Did You Know All of These Activities & Experiences Are Included in Your Cruise?

Did You Know All of These Activities & Experiences Are Included in Your Cruise?

Holland America Line guests are seekers, doers and wanderers. From trying new activities and learning new things to spending time doing a favorite hobby, we know our guests want to be enriched as well as inspired during their cruise. With that in mind, every day aboard a Holland America Line cruise brings a wealth of onboard events, along with the freedom to partake in as many — or as few — as you please.

There are plenty of entertainment and activity options included in the cruise fare, and countless ways to make each day onboard memorable, enriching and exciting.

Whether you want to learn to cook a regional dish, enlighten your mind on a new subject, discover a local custom, workout in the fitness center, read a book at Explorations Café or learn how to samba during the day and then dance the night away, guests can be certain that there are always things to do that doesn’t add extra expenses.

Cook Like a Chef
The Culinary Arts Center combines a love of food and wine with unique and engaging programs. In Holland America Line’s theater-style, state-of-the-art demonstration kitchens, guests can join their Culinary Art Center host for hands-on cooking classes, winetastings and regionally inspired workshops featuring everything from the flavors of Alaska to pasta making in the Mediterranean.

Learn to cook like a chef in the Culinary Arts Center.

Learn to cook like a chef in the Culinary Arts Center.

In addition to classes hosted by the ship’s chef tournant, on select sailings Holland America Line invites special guest chefs, mixologists and culinary experts onboard to host live cooking deonstrations, book signings and add their own special touch to onboard menus. The list of past guests has included everything from award-winning cookbook authors to executive chefs from some of the best restaurants in the world. Discover the list of upcoming Culinary Art Center guests here.

Learn Some Tech
For guests who want to hone their tech skills, the Digital Workshop powered by Windows is available offering free, informative sessions led by a Microsoft-trained Techspert. Sessions feature a variety of relevant topics such as as how to edit, enhance and take better photos and how to upload and share files with friends and family. Everyone at home is eagerly awaiting photos from your trip and with a Digital Workshop class you can make sure the photos they get are high-quality and instantly make them wish they were traveling with you!

The Digital Workshop is the go-to place for all things tech onboard.

The Digital Workshop is the go-to place for all things tech onboard.

Break a Sweat
Each Holland America Line ship features a fully-equipped Fitness Center, making it easy for guests to stay fit throughout their travels. Fitness centers include exercise and weight training equipment, as well as select classes, but the ships also have sports courts with options ranging from tennis and volleyball to basketball, for guests who rather get some friendly competition going. Not to mention ping pong! Walkers and joggers can take a stroll on the teak decks then cool off in the pool afterwords.

Stay fit with Holland America Line's indoor and outdoor fitness facilities.

Stay fit with Holland America Line’s indoor and outdoor fitness facilities.

Enrich Your Mind
From On Location programming that brings the destination onboard to classes that teach a new skill, Holland America Line knows our guests are looking to enhance their knowledge and have fun doing it.

Chat with a Glacier Bay park ranger on deck during an Alaska cruise.

Chat with a Glacier Bay park ranger on deck during an Alaska cruise.

From steel drum lessons in the Caribbean, Tango lesson in Argentina and a hula class in Hawaii to tai chi with a master in Asia, Celtic fiddlers in the Canadian Maritimes or searching the southern sky with an astronomer in the South Pacific, 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.

During interesting and informative lectures and presentations, On Location guides impart their knowledge of the destination, while locales come on in select ports to give a true taste of the culture.

If it’s something lighter you’re looking for, perhaps a non-culinary class in the Culinary Arts Center piques your interest. From cake decorating and towel animal creating to fruit centerpiece art and flower arranging, the onboard party planner has a line-up to keep you busy.

Admire the Art
Holland America Line is known for having extensive art collections on each ship. Prior to cruising (on most ships), guests can download an MP3 file to enjoy a self-guided walking tour for each ship, highlighting the art onboard. 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. You can download the ship-specific art tour onto your personal iPod or MP3 player.

Each ship has stunning artwork to discover.

Each ship has stunning artwork to discover.

Indulge in a Show
After dinner, guests can take their seat in the magnificent show lounge for a dazzling show. The performance is different each night, including dynamic concerts and exciting musical productions featuring Broadway veterans and talented illusionists, comedians and musicians.

Holland America Line’s new flagship, Koningsdam, features World Stage with a revolutionary, multistory 270-degree LED screen. At two stories tall and 250 feet long, the high-definition screens make World Stage a trend-setting theater at sea that showcases an exciting array of performances and productions. State-of-the-art lighting, projection and sound systems combine to bring guests an incredible performance surrounded by screens that can change to set the scene, from an Italian palazzo for a concert performance to an imaginary world during the innovative production numbers.

Koningsdam's World Stage is like no other theater at sea.

Koningsdam’s World Stage is like no other theater at sea.

Dance the Night Away
In January, the all-new Holland America Line entertainment concept Music Walk, debuted on ms Eurodam, offering an immersive musical showcase on three exciting new stages: Lincoln Center Stage, where guests can watch nightly chamber music in an intimate setting, B.B. King’s Blues Club featuring the best of Memphis music at sea, and Billboard Onboard, where guests can enjoy 50 years of chart-topping hits as performed by exceptional piano players and singers. Music Walk is also available on the line’s newest flagship ms Koningsdam, which debuted in April, and ms Oosterdam.

Show off your new cha cha skills or just cut loose to the B.B. King Blues Club All Star Band.

Show off your new cha cha skills or just cut loose to the B.B. King’s Blues Club All Star Band.

There are plenty of other venues for music and dancing on the rest of the line’s ships. At the Piano Bar, our pianist invites guests to join in the fun with hits every guest will recognize. At the Ocean Bar, a dance band plays the Great American songbook and at the Crow’s Nest guests can partake in Karaoke or enjoy the view as a DJ plays some favorite tunes.

Get Your Game On
Throughout the day a handful of different games and competitions take place in the ship’s different lounges and meeting areas. Guests can take a look at their daily program to see all the happenings. Activities include poolside games like Golf Chipping and Bean Bag Tosses and team events like Majority Rules, Name that Tune and Pub Trivia. Guests can also stop by the Explorer’s Café and work on a puzzle, play a board game or pick out a book to read.

Enjoy a friendly chess match with family at the Explorers Café.

Enjoy a friendly chess match with family at the Explorers Café.

Take Time for Tea
For Holland America Line, tea time is as much about time as it is about tea — time to sit with friends, time to talk and time to savor. Several types of tea services are offered onboard including daily casual tea, Royal Dutch High Tea, Cupcake Tea and Indonesian Afternoon Tea, and all offer different pastries and tastes.


Which is your favorite activity on this list? Tell us in the comments below.


Join the Discussion


  1. Mark Wadlow July 13, 2016 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    Is there a movie theater on board Noordam? Aloha!

  2. Morrison July 19, 2016 at 2:27 am - Reply

    Please help…what fees are involved with refreshments purchased in any of the social areas of Zaandam. How much is a cup of coffee, pepsi, wine, cocktail?

  3. Susan Edwards July 19, 2016 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    What activities will be available on the Prinsendam voyage to Svalbard in August?

  4. Janelle August 6, 2016 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    Where can I get information about specific activities on the Zaandam for my Alaska cruise, for example, shows and times, fitness classes and times, etc.? Is there a move theater? An indoor pool? Is there an ‘internet cafe’?

  5. Janelle August 6, 2016 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    Will there be lectures or learning opportunities on board during an Alaska cruise on the Zaandam?

  6. Larry J Bennett August 13, 2016 at 10:50 pm - Reply

    I’ll be traveling on the Alaskan cruise, Sept. 24 – Oct 1. on the Westerdam. Do you happen to know if they have karaoke on that cruise?

  7. patrick August 15, 2016 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    Id like to meet other passengers with an interest in learning/speaking spanish.
    Also meet passengers with interest in high end photography.

    We need an onboard community messaging system. I’m suprised that HA does not provide such a framework for passengers to interact and make new friends based on shared interests. We could discuss sharing tours etc.

    HA needs to get with the times!

  8. Dolores Mc Intosh August 21, 2016 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    We are sailing on the Westerdam on the Sept 17, sailing for our 50th Anniversary.
    Could you please tell us if there is a Friends of Bill W meetings aboard the ship
    Thank you

  9. Ann W August 28, 2016 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    My husband, Bob, and I will be sailing on the Maasdam to Australia/New Zealand, Sept 27-Dec 2, 2016. We are looking for 2 other people who would be interested in a “friendly” game of bridge during our cruise.

  10. susan August 30, 2016 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    i’d like to use the self guided tour mp3 you talked about. where can i find it?

  11. Joseph Bohman September 8, 2016 at 10:39 am - Reply

    Is Bingo still played on sea days?

  12. cathy leiphart June 8, 2017 at 8:24 am - Reply

    I want to sail on the Koningsdam, but it seems you have to pay for so many activities and it can get quite expensive. WHat free stuff can I do?

  13. Carol C. June 19, 2017 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    My family will be taking the MS Oosterdam to Alaska on Aug. 20. My daughter and I are interested in attending the Culinary Arts class. How do we sign up? How often are they offered on the 7 day cruise? Do I need to know anything else?

  14. Margaret W. July 1, 2017 at 11:03 am - Reply

    Does Holland America still have duplicate bridge with a bridge director on board?

  15. Ellen July 28, 2017 at 10:41 am - Reply

    We are interested in ballroom & Latin dancing and wish to confirm which lounges are still hosting bands conducive to such dancing venues on the Eurodam in January of 2017?

  16. Joan August 5, 2017 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    Can you tell me how much it cost to play bingo on the Koningsdam.
    Thank you

  17. Susan August 7, 2017 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    Do you offer zumba and line dancing classes on koningsdam? with or without fee?

  18. Elsa August 10, 2017 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    Julie, do they offer complimentary needlepoint projects, like other cruise lines? Tia elsa

  19. Caroline Chu August 21, 2017 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    Booked on Ms Koningsdam 7 day Eastern Caribbean December 20. Any chance of daily Mass celebrated by a priest. Reason HAL is my preferred cruise line is because of excellent service and Daily Mass. Thank you.

  20. Bernice Trace August 31, 2017 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    I am sailing on the Sept. 24 Oosterdam trip and want to be sure to avail myself of Tech, Cooking & French lessons when available. When & where are the first opportunities to sign up for these courses?
    Thanks for your help. B.T.

  21. toby burke August 31, 2017 at 9:48 pm - Reply

    What movies are being shown on Ms Maasdam Panama cruise

  22. Peter McDonell December 9, 2017 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    We are booked on MV Amsterdam embarking 20 December 2017. Please advise where I can find info on Internet access for that cruise. Rates and plans? Is this information anywhere on line as I have searched without success.

  23. Fiona Nixon January 20, 2018 at 3:46 am - Reply

    If you don’t take out a drinks package, what actually is included.


  24. Deborah Hatchell February 18, 2018 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    Booked for Amsterdam/Inside Passage Sept 16, 2018. This is my 4th Alaska cruise on HAL.
    How can I see the Daily Programs before the cruise?
    Is the Kitchen Tour still being offered?

  25. RENEE March 1, 2018 at 11:54 am - Reply

    I will be sailing on the Noordam traveling the Inside Passage at the end of May. Is there an indoor pool or do they place an air bubble over the outdoor pool for swimming in the frigid temps?

  26. Vincent vignola March 27, 2018 at 11:01 am - Reply

    Please put a pickleball court on your basketball court. Costs next to nothing and is very popular with the age group that sails on Holland America.

  27. Gail P Buckley April 1, 2018 at 11:32 am - Reply

    Sailing on Westerdam to Alaska on 5/27 from Vancouver. Would love to play mahjongg (western version) with other passengers. Is this an organized event? If not, are there any mahjongg games for use on board?

  28. Patricia Cunningham April 5, 2018 at 6:46 pm - Reply

    Hi, can you tell me the cost of the wine tastings on the Eurodam. And is the water that is served in the dining room bottled water? I will be on the Eurodam to Alaska at the end of next month.

  29. Donna April 17, 2018 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    If we select an 8:00 dinner on the Zuiderdam (Sept 13, 2018 – 10 day NYC-Queb), will we miss the main evening entertainment?

  30. Shirley St. James April 24, 2018 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    We’re cruising to Europe in April 2019 and wonder if there will be bridge games on board.

  31. Suzanne April 29, 2018 at 7:52 am - Reply

    Are there dance lessons onboard?

  32. Julie May 2, 2018 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    We are going on a New England cruise. There is a mention of ‘cooling off’ after exercise in a pool. Whhat size pool?

  33. Joe Gingell July 2, 2018 at 10:39 am - Reply

    I was wondering if a 14 year old can do any of this unaccompanied by an adult. Also what other things are on the Ms Volendam?

  34. Joe July 2, 2018 at 10:41 am - Reply

    How much do activities cost? Can a 14 year old do this stuff unaccompanied by an adult?

  35. margaret clark October 27, 2018 at 4:18 am - Reply

    what food is included on the massdam cruise ship and is aqua aerobics free

  36. Kelly M January 21, 2019 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    I’m going to be on the Oosterdam for an Alaskan cruise in July. Will there be karaoke on board? What kind of dancing is available? I have a wheelchair, do I need to make special reservations to go to the shows?

  37. Connie Watson January 28, 2019 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    Does koningsdam have a library and a place to put puzzles together? If not we won’t book!!!

  38. Monica Weber January 31, 2019 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    I read on USA today that all Holland American Ships offer pickleball, but a representative just told me it’s not included under the Eurodam’s activities. Can you confirm either way? We’re planning on going to Alaska on the Eurodam in June – a pickleball court would be a great incentive (it’s simple and very inexpensive: markings on a basketball or tennis court and a portable net are all it takes)
    Here’s the news story

  39. James Keady February 18, 2019 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    I am thinking about booking a cruise on the Zuiderdam thru the Panama Canal. Do they have karaoke on that ship ?

  40. Celia Boyce March 4, 2019 at 1:36 am - Reply

    On the Eurodam there is a lovely woodpaneled club like room with a wardrobe full of board games called the Gallery Bar. Is there a similar intimate place on the Koningsdam?

  41. mary March 4, 2019 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    We are on the Masdaam August/September Japan to Sydney 43 nights – do you have Zumba and Line Dancing or Tai Chi?

  42. Terri April 22, 2019 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    Can you take a tour of the bridge?

  43. Anie May 14, 2019 at 7:05 am - Reply

    Is the fitness center on Eurodam free or is there an additional charge?

  44. Bob June 19, 2019 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    Going on the westerdam in August is tennis or ping pong available and is the equipment supplied?

  45. LINCOLN J HERZECA June 22, 2019 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    My wife, our son and I will be taking the Oosterdam July 7, 2019, Alaska cruise staying in a Signature Suite. Will there be a Catholic Mass on board on the days of departure & arrival?
    Thank you.
    Lincoln Herzeca

  46. Sharon August 3, 2019 at 11:56 pm - Reply

    Are children (11 and 13) permitted at the evening shows? Is there a piano on board the Eurodam for guests to use? We are taking our first cruise to Alaska this month…

  47. Karin August 2, 2022 at 4:30 pm - Reply

    Alaska, inside Passage in August
    Will there be yoga instructions on Boatd?

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