What To Do On A Holland America Cruise
Every day aboard a Holland America Line cruise ship brings a wealth of onboard cruise activities and new things to do, along with the freedom to partake in as many — or as few — as you please. It's an opportunity to try something new that surprises you, every day. Dabble, discover, daydream — do everything, or do nothing at all.
Whether you want to workout in the Fitness Center, learn yoga, pamper yourself with a massage and spa treatment, or listen to music and check your email in the Explorations Café, there's a perfect onboard activity for everyone.
In every cruise port, make your cruise vacation even more memorable with our extensive Shore Excursions program of activities. See, explore, discover: arts and cultural activities, athletic expeditions, city tours, shopping and more on our cruises.
Embrace your culinary passion
The Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine® magazine, offers a groundbreaking experience that combines a love of food and wine with unique and engaging programs. Join us in our theater-style venue and state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen for the following experiences:
Previous Food & Wine® guests include:
Scheduled culinary experts are subject to change at any time without prior notice.
Scheduling of classes can be done on board only and cannot be pre-reserved prior to sailing.
Demonstrations & Classes
Hosted by the on-board party planner, classes take place in the Culinary Arts Center, a first-class “show kitchen at sea,” or in one of the many bars and lounges. The line schedules classes throughout the day on both sea and port days to fulfill the demand for the culinary program.
Ranging from seasonal cuisine to fruit and vegetable art, the flavorful and fun classes enable guests to learn from Holland America Line’s own professional culinary staff and discover the finer art of entertaining during their cruise. Itinerary themed) cooking demonstrations focus on the ship’s sailing region and bring the local flavors on board. When in Alaska, the program offers “Flavors of the Northwest” and “Fresh Ketch.” Guests sailing on Caribbean itineraries may learn how to make jerk chicken or shrimp scampi, while those on Mediterranean cruises could prepare pasta with chorizo sauce or a warm crostini with classic caponata and mozzarella.
Signature Cooking Classes and Demonstrations
Each Culinary Art Center features a theater-style venue, with two large plasma video screens and a large cooking display counter where guests can learn from Holland America Line’s own professional culinary staff. Offered on all sailings and ranging from itinerary based cuisine to fruit and vegetable art, the flavorful and fun classes enable guests to discover the finer art of entertaining during their cruise. Sign up for an intimate hands on cooking class or attend one of the very popular cooking demonstrations in the theater.
In conjunction with the Holland America Line Beverage team the Culinary Art Center offers a Signature Cocktail program where guests can learn how to prepare world class cocktails from one of the ship’s bartenders. Wine tastings hosted by the Cellar Master and Party Planner are also available on every cruise. You can enjoy two different tasting levels – Navigator Wine Tasting or Premium Wine Tasting.
Party Planner Presentations
To complete the culinary experience the Culinary Art Center features demonstrations on the Fine Art of Flower Arranging, Ice Carving, Cake Decorating, Plate Presentation and Garnishing, Easy Entertaining and more. All hosted by the onboard Party Planner and demonstrated by our Holland America Line culinary experts, florists, and carvers.
Guests on Holland America Line cruises can learn how to display and share their vacation memories through the Digital Workshop powered by Windows®. This enrichment program, available on all ships, offers free, informative sessions that are led by a Microsoft-trained Techspert on a variety of relevant topics such as:
Click on the Digital Workshop link on the right to see the Techspert led blog detailing many topics covered in the Digital Workshop as well as others that may be interesting:
The jargon-free interactive classes include:
Guests can choose to attend all or just some of these 60-minute workshops, each of which will be offered at various times and days throughout each cruise. Multiple workshops will be held every day. In addition, one-on-one coaching called "Techspert Time" will also be available every day.
Of all the fascinating places you can visit on a Holland America Line cruise ship, none rejuvenates and relaxes like the Greenhouse Spa & Salon, featuring heavenly beauty and wellness rituals. Choose the blissful pampering of a facial therapy or let the trained fingers of a massage therapist soothe your muscles while working fragrant oils into your skin. Enjoy therapeutic water treatments as you steam in a thermal suite or bathe in herbs, all the while cruising to exotic destinations and enjoying the indulgences that are a signature feature of luxurious Holland America Line cruises.
Relaxing treatment rooms onboard our cruise ships also offer breathtaking views where guests can enjoy exotic skin, body and hair treatments ranging from hot stone massages and pedicures to hair styling and facials. Facilities include:
For rejuvenation through exercise, Holland America Line spas offer fitness classes to help you achieve optimum health and vitality. Yoga, Pilates, Indoor Cycling and cardio circuit training are available for participants at all levels. Take advantage of treadmills, stationary bikes, stairsteppers, rowing machines, weights and weight machines. Staffed with professionals, the tranquil Greenhouse Spa & Salon invites guests to embrace sensory indulgence on a luxurious cruise vacation to remember.
Because the Greenhouse Spa & Salon is such a popular destination, we encourage you to book spa appointments in advance from your My Account page. After you sign in to your account, click "My Reservations," then "View My Itinerary" to browse available spa treatments and services. You can also book appointments once on board. To order Greenhouse Spa products online, visit www.timetospa.com.
Spa Suites & Staterooms
Stay in a Spa Suite or stateroom and enjoy exclusive spa amenities throughout your cruise vacation. These suites and staterooms feature modern spa amenities such as yoga mats and an iPod® docking station all while cruising to exotic cruise destinations. Also available are exclusive spa treatments from the Greenhouse Spa & Salon. Learn More
Holland America Line Goes "On Location"
From steel drum lessons in the Caribbean, to tai chi with a master in Asia, to Celtic fiddlers in the Canadian Maritimes—Holland America Line’s "On Location" program brings local culture to life showcasing unique entertainment and enriching activities as well as the cuisine of each region.
"On Location" provides so many experiences for guests to enjoy, like taking a Tango lesson in Argentina, a hula class in Hawaii or searching the southern sky with an astronomer in the South Pacific, the options go on and on. The Culinary Arts Center also comes alive as visiting chefs from along the route add local flavor to cooking shows and hands-on classes. Guests may choose to prepare the perfect salmon in Alaska, make sushi in Asia or learn to enhance dishes with the spices of the Caribbean. Wine lovers can pair food with the perfect wine as experts from vineyards in Europe, Australia and Chile host tastings.
There will also be a new sizzle to Holland America Line’s menus each day. Our onboard chefs will create dishes using locally sourced ingredients, which will delight our guests with an enticing array of regional cuisine.
Fitness Center and Onboard Recreations
Holland America Line makes it easy for you to stay fit and trim while on your journey with fully equipped fitness centers (minimum age for guests using the fitness center is 16 years old) and sports courts. Fitness centers aboard each ship include exercise and weight training equipment, and sports courts may include tennis, volleyball or basketball. Our broad, generously proportioned teak decks are perfect for walkers and joggers, and when you are finished exercising, cool off in one of our pools. To maintain or achieve optimum health, work with one of our qualified personal trainers or take one of our fitness classes lead by knowledgeable instructors. Fitness classes may include:
The Explorations Café, powered by The New York Times offers a comfortable, coffee house environment where you can browse through one of the most extensive libraries at sea, view a wide array of audio and video programming, or simply read the morning paper. Guests can also enjoy fresh pastries and their favorite espresso drink provided by Torrefazione Italia. Additional highlights include:
Holland America Line is known for the extensive art collections onboard each ship. Now, fine art goes high tech when you sail with Holland America Line. We invite you to enjoy the self-guided walking tour for each ship which highlights the art onboard an eclectic collection that is valued at tens of millions of dollars.Narrated by well-known radio hosts Paul Lasley and Elizabeth Harryman, the 30- to 40-minute tours include walking directions, interviews with artists, background music and thumbnails of some of the artwork. Download the ship-specific art tour onto your personal iPod®, MP3 or portable media player before you embark on your Holland America Line cruise. Pre-loaded art tours are also available on board.
Trouble downloading to a Mac? Please contact your computer's customer support.
As a guest on board Holland America Line you are invited to indulge your inner art connoisseur by immersing yourself in the ship’s exclusive onboard gallery and fine art experience. Through exciting live auctions, dazzling gallery exhibitions, enriching educational programs and intimate champagne-sipping enthusiast events, you are destined for a memorable artistic encounter that will ignite your passion for fine art.
Representatives from Park West Gallery bring their expertise to Holland America Line and afford the art novice to seasoned aficionado access to an extensive array of paintings, prints, drawings, watercolors, mixed-media, sports memorabilia and animation art. Park West engages guests in a way that is sure to surprise and delight every level of collector.
Vibrant works of art by world-renowned contemporary artist Peter Max, quiet cottage scenes by Thomas Kinkade and collectable sports memorabilia from favorite athletes are but glimpses of the broad range of exquisite items offered by Park West Gallery to guests on board Holland America Line. Be sure to visit the gallery on embarkation day to pre-register for the art activities and ensure a space in one of the educational programs and champagne events. Gallery event guests also have the opportunity to take home a complimentary gift of art and enter raffle drawings for special art prizes.
Founded in 1969, Park West Gallery has brought fine works of art to more than 1.3 million clients worldwide through events at sea, at its gallery locations in Michigan and Florida, and by select auctions in major metropolitan areas. Every purchase from Park West Gallery comes with a certificate of authenticity, assuring that each is subjected to the highest level of artistic and critical scrutiny. The gallery also offers convenient shipping and framing services so you may easily enjoy your new work of art at home.
It all begins with a great photo taken at embarkation -- the first of many photo opportunities. Your onboard photographers, called "Image Creators" will be with you throughout the cruise, ready to capture that special moment at the Bon Voyage Party, Formal Night, Scenic Cruising and more.
The Photo Gallery on board offers print and digital photos, photo packages and DVDs of your cruise itinerary and voyage. Be sure to take home memories of your voyage that will last a lifetime.
Black Label Photography
Whether the look he captures on film is thoughtful, irreverent or joyous, Joe Craig believes a successful photograph reveals the soul of its subject. He has spent his life perfecting his craft and teaching it to others. See what his approach can show you.
Joe Craig Black Label creates images that blend innocence and sophistication. It’s a great opportunity for you and your friends, family or special someone to capture the memory of your voyage in interpretive photography.
All Black Label artists on board are personally trained by Joe, and studio sessions are complimentary, with no obligation to buy and no sitting fee. Appointments are limited, so we encourage you to contact Ship Services at 800-541-1576 or 206-626-7396 before your cruise date. This will ensure you are contacted on board to arrange for a suitable studio time.
The Signature Shops
Discover a world-class shopping experience only steps away. The Signature Shops on board offer a great selection of fine jewelry, watches, fragrances, premium liquor, exclusive Holland America Line souvenirs and more all at tax and duty free savings. You’ll find many famous brands with designer names specially selected with you in mind. Our knowledgeable specialists will gladly answer all your questions and are dedicated to providing you with excellent service, helping to make your cruise vacation, relaxing and enjoyable.
Merabella Luxury Collection
This exclusive jewelry boutique offers a luxury shopping experience paired with unprecedented designs. Selected for their beauty and timeless elegance, our collection includes stunning designs from Le Vian, Tara Pearls, Effy Couture, Forevermark and many more. Guests can meet with the Merabella Manager on board to learn about these exquisite jewelry pieces. Merabella is available on all ships except for the ms Prinsendam.
Wedding Cruises and Renewal of Vows at Sea...Creating and Recreating Memories
Whether you prefer a simple ceremony and a small, elegant reception or lots of family and friends at a larger celebration, a wedding cruise on one of our elegant ships will launch a lifetime of memories. Choose to get married on board, under the palms on an exotic Caribbean island beach or on top of a majestic Alaskan glacier. No matter what your preference, our wedding cruises coordinator is ready to help you tailor a wedding package to meet your needs and help you and your loved ones have the ultimate onboard experience. Wedding cruise packages include:
Wedding cruise packages are available on each ship in our fleet and start at $795 for a simple ceremony for two for North America and Caribbean sailings and $1,900 for European sailings. To arrange a North American or European wedding cruise, please use the following contact information:
North America/Caribbean & Europe:
Royal Ocean Events, Inc. 4803 Haviland Street, Suite 1 Delta, BC V4K 2V6 Canada PH: (604) 940-1181 or 1-888-475-5511 FAX: (604) 940-6216 email@example.com
Renewal of Vows On Board
For couples that would like to say their wedding vows while at sea, Holland America Line offers an onboard Renewal-of-Vows package. As part of the package, the guests will receive flowers in their stateroom, and invitations are made available to invite guests to the ceremony and celebration. The couple also receives:
Onboard honeymoon, anniversary and renewal-of-vows packages may be booked through Holland America Line's Ship Services Department, (800) 541-1576.
Renewal of Vows at Half Moon Cay
Guests that visit Half Moon Cay, the company's own island paradise, on Holland America Line Caribbean and Panama Canal cruises may renew their wedding vows on the island in a private, traditional Bahamian chapel nestled in a garden overlooking the sea. This is a more casual ceremony than on board and participants are encouraged to wear their favorite tropical attire. Champagne and cake are served after the ceremony. Each couple is photographed on the island and the photo is delivered to their stateroom in a souvenir frame. Arrangements for renewal of vows at the chapel may be made through the Guest Relations Manager at the Front Office on board the ship.
Wedding Cruises and Renewal of Vows at Sea...Creating and Recreating Memories
Whether you prefer a simple ceremony and a small, elegant reception or lots of family and friends at a larger celebration, a wedding cruise on one of our elegant ships will launch a lifetime of memories. Choose to get married on board, under the palms on an exotic Caribbean island beach or on top of a majestic Alaskan glacier. No matter what your preference, our wedding cruise coordinator is ready to help you tailor a wedding package to meet your needs and help you and your loved ones have the ultimate onboard experience. Wedding packages can include:
Wedding packages are available on each ship in our fleet and start at $999 for a simple ceremony for two for North America and Caribbean sailings and $2,999 for European sailings. To arrange a North American or European wedding, please contact our wedding vendor that specializes in cruise ship weddings:
Renewal of Vows On Board
For couples that would like to renew wedding vows while at sea, Holland America Line offers an onboard Renewal-of-Vows package. As part of the package, the guests will receive flowers in their stateroom, and invitations are made available to invite guests to the ceremony and celebration. The couple also receives:
Onboard honeymoon, anniversary and renewal-of-vows packages may be booked through Holland America Line's Ship Services Department, (800) 541‐1576.
Renewal of Vows at Half Moon Cay
Guests that visit Half Moon Cay, the company's own island paradise, on Holland America Line Caribbean and Panama Canal cruises may renew their wedding vows on the island in a traditional Bahamian chapel nestled in a garden overlooking the sea. This is a more casual ceremony than on board and participants are encouraged to wear their favorite tropical attire. Champagne and cake are served after the ceremony. Each couple is photographed on the island and the photo is delivered to their stateroom in a souvenir frame. Arrangements for renewal of vows at the chapel may be made through the Guest Relations Manager at the Front Office on board the ship.
Shoreside Shopping Program
A Holland America Line cruise would not be complete without experiencing some of the world's best duty-free shopping. Holland America Line's Recommended Shopping Program will assist you in finding the finest treasures in selected ports of call with significant savings below U.S. retail prices. Each recommended store listed on the shopping map has been chosen on the basis of price, selection and reputation.
Check your onboard daily listing of all activities, for the location and times of the live Port & Shopping Talk, highlighting port information, Holland America Line's 30-day recommended shopping guarantee, participating store locations, specials, raffles, giveaways and more. Customs information, shopping maps and VIP discount coupons will be provided at the talk, as well as at the Shopping Desk on board.
For additional shopping information, while on your cruise, tune in to the All Ashore port and shopping programming on your in-stateroom TV, as well as your complimentary copy of Holland America Line's in-stateroom publication Compass, also found in your stateroom.
Single Partners Program
Each Holland America ship hosts a gathering for Solo Travelers early during their cruise. And there are plenty of things for solo travelers to do that make it fun and easy to meet fellow cruisers. From cooking classes to computer instruction, dance classes to games, there's something for every interest and skill level.
You can count on our gracious staff and crew to make everyone feel welcome. Guests may even request to be seated with other singles at dinner. Many of our Single Partner Program guests have become fast friends and some even book future Holland America cruises together.
Single guests who agree to share a stateroom with another nonsmoking guest of the same sex pay only the per-person, double-occupancy rate. (If we can't find a partner for you, you cruise solo at the agreed-upon double-occupancy fare.) Single guests who prefer not to share a stateroom may book a double stateroom for 150 to 200 percent of the double occupancy fare, depending on the cruise and stateroom category. This program applies to selected staterooms on all ships in our fleet. The Single Partner Program is not available on Grand Voyages or Alaska Land+Sea Journeys.
We offer dance partners for single ladies on the following sailings:
On Holland America ships, we provide a wide variety of exciting youth and teen friendly activities and facilities for guests ages 3 to 17. With supervised fun for our younger guests, the entire family can have the cruise vacation of their dreams.Safe and Managed Supervision
You can feel at ease knowing that your child's onboard experience is safe and well-managed. Our commitment is to create an environment for all children that is safe, nurturing and empowering.
All Club HAL® activities are supervised by full-time staff and are designed to be kid friendly and age appropriate. Youth Staff hold degrees in education, childhood development, recreation, leisure studies or related fields.
Holland America Line has a zero tolerance policy with respect to child abuse.
Club HAL is proud to be accredited by Praesidium, Inc., the national leader in child abuse prevention. Our decision to exceed national standards of care comes from our strong commitment to protect our staff and Club HAL participants. Safety is always our primary concern in Club HAL. Strict policies and procedures are in place to facilitate effective monitoring and supervision in order to protect youth from abuse. At no time are adults permitted to remain in the Youth Center unless attending to a special needs child during activities.
*On the ms Prinsendam, youth activities are offered for ages 5-17. All other ships offer youth activities for ages 3-17.
Parents/Guardians should note that each program features age specific events and children are required to participate in the program designed for their chronological age. No exceptions will be made.Daily Programs
Times may vary based on the number of children on board and staffing:
Kids and Tweens
Club HAL's After Hours
For registered children ages 3-12 who meet Club HAL’s eligibility requirements, we offer Club HAL After Hours on all ships (except ms Prinsendam) from 10:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. The fee is US$5.00 per child, per hour. Parents must pick up their children on time or a late fee is charged.Special Needs
Club HAL recognizes that some children may have special needs. All children are invited to attend activities based on their chronological age. Club HAL has many staff trained to work with children with special needs. Guests should make Holland America Line aware of this when booking their reservation.Additional Family Services
Holland America Line is dedicated to making your family's cruise vacation memorable and happy for each member of your family. We serve a wide variety of kid-pleasing food, including a variety of appetizers, salads and soups, and standard items such as hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and chicken, plus chef's specials like beef tacos, grilled cheese, fish and chips and spaghetti. Baby food and a limited number of high chairs, booster seats and cribs are available on board. These items must be requested in advance of boarding. Special kid-friendly birthday parties can also be arranged with advance notice.Babysitting Services
Limited babysitting services are available through the Front Office for a small surcharge for children 5 years of age and under. This service is provided by staff on a volunteer basis, and may not always be available. Babysitting services are not offered while the ship is in port.