The Holland America Westerdam is a popular floating resort. The waters are crowded with sea-worthy vessels, so to make planning easier, we've done all the prep work for a cruise vacation. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on cruise ships, here is a tip sheet offering all the key information one could ever need to know about the Holland America Westerdam.
Pacific And Caribbean DestinationsThe Holland America Westerdam sails to Alaska and the Pacific Northwest during the summer months. As the weather gets colder up north, the ship heads to the south pacific. After a tour of Hawaii, Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands, the Westerdam goes through the Panama Canal and tours the Caribbean. In the spring, the ship goes from east to west through the Panama Canal and, after a tour of the South Pacific, tours Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.
Luxury Cruise ShipThis Vista-class cruise ship is designed in the traditional Holland America luxury style. However, the Holland America Westerdam has been updated with more wide-open spaces and designated youth areas.
Special FeaturesThe art on the Holland America Westerdam features Dutch influences and range from pre-Columbian stone carvings to Andy Warhol. Adults can try their hand at blackjack or slot machines in the ship's casino, or relax in the Greenhouse Spa. Everyone can enjoy relaxing around the pool, or watching the scenery drift by in the Crow's Nest Lounge.
AccommodationsInterior staterooms on the Holland America Westerdam feature two twin beds that can convert to a single queen-size bed. They run from 151 to 233 squre feet. Oceanview staterooms are a little larger and feature a window. Veranda rooms have a balcony and are between 212 and 359 square feet. The suites add complimentary amenities such as DVD players, mini bars and access to the exclusive Neptune Lounge.
CostThere are so many different destinations for the Holland America Westerdam that fares vary dramatically. A single-day cruise of the Pacific Northwest starts at $69 per person for an interior suite and $199 per person for a suite. A 35-day cruise of Hawaii, Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands cost as much as $4,699 per person for an interior stateroom and $14,699 per person for a suite.
ExcursionsA passenger recommended the Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier Excursion. The captain of the launch took passengers to a spot where they saw both humpback and orca whales. Then the trip to the Mendenhall Glacier provided beautiful photo opportunities. To top it all off, there was a bear in the tree at the visitor's center when the group returned.
Dining ExperienceThe Vista restaurant on the Holland America Westerdam offers two assigned seatings, or passengers may choose the As You Wish dining program that gives more flexibility. The Pinnacle Grill offers an upscale, premium dining experience. The poolside Terrace Grill serves sandwiches, nachos and burgers. The ship also offers 24-hour room service and a buffet.
Maiden VoyageThe Holland America Westerdam made its maiden voyage in April 2004. The ship joined the Noordam, the Oosterdam and the Zuiderdam to complete the four points of the compass in Dutch. Actress Renee Soutendijk christened the ship.
In The NewsAccording to MSNBC, the Holland America Westerdam struck a large piece of ice floating in Yakutat Bay on May 10, 2011. The ice dented the hull.
Holland America's video about its Alaskan cruise.
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