You can tell that the Alaska cruise season is about to kick off as one ship after another is making its way up to the Pacific Northwest. Today’s visitor at the Port of San Francisco is the refurbished Holland America Line ship Nieuw Amsterdam. Fully dedicated to its namesake city of New York – read Russell Shorto’s amazing book ” The island at the center of the world” for more historic background – the decor and art reflect the iconic skyline.
The stunning lobby chandelier is just one item that stands out. Venues like “on stage at Lincoln center” and the “billboard lounge” pay tribute to NY’s music tradition as much as they entertain guests daily.
Updated lounges abound and the core called of Holland’s larger than average staterooms in all categories make this a great ship for mature guests of all backgrounds. Walking through the ship today, I realized that it had been 12 years since I set foot on a larger Holland ship. I discovered that I too needed to reset perceptions myself.
Holland features a domed pool area on every ship but the Prinsendam that can be dual purpose – open on sunny days & closed in inclement weather. This sets these ships apart from its rivals. The spa and Thalasso therapy pool are stunning and my fave, the thermal chairs are an oasis of peace and warmth.
Our visit ended with a tasty lunch at the main dining room aft of the ship. This cozy space with warm colors and peppy hues embodies what loyal customers love about this venerable brand.
My take: Holland has done a great job of updating its appeal to younger demographics with tasteful and contemporary touches that put this solid hardware to optimal use. I recommend this brand to mature clients whom love the arts and music and enjoy elevated cuisine. Add to that Holland’s history 75 years sailing in Alaska and there is you reason to sail now.