I recently undertook a visit to Holland America Line’s (HAL) stunning new pinnacle ship, the Nieuw Statendam.
Flying from Bristol, I soon arrived at Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport and jumped straight on to the train to Grand Central Station - a swift service which runs every 10 minutes. From the station, The Movenpick Hotel was a short walk and is perfectly situated next to Amsterdam Passenger Terminal – ideal for both pre and post cruise accommodation.
Later in the day, I met HAL Representative Carly along with the other travel professionals from the UK. I soon got to know everyone as we enjoyed the superb panoramic views of Amsterdam city from The Hilton’s roof top ‘Sky Bar’ – certainly worth a visit.
Further sightseeing opportunities were to be had as I boarded our Canal Cruise. Whilst enjoying the city’s architecture, I tucked into our four-course meal with a glass of prosecco and wine included. After a great time on the canal cruise I strolled through the city and soaked up the atmosphere.
6am the following morning, I saw the ship dock next to the hotel, looking very impressive with it’s navy blue and white livery and plentiful balcony cabins.
As soon as I boarded the ship, it was evident to me why The Nieuw Statendam is classed as one of HALs ‘Pinnacle Ships’. The ship’s centrally located Atrium certainly has the wow factor as it soars up through three decks of the ship, exuding a calm and relaxed atmosphere amongst the stylish decor. Notable here is the steel sculpture representing the synthesis of a string quartet and throughout the ship there are 4 million dollars worth of striking sculptures and artworks from some of the world’s contemporary leading artists.
Passengers will also note a continuing music theme throughout the ship, from the sumptuously designed carpets, cabin decks being named after famous composers such as Beethoven, Mozart and Gershwin and the BB Kings Blues Club, the Rolling Stone’s Rock Room and not forgetting ‘Notes’ - the whisky bar for those who love a wee dram.
Those who look forward to the entertainment on board a cruise will be blown away by the ship’s facilities. The ‘World Stage Theatre’ seats 660 people and hosting dazzling shows and concerts such as the BBC’s Frozen Planet series being shown on the 200foot long LED screen whilst being accompanied by classical music.
If you’re a foodie, you won’t be disappointed! The elegant main dining room is two tiered, with both traditional dining at set times and flexible ‘as you wish’ dining – with guests choosing when you eat. Whilst on my visit I was treated to fine dining and the food was excellent.
For those who prefer informal dining, The Lido Market Place is a bright and airy self service area where diners can select from the varied food stations and buffets.
In addition, there are four specialist restaurants for which guests will need to pay an additional supplement. These restaurants offer Sushi, Italian food, North West Cuisine and A la Carte Seafood.
As I approached the Lido pool, I noticed the retractable glass roof had been pulled back to let the sunshine in. The plentiful, padded sun beds enable guests to relax at the poolside, swim in the pool, sunbathe or enjoy refreshments from the ‘Dive In’ or New York Deli and Pizzeria. There’s even a large screen for movies and evening events under the stars.
The Greenhouse Spa and Salon is a must for those who love to exercise or wish to treat themselves to a pampering session. Facilities include: a fitness centre, saunas, massage rooms, thermal suites, steam and aromatic rooms, heated ceramic loungers, manicure and pedicure areas, hair salon and barber shop.
The beautiful decor throughout the ship continues into the cabins. The neutral coloured rooms feel calm and relaxing. There are several levels of suites with additional features ranging from floor to ceiling glass doors on balconies, large sitting areas, whirlpool baths, coffee/espresso machines, complimentary dry cleaning and laundry to name but a few. There are also family cabins with additional bathroom facilities, single occupancy cabins and those with disabled access and facilities.
Families are well catered for and young cruisers from 3-17 are welcome to access a fully supervised entertainment programme. There are three separate age groups with activities such as arts and crafts, pizza parties, cooking classes, golf and video games.
The ships facilities are extensive and varied including sports courts, casino, shopping area, art gallery, cafés, cabanas and wine blending. In addition, there is the ship’s Exploration Central situated on the observation deck. Here, guests will find interactive touch screens, digital stories, port planners and real time data from the ship’s bridge. There are also talks about each port from local experts who come aboard ahead of the port enabling guests to deepen their knowledge of each destination. I loved the café and library here too, featuring panoramic views and comfy seating.
Overall, I had a super time on my visit and, as an experienced cruiser using a variety of companies, I would gladly recommend the Nieuw Statendam to my clients. I’m sure that they will undoubtedly be treated to a cruise full of opportunities, varied activities with quality food, excellent service and entertainments, all in the beautiful surroundings of this fabulous ship!