Special thanks to HAL fan Germán for sharing these wonderful photos of Nieuw Amsterdam. To view more photos of the ship on Germán’s flickr account, click HERE.
Special thanks to Nieuw Amsterdam’s Florist Yusdi Widodo for sharing these beautiful photos from port calls throughout the Mediterranean.
Special thanks to HAL guest James Ogden for sharing this touching story with our blog.
My great grandparents were the first generation of my family to sail with Holland America Line, in the 1950′s. They sailed with HAL four times between 1954 and 1960, on transatlantic voyages, between various cities in Europe and New York. My great grandfather was an engineer and had annual conferences and meetings to attend in Europe, and he and my great grandmother sailed both ways across the ocean as often as possible, even after jet aircraft started to become more popular. My great grandfather was born before airplanes and cars had been invented and was not particularly comfortable with flying. He always said he did not like it because if something broke, you could not simply stop and fix it! Sailing across the ocean gave him and my great grandmother several days to relax and enjoy the ocean too.
The first voyage my great grandparents took on Holland America Line was on the Noordam, from Rotterdam to New York. They departed Rotterdam on October 23, 1954, at 3:00pm, and arrived in Hoboken, NJ, on November 1, 1954, at 9:00pm. This is their most documented voyage on HAL. We have several photographs from that voyage, as well as some early videos. The videos do not have sound, but are quite interesting all the same. We also have a telegram sent by them, from the ship, to my grandparents, who would be picking them up upon arrival in New York, advising them of a change in the arrival time, due to rough seas. There are also several journal entries about the voyage, and some postcards and playing cards they got while on the ship. These are the actual pages out of the photo albums they made after the trip, including the handwritten captions.
Travel blogger Geoff Edwards recently sailed aboard Nieuw Amsterdam from Fort Lauderdale to the Eastern Caribbean. To read more about Geoff’s experience on Nieuw Amsterdam, click HERE.
A Day At Sea:
Most of the day we sailed along the south side of Cuba. “The Culinary Arts Center program, presented by Food & Wine magazine, is a groundbreaking program that integrates guests’ love for fine food and wine with an unique and entertaining experience.” Michael checked out “Three Chefs Demo” and also attended Caribbean Heat. The Culinary Arts Center Program takes place in a large (200 plus seating) room with a stage, state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen, plus multiple large screens providing close ups of the food preparation.
Travel blogger Geoff Edwards recently sailed aboard Nieuw Amsterdam from Fort Lauderdale to the Eastern Caribbean. Here is part one of his experience, taken from Travelergeoff’s Blog. Enjoy!
My wife, Michael, and I are starting a trip from Fort Lauderdale into the Eastern Caribbean on the Nieuw Amsterdam. This is the newest of Holland America’s ships. We’ll join 2,106 other passengers. We live in Los Angeles; the ship sails from Fort Lauderdale. For some reason, ubiquitous connections don’t exist. Miami, no problem, but Fort Lauderdale? You’re sure you want to go there??
Actually, Virgin America makes it easy, but still to be sure to make the ship’s sailing, better plan for an overnight hotel stay. Our Virgin America crew was friendly, although they only came down the aisle once with complimentary soft drinks plus booze to buy. Not that we had any spare change, $25 per bag, $8.00 to watch a movie. Food to order prices are displayed on the TV. Just press “eat”. No button on the screen says “Can I just have a peanut?” “Never mind,” as my grandmother used to say. On the plus side, the seat back screen received Dish Network and the ubiquitous moving flight map. Make no mistake, there is a lot new on the Nieuw Amsterdam, but the cool thing about Holland America is, no matter how new things are, the ship always feels familiar. The bar you liked previously is still there in the same place. The lounge where they serve the goodies at night is a bit bigger, but still looks the same and it’s right where you left it.
Special thanks to HAL’s Manager of Internal Communications Rachel Moodie for sharing this post with us from her recent cruise aboard Nieuw Amsterdam.
For those of us with food allergies, sensitivities or intolerances, eating while traveling can often be a challenge. This however could not be further from my experience last week on board the elegant ms Nieuw Amsterdam. To my delight upon entering the Lido café, I noticed a sign that gluten free options are widely available. I started each day with warm gluten-free bread, ate fulfilling gluten-free lunches and ended each day with four-course gluten-free meals. My waist line is proof that I ate well last week!
Every server knew what gluten free meant and could run down every ingredient in every dish. The main dining room kindly requested that I selected my dinner the night before so they could ensure no cross contamination. On my last evening, Punia from the main dining room, surprised me by arranging the most delicious gluten-free flour-less chocolate cake. It was hands-down the best dessert I’ve ever had. Thank you Punia! Thank you also to Jonathan, manager of culinary operations, and his entire team who take allergies seriously and ensured that I had delicious, nutritious food to fuel me each day!