board if you sail.

However what is the incentive to affix this system? After only one crusing, you are entitled to drink vouchers, a particular welcome lunch, reductions on Holland America merchandise and half off third and fourth passengers in a cabin on choose cruises. Plus, you will be eligible for onboard credit score if you ebook sure voyages.

If you attain every subsequent tier, you will unlock additional reductions — and even freebies — on issues like specialty restaurant eating, specialty coffees, minibar purchases, spa therapies, laundry and urgent providers. You will additionally acquire perks like precedence check-in and tendering, in addition to Wi-Fi credit.

How a lot does a Holland America cruise price?


Holland America sailings aren’t the least costly you will discover, however they will not completely bust your funds, both, notably should you go for a extra bare-bones cabin within the inside or ocean-view classes.

Though the road does not provide a really all-inclusive cruise expertise, it does let you buy a Have It All premium package deal, somewhat than merely paying the bottom cruise fare. The package deal contains shore excursions, specialty eating, Wi-Fi and a beverage package deal. Gratuities are further, however the line typically runs promotions that roll them into the cruise fare.

HAL additionally presents particular perks and precedence advantages to passengers who pay for Membership Orange entry. When cruisers ebook with Holland America, they’ve the choice to buy a Membership Orange add-on that gives precedence check-in and disembarkation, precedence tendering, dinner in a restaurant unique to Membership Orange and a complimentary cabin improve, amongst different extras. Costs differ by crusing.

In the case of fares, on the time of publication, the least costly weeklong voyage I may discover was $371 per particular person — $53 per particular person, per evening — for a seven-night Alaska crusing by means of the Inside Passage, round-trip from Vancouver, British Columbia, on Sept. 22, 2024, aboard Nieuw Amsterdam in an inside cabin.

Costs vary all the best way as much as $91,199 per particular person — $686 per particular person, per evening — for a 133-night pole-to-pole Grand Voyage crusing round-trip from Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades on Jan. 25, 2025, in a Neptune Suite aboard Zuiderdam.

The best way to ebook


Cruisers can ebook Holland America voyages instantly by visiting the corporate’s web site, by calling a cruise line consultant at 855-932-1711 or through the use of a third-party on-line reserving engine. When you want additional help, a journey agent will help you slim down the vacation spot and ship you are in search of, discipline any particular cabin requests you might need and course of your reservation with out costing you something further for the personalised service.

To maximise the return in your funding, rigorously take into account the kind of card you are utilizing to make the acquisition. When you’re somebody who plans to pledge loyalty to Holland America, you may take into account the Holland America Line Rewards Visa® Card. It presents welcome bonuses (on the time of publication, 10,000 bonus factors if you spend $500 throughout the first 90 days of card opening), 2 factors per greenback spent on Holland America purchases (together with onboard purchases) and 1 level per greenback on all different purchases. Factors can both be redeemed towards cruise purchases or as assertion credit.

Nevertheless, you may get extra worth out of considered one of TPG’s favourite bank cards for reserving cruises.

The knowledge for the Holland America Line Rewards Visa Card has been collected independently by The Factors Man. The cardboard particulars on this web page haven’t been reviewed or offered by the cardboard issuer.

Backside line


Holland America is a cruise line that caters to passengers searching for a premium expertise at an affordable value. It takes satisfaction in its heritage, and its ties to immigration and historic occasions make it a compelling draw for historical past buffs and vacationers eager about family tree.

Passengers even have a powerful variety of selections relating to locations. Holland America presents itineraries spanning all seven continents, so that you solely have to resolve the place you’d wish to go.

HAL’s Pinnacle Class renaissance exhibits a marked effort by the model to enhance the onboard expertise, notably in the best way of leisure. Sailings provide passengers wonderful music and exhibits and serve phenomenal meals in a sublime environment.

Whether or not you are crusing along with your vital different, buddies or prolonged household, you are positive to get pleasure from a voyage with Holland America.

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