Holland America Line

Australian  CruisesWith 140 year history, Holland America Line has gone through quite a few changes. Now a British-American cruising company with its headquarters in Seattle, it once used to be based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. It is one of the companies making up the Carnival corporation and is loaded with a fleet of 15 ships. Even though it is more focused on tradition and gives a great priority to the maintenance and upgrade of its existing ships, it is also making sure to catch up with the vast cruising vessel trend. In 2015 a 2,660 passenger cruise ship will be added to Holland America’s fleet.

What is different about Holland America, is the fact that they do not sacrifice personal space to fit as many passengers as possible. Their ships are mid-sized, which means that you do have all the needed space to fit unique facilities and spacious state rooms, but they are not so big that you get lost in the ship (or the ship’s crowd). Many of their state rooms have big, private verandahs and a square footage that makes you feel at home. As they make sure that the ratio of crew and passengers is almost one to two, your service will feel and be amazingly personal. This way you feel at ease from your first minute on board.

As Holland America Lines are proud of their heritage, they make sure to invest into their existing ships, while keeping up to date with maritime innovation. Loyal to their “Signature of Excellence” program, they keep adding features to their vessels, that keep their clients coming back. The upgrades are happening both in the public and private areas. The Mix concept offers specialized cocktail bars that function on three different lounges and are designed to specifically cater to the needs of Martini, Spirits & Ales and Champagne lovers respectively. As the Holland America passengers are known for their sophisticated taste, Broadway performances hosted at the newly added Showroom at Sea are expected to thrill. This venue serves also a night club. And if you want to spend your evening in a more relaxed way, you can enjoy a pizza while watching a movie at the outdoors screen, by the The Retreat pool.

When it comes to dining, you can enjoy five-course meals at the main dining room, that has an elegant, timeless decoration. If you want to try the menu of a three Michelin stars restaurant, then you can make a reservation to try the creations of Jonnie Boer. You can also enjoy the exquisite dinning experience of Le Cirque restaurant on board, as Holland America has established this unique collaboration. And if you miss barbeque, you can visit the Terrace Grill on deck. For something sweet, the Chocolate Dessert Extravaganza is here for you and Exploration Cafe also features pastries to go with your coffee. And do not forget to pay a visit at the ice-cream bar! The 24/7 room service is available at Holland America, as at every respectable cruising company. What is special about this company, is that they will gladly cater your special dietary needs. Inform them in advance about your gluten-free diet, the fact that you are a diabetic or a vegetarian and they will do their best to prepare exquisite meals for you.

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As for activities, you have the choice to be as active or as laid back as you prefer, but you will not get bored. Equipped with fitness centers, spas, pools, yoga classes, art galleries and art tours, shops and beauty salons, the Holland America ships will offer you the chance to feel relaxed, pampered and spoiled. And if you find pleasure into keeping in touch with what is going on in the world while you travel, the Exploration Cafe has internet access that will allow you to be up to date with the latest news.

Holland America offers the age-specific activities for kids that many other companies do. They have an extensive list of activities including karaoke, scavenger hunts, mock-tail mixing classes, X-box and Wii tournaments,  cooking classes and more. The kids needs and preferences are also taken into account when it comes to food. This cruise line though will not stuff your kids with fries and burgers. There is even a special gourmet menu for teens, that respects their right to enjoy “gown-up” cuisine. And even though all cruising companies more or less cater family needs, Holland America has a secret card up its sleeve.

The Single Partners program is a unique one. At the beginning of the cruise, activities are organized that allow the solo travelers to meet and mingle with each other. Many friendships have started this way and solo travelers can get to know even more people by requesting to sit at the dining room with other single travelers. And even you are a hard to please lady, but still want a dance partner to spend those nights on long-haul cruises, the Holland America crew can arrange for a dance partner for you! Being open in the Single Partner program though can offer you financial benefits as well! The staff can pair you up with another single traveler of the same sex and each one of you pays half the fee of the state room!

Another great point of this company is the attention to the detail. Your slippers and bathrobe are made out of the finest Egyptian cotton, your bed covers will be soft and warm and your mattress will offer you the best imaginable sleep at sea. Even the dining utensils of the main dining rooms are made of the finest China porcelain. The flat screen and DVD in your state room is an added bonus, but with all these activities you will probably not have time to explore the huge DVD collection of the ship.

Holland America line offers many cruise options some of the cruises departing from Australia include 16-night Barrier Reef cruise, to the 27-night Australia and New Zealand, to the even longer 110-night Grand World Voyage, there is something for every taste and budget. Cruises  from Sydney Australia and Auckland in New Zealand are the ports mostly used for embarking and/or disembarking in the Southern Hemisphere. Holland America Line also offers a variety of on shore experiences, like a visit at Waitomo Caves, a Panoramic Melbourne tour, an evening at the Sydney Opera House and many more, that cover most tastes.

Holland America line can generally be described as having smaller ships that offer bigger tradition and quality. They are going for a niche market who are interested in the best of everything. Cruises Australia recommends looking in to Holland America if you are looking for long haul cruises or absolute luxury and service.

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