The Holland America cruise line has a history dating back 140 years, and the present ms Amsterdam is the third ship to bear the name. Holland America has found a cruising market for passengers wanting to experience the blending of tradition with modernity, where a superior level of service and amenities are part of the deal. Dutch seafaring traditions are proudly displayed throughout ms Amsterdam, from the soaring sculpture in the atrium to exquisite maritime-themed artworks adorning public spaces on board the vessel.
Holland America has spent 500 million dollars upgrading its 13 ships during the past decade, resulting in staterooms and public spaces in keeping with the standards of cruise ship excellence. Cultured cruisers appreciate the pampered ms Amsterdam activities and services that include cooking demonstrations, digital workshops and treats such as a hot stone massage at the Greenhouse Spa – a perfect accompaniment on an Alaskan cruise.
There is a regal, stately feel on ms Amsterdam. The Explorer’s Lounge, for example, is the perfect location to enjoy a pre-dinner drink accompanied by the sound of a classical quartet. Holland America traditions remain a feature of the Amsterdam, including curling up under covers on deck, enjoying a mug of hot soup, and viewing the amazing Alaskan glaciers. Amsterdam doesn’t only dwell on small details though, as evidenced by the three-level clock sculpture in the atrium that provides passengers with the current time at famous locations around the world.
The ms Amsterdam is a middle-sized Holland America vessel with a 1,390 passenger capacity. The vessel was launched in 2000, and is staffed by 614 crew. Amsterdam spends the northern summer in Alaskan waters, but ventures far and wide for the remainder of the year, including extended visits to Australia and the South Pacific. The vessel is perfect for travellers who desire the best features of larger cruise ships, while still providing a feeling of intimacy and a degree of privacy. Amsterdam has 15 lounges and bars, 2 swimming pools, including one with a retractable glass roof, and 2 jacuzzies.
ms Amsterdam cabins
The Amsterdam was built just prior to newer cruise ship design where balcony cabins are all-pervasive. Amsterdam has 135 inside cabins and 385 outside cabins. In total, 25% of cabins come with a balcony. There are 23 wheelchair accessible cabins on ms Amsterdam.
Cabin features include:
- All ms Amsterdam cabins come with a queen bed that converts to twin beds, en-suite bathroom including a bathtub, lounge area with a sofa, flat-screen TV, safe, phone and air-conditioning.
- All suites feature a private balcony accessed by floor to ceiling sliding doors, plus outdoor furniture including a table and sunloungers.
- Pinnacle and Neptune Suites have a convertible king bed, whirlpool bathtub, double sofa bed, and dressing room. Additional services include priority check-in and reservation services, afternoon tea, binoculars, exclusive lounge access, laundry services and welcome gifts.
- Penthouse Suites have a larger whirlpool bathtub, guest bathroom and separate living room in addition to the services offered in other suites.
- Ocean-view Cabins have a picture window or porthole-style window depending on your category choice.
Dining on ms Amsterdam
The main dining room on board ms Amsterdam is La Fontaine, a spacious and attractive two-level eatery complete with a sweeping staircase. Open seating options are available for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the sheer size of the restaurant means it’s usually easy to get an intimate table for two. The huge range of course options is matched by a drinks selection that includes around 75 sparkling wine choices. Vegetarians are not overlooked either, with a 22-dish spread on offer.
Alternative dining options:
- Canaletto Italian restaurant: Casual Mediterranean dining serving traditional pasta, lasagne, soups, tiramisu and gelato.
- Pinnacle Grill: An alternative to the main dining room which showcases cuisines of the Pacific Northwest. The Pinnacle isn’t free but it is very popular, and a reservation is recommended.
- Lido Restaurant: Includes a Continental buffet breakfast with cakes, pastries, pancakes and more. Also open for lunch with a salad bar plus Asian and Italian offerings. The grill near the Lido Pool is the place to go for a fast-food fix of burgers, hot dogs and pizza, and the Lido ice cream bar is another cruise tradition favourite.
- Explorations Cafe: Open from 8am until 10pm for inexpensive but tasty coffees, bagels and pastries.
- Room service can be a handy alternative, especially on days where you have shore excursions scheduled. Breakfast options are varied enough to ensure you get fuelled up and ready for any adventure.
Entertainment on ms Amsterdam
Onboard activities abound on Amsterdam. The Queen’s Lounge hosts twice-nightly stage shows, plus entertainments by comedians and magicians. Classical music emanates from the Explorer’s Lounge, while singing echoes throughout Rembrandt’s Lounge. Other entertainments include:
- Crows Nest: A combination of lounge, bar and nightclub, where you can listen to live music and dance the night away. It’s also a great vantage point for watching the sunset.
- Culinary Arts Centre: A comfortable theatre-like venue for enjoying cooking and drink-making demonstrations. The chocolate lovers demonstration is extremely popular. The Culinary Centre doubles as a theatre for viewing recent releases.
- Microsoft Digital Workshop: Here you can learn everything from digital photos to creation of home movies, all for free.
- Sports Bar: Keep up to date with the latest action in the world of sports, while enjoying a drink amongst friends.
- The Casino: A cruise is a less intimidating atmosphere for entering into the world of gambling. You will be amongst fellow novices, with plenty of opportunity to learn the various table games, and the temptation to make a small wager will probably win out in the end.
Fitness and health
The Greenhouse Spa and gym, located near the front of the ship, provides a range of exercise equipment and hosts several group classes daily. You can work out on treadmills or bikes, lift weights, or join an aerobics or stretch class.
Treatments include Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, facials, or a body scrub. Health seminars that include education on weight-loss and acupuncture also take place at the spa.
Although Holland America doesn’t target young families, there are kid’s programs onboard to entertain the little ones, while granting parents and guardians some free time. Kid’s activities clubs are free until 10pm, after which the cost is $5 per hour. Kids can play ping-pong and enjoy a variety of other games including basketball, or take part in scavenger hunts. Teens aged 13 to 17 are provided with their own age-appropriate activities such as karaoke, computer games and parties. There is even a teens outdoor oasis retreat.
Holland America’s ms Amsterdam voyages to exciting destinations year round. From the glaciers of Alaska, the sands of Hawaii, mysterious South America, beautiful Australia and the pristine South Pacific, ms Amsterdam has your itinerary covered for the trip of a lifetime.
ms Amsterdam deck plans
ms Amsterdam stats
|Max Speed||25 knots|
|Length||777.6 ft / 237 m|
|Beam||105.8 ft / 32.25 m|
|Draught||27 ft / 8.1 m|
|Installed power||37,500 kW|