When Holland America Line’s ms Koningsdam launches its first season of European sailings this spring, cruising among the silver-blue fjords of Norway or the golden isles of the Aegean will hit new heights. The rich culture and scenic splendor of Europe’s most intriguing ports have found their match in this stunning new ship, where the onboard experiences are the perfect complement to those on shore.
The ms Koningsdam will set sail in April, cruising the Mediterranean before transitioning to Amsterdam for a summer of glorious roundtrip itineraries in Norway, the Baltics and Iceland. The ship will visit such captivating ports as Oslo, with its extraordinary circle-of-life sculptures in Frogner Park and 1,000-year-old wooden vessels in the Viking Ship Museum; and Stockholm, its sparkling harbor dotted with islands, and its charming and historic Old Town filled with convivial cafés and unique galleries. Complementing these urban pleasures is the unmatched beauty of Norway’s fjord coast. Against a sweeping backdrop of deep greens and blues, it’s a world of medieval stave churches, mountain crags where creatures from Norse legends seem to dwell, and tiny farms perched on rocky ledges overlooking the fjords far below.
The ideal base from which to explore is the ms Koningsdam. The first ship in Holland America Line’s new Pinnacle Class, the 2,650-guest floating hotel retains many of the cruise line’s signature amenities while unveiling innovative new concepts in dining, entertainment, accommodations and design. Geared to serve the needs of today’s passengers, the ms Koningsdam features the cruise line’s first staterooms built for families—each of which is appointed with two bathrooms and sleeps up to five people—as well as single-occupancy staterooms in a variety of categories.
Relaxation is also part of life aboard the ms Koningsdam. Book a treatment and enjoy the view at the Greenhouse Spa, with its thermal pools and treatment rooms facing the sea. Or sip espresso at Explorations Café, with its selection of best-selling books and travel guide. The Lido Pool, by day a place for lounging and swimming, becomes an evening venue for enjoying movies shown on a giant screen under the stars.
Just as Europe is known for top-notch culinary experiences, palate-pleasing adventures aboard the ms Koningsdam range from fine dining to interactive fun. These include learning about the art of winemaking at BLEND, the only purpose-built wine-blending venue at sea, where you mix your own wine to enjoy at dinner or in the privacy of your own stateroom. You can hone your chopping skills from your individual cooking station in The Culinary Arts Center’s dramatic show kitchen. By day, it’s the setting for cooking demonstrations and hands-on classes taught by visiting chefs and the ship’s in-house experts. At night, the venue becomes center stage for dining at the Culinary Arts Center, an immersive farm-to-table experience where chefs prepare artisanal dishes in the show kitchen.