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Holland America Cruises

Holland America was founded in 1873 and has been a leader in cruising for over 140 years. With a well-deserved reputation for greatness, Holland America is a venerable old lady in pearls amongst a plethora of young cruise lines with waterslides. Holland America is by no means "past it" though, and continues to offer refined elegance while still changing with the times.

This cruise line has a fleet of fifteen ships, sails around the world and visits all seven continents. With over 500 cruises a year, not only does Holland America do the usual itineraries, they also get off the beaten path and cruise the Amazon, Antarctica and Africa.

Holland America are leaders in environmental responsibility, and in 2006 earned the ISO 14001 certification which is an internationally recognized standard for environmental management.

Holland America aim to give back, and run a successful Ship to Shelter program where guests, the company, and employees collect reusable, valuable goods from the ships to donate to charities who serve people in need. In 2013 Holland America also started "On Deck for a Cause", a 5km fundraising walk, the proceeds of which go towards six international cancer organizations.

The line is regularly updating its current ships with its $566 million "Signature of Excellence" program, improving the amenities, excursions, staterooms, dining, enrichment programs, service, and public areas.

Why Cruise with Holland America?

Holland America has earned the very prestigious Five Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences, due to the lines large focus on customer service and "going the extra mile" for passengers.

It also has one of the highest rates of repeat passengers in the cruise industry, which is especially impressive considering the constant new competition. Passengers return for many reasons, including but not limited to:

The Food

While Holland America was always rather traditional and insisted on set dining, the line has now introduced "As You Wish" dining, giving passenger's greater freedom and the ability to eat when they want.

Along with the main dining room, on Holland America ships you have plenty of other options for dining. Eat at the Pinnacle Grill, the lines signature restaurant where you'll enjoy food with a Pacific Northwest theme, or for a delicious breakfast check out Lido restaurant which also has a huge range of options for lunch and dinner.

A stop by Canaletto Restaurant is a must for lovers of Italian food, and fans of Southeast Asian Food will like Tamarind Restaurant.

True foodies will love the Culinary Arts Centre, where you can embrace your passion for food. Take a cooking class and learn from the award-winning chefs onboard, or watch a cooking show from one of the special guest chefs. The Culinary Arts Centre also offers regionally inspired workshops as well as winetasting and mixology.

The Ambience

Holland America have "distinguished elegance" down. Browse the extensive art collection on board, or take an ipod tour of the ship to learn more about your temporary home. You can relax in the many intimate, small public spaces scattered throughout the ship, which help make the ship feel cozy and allow you to forget how many people are on board.

Entertainment

You won't find any rock climbing walls or water slides on Holland America Ships. What you will find though, is a plethora of entertainment options.

Holland America has an excellent Dancing with the Stars: At Sea program. Passengers will enjoy learning the dances from the pros, getting dressed up in the elaborate costumes, and meeting the stars from the hit ABC show.

There are also plenty of other spots for drinking and dancing onboard. Have a drink at the Piano Bar or B.B Kings Blues Club, and for incredible cocktails head to Mix, where you'll find a large selection of martinis, beer, and champagne. Feel like dancing until dawn? Try Northern Lights dance club, sing along with the hits at Oceanbar or shake your booty in Crows Nest.

Not in the mood for dancing? Watch a broadway show or take in a movie complete with free popcorn.

Gym Junkies will be happy with the onboard gym which has everything you need to stay fit onboard. There are also low-impact exercise classes such as aerobics, yoga and pilates, as well as tennis, volleyball and basketball available.

The onboard Digital Workshop is world class, and a great opportunity for those who haven't quite kept up with changes in technology. The enrichment program is available on all ships and you'll learn how to edit and enhance your photos, how to use your digital camera, and how to post your photos to social media and email them to friends.

Benefits

Passengers will join the Mariner Society, which is Holland America's past passenger benefit system. Every day you cruise will earn you a cruise credit, and you also earn them from booking a massage in the spa, enjoying a dinner in one of the specialty restaurants, or booking shore excursions.

As you earn credits you'll be eligible for special savings and upgrades, priority check in and disembarkation, discounts on drinks and internet packages, and much more.