Fun Entertainment Lined Up for Holland America

When ms Amsterdam departs on its 75-day Grand Pacific and Far East Voyage Sept. 20, 2013, it’s going to feature a whole lot more than beautiful ports, tantalizing cuisine and award-winning service. Holland America Line has added four guest chefs, eight guest speakers and local entertainment in several ports as part of the line’s new On Location activity program. Shorter voyage segments of 21 – 43 days are still available.

The Culinary Arts Center — presented by Food & Wine magazine — will host four chefs on different segments of the voyage who will whip up their favorite dishes with a local flair reflecting the region where they are sailing. Guests will enjoy cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, question-and-answer sessions and hands-on cooking classes with the chefs in the ship’s full show kitchen. Scheduled to join the voyage are:

·Joseph Caputo (Sept. 20-29), culinary educator, author and chef/owner at Zuppa del Giorno and Catering by Joseph in Scranton, Pa.

·George Geary (Oct. 10-23), former pastry chef at Disney Corp., culinary journalist, author and educator

·Paulette Mitchell (Nov. 3-23), ethnic cuisine instructor and food markets of the world specialist

·Naomi Kakiuchi (Oct. 24-Nov. 2), sushi expert, Asian cuisine specialist and president of NuCulinary

Guests wanting to enrich their minds and expand their knowledge can attend lectures by eight guest speakers who will give presentations throughout the voyage:

·Dr. John Palmisano (Sept. 20-29) holds a Ph.D. in marine biology and has studied sea otter ecology in Alaska and the decline of wild Pacific salmon.

·David Smith (Sept. 20-29) is a professional photographer and travel writer who has published the “Digital and Travel Photography Tutorial” CD and “Travel Photography — Tips and Techniques” DVD.

·Joseph Kess (Sept. 29-Oct. 14) is the retired emeritus chair in Japan and Asia-Pacific Relations of the Center for Asia-Pacific Initiatives at Canada’s University of Victoria. He is an elected fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and was inducted into the prestigious Order of the Rising Sun by the Japanese government.

·Architectural historian Sandra Millikin (Sept. 29-Oct. 23) was assistant curator at the Royal Institute of British Architects Drawings Collection, which is now housed in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. She also was a lecturer at Open University.

·Professor Roberta Sloan (Oct. 14-Nov. 17) has produced, directed and acted in more than 200 productions. She has taught at Marymount College, Huntingdon College, University of Oklahoma and University of Central Oklahoma, and received a Kennedy Center Medal.

·Stephen Sloan (Oct. 14-Nov. 17) is professor emeritus at the University of Oklahoma. He is a pioneer in research and teaching on terrorism, and his book “Simulating Terrorism” has been used to conduct exercises internationally. Sloan is the author of 13 books and consults for the U.S. government and internationally.

·Melvyn Foster (Oct. 23-Nov. 17) has lectured extensively as a destination, wildlife and maritime speaker. He has an interest in maritime history and commerce, particularly the Atlantic and Pacific liners, and has personally logged more than 75 Atlantic and Pacific crossings.

·Elizabeth Foggin (Nov. 17-Dec. 4) holds a Ph.D. in Applied Social Sciences from Université de Montréal. Her research and thesis explored the experience of leisure and tourism of people with reduced physical abilities. She is co-author of a study and report commissioned by United Nations’ Asia Pacific office concerning “Barrier-Free Tourism in the Asia Pacific Region.”

As part of the On Location program, Amsterdam guests can participate in activities such as lei making, ukulele lessons, hula classes and Hawaiian language classes. In Honolulu, Hawaii; Kobe (Osaka), Japan; Shanghai and Hong Kong, China, and Papeete, Tahiti, local performers will entertain guests during special evening performances in the ship’s main show lounge. The itinerary sets the theme for guests to indulge in localized experiences that make time onboard as enriching as visiting the ports of call.

Guests also can fill their time onboard with other activities or simply relax and catch up on personal time with amenities such as the Greenhouse Spa & Salon, Explorations Café powered by the New York Times or Digital Workshop powered by Windows®.

Amsterdam embarks on its 75-day Grand Pacific and Far East Voyage from Vancouver, B.C., or Los Angeles, Calif., on Sept. 20 or 23, 2013, respectively, and returns to Los Angeles. The itinerary features an in-depth exploration of Hawaii, Micronesia, China, Japan, the Philippines and French Polynesia, as well as maiden calls at the exotic ports of Majuro, Marshall Islands, and Pohnpei, Micronesia. With overnights at Hong Kong and Shanghai; Kobe (Osaka), Japan, and Singapore, guests have more time to experience the culture and atmosphere of the region.

Rates start at $9,999 per person, double occupancy, for Amsterdam’s 75-day Grand Pacific & Far East Voyage departing Sept. 20. Segments ranging from 21- to 43-day sailings also are available starting at $2,499 per person, double occupancy.

For more information, contact your travel agent or visit

Holland America’s ms Amsterdam played host to composer Marvin Hamlisch and the Seattle Symphony

Marvin Hamlisch, seated, aboard ms Amsterdam at the Amstel Cafe piano bar. Pictured with him are John Delaney, senior vice president, Seabourn (far left); Stein Kruse, president and CEO, Holland America Line (left of Hamlisch); and Ashley Brown, vocalist and broadway performer (far right).

Holland America Line welcomed the Seattle Symphony and special guest, acclaimed composer Marvin Hamlisch, on board ms Amsterdam last Friday, June 1, 2012, in Seattle for the organization’s annual spring recital. This is the second time the line has hosted this event. Continue reading “Holland America’s ms Amsterdam played host to composer Marvin Hamlisch and the Seattle Symphony”

Holland America returns to Australia and South Pacific

The ms Oosterdam, along with the ms Volendam, will sail a series of Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific cruises, visiting more than 50 ports. Photo courtesy of Holland America Line.
Starting in winter 2012 and spring 2013 two Holland America Line ships ——ms Oosterdam and ms Volendam —— will sail a series of Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific cruises, visiting more than 50 ports where guests can indulge in the cosmopolitan cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland, and explore the exotic landscapes of Vanuatu and Fiji in the South Pacific. The series of sailings ranges from 10 to 58 days and features one of the line’s larger Vista-class ships, ms Oosterdam.

“Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands are among the top travel destinations in the world and we’ve developed our itineraries to showcase the best of what they offer from secluded ports to popular favorites,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs, for Holland America Line. “Holland America Line’s cruises highlight the region’s incredible wildlife on land and sea, including the legendary Outback, world-famous Great Barrier Reef and the opportunity of a lifetime to witness a solar eclipse while at sea.”

Guests can choose from a variety of departures ranging from 10 to 14 days sailing roundtrip from Sydney or Auckland, between October 2012 and March 2013. New Zealand itineraries give guests a chance to experience some of the most breathtaking scenery, including the beautiful and dramatic Fiordland National Park and Bay of Plenty, known for its beaches. These itineraries also visit the North and South Islands of New Zealand with calls at popular ports of Wellington, Napier and Tauranga.

Volendam and Oosterdam sail a total of five 14-day Australia and New Zealand cruises. Four 14-day New Zealand Discovery voyages sail roundtrip from Sydney on Oosterdam Oct. 24, Nov. 21 and Dec. 19, 2012 (holiday cruise) and Jan. 12, 2013. One 14-day Solar Eclipse voyage departs Nov. 7, and includes port calls at Brisbane, Hamilton Island and Townsville, Australia; Ile des Pins and Noumea, New Caledonia, and a total of six days in the Tasman and Coral Sea.

Four additional sailings to Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific include the 10-, 11- and 13-day Pacific Treasures cruises roundtrip from Sydney and feature more exotic and lesser-known tropical ports in Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji. Cruise fares begin at $1,299 per person.

The Holland America Line offers several unique longer itineraries throughout the season, including Volendam’s 34-day Australia Circumnavigation. That voyage sails roundtrip from Sydney Oct. 21, 2012 and boasts 18 ports of call and scenic cruising in the remote Ribbon Reef and Far North Regions, which include: Brisbane, Hamilton Island, Perth, Melbourne and Cairns, Australia; Hobart, Tasmania; Komodo Island, Indonesia; sunrise at Lizard Island and sunset at Booby Island, to name a few. The Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven wonders of the natural world, is also included. Cruise fares begin at $5,499 per person.

The 1,380-passenger ms Amsterdam sails a 75-day Grand Asia and Australia Voyage, departing Seattle, Wash., Sept. 21, 2012. Ports of call during this extended voyage include Darwin, Brisbane and Sydney, Australia; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Waitangi (Bay of Islands) and Auckland, New Zealand; Lautoka, Fiji, and Apia, Samoa Islands. Disembarking takes place in San Diego, Calif. Cruise fares begin at $10,999 per person.

South Pacific repositioning cruises provide an opportunity to visit regions with desired ports of call and more relaxing days at sea. Oosterdam’s 22- or 23-day trans-Pacific Crossing departs Seattle, Wash., or Vancouver, B.C., for Sydney Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 2012. Oosterdam returns on a 22- or 23-day South Pacific Crossing from Sydney to Seattle or Vancouver departing April 13, 2013. Cruise fares for the South Pacific and trans-Pacific sailings begin at $2,399 per person.

Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific Collectors’ Voyages on Oosterdam and Volendam range from 25- to 58-days. Combining two back-to-back itineraries. During the Australia cruise season, Holland America Line sails a total of 11 Collectors’ Voyages. Cruise fares begin at $3,049 per person.
For more information on Holland America Line’s cruises and cruisetours, consult a professional travel seller or visit

– Jackie Roseboom is a regular contributor to Cruise Guide, “Orlando Attractions Magazine” and

Enjoy culinary arts classes with celebrity chefs on Holland America

The Culinary Arts Center on Holland America ships offers cooking and beverage demos and hands on classes in the state-of-the-art show kitchens. For many sailings, celebrity chefs lead the demonstrations. Photo courtesy of Holland America Line.

By Jackie Roseboom

Michelle Bernstein, award-winning chef, restaurateur and culinary author, is scheduled to participate in the guest-enrichment program on the June 3, Mediterranean Romance Voyage aboard Holland America’s newest ship, ms Nieuw Amsterdam.

Bernstein sails on the 12-day voyage departing from Venice, Italy, to Barcelona, Spain. The ship will call at Catania, Naples, Civitavecchia (Rome) and Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kerkira (Corfu), Argostoli and Thira (Santorini), Greece. The voyage also features scenic cruising through the Strait of Messina, a narrow passage between the eastern tip of Sicily and the southern tip of Calabria, Italy.

During the cruise, Chef Bernstein will perform cooking demonstrations for guests in the ship’s state-of-the-art show kitchen and participate in question and answer sessions.

The Culinary Arts Center and guest enrichment program are part of Holland America Line’s innovative and leading culinary initiatives, which also include a partnership with “Food & Wine” magazine, Le Cirque to present “An Evening at Le Cirque in the Pinnacle Grill” and a Culinary Council, comprised of renowned international chefs Jonnie Boer, David Burke, Marcus Samuelsson, Jacques Torres, Charlie Trotter and the line’s Master Chef Rudi Sodamin. For a full list of guest chefs and more information about Holland America’s Culinary Arts Center program visit 

Chef Bernstein, a Miami native, was professional ballerina before realizing her true passion for cooking after taking a class on nutrition. She later enrolled in Johnson and Wales University’s College of Culinary Arts. After graduating, Bernstein trained under iconic French Chef Jean-Louis Palladin and began working with renowned chefs at several premier restaurants including Red Fish Grill, The Strand and Tantra in Miami Beach. Bernstein later served as lead chef at Azul, the Mandarin Oriental’s signature restaurant in Miami, where she became a force in the city’s burgeoning culinary movement. She later became a household name after serving as a judge on Bravo’s acclaimed “Top Chef” series. She also hosted the PBS series, “Check, Please!”

Bernstein co-hosted The Food Network’s “Melting Pot,” a show that presented the traditions, stories and recipes of her Latin background. She also was a competitor and winner on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” series. She has been featured in both “The New York Times” and “Bon Appétit” magazine for one of the “50 Best Dishes in the World” and in “Gourmet” and “Food & Wine” magazines, for one of the best hotel restaurants in the country. Her restaurant ventures include Michy’s and Sra. Martinez in Miami, MB in Cancun, Mexico, and Michelle Bernstein at The Omphoy in Palm Beach, Fla.

Holland America Line’s Culinary Arts Center is featured on each of the line’s 15 ships. Each facility features a theater-style venue with two large plasma video screens and a large cooking display counter. For cruises that do not have a celebrity chef on board, classes and demonstrations are conducted by Holland America Line’s own expert chefs.

Note: Be sure to follow your Cruise Guide columnists as we report live from Carnival’s newest ship, Carnival Magic, from May 1 to 10 in Europe. We’ll be reporting on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Visit for links.

– Jackie Roseboom is a regular contributor to Cruise Guide, “Orlando Attractions Magazine” and

Onboard: Eurodam offers palate pleasing culinary fare

An all-female Asian team of servers greets passengers in Tamarind, Holland America’s superb Pan-Asian themed restaurant aboard the 2,104-passenger Eurodam.
An all-female Asian team of servers greets passengers in Tamarind, Holland America’s superb Pan-Asian themed restaurant aboard the 2,104-passenger Eurodam.

Cruise News Weekly Editor Michael Coleman is aboard Holland America’s Eurodam as she sails an Eastern Caribbean itinerary this week. Here’s his latest dispatch:

HALF MOON CAY, Bahamas, Dec. 4, 2009 — Here on this sun-drenched oasis where Carib Indians used to smoke meat over open flames centuries ago, cruise ship passengers aboard Holland America’s Eurodam ponder their evening’s gourmet culinary choices.

The ship features a two-level main dining room (Rembrandt); there’s a casual eatery to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner (Lido); a pool grill (Terrace); and of course a pizza venue aptly named Slice.

But, as guests splash in these turquoise waters, thoughts move to Eurodam’s superb, reservations-only specialty restaurants where Pan Asian, Pacific Northwest and Italian offerings abound.

Tamarind, with seating for just 144 patrons, features Asian-inspired entrees from sea bass with a hoisin-lime glaze to steamed shrimp and scallops with garlic, ginger and chili. The wasabi soy-crusted beef tenderloin is not to be missed. The all-female Asian team of servers may also offer Rijsttafel, a Dutch adaptation of the traditional Indonesia dinner of rice accompanied by more than a dozen, often spicy, side dishes. Meals are just $15 per person. The venue is open for complimentary lunch – look for dim sum, an assortment of classic Asian dumplings, and accompanying fusion sauces for dipping.

Excellent fare and service with a smile are Pinnacle Grill staples.
Excellent fare and service with a smile are Pinnacle Grill staples.
Pinnacle Grill is without question one of cruise travel’s most beautifully-appointed alternative dining venues. Featuring Pacific Northwest specialties (Holland America’s ancestry dates back to Rotterdam in 1873 but corporate headquarters are now in Seattle) look for select cuts of Sterling Silver beef plus seafood appetizers and entrees. Select wines from the Pacific Northwest are a nice accompaniment. Distinctive Bvlgari china, Frette linens and elegant Riedel stemware add to the experience. Meals are $20 per person.

Canaletto, meanwhile, comes to life for dinner when a section of the Lido restaurant is transformed each evening into an Italian venue. It’s casual and walk-ups are accepted although reservations for the 72-seat locale are encouraged. The family-style menu features traditional Italian favorites daily with entrees rotating nightly.

In the main dining venue, Rembrandt, Eurodam features what Holland America dubs “As You Wish Dining’’. Passengers may choose either traditional pre-set seating and dining times, they can make specific reservations daily, or they may simply walk into the venue anytime during dining hours.

Rembrandt features regional favorites, vegetarian and healthy lifestyle options plus a daily alternatives menu which includes fish, chicken or sirloin steak. Look for Rosenthal china, starched linens, silver service and fresh flowers in the venue, daily.

Rounding out Eurodam’s culinary journey is a late-night feast in Lido, evenings, after 11. Complimentary room service is available 24/7.

Sushi is prepared fresh daily by chefs in Tamarind, a 144-seat venue.
Sushi is prepared fresh daily by chefs in Tamarind, a 144-seat venue.

Photos by Michael Coleman

Port Postcard: Trunk Bay in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

dec 2, 2009 (1)

One of the world’s most beautiful quarter-mile, white-sand beaches, Trunk Bay in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, played host today to guests aboard Holland America’s Eurodam. The beach break was one of 22 shore excursions offered by the ship in St. John and neighboring St. Thomas. Guests aboard the vessel have a day at sea tomorrow en route to Holland America’s private Bahamian island — Half Moon Cay — Friday. The ship is in the midst of a seven-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary.
Photo by Michael Coleman

Onboard: Eurodam sparkles under Caribbean sun

The 2,104-passenger Eurodam, the newest vessel in Holland America’s 14-ship fleet, docked Monday on Grand Turk in the Turks & Caicos. She’s in the midst of a 7-night itinerary and will call on San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay, Bahamas, later in the week. Photo by Michael Coleman
The 2,104-passenger Eurodam, the newest vessel in Holland America’s 14-ship fleet, docked Monday on Grand Turk in the Turks & Caicos. She’s in the midst of a 7-night itinerary and will call on San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay, Bahamas, later in the week. Photo by Michael Coleman

Cruise News Weekly Editor Michael Coleman is aboard Holland America’s Eurodam as she sails an Eastern Caribbean itinerary this week. Here’s his latest dispatch:

GRAND TURK ISLAND, Turks & Caicos, Nov. 30, 2009 — The question facing passengers during a seven-night Caribbean cruise this week aboard Holland America’s Eurodam isn’t what to do onboard but whether there’s enough time to enjoy all that’s being offered.

The 2,104-passenger, 86,000-ton ship features a host of events and activities in some 31 public rooms.

Highlights include demonstrations in the Culinary Arts Center, presented by “Food & Wine Magazine”; health, fitness and wellness opportunities in the ship’s Greenhouse Spa and Salon; and Digital Workshops, daily, where passengers learn the nuances of personal web page design, photography, computer safety and maintenance.

Holland America has been making its name the past couple of years tied to an ambitious, hands-on passenger approach to culinary education. Eurodam has its own dedicated space, a theater-style venue on Deck 3 which features an elaborate show kitchen complete with large plasma video screens and a display counter where guests participate in cooking demos, culinary classes and one-on-one learning. Top chefs, leading cook book authors and wine experts lead the charge.

The spa, meanwhile, offers a range of services and treatments complete with a gymnasium featuring both aerobic and strength training equipment. Eurodam features 46 “spa’’ suites, located close to the facility.

The ship features self-guided i-Pod tours where guests learn more than just how to get around. Tours feature details about Eurodam’s multi-million dollar art collection.

There’s a screening room showing feature films — odd these days at sea aboard modern vessels but an extremely nice touch — plus an Internet café (Explorations on Deck 11), a casino, shops and art gallery.

Eurodam features two pools — Lido surrounded by cabanas for rent and Sea View, an adults-only retreat on Deck 9 aft.

On the entertainment side look for a piano bar, string quartet, and two bands: The Neptunes and Marisha & The HALCats plus the ship’s singers and dancers performing nightly on the main stage.

Look also for bridge play, afternoon tea, volleyball and basketball games on the Sports Court, Pilates, cycling, Wii games and trivia contests. Eurodam also features a port shopping ambassador who hosts seminars and guides passengers on their port quests to find the best trinket or diamond.

There are nine bars/lounges onboard plus seven restaurants where everything from burgers to gourmet offerings are on tap.

Still trying to decide what to do? Let’s not forget Eurodam’s varied port calls featuring tours and beach offerings under the Caribbean’s warm sun.

Later this week: The culinary choices aboard Eurodam abound, from Pan-Asian to Pacific Northwest specialties. We’ll take a closer look in the day’s ahead.

Follow us onboard Holland America’s Eurodam

Passengers enjoy a bird’s eye view from Holland America’s Eurodam, Saturday at sunset, as the ship departed Fort Lauderdale. Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas is in the background. The 2,104-passenger Eurodam has just begun a seven-night Caribbean voyage to Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. Cruise News Weekly Editor Michael Coleman is onboard and will be posting dispatches from the ship this week.
Photo by Michael Coleman

Cruise Guide: Zaandam sets sights on Hawaii

Zaandam, a 1,432-passenger vessel operated by Holland America Line, will be setting her sights on the Hawaiian Islands in fall 2010.
Zaandam, a 1,432-passenger vessel operated by Holland America Line, will be setting her sights on the Hawaiian Islands in fall 2010.

By Michael Coleman

cruiseguideheadersmallHolland America Line’s Zaandam will be offering a series of six fall voyages to Hawaii in 2010.

The 1,432-passenger ship will sail five 14-day roundtrip San Diego, Calif., cruises (Oct. 24, Nov. 7 and 21; and Dec. 5 and 19) plus one 15-day voyage (Oct. 1) from Vancouver, British Colombia to Hawaii with disembarkation in San Diego. Continue reading “Cruise Guide: Zaandam sets sights on Hawaii”

Holland America special menu to celebrate Alaska’s 50th anniversary

A new commemorative dinner menu featuring the best of Alaska cuisine plays a starring role one night during each seven-day Alaska cruise this summer on Holland America. The special menu is in celebration of the state’s 50th anniversary of statehood in 2009. Continue reading “Holland America special menu to celebrate Alaska’s 50th anniversary”