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10 Bars and Lounges of Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam



Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam was launched on July 4, 2010, as the second Signature-class ship (the first was the ms Eurodam).

The ship boasts some great dining venues and outside open deck areas, but there’s not shortage of bar and lounges on this 86,000-ton cruise ship. Here are some of our favorites.

1. Explorations Café

Also known as the library, here you can grab your favorite cup of coffee or tea as you sit back and catch up with some friends, get lost in a book, or browse the internet. Computers are available for use as well as shelves of books that are available to check out for your reading pleasure.

2. Crow’s Nest

Sharing space with the Explorations Café is the Crow’s Nest. The two combined wrap around the front of the ship and offer entertainment in a variety of ways. Here you will find a full service bar, games to keep you entertained, the best views on the ships, and nightly entertainment. Happy hour specials are offered daily.

3. Sea View Bar

Come have a drink as you sit back and enjoy the fresh air and astonishing views from the back of the ship. Unwind in the hot tubs or pool, or just grab a lounge chair. The perfect escape!

4. Ocean’s Bar

Located above the atrium deck 3, the Ocean Bar is a relaxed atmosphere and central meet-up location. Here you can listen to live music nightly.

5. Explorer’s Lounge

Known as the Culinary Arts Center during the day, this lounge also hosts live music nightly featuring a pianist and violinist. Featured music is sopisticated classical music, making this lounge a wonderful place to slow down and escape from the crowds and noise.

6. Pinnacle Bar

Another popular lounge on deck 2 , this is the perfect meet-up spot before indulging in dinner at the Pinnacle Grill. Plenty of seating is available next to the windows; the peaceful elegant atmosphere makes this a perfect romantic spot to spend time with a loved one.

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7. Queen’s Lounge

B.B. King’s Blues Club at Sea. photo: Holland America Blog

Home to the B.B. King Blues Club, this beautiful lounge is the place to be for live musical entertainment at night. Dance along as the full band takes the stage performing upbeat blues music. Guest of all ages are sure to have a good time.

8. Casino Bar

This bar is also known as the sports bar of the ship. Take a break from gambling and relax in a casual environment as you cheer on your favorite sports teams. TVs are located around the bar; a perfect social gathering spot.

9. Piano Bar

Gather around the piano and sing along with the piano man to some of your favorite tunes. Just make sure to arrive early to get your seat at the piano. A great entertaining time for all ages.

10. Northern Lights

If you feel like moving and grooving, check out the entertainment in Northern Lights. This is the place to be for all of your late night karaoke, to learn some new dance moves, or get down to some of your favorite music. A full bar is located in the lounge, along with seating that includes TVs on the tables.

Which lounge is your favorite hangout, and why?

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More Details Revealed on Holland America’s Upcoming Ship



Holland America Line’s newest upcoming ship Nieuw Statendam is set to debut this coming December. When the ship sets sail from the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, it will feature several stateroom enhancements.

The newest 2,666-guest Pinnacle-class ship will have eight more cabins than sister ship Koningsdam, and all categories have been reimagined from top to bottom with more thoughtful touches and additions.

Among the most noticeable is the redesigned Pinnacle Suite – the largest on the ship – as well as reconfigured Family Staterooms. That being said, Nieuw Statendam will still display all stateroom hallmarks that were introduced on Koningsdam, including single-cruiser cabins as well as a wide range of suite configurations.


Nieuw Statendam adds five more oceanview and three more interior rooms, bringing the total stateroom count to 1,339. The vessel has 103 oceanview and 280 interior cabins, ranging from 225 to 266 square feet. The ship will also have 851 verandah or verandah spa accommodations, bringing the total cabins that have a verandah, including suites, to 912.

The 32 family oceanview staterooms range from 222 to 231 square feet, and have been reconfigured to offer more living space. Accommodating up to five guests, family staterooms offer special amenities including two bathrooms and extra closet space. The 12 single oceanview cabins for solo cruisers range from 127 to 172 square feet, and are located on the forward main deck.


On Nieuw Statendam, suites are larger and more luxurious than ever on Holland America. A grand Pinnacle Suite is a massive 1,290 square feet with a bedroom, living room, dining area, dressing room, and verandah with whirlpool. The Pinnacle Suite was reconfigured to offer an open-concept design, and guests are greeted by a spacious grand entrance, refreshed color scheme, and luxe touches like custom furniture and a double-sided television.

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43 Nepture Suites and 2 Neptune Spa Suites range from 465 to 855 square feet. Guests in these accommodations, as well as the Pinnacle Suite, have access to the exclusive Neptune Lounge, a private place to relax, socialize with other suite guests, and have access to a concierge. This ship’s lounge was enlarged to allow for additional seating and more windows, giving a feeling of openness. The fleetwide lounges provide worktables, a large screen television, a library, sofas and chairs, and complimentary refreshments throughout the day.

The 14 Signature Suites are up to 400 square feet, and the 104 Vista Suites range from 260 to 356 square feet. Signature and Vista suite guests receive a number of special amenities, including oversized bath towels, fresh flowers, a pillow menu, mini bar, and one-touch phone concierge service.

Those looking for a relaxing spa-centric cruise can book a Spa Suite or Verandah Spa, Outside Spa, or Inside Spa stateroom, located near the Greenhouse Spa & Salon. These cabins come with yoga mats for use during the voyage and an iPod docking station.

Other Details

With sophisticated décor and amenities, suites and staterooms aboard Nieuw Statendam feature a host of modern details, such as bedside USB ports, customized wood cabinets, and frameless glass shower doors.

Additional amenities found in every cabin include Holland America’s signature Mariner’s Dream bed with cotton linens, plush bathrobes for use during the cruise, a premium massage showered, flat-screen TV’s with video on demand, a mini fridge, free fresh fruit on request, and soaps, lotions, and shampoo from Elemis Aromapure.

Due for delivery on December 1, 2018, Nieuw Statendam is currently under construction at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy. The 2,666-guest, 99,500-ton ship will feature familiar elements as well as state-of-the-art enhancements that chart a new course forward for Holland America.

For more information, visit

Photos: Holland America Line

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Holland America Premieres ‘Planet Earth II in Concert’



Following the success of “Frozen Planet in Concert” that was produced with BBC Earth, Holland America is debuting “Planet Earth II in Concert” on nearly every ship in the fleet. Combining live music with a backdrop of incredible footage from the new BBC Earth television series “Planet Earth II,” the exclusive show immerses guests in the most spectacular landscapes and habitats on earth.

During “Planet Earth II in Concert,” guests get up close and personal with primates in the jungles of Madagascar, lions in the remote deserts of Namibia, a family of penguins in the Great Southern Ocean, and dancing grizzly bears. All of that is accompanied by a live orchestra that plays the main theme music by Oscar-winner Hans Zimmer and the original music score by Jacob Shea and Jasha Klebe for Bleeding Fingers Music.

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The show is rolling out across Eurodam, Koningsdam, Maasdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Oosterdam, Rotterdam, Veendam, Westerdam and Zuiderdam, and will be onboard all of those ships by the end of April 2018.

Alaska-bound ships will revert to showing “Alaska in Concert,” developed last season with exclusive Alaska wildlife footage, for the duration of the season. For the line’s 70th anniversary season in Alaska last year, BBC Earth launched “Alaska in Concert,” which combined live music with backdrop footage from the television series “Wild Alaska,” where audiences experience the cycle of four seasons and see the place as unforgiving as it is beautiful.

In addition to “Planet Earth II in Concert” and “Alaska in Concert,” theater screens of BBC Earth programs are featured on each sailing, and 45-60 minute “Inside Earth” films go behind the scenes and explore the making of BBC Earth content. “Frozen Planet in Concert” will continue to show on longer voyages as a second BBC Earth performance.

Photos: Holland America/BBC Earth

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Holland America’s Culinary Council Dives Into Enhancing Onboard Restaurants



Holland America is utilizing the expertise of the seven members of their Culinary Council by entrusting each chef with a designated onboard dining experience to enhance and improve. The council is comprised of elite international celebrity chefs who bring global influence to every dining venue across the fleet.

Rudi Sodamin, Culinary Council Chairman

Sodamin’s Cedar-Wrapped Salmon

Sodamin oversees all aspects of onboard dining, in addition to bringing his influence and expertise to Rudi’s Sel de Mer. The popular French brasserie is a standalone venue on Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam and is featured on other ships through special pop-up dinners in the Pinnacle Grill. Born in Austria, Sodamin was trained in France and recently released his latest culinary masterpiece, an art table book called “Food Faces” that feature over 150 images of edible creations that display a whimsical spectrum of human emotion. His innovative approach has made him the most decorated chef on the ocean.

Jonnie Boer

Jonnie Boer will bring the flavors of his internationally acclaimed restaurant, De Librije, onboard select sailings through special Taste of De Librije evenings in the Pinnacle Grill. Dutch-born Boer is the driving force behind De Librije, a regional, fine-dining restaurant in the Netherlands. Recognized as one of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, De Librije has earned a 3-star Michelin rating every year since 2004.

David Burke

Burke’s Burrata Salad

A leading pioneer in unique, contemporary American cuisine and a master of French culinary technique, Burke will continue to enhance the menu at the Pinnacle Grill. He partnered with Smith & Wollensky CEO Alan Stillman to open the critically acclaimed Park Avenue Café, and then in 1996, he became vice president of culinary development for the Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group. Burke is a restauranteur, cookbook author, inventor, and consultant at ESquared Hospitality, which owns and operates the BLT restaurant brand. He’s been featured on “Iron Chef America” and “Top Chef Masters.”

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Elizabeth Falkner

At the forefront of the culinary arts and a recurring judge and competitor on the Food Network, Falkner will be introducing a variety of new, lighter fare to venues fleetwide. Frequently speaking about healthy cuisine and eating habits, she is an advocate for people to think more like athletes and “stay fit to cook.” She does both savory and sweet, traditional and modern, and has earned accolades for her San Francisco shop, Citizen Cake.

Andy Matsuda

The newest member of the Culinary Council, Matsuda will lead sushi offerings in Lido Market as well as the sushi in Tamarind on select ships. Aboard Nieuw Statendam, Matsuda’s creations will be featured at Nami Sushi, the new sushi bar inside Tamarind. The Japanese-born chef is at the forefront of sushi trends and techniques. At Matsuda’s Sushi Chef Institute in Los Angeles, he teaches aspiring chefs and professionals about sushi and Japanese cuisine.

Ethan Stowell

A recent addition to the council, Stowell will bring the unique flavors of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest onboard ships sailing in the region. Also known for his pasta and Italian dishes, Stowell will introduce several of his recipes at New York Pizza and select Lido Market stations on all ships. With an impressive roster of highly acclaimed restaurants, he’s helped change the face of the Seattle food scene. Stowell was named one of the Best New Chefs in America by Fiid & Wine magazine in 2008, and was chosen as one of the Best New Chef All-Stars in 2013.

Jacques Torres

Torres’ Pumpkin Chocolate Cake

The chocolatier known as Mr. Chocolate, Torres will guide masterful chocolate desserts for Holland America’s dining venues, as well as the Chocolate Surprise Dessert Parade featured on the last gala evening of every cruise. A French-trained Master Chef and artisan chocolatier, Torres is a James Beard Award recipient. After rising to executive pastry chef at New York’s legendary Le Cirque, he opened a chocolate factory and stores throughout New York. Torres is cohosting and head judge on the new Netflix culinary show “Nailed It” with Nicole Byer. Debuting March 9, the reality program pits home bakers against one another attempting to recreate edible masterpieces.

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