Holland America provides premium cruises. It seeks to
distinguish itself from the competition through excellence.
This means excellence in decor, amenities, activities, dining
and service. The line seeks to be several notches above the
mass market lines. Luckily for the public, as the quality
provided on the mass market ships increases, it forces the
premium brands to increase their quality as well. Indeed,
HAL's $225 million Signature of Excellence Initiative to
upgrade its fleet illustrates this point.
Since HAL's ships are targeted to the upper end of the
market, there is no shock and awe and no neon -- outside
of the disco. Rather, the decor is restrained and luxurious.
By the same token, onboard activities then to be restrained.
The ship's library/internet cafe boasts that it is powered by
the New York Times. At the same time, however, the healt
spa does offer classes in kick-boxing.
NOORDAM is the fourth of Holland America's Vista-class
cruise ships. She is slightly larger than her sisters but
Holland America plans to refit the earlier ships so that they
will all be approximately the same size. The Vista design
has proven very popular, not only at Holland America but
also at other Carnival Corporation subsidiaries including
Using two azipods, NOORDAM is highly maneuverable.
As a result, she normally does not need tug boat assistance
even when docking in areas such as New York's Passenger
Ship Terminal, which requires ships to make a 90 degree
turn across the current of the Hudson River in order to
enter or exit the slips. Perhaps more importantly, it lets the
ship dock in more Caribbean harbors where tug boat
assistance is not readily available. This allows passengers
to simply walk on and off the ship in those ports without
having to use tenders.
Passengers on NOORDAM tend to be professionals and
successful business people. They are somewhat younger
than on most of the other Holland America ships.
However, except on holiday cruises, there are few children
Amenities, (Pools, Spa, Sports).....................Page Two
Amenities (Shops, Children, Other Areas).....Page Three
Bars, Lounges, Nighttime Entertainment.........Page Four
The central atrium is three decks high and reflects the more
contemporary side of NOORDAM's interior. In designing the
interior, architect Frans Dingemans sought to blend
traditional and contemporary art. As a result, the
multi-million dollar art collection includes antiques from
Europe and Asia, traditional Dutch paintings, realistic
maritime paintings of past Holland America ships by Stephen
Card as well as more avant garde works commissioned for the
NOORDAM's expansive enclosed bridge.
Cruise ship photo tour - Holland America Line - Noordam - page 1