Holland America Line’s Rotterdam is the sixth ship to bear this name, and there are many links with the previous and highly popular predecessors. So what's new here? The ship’s somewhat higher speed allows for more wide-ranging itineraries in Europe, Asia, and North America, drawing a great mixture of nationalities.
What We Love
Museum-Quality Art: Dutch maritime history dates to the earliest explorations by sea, and the ship exhibits highly prized murals, paintings, and navigational instruments that recall the country’s glory days.
The Pinnacle Grill: For those who love a great steak in splendid surroundings, this specialty restaurant makes for a special occasion at lunch and dinner.
Best Known For
Refined Atmosphere: The Dutch have never been flashy, so it's no surprise that Holland America’s sophisticated interiors are low key and tasteful.
A Comfortable Size: With the most popular lines building increasingly larger ships, the fewer-than-1,500-passenger Rotterdam, feels intimate comparatively. It's easier to maneuver around a ship this size, and there’s much less frenzy at meal times and disembarkation than on larger ships.
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Who It's Best For
Seekers of Peace: The quiet atmosphere appeals to older cruisers who eschew the bar scene and don't like noisy lido decks or lots of kids gadding about.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
There's No High-End Dining: The food is what most of the passengers like to eat when they dine out in — Continental or American classics — so don’t expect anything more exotic or memorable than that.
Theodore W. Scull is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has written several books on crossings.