This oldie-but-goodie started service in 1999 and immediately became a crowd-pleaser. Loyal repeat cruisers love its relaxed vibe, stellar service, and exotic itineraries in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific. Another popular feature: the As You Wish dining option, which is designed for those who don’t want to be pinned down to eating at the same time every day.
What We Love
Explorations Café: This is the perfect place to hang out, with great views, books, computers, games, and snacks. It’s like your living room, but nicer.
Le Cirque: Once each cruise, the Pinnacle Grill is transformed into an outpost of this world-famous New York restaurant, with upscale French classics like chateaubriand and crème brûlée — and its signature orange china. It’s worth the $49 charge.
Best Known For
Clever Partnerships: Holland America's cool educational programs include the Digital Workshop powered by Windows and the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine.
Artwork: Holland America has invested tens of millions of dollars in artwork, and this ship is home to pieces by Dutch masters as well as modern works by Andy Warhol. Take a self-guided tour to learn about the glass sculpture by Luciano Vistosi and the Italian Renaissance-era fountains.
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Who It's Best For
Those Who Focus on Destination: This ship is best for people who are into the places and ports the ship travels to, rather than onboard distractions.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Forget the Extras: This isn’t the ship for anyone looking for over-the-top onboard activities, such as bowling alleys, ice skating rinks, or zip lines.
Kim Foley MacKinnon is a Boston-based writer for ShermansCruise whose work has also appeared in The Boston Globe.
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Volendam at a Glance
- Line: Holland America Line
- Class: Rotterdam
- Number of Passengers: 1433
- Ship Size: Large
- Launch Date: 1999
- Refurbish Date: 2014