The Holland America Zuiderdam 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 Zuiderdam.
DestinationThe Holland America Zuiderdam sails two different itineraries. In the summer the ship sails up the U.S. West Coast, taking passengers to Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. As the weather cools, the ship heads south, passing through the Panama Canal. The Zuiderdam explores the Caribbean, stopping in the Antilles, Curacao and Key West, Florida.
Passenger ShipThe Holland America Zuiderdam is one of Holland America's four Vista-class cruise ships. These ships, named in Dutch for each of the four compass points, marry traditional Holland America luxury with contemporary amenities. Recent additions to the line make the ship more family-friendly than older models.
Special FeaturesClub HAL on the Holland America Zuiderdam offers age-appropriate activities for children from 3 to 17. The Digital Workshop gives passengers the opportunity and equipment to organize and edit cruise pictures and videos. The shipboard art gallery features paintings, sculptures and photos from all over the world. A self-guided audio walking tour is available free to all passengers.
AccommodationsAll staterooms on the Holland America Zuiderdam include a seating area in addition to the sleeping area. All balconies are large enough for a table and chairs. Suites have additional amenities such as personalized stationery and access to the Neptune Lounge.
CostPassage for a seven-day cruise of Alaska may cost as little as $849 per person for an inside stateroom on the Holland America Zuiderdam, and $2,049 per person for a suite. While a 33-day cruise through the Panama Canal from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Vancouver costs as much as $3,399 per person for an inside stateroom and $9,899 per person for a suite. For best rates, look at traveling in September.
ExcursionsA Holland America Zuiderdam passenger recommended the Tracy Arm excursion on the Alaskan cruise. A small catamaran took passengers from the cruise ship into Tracy Arm, which was far too ice-clogged for the larger cruise ship to enter. Seeing the glaciers from water level was an awe-inspiring experience. Participants observed a flock of eagles, including newly fledged young, and watched a pod of humpback whales.
Dining ExperienceThe Holland America Zuiderdam's main restaurant, Vista, offers both assigned seating and the line's As You Wish flexible dining program. The ship's premium restaurant, Pinnacle, serves steak, pasta and seafood. For a casual dining experience, try the Lido buffet. The Zuiderdam also offers 24-hour room service.
Maiden VoyageThe Holland America Zuiderdam made its maiden voyage in December 2002. It is the first of Holland America's four Vista-class ships.
In The NewsUSA Today reported a norovirus outbreak on board the Holland America Zuiderdam in November 2008. More than 10 percent of all passengers were ill.
A passenger's deck tour of the Holland America Zuiderdam.
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