Founded in 1873, Holland America is probably the most traditional of the major lines. The fleet is not all that big—only the two newest ships, Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam, can carry more than 2,000-passengers. Dutch heritage is kept alive through afternoon tea, and the crew is mostly from former Dutch colony Indonesia.
Holland America recently invested in an extensive revamp of their ships that added a quality steakhouse, a terrific coffee shop and library, and new lounges. The ships cater to an older crowd—stage entertainment seems geared to the spawn of Lawrence Welk.
There are plenty of touches that make Holland America an appealing alternative to the bigger lines: In-room DVD players with an extensive free library, fresh squeezed orange juice at the buffet, cooking classes in a show kitchen, and bathtubs in most cabins. We’ve also found the main dining room offers food that is somewhat more adventurous than the higher-profile lines. Holland America also travels to a greater variety of unusual ports of call than the majors, with frequent Panama Canal, Australia/New Zealand and South America sailings, and an extensive program in Alaska each summer.
The Holland America ms Eurodam is an 11-deck signature ship from the Holland America Cruise Line. With five restaurants, eight lounges, three bars, three clubs, two pools there is plenty to do aboard this ship. Read full 7-part review
The Statendam challenges the notion that bigger is better. With restaurant menus promising sophisticated cuisine and elegant art lining the common areas, the ship caters to a slightly older, well-traveled crowd. Read full 10-part review
Although Holland America's Veendam seemed overdue for a maintenance overhaul, we didn't encounter operational or sanitation issues and we had some genuinely good meals. If only the theater presented shows that were a bit more contemporary. Read full 10-part review
On Zaandam, our Interior Cabin was fine—not large, but adequate, and we slept comfortably. But our dining experiences were uneven and, considering the ship’s musical motif, several areas were overdue for cosmetic work to make it a bit more contemporary. Read full 10-part review