The Koningsdam is full of surprises.
Don’t be surprised at how, well, surprised you are when you first step onboard Holland America Koningsdam. (Fun fact: koning means “king” in Dutch.) The line’s newest, biggest, and most luxurious ship is meant to be a game changer. And it definitely lives up to the hype.
This is the first of Holland America’s new Pinnacle Class vessels—a second, the Nieuw Statendam, will follow in 2018—and instead of the traditional rich colors, mahoganies, and brocades typical on Holland America’s other ships, everything about Koningsdam feels light, stylish, and fresh, from the two-story pool deck with South Beach-style lounge areas to the three-story central atrium with a lofty stainless-steel sculpture inspired by the strings and bows of a classical quartet.
The line’s focus on food and wine has also been taken to another level. There’s a new seafood brasserie that serves fish sourced from markets in local ports, a new multicourse wine-paired dinner at the Culinary Arts Center with ingredients grown fresh in a glass-walled case, and even a new 10-person tasting room where you can blend and bottle your own wine.
But as modern and high-tech as this ship feels, there’s still plenty here that will appeal to fans of Holland America’s other ships, including crowd-pleasing standbys like the Pinnacle Grill steakhouse, and a sophisticated vibe that attracts older couples and multigenerational family groups with tweens and teens. (A tip for families with little ones: Though Koningsdam has a kids’ club, there’s no ice rink or waterslide or ropes course to keep younger children distracted during days at sea.)
Travel + Leisure was recently invited by Holland America to sail on the Koningsdam from Ft. Lauderdale to the Bahamas. Here are some highlights from the ship.