Take time to look over the best ships in the fleets of major cruise lines such as Princess, Carnival, and Holland America. Each company, and more specifically each ship in a cruise line’s fleet, has a specific set of travelers who flock to the ports. For Holland America, the main demographic is older, and/or single, and/or seeking the classic cruise experience.
1. ms Amsterdam
MS Amsterdam is a regal ship with unexpectedly sophisticated art and antique collections. (You can actually take an audio tour of the ship to learn about the pieces.) She spends her summers gliding in the waters of Alaska, and the balance of the year mainly sailing in the Pacific and around Australia. The dress code is casual for daytime and ‘smart-casual for evenings (no jeans). This classic ship carries approximately 1,400 passengers, and departs from points on four continents.
2. ms Eurodam
Known for her elegant blend of historic cruise line atmosphere with contemporary upgrades, ms Eurodam successfully attracts classic cruisers and first-timers. Dress is resort casual with black tie formal on certain evenings. Most passengers are over 50 years of age, and cruise together from international ports. She carries just over 2,100 passengers; sails from Port Everglades, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Vancouver; and docks throughout the Caribbean, Alaska, Hawaii, the Pacific coast, the Mexican Riviera, Panama Canal, and Central America.
3. ms Prinsendam
As Holland America’s smallest ship, this lady can access ports the mega-ships cannot. Known as a ‘destination pathfinder’ ship, she attracts the 50+ age group of educated and engaged travelers. Much longer itineraries can be chosen (14- up to 73-day cruises), and exotic locations are the norm (Antarctica included!). Boarding at ports in North and South America, as well as Europe, ms Prinsendam also cruises throughout the Atlantic region, the Caribbean, and South America.
4. ms Westerdam
MS Westerdam is a pleasing combination of old and new that attracts a slightly younger set of first-time cruisers. With an average age in the mid-40s, you will travel with families and multigenerational groups particularly during summer cruise season. The most notable upgrades are in the entertainment and dining choices onboard. There are enough options to keep you busy during a week-long trip. She sails from Europe, North America, and Asia with voyages to ports in the Pacific, Caribbean, Central America, as well as Transatlantic destinations.
5. Nieuw Amsterdam
As a relatively new ship in the Holland America line, this beauty exceeds expectations for the classic cruise experience. (Think tearooms, understated elegance, atrium chandeliers, and fine dining rather than waterslides.) This ship, along with others in the line, is known for exceptional service and a friendly, comfortable atmosphere. Daytime dress is cruise casual, and evenings are usually smart casual. She carries an international set of 2,100 passengers to the most popular Caribbean, Alaskan, and Pacific coast locations.
Holland America specializes in themed cruises; offers single occupancy cabins; and focuses their entertainment on the arts, traditional music styles, and classic shows. If this is your idea of a perfect cruise vacation, these five ships will deliver.
You might even want to book one of the new “Oprah cruises” – a recent partnership for Holland America’s “Adventure of Your Life” theme.
Angela is a professional freelance travel writer and published indie author – AngelaMinor.com