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Known for mid-size “dam” ships, Holland America Line history dates to an 1873 founding as the Netherlands-America Steamship Company, later known as Holland America after its transatlantic service started to the Americas. In addition to European cruises, Holland America (a Carnival Corporation premium brand) operates seven-, 10- and 14-day Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale, Port Canaveral and Tampa along with sailings in the Panama Canal, Asia/Pacific, and Canada/New England, plus a powerhouse roster of Alaska sailings. Vessels, including flagship Rotterdam VI, carry names of predecessors from Amsterdam to Zaandam. In 2004, HAL’s 500-plus sailings on 13 ships from 23 home ports include departures from Norfolk, Va. and Baltimore, Md. In 2004, the line has a European schedule of 50 sailings highlighted by tours to and from Athens, Greece, that bookend the 2004 Summer Olympic Games.
A wraparound promenade, expansive windows for unobstructed views of fabulous European ports, and a two-tiered cozy show lounge are all part of the setting for warm hospitality aboard Holland America’s Noordam, combining both intimacy and a spaciousness amid understated elegance. As the oldest ship in Holland America’s growing fleet, Noordam is often sought after by guests wanting a classic ship experience for their European journey, one with lots of teak, wooden deck chairs and assorted touches reminiscent of a transatlantic liners of times past. Life aboard the Noordam includes Royal Dutch Tea or after dinner coffee in the Explorer’s Lounge, cocktail’s in the Crow’s Nest, or Broadway-style shows in the main showroom. In commemoration of the 60th anniversary of D-Day, the Noordam embarks on a 10-day round-trip tour from London on June 2, 2004. Departing from Dover, calls include Plymouth, England, St. Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands, Cherbourg and St. Malo, France, Zeebrugge/Brussels, Belgium, and Amsterdam of The Netherlands, along with a day at sea in the North Sea Canal. Shore excursions vary from touring Canterbury’s medieval cathedral where Thomas Becket met his end to exploring Cherbourg, the unassuming town that became supply line backbone for the Allied offensive. The D-Day tour is in addition to Noordam's 18 scheduled sailings of the Mediterranean, European capitals and eight scheduled tours of Baltic ports that begin and end in Copenhagen.
Year entering service: 1984
Don’t look for balcony cabins, whirlpool baths, extensive alternative dining options or a huge showroom on the Noordam, but do look for a quiet ambiance along with service levels that lend themselves to European itineraries. Noordam's décor, based on the Dutch East India Company, brings to mind many a classic ship, with lots of wood and an overall warmth. Explorer's Lounge is a marvelous place to take afternoon tea or after-dinner cocktails, and the late-night crowd often gravitates to the Crow's Nest.
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