Tag Archives: ms Rotterdam

24
Apr 2014
An exotic cruise around Africa is the ideal gateway for a safari.
An exotic cruise around Africa is the ideal gateway for a safari.

There’s something unbelievably special about cruising around Africa. For many it is a once in a lifetime event.
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23
Apr 2014

Cruise to the Exotic Temples of the Far East

Submitted by: HAL Shore Excursions Team
The Temple of Heaven is visited on the Splendid China Overland Adventure.
The Temple of Heaven is visited on the Splendid China Overland Adventure.

One any cruise to Asia, it’s possible to visit dozens of temples. These beautiful, mysterious and exotic structures have been around for centuries and are still used as a place of worship.
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10
Mar 2014

Fans Cruise Europe from North to South

Submitted by: HAL Destinations Team
Santorini, Greece, by submitted by guest James. B.
Santorini, Greece, by submitted by guest James. B.

From the fjords of Norway to Greece’s golden beaches, Holland America Line’s Europe cruises span the entire region. North, south, east and west, Holland America Line carefully crafts each itinerary to showcase the most exciting, interesting, popular, unique and memorable ports of call.
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15
Jan 2014

Postcards from Alaska

Submitted by: HAL Destinations Team
Alaska was "Indescribable" beautiful. — Brenda Addison
Alaska was "Indescribable" beautiful. — Brenda Addison

Amazing, breathtaking, inspiring, stunning, life-changing … those are just some of the words we’ve heard Holland America Line guests use to describe Alaska.
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26
Dec 2013

‘Tis the Season of Community Giving: Part 1

Submitted by: HAL Corporate Giving Team
Holland America Line President and CEO Stein Kruse, left, helps pack apples with Director of Public Relations Erik Elvejord at Northwest Harvest.
Holland America Line President and CEO Stein Kruse, left, helps pack apples with Director of Public Relations Erik Elvejord at Northwest Harvest.

The holidays are a time of giving, and while giving is part of the corporate culture at Holland America Line year-round, this time of year presents extra opportunities to spread a little cheer to those in need.
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9
Dec 2013

A Cruise to Asia Brings Exotic Sights and Sounds

Submitted by: HAL Destinations Team
The Shanghai skyline by Jonathan Bailey.
The Shanghai skyline by Jonathan Bailey.

A cruise to the Far East can be full of exciting adventures and exotic flavors. The sights and sounds create a breathtaking photo album to impress even the most avid traveler. Volendam, Rotterdam and Amsterdam explore the region in 2014, from a 14-day Far East Explorer cruise on Volendam and visits on Amsterdam’s Grand World Voyage to the 51-day Spice Route to Singapore cruise on Rotterdam

Guests Louise and Brian just disembarked the 75-night Grand Voyage aboard Amsterdam and agree it’s the trip of a lifetime. They wrote from Hong Kong to share some of their photos.

My husband and I are currently on the Grand Asia on the Amsterdam. As usual, the food and service are great. This year, we are enjoying a few new ports as the cruise stops at many smaller Pacific islands which were part of the WWII history. We are currently in Hong Kong but have recently visited Shanghai where we also stayed overnight. We had time to get to the Watertown Zhujiajiao and see the Jade buddha temple one more time. Shanghai is vibrant, modern and exhilarating.

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Watertown

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Around every corner, many of the Asian ports provide a feast for the eyes. The booming skylines, twinkling light, interesting and mysterious monuments … here are some more snapshots from the Far East.

This is Shanghai Nights, take on an overnight call. — Jonathan Bailey, Amsterdam’s safety, environmental and health officer.

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Here are photos from Hong Kong, China, from Jonathan Bailey.

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Amsterdam at Hong Kong harbor.

Amsterdam at Hong Kong harbor.

19
Nov 2013

‘A Taste of De Librije’ Debuts on Eurodam

Submitted by: HAL Culinary Team
Seared North Sea Cod with Speck Ham.
Seared North Sea Cod with Speck Ham.

As you’ve read about on the Holland America Blog, last year the company debuted a new alternative dining option exclusively aboard ms Rotterdam called “Taste of De Librije” featuring the cuisine of Culinary Council member and Michelin Three Star Chef Jonnie Boer. Given its popularity and success as an alternative dining option, the line has extended the experience to ms Eurodam.

Once per cruise the Pinnacle Grill on both Eurodam and Rotterdam is transformed for dinner with service staff wearing the uniform livery from the land-based De Librije, the restaurant’s table set-up is replicated and the wine list highlights a selection of labels from the Lady De Librije collection. Reservations can be made for “Taste of De Librije” for a $69 surcharge per person including wine pairings.

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When guests return to their stateroom following the dining experience, they will find a special Jonnie Boer surprise gift.

Cruise Critic’s Allwayscruising wrote: We did it on the Rotterdam last Jan 2013 and it was an experience in culinary excess. If you are a foodie and want to see what can be done to food in this new deconstruction, molecular fad, then this is a great opportunity.

To enhance the program even more, recently Rotterdam launched a new De Librije menu featuring additional dishes by Boer. The five-course menu starts with North Sea Scallops served to all diners. From there, guests can select among three appetizers, two soups, four entrees and three desserts. The tantalizing dishes include the favorite Oysters on the Beach with micro greens (which was on the first menu as well); Lobster Bisque Foam with Alaskan king crab, brioche croutons and tarragon; North Sea Turbot with Iberico Ham; Broiled Beef Tenderloin with parsnip puree, roasted leek and hache; and Deconstructed Apple Pie with vanilla gelato and Chantilly-style cream, and Rice Chocolate Stones with tuile and red curry marinated strawberries. The two desserts also were on the first menu.

Lobster Bisque.

Lobster Bisque Foam.

Rotterdam’s Culinary Operations Manager Norbert sent us this note about the implementation:

Chefs Jeroen Achtien and Rik Van De Laar from the De Librije land-based restaurant assisted the Rotterdam team during the implementation of the new menu. The Pinnacle Grill galley team led by Kim Van Grinsven, the restaurant team and manager Jan Boer and Rob Van Leeuween, all did a great job and achieved a great launch for our guests!

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When a Taste of De Librije debuted on Rotterdam, the ship held a special event with Boer onboard. Here he is at that event:

De Librije debuted on ms Rotterdam in May of 2013. From left: Hotel Director Mike Mahn, HAL’s Senior Director of Sales North & Central Europe Nico Bleichrodt, Thérèse Boer, Master Chef Rudi Sodamin and Chef Jonnie Boer.

From left: Hotel Director Mike Mahn, HAL’s Senior Director of Sales North & Central Europe Nico Bleichrodt, Thérèse Boer, Master Chef Rudi Sodamin and Chef Jonnie Boer.

Cruise Critic’s Surfcitygirl wrote: We enjoyed the Librije on the Rotterdam in April. The entire experience was the best dinner of the cruise. We enjoyed the food, the ambiance, the service, and the surprises. Never knew what we would get next.

If you want to see Boer in action, check out this video of him making his famous Oysters on the Beach:

Boer is a rising star of the Dutch culinary scene. In addition to being a member of Holland America Line’s esteemed Culinary Council since 2010, comprised of five international chefs, he is chef and co-owner of Michelin-rated De Librije Restaurant and De Librije Hotel in Zwolle, Netherlands. Boer holds the Relais & Chateaux grand chef designation.

21
Oct 2013

Homeports of Europe 2014: Venice, Rotterdam & Barcelona

Submitted by: HAL Destinations Team
Noordam at Venice, Italy.
Noordam at Venice, Italy.

Holland America Line’s ships might be leaving Europe for the season, but if a cruise vacation to Italy, Spain, France, Greece, Turkey, the Baltic or northern Europe is on your mind for next year, it’s never too early to begin planning for summer 2014. And with several homeports to depart from, there’s an exciting adventure waiting with your name on it.

One of Holland America Line’s most beautiful and iconic homeports is Venice, Italy. Next year ms Noordam, ms Amsterdam, ms Ryndam and ms Nieuw Amsterdam all offer cruises from Venice, ranging in length from seven to 24 days.

Future Cruise Consultant Joanne recently visited Venice again, and in addition to a couple of fabulous photos she had some wise words to say about traveling to places she’s already visited before.

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Where I always thought I want new ports, places I haven’t visited, I’ve decided that I actually like repeating ports. There is opportunity to do different things on each visit, thus really accumulating more in depth knowledge of the area. You discover what your favorite restaurant is, the supermarket location, fastest WiFi and how to negotiate the local transportation and even a little bit of the language.

I just finished reading The Inferno by Dan Brown and it’s set in Florence, Venice and Istanbul. As I was listening to the book, I was able to visualize all the places he mentioned in both cities because I have been there often and taken in all the sights right down to the cistern in Istanbul. I know exactly where Medusa’s head is located. It was so vivid in my mind, I found myself smiling and nodding.

I think what I want to get across is that when you are choosing a vacation, don’t write some place off just because you spent one day there on a cruise. Revisit and see something different this time or if you feel like you have seen what you need to see, then act like a local and sit in a cafe, talk to the locals and just enjoy the flavor of the place.

Mariners Jan and Dick Yetke recently cruised on ms Eurodam out of homeport Rotterdam, the Netherlands. As the birthplace of the company, Holland America Line’s roots are spread widely across this vibrant city. In 2014, ms Rotterdam will sail a European season of exciting voyages, with round-trip cruises up to 29 days.

Having cruised on Holland America Line so much, we have always heard a lot about the city of Rotterdam since it was where the cruise line started. So, we wanted to see the original Holland America Line building and the ship ss Rotterdam which is now permanently docked there and used as a hotel, conference center, etc.

We found the original building. It is at the end of a dock area and is where many ships left from a long time ago. Now there is a beautiful new cruise terminal nearby and the original building, which still says Holland America Line on top, is used as a hotel, the Hotel New York. It is really neat inside also — it has a cruise ship interior decor for the restaurant, lobby, etc.

Hotel New York.

Hotel New York.

Hotel New York.

Hotel New York.

Inside Hotel New York.

Inside Hotel New York.

We walked around there and then headed over to see the ss Rotterdam. She is looking beautiful!!! We parked and walked onboard the ship to see what it looked like back then. It was really fun to see!!! — Jan Yetke

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Another homeport favorite is Barcelona, Spain. It is a growing cruise hub in the Mediterranean, and in 2014 several Holland America Line ships will spend 32 days there, including 14 overnights.

Recently it was announced that the Port of Barcelona will be ready to welcome visitors with a new look in 2016. The officers and staff of ms Noordam hosted a luncheon there last month for executives from Carnival Corporation & plc, executives from other Carnival Corporation brands, high-ranking Spanish politicians and dignitaries, local port officials and members of the media to celebrate Carnival Corp.’s announcement that it will build a new cruise terminal at the Port of Barcelona.

That announcement came during an earlier meeting at the Palau de la Generalitat, the seat of Catalonia’s regional government. The new terminal – Terminal E – will cover an area of approximately 10,000 square meters and will be able to accommodate Post-Panamax cruise ships in turnaround operations.

From left: Captain Jeroen van Donselaar, Staff Captain Jethro Beck, Holland America Line's Sr. Vice President, Fleet Operations Keith Taylor, Chief Engineer Jack Keijer and Hotel Director Mark Pells.

From left: Noordam’s Captain Jeroen van Donselaar; Staff Captain Jethro Beck; Holland America Line’s Sr. Vice President, Fleet Operations Keith Taylor; Chief Engineer Jack Keijer and Hotel Director Mark Pells at the Port of Barcelona announcement celebration onboard.

What is your favorite European homeport?

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