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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!
The superb 61,214-ton MS Volendam accommodates a maximum of 1,432 guests
Photograph taken & © 2008 by Reuben Goossens
Please Note: Photographs provided by Holland America Line, unless marked otherwise
It is a well-known fact that I consider Holland America Line (HAL) to be one of the finest cruise companies in the world! The truth is that this company has been in the passenger shipping industry since 1872 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!
Below are just a few of the Awards and Accolades handed to Holland America Line - and having cruised with them a good number of time, I can say with authority, I believe that they deserve it!
Top Cruise Master Chef - Porthole presented by Editor-in-Chief Mr. Bill Panoff.
The Highest Rated Cruise Line - Conde Nast Travellers Readers; Choice Travellers Awards; Travel & Leisure Words Best Awards.
Best Overall Cruise Value 17 consecutive years - World Ocean & Cruise Liner Society.
Deluxe Five Star Rating -
Five Star Diamond Award - The
Cruise Line with the Highest Client Satisfaction TravelAge West.
Best Cruise Operator (Internationally based) - AFTA award AFTA (Australian Federation of Travel Agents) National Travel Industry Awards.
Rear Admiral William M. Benkert Environmental Protection Award
- from the
Leading Green Cruise Line Award and the
There have been another 20+ significant Awards were presented to HAL between 2011 & 2013 including;
Nine Major Awards from the famed Porthole magazine and its well cruised readers, who awarded HAL;
1. Best Medium-Sized Ship for ms Nieuw Amsterdam.
7. Best Computer Facilities.
8. Best Medical Facilities.
9. Best Facilities for Physically Challenged Passengers.
Please Note: The vast majority of
photographs on this page were provided by Holland America Line,
except those marked otherwise. However, the author has sailed on
both the wonderful mid-size ms Volendam, and I have also been on
the superb ms Amsterdam, and only recently (in 2013) on the
larger ms Oosterdam. Thus I have reviews online on all three of
these ships, as well as a Ship Review on the first of
the S-Class, the ms Statendam. However, on the first three, which
all sailed from
Introduction: In 1989, Holland America
Line became a wholly owned subsidiary of Carnival Corp,
however, HAL has thankfully 100% separate from Carnival as all
their ships are registered in Rotterdam The Netherlands, whereas
P&O UK and the Princess Cruises ships for example have been
reregistered in Hamilton Bermuda. In addition
HAL is also famed for their superb and unique style of service and their refined touches on board, something that no other cruise line in their class offers, yet their fares are comparable and are most affordable! Thus for Australians and New Zealanders who are thinking of undertaking a cruise vacation, consider taking one on a HAL ship in the future, especially now the fabulous and popular 61,214 ton MS Volendam continues to sail from our shores as well as the larger and elegant ms Oosterdam as of 2012.
Volendam is the third ship to carry this dignified name, the first Volendam sailed for HAL from 1922 to 1952, and the second Volendam from 1972 to 1984. This ship is known as an R class ship, being very similar to the companys flagship MS Rotterdam. Volendam was dedicated by tennis pro Chris Evert in November 1999. Volendam is 881ft long and 105ft wide and has a maximum speed of 23 knots. Remarkably, most ships of her size carry at least 2,000 or more passengers; however the Volendam only operates with a capacity of 1,432 passengers with a crew of 615 tending to your every need, and thus the Volendam is a ship that offers facilities that HAL have become famed for worldwide!
Ambience: The minute you stem on board the MS Volendam you will note that she has a delightful garden theme, which is reflected throughout the ship's spacious public rooms and elegant staterooms as there is an artful floral motif throughout. Flowers can be found in abundance in the forms of floral fabrics and tapestries, as well as in huge vases with tropical floral arrangements and chrysanthemums. In addition to the fresh flowers throughout the ship, Holland America Line has drawn on its collection of incredible artwork to enhance the interior of the ship's public spaces.
The superb three-story atrium featuring an abundance of flowers and a colourful towering sculpture by Luciano Vistosi
You will discover items from pre-Columbian
fetishes and sculptures to Renaissance-era fountains imported
Entertainment: One of the Volendam
biggest venues is the grand and colourful multi level grand
Frans Hals Show Lounge featuring superbly lit
towering colonnades against satiny dark wood walls. The decor
hearkens back to the grand era of the days of Art Deco and it is
said that the venue may have been inspired by the famed Tuschinski
The magnificent Frans Hals Show Lounge
The Casino Bar: This venue is also the ship's sports bar, features an excellent array of cinematic memorabilia, including costumes, props, photos and posters of movies and the countless stars who made them.
The elegant Explorers lounge takes you back to bygone days with fine art and a floral inspired theme
Layout: The basic layout of the public rooms of the ship is similar to that of the famed MS Rotterdam, including the alternative dining restaurant, a lounge featuring an additional dance floor, and a children's room on Sports Deck, a venue that can also be used as a meeting or reception room. The Volendam was one of the last of the Statendam class of ships and features a stylish funnel design.
The Piano Lounge is the ideal place for a drink and request your favourite tune from the Piano Man!
Volendam is one of one of
Volendam and her many features
The Frans Hals Show Lounge: In this colourful multi level show room there will be a vast variety of talented vocalists, dancers, illusionists, comedians and variety acts.
The superb Frans Hals Show Lounge is comfortable and has great sightlines! From both levels
Crow's Nest: Offers sweeping 270° views during the day, and becomes a fashionable nightclub at night.
The elegant Crows Nest is a wonderful venue day and night!
Dining: The Volendam's alternative restaurant the superb Pinnacle Grill will take on the persona of an Artists Bistro, serving the finest fare in a luxurious bur a relaxed setting. The fine Beachwood walls features a series of drawings and etchings of artists ranging from the old masters to newest talent available. This dinning venue has so much to offer it is a must experience on every cruise!
Above & below: The two level Rotterdam Dining Room is one of the grand dinning venues afloat with cuisine to match!
Pinnacle Grill: This intimate reservations-only venue offers an elegant, sophisticated dining experience. Featuring premium Sterling Silver beef, inspired seafood dishes and many select wines rated "Excellent" by Wine Spectator - as well as distinctive Bvlgari® china, Riedel® stemware and Frette® linens.
Above & below: The Pinnacle Grill offers the ultimate in dining and is worth the experience during your cruise!
Lido Restaurant: This is the main Buffet and it offers a relaxed ambiance for all three meals and features a variety of fresh, cooked-to-order specialties
Explorations Café, powered by The New York Times: a comfortable, coffee house environment where you can browse through an extensive library, surf the Internet and check email or simply read the morning paper.
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 a special evening.
Club HAL®: HAL dedicated youth facilities and activities for kids ages 3 - 12; activities are supervised and are age appropriate. There is also the Loft and The Oasis: designed exclusively for teens (13 - 17) to have fun, socialize and hang out with people their own age.
This is but one of the venues available
& Standard Interior Staterooms
Category: I, J, K, L, M, MM, N, NN
These staterooms have two lower beds that are convertible to 1 queen-size bed and a bathroom. All L-, N- & NN-category staterooms also have 1 sofa bed & pullman upper. M- & MM-category staterooms also have 1 sofa bed. Approximately 182 sq ft in size.
All Stateroom amenities include:
· Luxurious beds featuring Sealy® Premium Euro-Top mattresses and finely woven cotton linens
· Deluxe waffle weave and terry cloth bathrobes for use during your voyage
· 100% Egyptian cotton towels
· Premium massage showerheads
· 5X magnifying make-up mirrors and salon-quality hair dryers
· Fragrant soaps, lotions, shampoo and other bath amenities from Elemis Aromapure
· Complimentary fresh fruit on request
· Elegant ice bucket and serving tray for in-stateroom beverages
· Flat-panel TV and DVD player
· Ice service, shoeshine service and nightly turndown service
Category C, D, DA, DD (some have partial sea views), E, EE, F, FF, G (portholes instead of windows)
Large Ocean-view Staterooms
H (portholes instead of windows), HH (fully obstructed views)
These staterooms have two lower beds convertible to 1 queen-size bed, bathtub with a shower. All FF-category staterooms also have 1 sofa bed & pullman upper. Approximately 197 sq. ft in size. Stateroom amenities include the same as above!
Category: A, AA, B, BB, BC
The staterooms have two lower beds convertible to 1 queen-size bed, a whirlpool bath & shower, sitting area, private verandah, a mini-bar, refrigerator, floor-to-ceiling windows. All A-category staterooms also have 1 sofa bed. Approximately 292 sq. ft in size. Stateroom amenities include the same as above as well as some extras.
The suite has two lower beds convertible to 1 king-size bed, a whirlpool bath & shower, a large sitting area, dressing room, private verandah, 1 sofa bed for 2 persons, mini-bar, refrigerator, floor-to-ceiling windows. Approximately 556 sq. ft and many other amenities than those mentioned above.
Bedroom has 1 king-size bed, oversize whirlpool bath & shower, living room, dining room, dressing room, private verandah, pantry, 1 sofa bed for 2 persons, mini-bar, refrigerator, guest toilet, floor-to-ceiling windows. Approximately 1,159 sq. ft in size. A Penthouse Suite receives a multitude of additional extra amenities. See the brochure for details.
What does the Volendam offer her passengers?
What does the Volendam offer her passengers?
The Volendam is often described as the
The ships friendly crew are on hand to personally welcome passengers onboard and direct them to their rooms. Of the ships 700 staterooms the most appealing are the Veranda state and deluxe rooms, which boast fantastic ocean views from their private balconies.
Passengers are offered a superb range of delectable dining options, including the Pacific North-West-themed Pinnacle Grill, as well as the grand multi level Rotterdam Dining Room and the laid back Lido Restaurant.
The entertainment onboard the Volendam is diverse, with two lavish Broadway-style productions are featured in the two-level Frans Hals lounge nightly, in other venues you will discover a harpist, a classical quartet and a resident pianist who is happy to play any tune you request. There is pre-dinner piano and post-dinner dancing in The Crows Nest, Baroque and Classical after dinner music in the Explorer Lounge and dance music in The Ocean Bar before and after dinner.
During the day there is a range of games such as: Team Trivia, Name That Tune, Liars Club and others administered by the Cruise Director and staff, and of course there is Bingo, art auctions and movies in the Wajang Theatre. The Volendam also features an intimate casino with a wide assortment of table games and slot machines.
level of the Atrium
Top level of the Atrium
The Volendam is a family friendly ship and she has a dedicated kids camp named Club HAL, which operates daily, with age-appropriate activities including arts and crafts, computer classes, sing-alongs and sea-lore. Teenagers also have their own space called The loft where they can enjoy movies, play video games, splash around in the water or spend a lazy afternoon dozing on a hammock.
As MS Volendam will be cruising from Australian and New Zealand ports in 2011 and 2012 and I highly recommend that those who may not have sailed on Holland America Line book a cruise on this remarkable ship or any of the other HAL ships for as a cruise reviewer who has been in the industry since May 1960, managed a major shipping company and operated his own cruise company in the seventies, I highly recommend this company for it is indeed the pinnacle of all cruise companies! It by far surpasses Princess Cruises and for that matter in so many ways Cunard, and that also comes from my experience of 123 voyages/cruises to date!
For interest, I sailed on ms Volendam for 14
MS Volendam why not make a booking soon!
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 www.hollandamerica.com.au.
visit my other
Page One The History of Holland America Line and Todays Modern Fleet
1872 to 2000
Page Two The History of Holland America Line and Todays Modern Fleet
1993 to 2015
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.
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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