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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 Volendam

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.

Holland America Line recognised for Best Art Collection at Sea” - Porthole Magazine.

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

Best Overall Cruise Value” – 17 consecutive years - 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 AFTA (Australian Federation of Travel Agents) National Travel Industry Awards.

Gold 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.

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.

2.      Best Private Island for Half Moon Cay.

3.      Best Alaska Itineraries.

4.      Best Central America Itineraries.

5.      Best Canada/New England Itineraries.

6.      Best Shore Excursions.  

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 Australia, the photographs are mostly (or all) mine and several by my travelling companion and associate Mr. Hun-Eng Tan. Thus, these are images are not glossed up by the company’s media department, but you will see these ships as they really are and you will be impressed with these superb ships!

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 Holland America is not sold or marketed by Carnival but Holland America has appointed an official General Sales Agent for Holland America Line in Australia. In addition, unlike P&O, Cunard & Princes Cruises, you will not the mention of Carnival on a HAL brochure, only Holland America Line Inc. Thus remember, this is a cruise company that stands miles apart from the rest, and all the awards HAL has received over the years attests to this!

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 Australian’s 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 company’s 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 from Italy, which are included in the Volendam’s hallway galleries. In the heart of the ship you will find the soaring three-story atrium where featuring the superb sculpture by renowned artist Luciano Vistosi, a piece that was inspired by the myriad of moods and colours of a kaleidoscope and this piece of artwork greets every guest as they board this remarkable ship.

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 Theatre” in Amsterdam.

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!


The Volendam is one of one of Holland America’s more traditional looking ships

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!

Rotterdam Dining Room: This is one of the truly grand Restaurants afloat. Here the features are impeccable service, an extensive wine list, but above all, a suburb menu of fine dinning! Five-course menus include continental cuisine, vegetarian and low-carb options.


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

The Culinary Arts Center: Presented by Food & Wine Magazine: our state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen offering interactive gourmet cooking lessons taught by our own Master Chefs or culinary guests

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.

The Lido Pool

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


Large & 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

Large Ocean-view Staterooms
Category C, D, DA, DD (some have partial sea views), E, EE, F, FF, G (portholes instead of windows)

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!

Verandah Suite
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.

Deluxe Verandah Suites
Category: S


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.

Penthouse Verandah Suites
Category: PS


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?

The Volendam is often described as the “Garden of Delights” and the first feature to strike you upon boarding the ship is the unique design, which features 2 million dollars worth of art and artefacts mainly from 18th century Asia and the delightful floral motif.

The ship’s friendly crew are on hand to personally welcome passengers onboard and direct them to their rooms. Of the ship’s 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 Crow’s 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.

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-along’s 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.

Cruising – 2011/12.

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 nights from Auckland to Sydney - October 22 to November 5, 2010 as a full fare-paying passenger and have a comprehensive 4-page cruise review online. See the link below!

Reuben Goossens.

Cruise’n’Ship Reviewer.

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


-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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Photographs on & .net are: 1. By the author. 2. From the author’s private collection. 3. As provided by Shipping Companies and their Publicity Companies as well as by private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors. However, there are some photographs provided without details regarding the photographer concerned., therefore I hereby invite if owners of those images to be so kind and make them-selves known to me, in order that due credit may be given!!

This notice covers all pages, although, I have done my best to ensure that all photographs are duly credited and that this notice is displaced on each page, that is, when a page is updated!


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