Holland America Line took delivery of its new ship Koningsdam March 31 during a ceremony at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy. Following the signing, the Dutch flag was raised on the ship for the first time. Koningsdam is registered in the Netherlands.
The ship will soon make its way to Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, for its Premiere Voyage departing April 8. Following a series of premiere Mediterranean voyages, Koningsdam’s official naming ceremony will take place in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on May 20.
“Today is a day of celebration for the entire Holland America Line family, and a milestone in our company history. We all share in this proud moment as we welcome Koningsdam to our fleet,” says Orlando Ashford, president, Holland America Line. “Koningsdam looks spectacular, beyond our expectations, and we thank all those involved for their dedication and commitment in bringing our vision to life.”
Following the naming festivities in May, the ship will head to its summer home port of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and sail a series of northern Europe and Baltic cruises before returning to the Mediterranean in September. In the fall, the ship will head across the Atlantic Ocean to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where it will homeport at Port Everglades and spend the season exploring the Caribbean. A seven-day Norse Legends cruise from Amsterdam in June is priced from $999 per person, double occupancy.
The 99,500-ton vessel accommodates 2,650 guests and is the “ultimate expression of Holland America Line’s brand evolution,” says the line. Koningsdam debuts several innovative concepts and new public spaces and venues while still featuring popular amenities guests associate with the cruise line. The ship will feature Holland America Line’s first purpose-built staterooms for families and solo travelers among its 1,331 guest accommodations.
New dining options at alternative restaurants include Sel de Mer, a French seafood brasserie, and an immersive farm-to-table concept dinner experience in the Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine magazine. Grand Dutch Cafe debuts onboard with traditional Dutch treats and European beer, while a redesigned Lido Market with themed serving stations revolutionizes the buffet experience. The main dining room is a focal point of the ship, and favorites return such as Pinnacle Grill, Canaletto Italian restaurant and pan-Asian Tamarind.
Onboard entertainment features a new Music Walk area with all genres of music showcased in venues including Lincoln Center Stage, offering chamber music nightly; Billboard Onboard, where live musicians rock the crowd with chart-topping hits, and the popular B.B. King’s Blues Club in the Queen’s Lounge, bringing the best of Memphis music to sea. With the 270-degree LED projection at World Stage, new concepts for show-time performances will immerse the audience in panoramic visual and sound effects.
Also featured is a new venue where cruisers can blend their own wine. At the venue, called BLEND, passengers can participate in a “tasting table” that accommodates 10 guests who will create their own blend from a selection of five barrels of single-vineyard red wine. The wine blending sessions will be held daily for a fee, and reservations are required.
The venue is being created in collaboration with Chateau Ste. Michelle, Washington State’s oldest winery. “At the core of every Holland America Line cruise is our desire to offer unique, immersive and innovative experiences, and BLEND by Chateau Ste. Michelle is all of those things and more,” says Ashford “The BLEND experience on Koningsdam is designed to appeal to everyone, and it will be exciting for our guests to create an exclusive wine tailored to their personal taste that they can enjoy onboard with our exceptional cuisine.”