Exploring the Globe Aboard Prinsendam

| March 18, 2004

HAL's Prinsendam
Since joining Holland America in June 2002, Prinsendam has been called the "Elegant Explorer" as she roams the globe on exciting itineraries of 10 days and longer. In 2003 Prinsendam offered the only 14-night itineraries to Alaska, sailing round-trip from San Francisco. She is currently sailing HAL's World Cruise and next November will find her in the Amazon on a 28-night cruise from Ft. Lauderdale featuring two days in Manaus, Brazil.

The 38,000-ton Prinsendam is well suited for longer cruises. Her smaller size makes it easy to get around yet she is much larger than a yacht, with plenty of public areas on board. Carrying only 793 passengers means the ship doesn't overwhelm ports of call and makes tendering passengers ashore easier in ports without a cruise pier.

Pinnacle Grill restaurant
Every cabin aboard Prinsendam has a walk-in closet. On my 14-night Alaska sailing it certainly gave me plenty of space for clothes and storage. The well appointed staterooms also have a refrigerator, hair dryer, phone, locking drawers, safe, individually controlled air conditioning and most bathrooms have a full tub and shower. Mattresses and pillows were among the most comfortable I've experienced at sea and Prinsendam's beds have cozy duvets instead of blankets.

Promenade Deck
Cabins are roomy ranging from 181 to 238 square feet with suites from 362-724 square feet. The exception is the Standard Inside cabins which are only 128 to 138 square feet. Most cabins have a sitting area with love seat, table and chair great for relaxing in-cabin. The useful additional amenities for deluxe cabins and suites include bath robes, extra-luxurious towels, DVD (and access to the DVD library), personalized stationery, verandah and floor to ceiling windows.

The two self-service launderettes complete with irons and ironing boards, found on Main and Verandah decks, are another welcome touch on Prinsendam's longer routes.

Crows Nest observation lounge
Prinsendam is no stranger to extended, globetrotting itineraries with added luxury. She started out in 1988 as the Royal Viking Sun for Royal Viking Line and as such was rated as the number one ship in the world for many years. In 1999 she continued her upscale existence becoming the Seabourn Sun for Seabourn Cruise Line. Following a major refit after joining Holland America, she boasts all the traditional features of the HAL fleet - the Explorer's Lounge, Ocean Bar, Crow's Nest, Java Cafe, Wajang Theater, Half Moon Room, the Queen's Lounge showroom, La Fontaine Dining Room and wrap-round promenade - as well as The Pinnacle Grill Pacific Northwest specialty restaurant, a new Internet Center, an Art Gallery, Roman style spa, fitness center and a Golf Club and Pro Shop complete with golf simulator. (For more details on the Prinsendam see CruiseMates' review at http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/reviews/hal/prinsendam.cfm)

Gala Afternoon Tea
Holland America's new Signature of Excellence program will add more luxury touches to the cruise experience. Already flexible boarding times are in place and soon four dinner seatings in the main dining room, instead of two, will be available as well as casual dinner service in the lido restaurant and an extensive room service menu.

Following this year's world cruise, Prinsendam will settle into a season of European sailings with some very intriguing routes and two-day stays in major ports. Here are some highlights:

Mediterranean and Black Sea Ports are combined on the 14-night Athens to Rome cruise, May 31, 2004 and the 13-night Athens to Venice sailing, October 3. Both include calls at Nesbur, Bulgaria, Odesa in the Ukraine and Yalta on the Crimean Peninsula plus daylight cruising of the Bosporus and Sea of Marmara. The October 3 cruise ends with a full day and overnight on board in Venice before disembarkation.

A two day stopover in Rome is featured on the 13-night cruise from Lisbon to Athens, departing September 20, 2004. Prinsendam will dock at Civitavecchia, the port for Rome, from 6am September 25 until 8pm the following day.

The 14-night "Ireland and Ice" cruise, July 26, 2004 from Amsterdam to Copenhagen features three port calls in Iceland: Reykjavik, Islafjord and Akureyri and scenic cruising of the fjords. Ireland ,the Shetland Islands and Norway are also visited on this route.

This summer's 14-night "Baltic Summer" cruises between Amsterdam and Copenhagen combine Baltic ports with the Norwegian Fjords and include a two-day stay in St. Petersburg, Russia. The reverse itineraries from Copenhagen back to Amsterdam, are comprehensive 14-night Baltic cruises which include a two day stay in Hamburg in addition to the two days in St. Petersburg plus a daylight transit of the Kiel Canal. Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden and Finland are also visited.

A daylight transit of the Kiel Canal and overnight on board in both Hamburg and Lisbon highlight the 14-night cruise from Copenhagen to Lisbon, September 6, 2004. This port intensive itinerary also calls at Amsterdam, Holland; Antwerp, Belgium; Dover, England; Honfleur, France; Guernsey, Channel Islands; Waterford, Ireland; Bilbao and La Coruna, Spain with two days at sea.

When considering a European cruise or a longer, exotic sailing, remember there are unique itineraries available aboard Prinsendam, Holland America's well appointed and classic "Elegant Explorer".

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