My recent Cruise Onboard ms Koningsdam

ms Koningsdam

Holland America are one of the most famous cruise lines in the world. Their latest ship, the ms Koningsdam has fulfilled their elegant image with a casual vibe creating a truly unique cruising experience.

Having just been inaugurated in the past few months, the ms Koningsdam is truly worthy of the title of  flagship of the fleet. I’ve just got back from a 7 night cruise on the Norwegian fjords and it was an experience and ship I would not want to have missed.


There are several types of cabins on the ship, consisting of Inside Staterooms, Family Ocean View, Verandas and Suites with Balconies. In my opinion the best type of cabin to try and get is a corner balcony cabin as it provides a truly stunning panoramic view while blocking you from intense winds and other weather conditions that occur in this region. I recommend that you request cabin no’s 8031 and 8032.

ms Koningsdam Inside Stateroom

These cabins offer more spacious areas when compared to the others in the Verandah category. I was most impressed with the high quality furnishings in the cabin as well as innovative storage areas.

A large flat screen TV dons the wall and offered a wide variety of films, news and some of my favourite shows too. The bed is a true king featuring luxurious cotton linens. There is also a sofa that opens up to a bed and a desk and chair.

The bathroom was absolutely impressive. Equipped with thick Egyptian cotton towels, Elemis Aromapure shampoos, conditioners, soaps and lotions are provided, along with a plush robe for all in the room.

I especially enjoyed the peppermint body gel, which gave an instant wake up under the super powered massage showerhead. It is adjustable to your personal liking from a mild blast of water to a super power surge. This was one ship, where I never worried about flooding the floor outside of the shower. It has been smartly designed to have a lip at the bottom elevated so it is nearly impossible for it to overflow.

ms Koningsdam veranda


One area that Holland America excels in is the quality and presentation of food. It is all fresh and carefully prepared with no preservations or economical substitutes.

I found the dining venues on the ship are no less exquisite. The main dining room is spacious and spans two decks. Food choices vary from day to day but the choices remain premium.

There are a wide variety of specialty restaurants, ranging from the French inspired seafood of Sel de Mer, to the family style Northern Italian delights of Canaletto to the Asian Fusion wonders of Tamarind. These fill up quickly and it is best to make reservations online prior to your voyage. I did indulge in all three and can honestly say that they were enjoyable not only to the palate but each was a feast for the eyes.

Even the Lido Market is high quality on this ship, blowing any other cruise buffet out of the water. The choices are grand, so sampling a bit of each makes for an interesting lunch. I must state that the rib steak was by far the best I have eaten from a buffet. It was so tender, juicy and tasty, that no knife was needed.

Near poolside, gourmet burgers and hot dogs and fresh cut fries are served for yet another choice in daytime dining. Pizza or a Reuben sandwich can be ordered in an area directly one floor up at the New York Deli.

There’s an Italian gelato bar near the pool offering so many freshly made flavours that it would be impossible to try them all in just a one week’s holiday.

For specialty coffees and teas, the Grand Dutch Cafe will suffice. Although there is a fee for the beverage, all sweets and appetizers are free of charge with your purchase.


For those long days or evenings at sea, you are well covered for entertainment. The casino, located on Deck 3, has all of the typical gambling options such as slot machines, poker tables and roulette wheels.

Located on the same deck is the World Stage which plays hosts to different shows each day. The World Stage is an interesting concept as it includes visuals which surrounds the audience with a 270-degree LED screen. The visuals match the entertainment, making it a unique entertainment experience.

One evening, I watched some stunning footage from BBC Earth with the ship’s orchestra playing; the next day there was a digital magic act. Music is the theme of the ship and a variety of tastes are addressed in the other entertainment venues.

Billboard offers classic pop and contemporary hits as a piano lounge with 2 entertainers. BB King’s Lounge is the place for some soothing jazz, blues or R&B and the Lincoln Centre Stage lives up to its namesake by offering classical music in a traditional style with strings, piano and more.

ms Koningsdam Billboard


The spa is also located on the 10th deck and is a great way to unwind from all of the high intense tours I did in the ports of Norway. Aside from massages, facials and an invigorating Jacuzzi, the spa also offers cosmetic treatments plus hair styling and Shellac nail services. I indulged in a facial and I believe I knocked off ten years. My skin was so firm and alive.

The Spa Retreat is the place to lounge and get away from it all; featuring thermal pools, heated ceramic lounges and sauna/steam rooms. A week or day pass can be purchased for this retreat. If you are prone to getting off the ship and running about, then this is perfect to rewind and recharge the batteries.

Closing Thoughts

The opportunity to venture on the ms Koningsdam was not only a treat but an opportunity to experience a cruise ship that proves less is more. It is a cruise ship with a slower pace.

There may not be the glitz, rock climbing, water parks and non-stop action that are found on other mega-ships; but isn’t a holiday the perfect time to just sit back, take in the surroundings and reflect upon the nice things in life. I think the ms Koningsdam does just that.

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A Sneak Peek at Holland America’s ms Koningsdam

ms Koningsdam

Debuting in 2016 the ms Koningsdam promises to be the most state of the art ship in Holland America’s fleet.

‘Koning’ translates from Dutch to “king” in English. The name also pays honour to the first king of the Netherlands, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander.

Stein Kruse, president and CEO of Holland America Line stated, “This new Pinnacle Class ship will be our largest, most contemporary vessel, and it was only fitting to give it a name that embodies great achievement for the future, while embracing timeless tradition.”

Holland America has a long and proud tradition within the Netherlands and all 15 ships in their fleet still fly under the Dutch flag. The new 2,650 passenger ship will be replacing ms Statendam and ms Ryndam.


The ship will have the latest in accommodation and recreational activities but it is the design that will truly be revolutionary.

The ship will combine the aspects of contemporary styles with old world elegance. The interior is being designed by New York City’s leading hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany and designer and architect of Oslo, Bjorn Storbraaten.

Adam Tihany

Tihany has focused on the fluid curves and graceful lines of the ship, creating light filled areas with a natural flow. According to Tihany himself, his designs were based off of the “architecture of music”. This influence can be seen in the ship with the textures used as design and lighting features. The feeling of height is also exaggerated in order to give passengers a sense of freedom and emphasise the grandeur of the ship.

A good example of this would be in the Atrium. The atrium is three stories high and is flanked by a truly remarkable sculpture, depicting the synthesis of a string quartet. Space is used in order to create an interesting illusion, that no two viewpoints of the statue are the same from any point in the room.

ms Koningsdam atrium

The atrium is further enhanced by a prominently placed skylight and several soothing projections will also be shown to create a relaxing atmosphere. By day, the skylight displays soothing clouds rolling past and by night, beautiful stars will dot the skyline.


Many categories of staterooms will be offered on the ms Koningsdam and all will include items such as woven cotton linen and 100% Egyptian towels.

A great example of the lavish accommodation available is the Neptune Suite with over 500 sq. feet and includes exclusive use of the Neptune Lounge plus the personal concierge service. The family ocean view stateroom accommodates four comfortably in 231 square feet of space.

neptune suite

More middle of the road balcony and inside cabins are impressive not only in their fine detailing and décor but functionality and size. There are cabins available for all pockets and tastes.


The modern features can be seen in the main dining room. Simply called ‘Dining Room’, it has been designed with a powerful theme with its Romanesque pillars and chic furniture. The stylish dining room allows passengers to watch the world go by with floor to ceiling windows while dining on international cuisine.

There are several dining venues, such as ‘Tamarind’, featuring menus created by Master Chef Rudi Sodamin with an emphasis on Southeast Asian, Chinese and Japanese food.

For all out elegance, head toThe Pinnacle Grill’. America’s Pacific Northwest cuisine of seafood and steak grilled to perfection amongst the finest china, glassware and linens. ‘Canaletto’ offers Italian fare and for those passengers wishing for some laidback dining al fresco there is ‘The Terrace Grill’.

Pinnacle Grill


Step into the Queen’s Lounge for some world-class entertainment. Designed in an elegant manner that curves like a violin and features a large amount of wood, the curving design of the room mixed with the large amount of light transforms to dance club later on in the evening.

Place you best foot forward amongst the state-of-the-art sound and special LED lighting effects, rumoured to rival those in any of Europe’s large cities.

Koningsdam Queens Lounge


The onboard facilities are extensive with something to appeal to everyone. There is a fitness centre and the Greenhouse Spa and Salon features some of the best wellness and beauty menus.

As with all Holland American ships, there are enrichment programs made to order especially for the palates of foodies. The Culinary Arts Centre, presented by Food & Wine magazine has been made available on all ships and will certainly be a hit onboard the ms Koningsdam.

Holland America calls it their “world class show kitchen at sea”, and passengers can take part in cooking classes and wine and beverage’ presentations. The chance to meet world renowned chefs is an added bonus.

ms Koningsdam will be taking to the seas in February 2016. After her maiden voyage she will depart from Rome (Civitavecchia Port) with 7-day sailings in the Med before she is scheduled to head to Rotterdam. She will spend the summer in the Baltic and Northern Europe region. More details on booking this grand new ship will be available soon.

Mock up Images courtesy of Holland America Cruises

Written by Veronica Shine