10 Experiences You Can Only Find Aboard Holland America Line

by Donna Heiderstadt

10 Experiences You Can Only Find Aboard Holland America Line

by Donna Heiderstadt

With Holland America Line’s newest ship, 2,668-guest Rotterdam, having sailed its maiden voyage on Oct. 20—headed to Fort Lauderdale for Caribbean itineraries—there’s another vessel from the 150-year-old cruise line to enjoy. To celebrate, here are ten must-try experiences aboard HAL ships.

With Holland America Line’s newest ship, 2,668-guest Rotterdam, having sailed its maiden voyage on Oct. 20—headed to Fort Lauderdale for Caribbean itineraries—there’s another vessel from the 150-year-old cruise line to enjoy. To celebrate, here are ten must-try experiences aboard HAL ships.

10
Courtesy of the cruise line
1 of 10
Grand Dutch Cafe

Holland America Line pays a delicious homage to its roots with Grand Dutch Café. The eatery serves up an array of beverages — from coffee and beer to Dutch spirits like Genever and Advocaat — along with snack specialties such as open-face herring sandwiches and apple and bacon pancakes. The specialty restaurant can be found on board Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam, and Rotterdam.

Holland America Line pays a delicious homage to its roots with Grand Dutch Café. The eatery serves up an array of beverages — from coffee and beer to Dutch spirits like Genever and Advocaat — along with snack specialties such as open-face herring sandwiches and apple and bacon pancakes. The specialty restaurant can be found on board Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam, and Rotterdam.

2 of 10
World Stage

Featuring a 270-degree LED screen, World Stage serves as the perfect setting for musical performances, stage productions, and spectacular screenings of BBC Earth in Concert (in partnership with BBC Earth). World Stage can be found on the line's three Pinnacle-Class ships: Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam, and Rotterdam.

Featuring a 270-degree LED screen, World Stage serves as the perfect setting for musical performances, stage productions, and spectacular screenings of BBC Earth in Concert (in partnership with BBC Earth). World Stage can be found on the line's three Pinnacle-Class ships: Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam, and Rotterdam.

3 of 10
Music Walk

Passengers with a passion for music — be it classical, blues, rock, or chart-topping pop — can enjoy a revolving line-up of live performances in the Music Walk. Here, you'll find Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King’s Blues Club, the Rolling Stone Rock Room, and Billboard Onboard. The musical offerings can be found on all Pinnacle, Signature, and Vista Class ships.

Passengers with a passion for music — be it classical, blues, rock, or chart-topping pop — can enjoy a revolving line-up of live performances in the Music Walk. Here, you'll find Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King’s Blues Club, the Rolling Stone Rock Room, and Billboard Onboard. The musical offerings can be found on all Pinnacle, Signature, and Vista Class ships.

4 of 10
Port to Table

Port to Table, the cruise line's culinary program, offers complimentary food and wine tastings. Cooking demonstrations are led by a guest chef, who is also in charge of fine-dining events and culinary-themed shore excursions, designed to help passengers explore and appreciate local culture through cuisine. Keep in mind that fine dining and shore excursions come at an additional cost.

Port to Table, the cruise line's culinary program, offers complimentary food and wine tastings. Cooking demonstrations are led by a guest chef, who is also in charge of fine-dining events and culinary-themed shore excursions, designed to help passengers explore and appreciate local culture through cuisine. Keep in mind that fine dining and shore excursions come at an additional cost.

 

5 of 10
Private Cabanas in The Retreat

Most Holland America ships (including Rotterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Kongingsdam, Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Oosterdam, Westerdam, and Zuiderdam) feature The Retreat. This secluded, private enclave — which is comprised of swanky cabanas and sunbeds — is ideal for relaxing and admiring the pristine ocean views, the latter of which is best enjoyed from the corner cabanas.

Most Holland America ships (including Rotterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Kongingsdam, Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Oosterdam, Westerdam, and Zuiderdam) feature The Retreat. This secluded, private enclave — which is comprised of swanky cabanas and sunbeds — is ideal for relaxing and admiring the pristine ocean views, the latter of which is best enjoyed from the corner cabanas.

6 of 10
Greenhouse Spa & Salon

Vacation means relaxation and pampering, and, fortunately, the cruise line keeps this in mind.  The onboard Greenhouse Spa & Salon offers rejuvenating treatments and plenty of tranquility: Here, you can indulge in a hot stone massage, an anti-aging facial, and more. Be sure to also take advantage of the beautiful amenities (think: thermal suites, saunas, steam rooms, and more). 

Vacation means relaxation and pampering, and, fortunately, the cruise line keeps this in mind.  The onboard Greenhouse Spa & Salon offers rejuvenating treatments and plenty of tranquility: Here, you can indulge in a hot stone massage, an anti-aging facial, and more. Be sure to also take advantage of the beautiful amenities (think: thermal suites, saunas, steam rooms, and more). 

7 of 10
Art Collections

All Holland America Line ships resemble floating art galleries thanks to their impressive collections, which boast awe-inspiring works that include paintings and sculptures. (In fact, Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam, and Rotterdam have collections valued at more than $4 million.) Pro tip: Check out the in-app audio guides to learn more about each ship's expansive collections. 

All Holland America Line ships resemble floating art galleries thanks to their impressive collections, which boast awe-inspiring works that include paintings and sculptures. (In fact, Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam, and Rotterdam have collections valued at more than $4 million.) Pro tip: Check out the in-app audio guides to learn more about each ship's expansive collections. 

8 of 10
Tamarind

Fans of Southeast Asian, Chinese, and Japanese cuisine(s) can hit the culinary trifecta at Tamarind. This lively specialty restaurant is located aboard five Pinnacle and Signature Class ships. Its menu pays homage to elements of water, wood, fire, and earth — from wok-seared lobster to specialty sushi created in collaboration with the line’s Culinary Council member and master sushi chef Andy Matsuda.

Fans of Southeast Asian, Chinese, and Japanese cuisine(s) can hit the culinary trifecta at Tamarind. This lively specialty restaurant is located aboard five Pinnacle and Signature Class ships. Its menu pays homage to elements of water, wood, fire, and earth — from wok-seared lobster to specialty sushi created in collaboration with the line’s Culinary Council member and master sushi chef Andy Matsuda.

9 of 10
Sea View Pool

While the Lido Deck pool — which is found on all Pinnacle and Signature Class ships — is closer to tasty snack options (such as Dive-In for burgers, for example), the aft Sea View Pool is the perfect spot for passengers in search of a more laid-back vibe. The panoramic ocean views are not to be missed, either.

While the Lido Deck pool — which is found on all Pinnacle and Signature Class ships — is closer to tasty snack options (such as Dive-In for burgers, for example), the aft Sea View Pool is the perfect spot for passengers in search of a more laid-back vibe. The panoramic ocean views are not to be missed, either.

10 of 10
Rudi’s Sel de Mer

With its flavorful French cuisine, vibrant ambiance, charming décor, and whimsical plates, Rudi’s Sel de Mer is truly one of a kind. The restaurant, which is named for chef Rudi Sodamin, can be found featured aboard Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam, and Rotterdam.

With its flavorful French cuisine, vibrant ambiance, charming décor, and whimsical plates, Rudi’s Sel de Mer is truly one of a kind. The restaurant, which is named for chef Rudi Sodamin, can be found featured aboard Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam, and Rotterdam.

Up next...

The Best Hotels to Celebrate the Holiday Season

Langham Chicago
Go Back
Find The Best Cruises
Find a cruise

Find the best deals!

Click on multiple sites to get the lowest prices

Click on multiple sites to get the lowest prices