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Holland America Line's History

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.

Quick View

The Oosterdam, second of Holland America’s Vista-class ships and set for a big summer 2004 cruising in Alaska, boasts 85 percent of staterooms with ocean views, 67 percent with verandas. A new value-priced stateroom category – Deluxe Verandah Outside – ranks as an outstanding value. Exterior elevators, two promenade decks, a multi-tiered show lounge, and varied dining options have add-on appeal, yet Vista class ships retain the look and feel of others in the fleet, delivering traditional on-board "HAL-marks." Oosterdam’s understated, elegant décor provides a backdrop for multi-million dollar collections of artwork and antiques. Art reflects the 17th century, when the Dutch East India Company (VOC) explored spice routes to Asia and the Dutch West India Company (WIC) operated in West Africa and the Americas. Oosterdam’s atrium, functioning much like a fine hotel lobby, has a dramatic Waterford crystal globe of the world suspended from three decks above. Elaborate elevator doors are inspired by Art Deco designs from New York City’s Chrysler Building. In the art gallery opposite the Explorers Lounge is a reproduction of a rare Indian necklace from Rajasthan dating from the 19th century. Two elaborately carved wooden doors from Gujarat, India flank the necklace. Near the pool, sculptor Susanna Holt has created a grouping of penguins standing on an iceberg as if ready to take a plunge. At the aft swimming pool, Dutch artist Jan Snoeck has created a set of four glazed ceramic chairs capturing the whimsy characterizing much of his noted work. HAL’s little extras add up to great values at sea, with Oosterdam, like all the line’s ships, featuring traditional wooden deck chairs, terry fingertip towels in public washrooms, free shoe shines, and white-gloved stewards personally escorting all guests to staterooms.

Fast Facts

Year entering service: 2003
Registry: The Netherlands
Tonnage (GRT): 85,000
Cruising Speed: 22 knots maximum 24 knots
Capacity: 1,848
Decks: 10
Crew: 800
Officer Nationality: International
Cruise / Hotel Staff Nationality: International
Destinations: Europe, Caribbean

About Gratuities
Holland America’s long-standing “tipping not required” policy forbids solicitation. Guests are welcome to extend tips for outstanding service.

Disabled Access
Oosterdam has 28 staterooms in various categories that are wheel-chair accessible, plus a dedicated elevator for wheel-chair users to assist with tender embarkation. Two tenders are equipped with wheelchair-accessible platforms. Wheelchair accessible areas have been included bar counters and public desks, wherever possible. All public rooms are wheelchair accessible.

Ship Features

HAL Vista class ships including the Oosterdam offer ambiance and intimacy not found on megaships with a space ratio of 46, greater than spacious existing ships in HAL’s fleet. Oosterdam has two interior promenade decks and a covered exterior promenade.

Altogether, Oosterdam has two Penthouse Veranda Suites, with separate bedrooms, living room and dining room, plus private veranda with whirlpools; 60 Deluxe Veranda Suites where dual sink vanity baths have full-size whirlpool tub and shower, plus an additional shower stall; 100 Superior Veranda Suites with dual sink vanity baths, 461 Deluxe Veranda Suites, 165 standard outside cabins, and 136 standard inside cabins.

Stateroom amenities
All staterooms have Internet e-mail dataports, TV, phone, and multichannel music. Bowls of fresh fruit are provided in staterooms upon request, and there is 24-hour room service.

Kid & Teen Stuff
Club HAL offers supervised fun for ages 5 and up, including story time, art and crafts, ice cream sundae parties, and candy bar bingo for up to age 8. For tweens (9 through 12) and teens to 17, there’s miniature golf, pool and pizza parties, video games, disco, movies and more. Oosterdam has KidZone and WaveRunner rooms, with computer and video game areas, a dance floor for teen parties, and an outside play area. HAL chefs have a special menu for youngsters preferring hot dogs, burgers and chicken dippers over filet mignon or escargo.

Cruises Specials

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Life Aboard

Oosterdam offers four dining venues with more than 500 menu choices on a typical seven-day cruise, plus 24-hour room service. Oosterdam options stretch from elegant meals in the formal two-level main dining room to steak and seafood in the dramatic alternative restaurant. Casual breakfast, lunch and dinner are served from multi-stations in the popular Lido Restaurant, Terrace Grill, and Pizza Bar. At the Windstar Café, guests can relax throughout the day in HAL’s own coffee house with espresso drinks, smoothies, and baked goods. Also on tap are a complimentary ice cream bar, hot hors d'oeuvres during the pre-dinner hour, and hand-dipped chocolates after dinner in the Explorers Lounge.

Sports / Health / Fitness
A large Lido deck swimming pool awaits beneath a retractable magradome. The gym/fitness center has dual saunas, a loofa scrub room, massage rooms, and a beauty salon/barber shop, and tennis practice courts. The Greenhouse Spa and Salon has a full line-up of treatments, an exercise facility and hair and nail salon. There’s also a golf simulator on board.

A new “cabaret-style” show lounge for late night entertainment complements a three-tier main show lounge. A signature “Crow’s Nest” observation lounge doubles as a nightclub and a disco.

In addition to the slots, there is blackjack, roulette, dice, and stud poker.

Piano Bar, Sports Bar and a Smoker’s Room.


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