Written by Celece Seegmiller for The Spectrum Newspaper 1/29/2017
Earlier this week, our office had the opportunity to host our annual appreciation dinner for several of the sales representatives we work with in the cruise, river cruise, and escorted tour industry. Not only is it our way to say thank you, but we receive updates and information on travel trends, new ships, tour itineraries, and offers. After meeting with Ward Wagner from Holland America Line, I could not wait to share what I learned about their newest addition, ms Koningsdam.
The ms Koningsdam made her debut in April 2016. She is a mix of Holland America’s classic service and style with 21st century flair. Her name is contemporary and classic. Koning means king in Dutch and honors King Willem-Alexander, the Netherland’s first king in more than 100 years. Dam is carried forward from the traditional Holland America Line brand. This 2,650-passenger beauty entered service in April 2016.
The ms Koningsdam is currently sailing in the Caribbean with unique itineraries through April, then she will depart on a transatlantic sailing from Ft. Lauderdale to Rome. The spring and summer will feature Adriatic and Baltic itineraries before she returns to Ft. Lauderdale from Rome in October to resume Caribbean departures.
Not only are the itineraries impressive, but the new onboard features are equally entertaining. Music Walk™ consists of three stages featuring diverse live music every evening including Lincoln Center Stage, BB King’s Blues Club, and Billboard onboard. The World Stage is an extraordinary theater at sea with a two-story 270-degree high-definition LED screen. The ever-changing backdrop of sight and sound brings the music to life for the audience.
Of course, I can’t forget to mention the wide variety of culinary delights. The dining room spans two floors and is anchored by a copper-sheathed wine tower showcasing wines from the cellar. Sel de Mer means sea salt in French and offers contemporary French seafood classics. The Culinary Arts Center is presented by Food & Wine Magazine and is a show kitchen for demonstrations and cooking classes. It also transforms to a dinner venue at night with a farm-to-table concept. The Grand Dutch Café is inspired by Delftware and is a place to enjoy pale lagers, coffees, and Dutch snacks – I can practically taste the Stroopwafel as I type this. A Stroopwafel is a waffle made from two thin layers of baked dough with a caramel-like syrup filling in the middle. I could not get enough of this tasty treat the last time I was in Amsterdam and I packed my suitcase with them before I returned home.
Modern additions to the staterooms include bedside USB ports (always appreciated anywhere I travel), frameless shower glass doors (no more shower curtains!), and luxurious appointments. Perhaps two of the best additions are the new family staterooms for up to five guests and the single staterooms for solo travelers. There are sixteen single staterooms and twelve family staterooms. Cruising for solo travelers and large families is now more affordable than ever.
I was excited to learn about the incredible features on this beautiful ship. After Mr. Wagner left my office, I immediately searched the itineraries that would fit into my schedule as I can’t wait to experience her myself.