Holland America Line’s new ship, Koningsdam, completed its sea trials off the Italian coast this week. Now it’s headed to a shipyard in Trieste, Italy, where finishing touches will be made before the ship’s scheduled debut in early April.
“Koningsdam is a new class of ship for Holland America Line, so everyone was eager to get the ship out in the open water for the first time on sea trials,” says Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. During the sea trials, Koningsdam underwent a series of performance tests on the ship’s systems, machinery and engines.
Captain Emiel de Vries, Koningsdam’s master-designate, has not yet taken command of the ship, but he participated in testing the ship’s maneuvering characteristics and safety systems together with the shipyard’s team of naval architects and builders.
In its inaugural summer season, Koningsdam will feature a variety of itineraries in the Mediterranean and northern Europe. The ship’s naming ceremony is scheduled for May 20, 2016, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. A weeklong Viking Saga cruise from Amsterdam in July starts at $1,299 per person.
The 2,650-passenger ship will deploy to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in November, sailing seven- to 11-day Caribbean voyages through March 2017. Sailing from Florida, the ship will offer nine-, 10- and 11-day Caribbean itineraries. A seven-day and nine-day holiday cruise departs on Dec. 23 and Dec. 30, respectively. The ship’s longer cruises showcase more ports in the region and include unique and lesser-visited islands such as Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Jamaica, Martinique and St. Lucia, to name a few.
Two different seven-day itineraries will have six departures in January and February 2017. The first calls at the Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s private Bahamian island. The second route visits Half Moon Cay, Grand Cayman, Mexico and Key West, Fla.
Koningsdam passengers will choose from among several alternative restaurants including Sel de Mer, a new French seafood brasserie; a new immersive farm-to-table dinner experience in the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine; a re-designed casual Lido Market with themed serving stations; a main dining room; and favorites such as Pinnacle Grill, Canaletto Italian restaurant and pan-Asian Tamarind.
Cruisers will be able to blend their own wine and drink it with dinner. At BLEND, a unique venue onboard the 2,650-guest ship, 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 ship will feature Holland America Line’s first purpose-built staterooms for families as well as single staterooms among its 1,331 guest accommodations.
Onboard entertainment will feature Music Walk, offering 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. Also, World Stage brings 270-degree LED projection to the ship’s main showroom, enabling new concepts for showtime performances and immersing the audience in a panorama of sight and sound.