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PROFILE AND REVIEW
HOLLAND AMERICA LINE
Cruise line profile - Holland America Line - - P&O Cruises - Vista class - profile and review
Above left: Queen Victoria
Above right: Queen Elizabeth
Below: Costa Luminosa
Above left: Zuiderdam
Above right: Noordam
The Vista class are a series of medium-size cruise ships. Most of these ships
were built for Holland America Line. However, one of the ships sails for P&O
Cruises. In addition, there are modified versions of the Vista design sailing not
only for HAL but also for Costa Cruises and for Cunard Line,
All of the Vista Class and its derivatives were built by the Italian ship maker
Fincantieri. The first one to enter service for HAL was Zuiderdam (2002). She
was followed by Oosterdam (2003); Westerdam (2004) and Noordam (2006).
The names of the four ships are derived from the Dutch words for the various
points on the compass.
The four HAL ships have nearly identical interior layouts. The ambiance of
the public area is like that of a cultured but relaxed hotel. Each of ships has a
museum-quality art collection enhancing a contemporary décor. Daytime
activities include classes on computers and things digital as well as cooking
demonstrations. Evening entertainment includes live classical music
performances and live blues/soul music. HAL's offerings are often in connection
with name brands such as Micorsoft, America's Test Kitchen, Lincoln Center, BB
King and Billboard, In addition, the ships have a large spa, a theater, bars, and a
large pool area that is covered by a retractable magradome. Although each ship
has a good-sized children's area, most passengers are mature.
Each HAL Vista has a two-level main dining room at the stern of the ship.
There is also one purpose-built specialty restaurant and a section of the buffet
becomes a specialty restaurant in the evenings. Alternative casual dining venues
include the aforementioned buffet and a premium burger venue as well as a
specialty coffee venue.
Carnival Corporation's order for the Vista ships was
for five ships. The fifth ship was also ordered with HAL
in mind. However, Carnival decided to give that ship to
its Cunard Line brand to compete with P&O Cruises in
the British cruise market. However, when Carnival
merged with P&O, the plan for Cunard to have cruise
ships that would compete with P&O no longer made
sense. Therefore, the fifth ship was transferred to P&O
where she became Arcadia. Still, in the right light, one
can see the ship's Cunard name “Queen Victoria” on the
stern. Arcadia also has a Cunard-style mast like on
Queen Mary 2.
Arcadia entered service in 2005. She has a
contemporary interior and is operated as adults-only
ship. Most passengers are from the British Isles.
The five Vista class ships are approximately 82,000
gross tons and have dimensions that enable them to
squeeze through the original locks of the Panama Canal.
They are propelled by two ABB azipods and are
equipped with bow thrusters.
The Vista design proved popular and
Carnival Corporation has used modified
versions of the design for several of its lines.
HAL's Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam are
very similar in layout and decor to HAL's four
Vistas but they have an additional deck, which
among other things, allows these ships to have
an additional purpose-built specialty restaurant.
Cunard's Queen Victoria and Queen
Elizabeth are lengthen versions of the Vista
design. In addition, their bows have been
strengthened in order to meet the demands of
transatlantic crossings and world cruises. The
modifications have the added benefit of
increasing the ships' transverse stability. While
there are some similarities between the layouts
of the Cunard ships and their HAL cousins,
there are differences and the atmosphere is
Costa Cruises' Costa Luminosa and Costa
Delizosa are also modified versions of the
Vista design. They are marketed primarily to
the European cruise market.
Below Nieuw Amsterdam