The 835-passenger Prinsendam, which was built in 1988, is considered the elder statesman of the Holland America Line fleet. Still, it's a popular choice for many of the line's mature devotees because of its exotic, far-flung routes, longer itineraries, and intimate size. (It's the smallest ship in the fleet.) The ship itself — originally the Royal Viking Sun and then the Seabourn Sun — has a European feel, with plenty of dark wood paneling, traditional yacht-style details, and a collection of historic Roman pottery.
What We Love
Le Cirque: On at least one night per sailing, the grill is transformed into an homage to New York City's famed Le Cirque restaurant, complete with the proper china and silver. Dishes include escargot with gruyere gnocchi, sea bass with peaches and capers, and chateaubriand with horseradish flan.
Best Known For
Pinnacle Grill: Holland America is based in Seattle, and this restaurant pays tribute to the line's hometown with Pacific Northwest cuisine. Look for Dungeness crab cakes, Alaskan King salmon, cedar-planked halibut, and Kurobuta pork chops.
Explorations Cafe: It may sound like a throwback to have an Internet cafe in a library, but this space is very popular. On sea days, guests gather here to read novels, check email, and browse the newspaper.
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Who It's Best For
Mature Travelers: Retirees with plenty of time love the long itineraries that focus on interesting destinations and allow time to explore regions that are more off the beaten path, from the Amazon to Antarctica.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
This Ship Is Older: When ships cruise past the 25-year mark, it's not surprising to find that they require more maintenance. Terrace doors may rattle at times, and elevators may require repair.
Sherri Eisenberg is the New York City-based editorial director of ShermansCruise.com.
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Prinsendam at a Glance
- Line: Holland America Line
- Class: Prinsendam
- Number of Passengers: 835
- Ship Size: Medium
- Launch Date: 1988
- Refurbish Date: 2010