Founded in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 1873, Holland America Line was originally a Dutch shipping company that played a major role in transporting hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Europe to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Today, Holland America is a U.S.-based cruise line that sails to destinations worldwide, including Asia, Australia, and Alaska. Known for its comprehensive land-and-sea packages, Holland America is a cruise line that dedicates a lot of its focus to destination immersion and onboard cultural enrichment. With the line’s Grand Voyages and new Legendary Voyages, guests can “linger longer”. Holland America has also been sailing in Alaska for 75 years, which is more than any other cruise line.
As a nod to its heritage, the cruise line still maintains the practice of giving its ships Dutch names. Many of the names have been recycled in the company’s 150-year history and most derive from directional terms, cities, or landmarks. The line also incorporates touches of the Netherlands across its fleet, like at its traditional dining venue the Grand Dutch Café.
For those considering a cruise with this historic brand, we have put together this guide to Holland America cruise ships from newest to oldest.
Complete Guide to Holland America Cruise Ships
Who owns Holland America Line?
How many Holland America cruise ships are there?
Holland America Line currently operates a fleet of 11 ships built over the course of 22 years — between 1999 and 2021.
How big are Holland America ships?
Despite a slight increase in size with each new build, these ships remain squarely mid-sized by industry standards. They feature 10 to 12 decks each and an average capacity of just over 2,000 passengers. Holland America’s ships — most notably the line’s oldest vessels — and are known for their relatively intimate atmosphere. Still, the cruise line’s more modern Pinnacle-class ships are about 39 percent larger than its oldest and smallest R-Class vessels.
What is the average age of a Holland America cruise ship?
The average age of a Holland America ship is about 15 years old. While the line’s three Pinnacle-class ships were built between 2016 and 2021, nearly half of the fleet was originally built about 20 or more years ago.
Despite their age, Holland America ships have been thoroughly renovated over the decades to include new and updated spaces and amenities in addition to routine refurbishments to carpets, soft furnishings and other cosmetic features. For example, Volendam – the company’s oldest ship — was last refurbished in 2019 to include an expanded spa, a new bar complex called The Mix, and a series of Lanai Suites on the Promenade Deck.
Holland America makes a regular practice of selling off its oldest vessels to maintain a modern fleet. Most recently, the cruise line sold Maasdam (1993) to a Greek ferry operator in 2020.
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What is the newest Holland America cruise ship?
The newest Holland America cruise ship at publication is Rotterdam, launched in 2021. Rotterdam is also the fleet’s largest vessel. The long lineage of Holland America Line includes a handful of other vessels that have been named Rotterdam — the cruise line’s founding city and a main shipping hub — over the years.
There are currently no ships on order by Holland America, which means the timeline for another new ship joining the fleet is uncertain.
Holland America Cruise Ships By Age: Ranked Newest to Oldest
- Rotterdam — 2021 (99,863 GRT | 2,650 passengers)
- Nieuw Statendam — 2018 (99,863 GRT | 2,650 passengers)
- Koningsdam — 2016 (99,863 GRT | 2,650 passengers)
- Nieuw Amsterdam — 2010 (86,700 GRT | 2,106 passengers)
- Eurodam — 2008 (86,273 GRT | 2,104 passengers)
- Noordam – 2006 (82,318 GRT | 1,924 passengers)
- Westerdam — 2004 (82,305 GRT | 1,916 passengers)
- Oosterdam — 2003 (82,305 GRT | 1,916 passengers)
- Zuiderdam — 2002 (82,305 GRT | 1,916 passengers)
- Zaandam – 2000 (61,396 GRT | 1,432 passengers)
- Volendam — 1999 (61,214 GRT | 1,432 passengers)
Which ship classes does Holland America have?
Holland America Line’s fleet of 11 ships is divided into four ship classes.
Rotterdam, Nieuw Statendam, and Koningsdam
The ships of Holland America’s Pinnacle Class reflect the cruise line’s embrace of a more modern take on entertainment, dining, and nightlife. Beginning in 2016 with Koningsdam, this class of ship boasts more amenities, like a state-of-the-art theater encircled by 270-degree LED screens, across more square footage. All three ships in this class are identical in size and passenger capacity.
With the additional space across 13 decks, existing venues like Rudi’s Sel de Mer restaurant have been expanded. A standout for cruisers aboard these ships is the line’s now-signature Music Walk, featuring branded venues like B.B. King’s Blues Club and Billboard Onboard, as well as the Rolling Stone Rock Room. With nightly offerings of live rock and blues as well as dueling pianos, this hub of the ship comes alive by night as a great place to dance, unwind, or grab a drink.
Another feature that debuted with Pinnacle ships is more stateroom accommodations serving solo cruisers, including cabins with an ocean view. For fresh ocean air, Pinnacle-class cruisers can indulge in The Retreat, a private outdoor sun deck that comes with an entry fee.
Nieuw Amsterdam and Eurodam
Holland America’s Signature Class embodies the line’s two ships built in 2008 and 2010, Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam. In the years since construction, these 11-deck ships both received retrofits that have introduced music and entertainment venues found on the newer Pinnacle Class. This includes a recent fleetwide inclusion of pickleball courts. In that sense, they have a similar feel to the newer ships, despite being about 15 percent smaller.
Without the Grand Dutch Café or Rudi’s, Signature-class ships have just three specialty restaurants on offer: the Pinnacle Grill (steakhouse), Canaletto (Italian), and Tamarind (pan-Asian).
Eurodam draws upon the line’s European heritage for interior inspiration. While the Nieuw Amsterdam celebrates historic New York through its onboard art collection and design touches.
Noordam, Westerdam, Oosterdam, and Zuiderdam
The largest ship class in the Holland America fleet, Vista ships are well-liked for their space-to-passenger ratio. Despite being 20 percent smaller than the Pinnacle-class vessels, they also carry just 72 percent of those ships’ passengers.
Regardless of size, the Vista Class still offers its guests ample Holland America amenities. Some of these offerings include branded live music venues; two pools including a main pool covered by a retractable glass magrodrome; the Greenhouse Spa & Salon; and a fitness center.
The four ships in this class, built between 2002 and 2006, are lacking solo, family, or lanai staterooms as well as Tamarind restaurant.
Rotterdam Class (R Class)
Zaandam and Volendam
Making their debut in 1999 and 2000, the Volendam and Zaandam are the fleet’s coziest and oldest vessels. They are also the two remaining ships in the Rotterdam Class, which originally consisted of four.
Cruisers who choose the line’s R Class are likely more sold by the exotic itineraries than any flashy ship facilities. These are the vessels that primarily feature Holland America’s lengthy Grand Voyages as well as world cruises, ranging in length from about seven weeks to four-plus months.
While their size makes them ideal for managing remote locations and smaller harbors, the R Class ships still feature two pools; the Pinnacle Grill and Canaletto; the World Stage main theater, live music and more.
Additionally, all Holland America Line ships feature casinos as well as a kids club for children ages 3 to 17. Yes, Holland America Line does appeal to cruisers of all demographics.
How many of these Holland America cruise ships have you sailed? Do you prefer larger or smaller cruise ships? Drop us an anchor below to share your experiences sailing on Holland America Line.