Indulge in Our New Royal Dutch Tea During Days at Sea

View of city landscape artwork on blue background with orange tulips and "Royal Dutch Tea" in white font.

It’s International Tea Day, which is a tea-licious time to announce we’re elevating our afternoon tea experience. As part of our Dutch heritage and tradition for 150 years, we’re delighted for guests to indulge in Royal Dutch Tea on days at sea. The new Royal Dutch Tea, which is launching across our fleet over the coming weeks, will feature Dutch snacks and treats along with traditional favorites.

Taste Refreshing Tea Flavors & New Dutch Treats Onboard

Join us for a Holland America Line tradition in the Dining Room to sip delicious loose-leaf teas, like Earl Gray. English Breakfast, Mint, and Green teas. Sweet and savory snacks will also delight the senses.

First begin with the bottom tier to relish Dutch sandwiches:

  • Bay Shrimp on Brioche with Dutch cocktail sauce
  • Egg Salad and Cress on white bread with mayonnaise and mustard
  • Smoked Salmon and Dill on whole wheat with cream cheese
  • Coronation Chicken on whole wheat with curry, yogurt, dried apricots and cilantro.

Next enjoy the middle tier featuring raisin and plain scones with jam and whipped cream.

As you sip on your favorite tea, work your way to the top tier to indulge in these Dutch sweets:

  • Chocoladebol (Dutch Cream Puff)
  • Maple Stroopwafel Napoleon with cream and fresh berries
  • Boterkoek (Dutch Butter Cake with almond slice)
  • Gevulde Koeken (Dutch cookie with Marzipan, a short sugar pastry)
  • Appletaart (Mini Dutch Apple Tartlets with a cookie base and raisins with cinnamon)
View of tiered platter for afternoon tea dining.

Tips for Hosting Afternoon Tea at Home

Until you set sail with us on your next epic cruise vacation, consider hosting an afternoon tea party of your own. In honor of International Tea Day, here are some quick tips on tea etiquette should you want to gather friends around the table for a tea-cup social:

  • Pour tea for your guests first. Tradition shows that teacups are never passed for pouring. Keep those saucers beneath the cup when raising for an additional pour.
  • Gently stir your tea in traditional teacups to avoid spilling. This will also keep those clinking noises to a minimum.
  • There’s no need to stick out the pinky finger when holding the teacup. This is actually a tea-drinking don’t according to etiquette experts.
  • If serving treats on a tiered tray, start with the bottom tray first and work your way to the top. They’re traditionally finger foods, so no need to use a fork.
  • If serving stroopwafels – a Dutch favorite – place it on top of the cup so the hot tea can warm it up. This will soften that delightful caramel syrup filling.

Historical Tea Tales & Fun Facts

  • According to legends and Chinese mythology, tea was first discovered by Emperor Shennong when tea leaves fell into boiling water.
  • The first European country to make tea a staple was Portugal. Father Jasper de Cruz was a Portuguese missionary who experienced it during travels and then wrote about it. Soon Portuguese merchants began bringing it to their country.
  • The first recorded distribution of tea via trade in Europe was in 1610 by The Netherlands’ Dutch East India Company.
  • Recognized as an incredibly successful seafaring nation, The Netherlands used its ships to deliver tea to the Dutch as well as communities in France and the Baltic region. It was then introduced in the late 1640s to New Amsterdam, a Dutch settlement in North America now known as New York City.
  • As tea made its introductions in the 1600s, few could afford to experience it. Tea quickly became known as a treat for the wealthy because it cost what some people made in a year.

Are you a tea connoisseur? What’s your favorite flavor and snack to pair with it? Share in the comments below.


Join the Discussion


  1. Kelly May 23, 2024 at 10:07 am - Reply

    Oh my gosh. Love tea time. Can’t wait to participate in this.

  2. Tannis Tardiff May 22, 2024 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    Sounds yummy. Will there be gluten free options for those with Celiac disease?

    • Julie May 28, 2024 at 9:32 am - Reply

      Tannis, there are gluten free options for tea time, but they won’t be the same as some of the Dutch treats. Please let them know ahead of time that you need gluten-free tea time treats. You can even call ship services before you cruise so they are ready for you in all areas on board: 1–800–541–1576.

  3. Debra Mitchell May 21, 2024 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    I’m so glad HAL is bringing back the afternoon teas that they had years ago, loved tasting the different teas and of course, the sweets and treats! Holland America is my absolute favorite cruise line! 💕👏💕

  4. Lorraine Dixon May 21, 2024 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    I enjoy English Breakfast tea for everyday but for something different I like Orange Pekoe or French Lady Grey. I love a good High Tea and you can’t go past scones, jam and cream, although your Dutch treats sound delicious 😋

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