An Introduction To: The MS Koningsdam
March 29, 2016
The newest Holland America ship the MS Koningsdam has finally launched onto the scene!
She will set sail on March 31st to begin a new class of Pinnacle cruising for Holland America, one that promised to be bigger, better and even more luxurious than those before her.
But with 2,650 passengers, 99,500 tons and a name that means “king” in Dutch, what exactly can we expect from this ship?
The www.CRUISE.co.uk team never miss an opportunity to have a nose around a brand new vessel, so here is our examination of the Koningsdam – and this is exactly what we think of her!
But first of all, what exactly does she have to offer?
Décor And Atmosphere
Holland America have told us that the interiors on-board are meant to have been inspired by music…
In reality, what this actually means is that the décor on Koningsdam is much lighter and brighter than their other ships, which have favoured dark woods in the past. The lighting and furniture is decidedly modern and much more relaxed.
We knew what they meant about music inspired décor when we saw the atrium though, as you can see the lines of the atrium that are (almost) reminiscent of a string quartet. (Almost!)
You can see some more of how she looks below…
But swiftly moving on from interiors, what will it actually be like to sail on the ship?
First of all, there are plenty of places to relax. Enjoy a walk around the Promenade deck, a dip in the pool or a visit to the Greenhouse Spa & Salon. The spa has everything you could ask for including thermal pools, heated ceramic lounges and plenty of treatment rooms that face the sea. Bliss!
The pool on-board also has a retractable roof so that nothing will get in the way of your morning swim and there is even an outdoor screen where you can settle back and relax with some snacks from the Lido bar as you watch a film.
Seeing as the ships décor was inspired by music, it’s perhaps not surprising that lots of the entertainment on-board includes music as well! There is a variety of live music every night including bands performing in the BB King’s Blues Club & Queen’s lounge, where the sound of Memphis comes to life in a newly reimagined venue. The new Queen’s lounge now spreads over two storeys which looks like the kind of elegance you’d find on Cunard (in our opinion!) Guests can also enjoy chamber music in the Lincoln Centre Stage and listen to 50 years of chart toppers in the Billboard On-board room with live musicians playing their way through all the best hits. These three dining venues are combined to be called “the Music Walk.”
For a show (and who doesn’t love a good show at sea?) the World Stage theatre offers a cutting edge theatre with a 27- degree LED screen, flexible stage space and modern theatre techniques to make the 5 new productions on-board as exciting as possible.
If you’re someone that enjoys their wine, why not have a go at making it yourself? No, really! Both connoisseurs and novices can try their hand at the experience in “Blend,” the on-board winery in collaboration with Chateau Ste Michelle (which for all you non-wine buffs out there is Washington’s oldest and best known winery).
Did you know? After making it, you can then drink what you’ve made at dinner or in your cabin. (Or if you’d prefer – there’s an extensive wine list made by professionals at your fingertips!)
Carrying on with the food and drink theme, the ship also has a Culinary Arts Centre where you can watch the show kitchen and have a go yourself at one of the individual cooking stations. Experts will be on hand to give classes and pass on advice. Who knows, you could come back from your holiday as the next Mary Berry!
Other chances to learn new things include the Digital Workshop powered by Windows where you can be trained in photo editing, cloud storage and security from Microsoft experts. Always useful if you want to touch up your holiday snaps to make friends and family jealous…
Our specialist cruise consultant Anne told us what she was excited about seeing on the new ship: “No ship is complete of course without a Crow’s Nest and Koningsdam will be no different. She will of course have one at the top of the ship where people can relax and enjoy spectacular views from the wrap around windows.” You can read Anne’s blog about the Koningsdam here!
Wining And Dining
Holland America focuses on dining, and the Koningsdam promises even more dining venues for their passengers.
The centre piece of this? The sweeping two tiered main dining room. Just take a look at that!
The menus inside this room will reflect choices from Holland America’s culinary council who will wow guests with classic favourites, vegetarian options and regionally inspired dishes. It will be up to passengers whether they want to have pre-set seating and set dining times or whether they want to use the “As You Wish” scheme and dine at a time and table to suit them. You can learn more about Holland America’s dining here.
If you’re after a fast food fix, the Lido Pool area is home to several restaurants to grab your fill. Enjoy a slice from the New York Deli or munch through a gourmet burger from Dive-In. For that traditional favourite of ice-cream pool side, just visit Gelato or if you’re in need of a fresh pastry and coffee, make a trip to the Grand Dutch Café.
For a small charge, the Sal De Mer restaurant (otherwise known as sea salt to the English guests aboard!) is an a la carte dining option with a seafood brassiere. Try a fresh selection of fish and shellfish with dishes such as salt-crusted whole fish and bouillabaisse.
Other alternative dining options include Canaletto’s which serves authentic Italian dishes whilst Tamarind serves food from Southeast Asia, China and Japan and also has a sushi bar. Finally, everyone’s favourite buffet is built like a market place and has everything from comfort food to dishes from around the globe.
As always, if you’re feeling tired after a day of excursions or just fancy treating yourself, 24 hour room service, including in-room dining, is available.
Did you know? Holland America have even partnered with an award winning microgreen specialist Koppert Cress… who grow cress! This has allowed fresh ingredients (including cress) to actually be grown on-board in the Culinary Arts Centre for guests to enjoy fresh in their meals.
Family Friendly Facilities
The Koningsdam is the first Holland America ship to have family friendly cabins. These cabins are between 222 and 231 square feet to give families that extra bit of space so you don’t feel like you are on top of each other. Each cabin will have two bathrooms and can host a family of up to five (and these extra bathrooms are perfect for the family morning rush!)
As well as this, Club HAL children’s entertainment club is on-board and on hand to keep the younger ones entertained! All ages from 3 to 17 will be looked after and can enjoy activities from ice cream parties, pirate treasure hunts and video game tournaments.
There is also a teen’s only area (including a nightclub) so everyone from your 5 year old to your 15 year old will be kept happy.
Cabins and Suites
All cabins on-board will have features such as bedside USB ports, flat screen TVs, glass shower doors (which is a welcome addition to many passengers!), 100% Egyptian cotton towels and bath amenities from the spa favourite Elemis. Each room will also have a mini fridge, complimentary fresh fruit basket on request, waffle weave bathrobes and a video on demand service.
There are also 12 cabins on-board for solo travellers, which is a first for Holland America, giving solo travellers their own room without having to pay single supplement.
The best cabin on the ship, (that the www.CRUISE.co.uk team would really like to stay in, hint hint) is the Pinnacle Suite. At a whopping 1,290 square feet large, you’ll have plenty of room to enjoy your hors d’oeuvres served nightly before dinner, and make sure you make use of the in-built bar and lounge in your living room, dining room and dressing room as well as your private verandah with its very own whirlpool!
Other fancy cabins on-board include the Neptune suites which give you up to 855 square feet of space and Signature suites which give you 400 square feet of space. All suites come equipped with added extras including a pillow menu, fresh flowers, personalised stationary and a whirlpool bath.
And there you have it! What do you think of the Koningsdam? Would you want to sail on her? Are you booked on any of her itineraries?
Let us know in the comments below!
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