Launched: July 2010.
Cruising speed: 23.9 knots.
Number of passengers: 2,106 at double occupancy.
Where she cruises: The Mediterranean, The Caribbean.
Holland America Line’s latest vessel has a big heart with a midsize feel, and while celebrating the glamour and history of New York City, it successfully blends modern design with traditional ocean liner elements. This is a ship which boasts a vast collection of impressive artwork worth over $3 million, making her easy on the eye, and has a warm, friendly atmosphere which appeals to a more conservative, mature cruiser who wants more bang for his buck.
Who Should Go?
Adults, couples, and families with older children.
Things You Might Not Know
This is the fourth ship to cruise under the name of Nieuw Amsterdam, and she was christened by Princess Maxima of the Netherlands in Venice. The centrepiece of the Atrium is an eye-catching chandelier of the New York skyline hanging upside down.
Nieuw Amsterdam has four major types of stateroom to choose from; interior, ocean-view, verandah and suite. All comes with Signature of Excellent amenities including plush beds, bathrobes, flat screen televisions, DVD placers, massage shower heads, hand held hair dryers, and luxurious Elemis bath amenities.
There are 60 deluxe verandah suites and 50 superior verandah suites, boasting a more adventurous colour scheme focussing on dark wood, pale blue and soft gold fabrics, and contemporary leather furniture with some splashes of colour. Artwork includes a mix of reproductions of Matisse and Picasso drawings, Tuscany landscapes and historic photographs of New York and Amsterdam.
The ship’s 588 deluxe ocean view and 175 ocean view staterooms have a simplistic decor featuring deep red and biscuit colours, with rich wood and metal accessories. For the interior staterooms the colour scheme switches to a lighter wood with soft grey and splashes of orange.
Within the various categories are 56 dedicated spa accommodations; 46 deluxe verandah, four ocean-view, four interior, and two exclusive deluxe verandah located on the ship’s two highest decks. These feature a range of special amenities including yoga mats and iPod docking stations, and have a naturalist theme for the decor featuring soft earth tones with blue and grey accents.
Facilities and Entertainment
Big ships often boast big facilities and Nieuw Amsterdam is no different. On the activity front, this ship introduces private cabanas which you can rent by the day or for the entire cruise, and an exclusive Cabana club in which to relax and unwind. The Greenhouse Spa and Salon is the place to head for some indulgent pampering, featuring thermal suites and a hydro-pool, as well as the largest fitness facility built for Holland America.
Budding gourmets can attend lessons at the Culinary Arts Centre and the Digital Workshop is the place to learn all about email, blogging, Facebook and other digital technology of today. For after dark entertainment, the place to head to is the Showroom at Sea to see performances by variety acts, singers and Broadway-style shows, and if you fancy a boogie the Crow’s Nest is Nieuw Amsterdam’s nightspot boasting sweeping views and late night music.
Kids also have their own places of interest, including Club HAL for kids aged three to 12 where supervised activities take place throughout the day. And for teens, the Loft is the place to socialise, make new friends and generally have fun.
There are many culinary options on this ship from the family friendly Canaletto Restaurant to the Pan Asian Tamarind Restaurant. The primary venue is the elegant, red accented two-level Manhattan Dining Room, where you can opt for traditional fixed seating dining on the upper level with the same guests at the same table at the same time every night, or open seating dining downstairs. The menu is eclectic international cuisine, with daily recommendations by Holland America’s master chef, Rudi Sodamin.
The more casual buffet option is the The Lido which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, although it closes somewhat early at 8.30pm in the evening. During the day, the Terrace Grill serves hamburgers and hotdogs and Slice is a pizza joint ideal for early or late birds, open between 11.30am and 12.30am. Alternative venues include the Tamarind Restaurant and Silk Den Lounge, a new Pan Asian affair with panoramic views of the ocean and Lido Pool which attracts a surcharge of US $15 a head.
There’s also the Pinnacle Grill, a feature on many Holland America ships also attracting a surcharge of US $20 a head, which is a reservations only venue offering a menu primarily consisting of steak and seafood. Once a week it transforms into a different experience modelled on the famous Le Cirque restaurant in New York, offering a special menu coupled with a change of decor and table decorations. There’s a surcharge for this also, which is US $39 a head. Finally, on selected nights, the Master Chef’s Table is a showcase for Rudi Sodamin’s creations, catering for around 12 people with a surcharge of US $89.
The Low Down
If you love a blend of old and new, and are seeking a more traditional cruising experience with some of the bells and whistles of modern liners, Nieuw Amsterdam is well worth considering.