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Please Note: Cruise-Australia and my other related maritime sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned sites. Be assured that I am NOT associated with any of the cruise companies nor any travel or cruise agencies, etc! The author has been in the Passenger Shipping industry for a very long time and although now semi-retired, but I am delighted to share all my knowledge with those who love to take their vacation by sea! Thus I continue to write on worthy Cruise Companies and their wonderful Ships in order to better to inform cruise and ship enthusiasts for their pleasure, but more so to ensure that you, my wonderful reader will make the best-informed choice possible!

ms Noordam

Holland America is One of the Most Awarded Cruise Companies, including the Prestigious “AFTA Award”:

It is a well-known fact that I consider Holland America Line (HAL) to be one of the best cruise companies in the world! The truth is that this company has been in the passenger shipping industry since 1873 and Holland America Line has continually received countless cruise awards and accolades for being one of the finest and highest rated as well as the best value Cruise Line each year, and that is for two full decades up to and including 2012. That is something that not a single other cruise line is able to match!

“The Highest Rated Cruise Line” - Conde Nast Travellers Readers; Choice Travellers Awards; Travel & Leisure Word’s Best Awards.

“Best Overall Cruise Value” - 22 consecutive years to 2014 – World Ocean & Cruise Liner Society.

“High Deluxe Five Star+ Rating” - World Ocean & Cruise Liner Society.

“International Five Star+ Diamond Award” - The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences.

Cruise Line with the Highest Client Satisfaction” - TravelAge West.

Holland America received the following awards “Best Cruise Operator” and “World’s Leading GREEN Cruise Line.”

“Best Cruise Operator” (Internationally based) - AFTA award at the AFTA National Travel Industry Awards.

Gold 2010 Rear Admiral William M. Benkert Environmental Protection Award” from the U.S. Coast Guard.

World’s Leading Green Cruise Line Award” and the “Blue Circle Award” from the Port of Vancouver.

In addition, there are so many other awards that have come since I have placed this list online, but it says a great deal about this remarkable cruise company, which has been called for well over 140 years as the “Spotless Fleet” but also as the ultimate 5 Star Cruise Company for offing the ultimate in service, and this is because every staff member you would ever meet on board has been trained at a special Academy to the highest standard possible to ensure that every part of your experience on board a Holland America ship will be an extra special experience!


Over the past years Australia’s has been blessed with Holland America Line (HAL) ships like the ms Volendam commenced operating out of Australia in 2009 and she was a huge success! Considering that Australian’s enjoyed the superior style and luxury of the Volendam, HAL decided for the ms Zaandam to join the Volendam in Australia for the 2011-2012 season. However, HAL decided that it was tine to send one of their premier ships to Australia, the grand 82,000-ton ms Oosterdam and she proved to as big a success as the smaller fleet mates! Yet, the ms Volendam continue to visit our shores as she sails across the Pacific to Sydney each year, then operates a circumnavigation of Australia, and after returning to Sydney she heads north and sails via the Queensland and Northern Territory via Indonesia to Singapore where she is based for three months. From Singapore the Volendam commences a series of 7 or 14-day cruises between Singapore and Hong Kong, and Australian’s take Holland America Line Fly-Cruise options, which are very popular indeed!

ms Noordam:

The Holland America Line (HAL) ms Noordam was built by the famed Italian Fincantieri Shipyard and was launched in 2005. When completed she sailed on a relocation voyage to New York where she was officially christened and named on February 22, 2006 by the actress Marlee Matlin. The ms Noordam is a sister ship of ms Oosterdam, Westerdam, Zuiderdam and the P&O Cruises. These four HAL ships are Vista Class ships and are each ship is named after one of the four compass points, North, East, West and South respectively but in Dutch.

The Noordam embraces the very latest industrial and environmental technologies such as her use of a diesel-electric power plant for optimal energy efficiency and the very popular Azipod® propulsion system that maximizes the ships manoeuvrability.


The Noordam has so much to offer a cruise lover, be you a cruise connoisseur or a happy vacationer who loves the better style of HAL and its superb service, the famed HAL high quality cuisine and the ships beautiful appointments! On board you will discover museum-quality paintings such as an oil painting of the city of Utrecht painted in 1842, as well as contemporary art like the series of photographs of music greats “Dizzy Gillespie” and “BB King.” However, one of the most valuable pieces of furniture on board the Noordam is a remarkable inlaid chest flanked by carved wooden 17th-century Baroque columns. Made in Germany in 1885, the chest is inlaid with ebony and precious stones. I highly suggest that you enjoy an onboard IPod® self-guided tour of the complete Noordam art collection.

The ms Noordam exemplifies the classic style of ocean travel with contemporary amenities and modern enhancements, such as a Fitness Center, Spa, Fitness Center, Cinema, Casino, Showroom, three Pools one with a glass-sliding roof and a wonderful Café called the Explorations Café. This venue is far more than just a venue for fine Barista Coffee, tea and other drinks and pastries, but this is also the Library, the Internet Café and there is a spacious lounge area!

This is one ofthe most recent photographs of the ms Noordam taken at St Lucia


Main Deck


A colourful and spectacular three level Atrium

Magnificent columns, contemporary furniture and a majestic staircase completes the Noordam’s stunning Atrium perfectly as it complements the breathtaking interior design of this amazing ship, which emphasizes rich colours alongside dazzling gold and sparkling glass and crystal elements. Far forward of Main Deck is the lower level of three level Vista Lounge/Showroom, and it the atrium there is the friendly Bar, the Front Office, Future Cruises desk and the Shore Excursions Office.

The Front Office located on the portside


Lower level of the Vista Lounge/Showroom

The Vista Show Lounge features talented vocalists, dancers, illusionists, comedians and variety acts.


Lower Promenade Deck

Far forward, just aft of the Vista Lounge are four venues on the starboard side being the wonderful, and certainly one of the most popular evening venues on the ship, the Piano Bar where the entertainment is second to none! Next is the Sports Bar that serves the large portside located Casino. Just aft of the casino, tucked away is the Northern Lights Nightclub (no photograph available).

The wonderful Piano Bar, one of my favourite venues


The Sports Bar


The Casino


Here we see the Northern Lights Night Club Bar, but it is a spacious venue with a large dance floor


The Queens Lounge and Culinary Arts Center

The Queens Lounge is a beautiful Lounge and it serves a number of purposes, an alterative entertainment venue, lectures, but it is also the famed Culinary Arts Center that slides out and turns the stage into a complte kitchen. It is presented by the “Food & Wine Magazine.” There are state-of-the-art demonstrations and gourmet presentations, with tasting events as well as special intimate cooking classes.

The Pinnacle Bar is on the starboard side, whilst the opulent Pinnacle Grill is on portside


Pinnacle Grill Restaurant: Sophisticated elegance is the theme at the Pinnacle Grill and this is a reservations-only establishment boasting a tantalizing menu that has a fabulous wine list, beautifully complemented by gorgeous decor, and serves it fine meals on Bvlgari china and its drinks in superb Riedel stemware. Dinning here is an event not to be missed, for I never do and I do it for lunch and several diners!




Above & below: two views of the beautiful Explorer’s Lounge, relaxing during the day and it features classical recitals at night!




Far aft on Lower Promenade Deck is the lower level of the two level Vista Dining Room

The lower level is for open sitting, whilst the upper level has first and second sittings

Vista Dining Room: It features impeccable service and an extensive wine list. Five-course menus includes continental cuisine, as well as vegetarian and low-carb options.

A view of the upper level and its grand feature the ceiling centrepiece!

Art on the Noordam:

The ms Noordam is a remarkable cruise ship for as you wonder around you will discover museum-quality paintings such as an oil painting of the city of Utrecht painted in 1842, and then there is contemporary art like the series of photographs of music greats such as Dizzy Gillespie and the wonderful BB King. However, one of the most valuable pieces of furniture on board the ship is a remarkable inlaid chest flanked by carved wooden 17th-century Baroque columns. Made in Germany in 1885, the chest is inlaid with ebony as well as precious stones.

Thus, when onboard, why not enjoy a self-guided tour with a ships IPod® and see the complete ms Noordam multi million dollar art collection. The ms Noordam exemplifies the classic style of ocean travel with contemporary amenities and modern enhancements. Back to the photographs!

Promenade Deck


Above & below: Here we see the remarkable Explorations Café, powered by The New York Times. This is only found on a Holland America Ship, an amazing three in one venue that is sublimely comfortable where you can sit in a cosy leather sofa in a coffee lounge environment with the Barista coffee of your choice with a pastry if you wish, where at the very same time you can also browse through the extensive library. Or why not surf the Internet and check your emails, if that sounds a little too much like home, well you can just read the morning paper. The choice is all your in this wonderful environment!


The Explorations Café is located far forward, just aft of the forward lift and stairwell on the starboard side




The Ocean Bar is located at the top of the Atrium, with the Bar at the portside, but the Lounge stretching right over to the starboard side


Lido Deck



The Greenhouse Spa & Saloon has many options available, and here are just two

Above is the wonderful Hydro Pool and below we see the relaxing Thermal Suite


The Greenhouse Spa & Salon features heavenly beauty and wellness rituals. Enjoy a facial, hot stone massage, steam in a thermal suite and have your hair and nails done for that special evening.

Overlooking the bow is the Fitness Centre (Gym)


The Lido Pool with its huge sliding glass roof, that is ideal during bad weather


The Lido Bar has wonderful seating in front of it!


The Terrace Grill is located aft of the pool on the starboard side and it is a great place to enjoy a casual lunch. Choose from the extensive Taco style Bar and you can order to be cooked fresh a tasty array of hamburgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches made perfectly complemented by a refreshing tropical beverage!

Heading aft from the Lido Pool on the starboard side you will discover the very popular Canaletto Restaurant that was named after a famous 18th.century Venetian artist. However, if you desire something special, but not as elaborate as the Pinnacle Grill, then Canaletto is the perfect destination on the Noordam for an intimate Italian dinner. The evening begins with the Chef’s selection of antipasti with a taste of a delicious fare that sets the tone of the personal and polished service that is to follow. PS; during the day, it is available for breakfast and lunch diners in the busy Lido restaurant.



The Lido Restaurant offers a relaxed ambiance for all three meals daily and features a variety buffet style as well as fresh and cooked-to-order specialties.

Just aft outdoor is the Adults Only Seaview Bar and Pool and sun deck, although there is also ample shaded areas!


Above & below: Here we see the Seaview Bar and the Pool with its two sculptured chairs at aft end



Observation Deck


The Crow's Nest: offers sweeping 270° views during the day, but it is a fashionable nightclub in the evening.


This is my favourite lounge on board for Crow’s Nest has stunning views and it is the perfect place to relax and read a book during the day

However at night this venue changes entirely – Read on …

Crow's Nest - If you love nightlife and a vibrant atmosphere, Crow’s Nest is the perfect place, it has striking and a contemporary décor, whilst there are live bands that sound great due to the state-of-the-art sound system. There is a dance floor and a popular Bar that has everything you need to ensure an exciting evening.

The ms Noordam is seen in Venice




Inside Staterooms have lower beds that are convertible to one queen-size bed. Each includes a private bath with shower. A minimum category grade has maximum comforts. from 182 square feet.

Outside Staterooms have convertible queen-size beds and bath/shower combinations. Porthole Magazine have rated our cabins as … “The best standard-sized cabins afloat.” From 197 square feet.

Deluxe Verandah Oceanview Staterooms offer floor-to-ceiling windows that lead to a private verandah, which is spacious enough for lounging and dining. The are twin beds, convertible to a queen-size bed, whirlpool bath, sitting area, DVD player, mini-bar and refrigerator. Approximately 284 square feet including the verandah.

The Signature Suite has two lower beds that are convertible to a queen-size bed, the bathroom has a dual sink and vanity, with a full-size whirlpool bath, shower and an additional shower stall. There is a spacious sitting area and private verandah. The lounge has 1 sofa bed suitable for 1 person if required. The room is light and bright with the floor-to-ceiling windows. Approximately 372–384 sq. ft. including the verandah.

has two lower beds that are convertible to a queen-size bed, the bathroom has a dual sink and vanity, with a full-size whirlpool bath, shower and an additional shower stall. There is a spacious sitting area and private verandah. The lounge has 1 sofa bed suitable for 2 persons if required. The room is light and bright with the floor-to-ceiling windows. Approximately 500–712 sq. ft. including the verandah.

Bedroom with one king-size bed, an oversize whirlpool bath & shower & additional shower stall. There is a living room and a dining room. There is also a dressing room, pantry with a microwave and refrigerator as well as other items. In addition there is a guest toilet, and also a sofa bed suitable for 2 persons, an excellent private stereo system with flat TV’s and DVD/CD payers. Of course there are huge floor-to-ceiling windows that leads out to the private verandah that comes complete with a private whirlpool. Approximately 1,150 sq. ft. including the verandah.

Other Excellent Facilities not Covered:

Digital Workshop, powered by Windows®: Guests will be able to "show and tell" their vacation memories, learning how to share all their digital memories through email, blogging and social networking, so friends and family can see where they've been cruising even before they return home. Free workshops taught by Microsoft-trained “techsperts” make it easy and fun, even for novices

Club HAL®: Is Holland America’s dedicated youth facilities and activities for kids aged 3 to 12; activities are supervised and are age appropriate.

The Loft: Is designed exclusively for teens from 13 to 17 to enjoy themselves, socialize and hang out with young people of their own age.

In Conclusion:

I have cruised with Holland America many times, not for any other reason that because I simply love the ships, their amazing décor, their wonderful ambience, that traditional Holland America service that never seems to change, but just seems to get better. Their sublime cuisine; for the food on board is simply amazing, and believe if there is anyone who is fussy about fine food, it is me as, for I have been served by the head Chef of a grand 3 Star Michelin Restaurant and other famous superb restaurants where the stars of the world meet!

But it is so much more, as I have found that the tradition of cruising remains, where on other ships it has become more as if you are in a hotel and the delights of Ocean travel has disappeared. The glamour of over a million dollars on fine art spread all over the ship and that is uniquely a Holland America Line feature! Then there is the friendly and smiling service, for all the Bar staff id Filipino and the waiters in the Restaurants are Indonesian  and they are all simply superb  and they will soon remember your name as well as your likes and dislikes and they look after you, as if you are a member of their community! Each time we board a ship, we often meet up with a crewmember we know and it is like meeting up with a member of the family!

Indeed we love cruising HAL and will be off just three days after this page goes online on the ms Oosterdam for the last time whilst she is in Sydney for next year, it will be this fine ship that will take her place and give Australian’s a great deal of joy!

ms Noordam will depart San Diego on October 3, 2015 and sail across the Pacific The Noordam will arriving in Sydney on October 25, 2015.

Thereafter she will operate the summer season of cruises around the South Pacific and New Zealand,

which can be taken as “Collector Voyages” being two cruises combined!

Your Cruise & Travel Professional:

For Holland America Line enquiries or reservations, consult an established Cruise & Travel Specialist who is a travel professional. But do yourself a big favour, never book with any cruise company direct for they never offer you any service or any discounts something your experienced agent can do!

However for general information regarding their ships visit

Holland America Line hopes to welcome you onboard very soon!

Please Note: Some pages are offline and others will need updating

-Also visit my other Holland America Pages-

Page One The History of Holland America Line and Today’s Modern Fleet

1872 to 2000

Page TwoThe History of Holland America Line and Today’s Modern Fleet

1993 to 2015

-Holland America Line Ships featured on Cruise-Australia-

ms Koningsdam - ms Noordam - ms Oosterdam - ms Rotterdam  

ms Volendam - ms Zaandam & ms Nieuw Amsterdam

ms Prinsendam & ms Statendam - (A 4-page ship review)

-Cruise and Ship Reviews by the Author-

NEW - ms Oosterdam 2013 New Zealand Cruise Review


The all NEW - ms Oosterdam 2014 Review


ms Volendam Cruise Review - ms Amsterdam Ship Review

Also read the Holland America Line News Updates on Cruise-Australia


Please Note: Cruise-Australia and its associated pages are 100% non-commercial and privately owned cruise sites and are NOT associated with any cruise company or travel agency! Although the author has been in the passenger shipping industry since 1960 and is retired, but continues to write cruise and ship reviews and articles in order to better to inform cruise and ship enthusiasts and provide information for those intending a cruise in the future.

Bon Voyage!

Reuben Goossens.



My recommendation: I highly suggest that you visit a good and a long established Travel/Cruise Agency for information, bookings and obtain the best possible cruise fares. Personally I never book with any cruise company direct, for they do not offer any personal service or discounts! I know that they do not like me saying this, but I have to be honest and provide you my readers with the very best possible advice! Reuben Goossens.


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