Consistency is a watchword for Holland America, so it’s not surprising that stepping about the newly christened Nieuw Amsterdam feels very much like stepping aboard sister ship Eurodam.
“The Nieuw Amsterdam is a twin to the Eurodam, which I love,” says Tom Baumann, President of Travel Leaders Leisure Group. “They toned it down a little on Nieuw Amsterdam. It has a little more elegance to it as far as colours go and some of the artwork.”
Indeed, the key difference between the two ships is largely in the decor. Through art, craftwork and photos, Nieuw Amsterdam reflects the history and spirit of New York City, named Nieuw Amsterdam by its Dutch founders. There’s even a New York City Checker Cab and a typical Big Apple hot dog cart in Club HAL.
At a time when other cruise lines are introducing ships with headline-grabbing innovations – grass lawns and restaurant complexes on Celebrity, entertainment megaplexes on Oasis and Epic – Holland America Line continues to stay the course with its mid-size Signature-class ships. HAL President and CEO Stein Kruse calls it “part of the beauty of Holland America Line – consistency as we build classes of ships.”
That’s not to say there is nothing new on the 2,106-pax Nieuw Amsterdam, the fourth vessel to carry the name for the line. Among them, the ship debuts a new wine-pairing dinner called the Master Chef’s Table. The special evening in a semi-private room in the Pinnacle Grill features seven courses served on signature Versace plates. Cost: $89 per person, with a maximum of 18 diners.
A mix of agents on board Nieuw Amsterdam said cruising aboard her “feels like coming home” and praised Holland America Line’s high standards of service. Those who had been on Eurodam noted the familiarity of the ship but with slight improvements. “Always, the second time around is the charm when it comes to a new ship,” Baumann says. “And they’ve done an outstanding job with Nieuw Amsterdam.”