, April 2016

Holland America hasn’t introduced a new ship since Nieuw Amsterdam debuted in 2010. That’s eons in the cruise industry, where new ships pop up every year. Koningsdam is the highly anticipated first ship in the line’s Pinnacle Class, and it brings with it a number of firsts for Holland America, including ocean-view cabins for single travelers and families. Design of the 2,650-passenger ship was inspired by elements of music and is seen in areas like the three-deck skylight-capped atrium with a stainless steel sculpture reminiscent of a string quartet.

Holland America is investing heavily in culinary venues and activities on Koningsdam with the Culinary Arts Center, a show kitchen where passengers can take cooking classes during the day and then dine at the venue at night. The menu and inspiration come from the farm-to-table movement. HAL also is introducing a new for-fee seafood restaurant called Sel de Mer. Wine-lovers will adore Blend, a small venue that allows passengers to mix their own wines at the only purpose-built wine-blending venue at sea.

Koningsdam’s World Stage is a two-story theater-in-the-round that combines live action with a 270-degree LED screen. The cruise ship also includes Music Walk, three stages in adjacent spaces that offer three distinct types of music (chamber music at the Lincoln Center Stage; blues and jazz at B.B. King’s Blues Club/Queen’s Lounge; and 50 years of hits at Billboard Onboard).

Deployment: Mediterranean, Baltic, British Isles, Northern Europe, Caribbean, Bahamas,www.cruiseadvisor.club