It’s Tea Time All the Time – On Cruises and Ashore Holland America Line Knows Tea!

If a cup of tea is your … cup of tea, you’d be in luck to find yourself on a Holland America Line cruise.

Holland America Line takes tea very seriously. We offer tours all around the world dedicated to enjoying afternoon tea in the most incredible settings. From world-famous hotels to quaint Chinese teahouses, our tours are perfect for the tea connoisseur and casual drinker, alike. Guests will even find delicious teas onboard daily.

Author Henry James wrote:

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”

And we think you’ll agree after enjoying any of these experiences!

Hamilton Island, Queensland, Australia: High Tea on the Sea

The Denison Star

The Denison Star

Welcome aboard the magnificent 107-foot Huon pine motor cruiser, Denison Star, for an afternoon of high tea on the sea at Queensland. Originally built in Hobart, Tasmania, the Denison Star is the largest Huon pine vessel built in Australia, and makes the perfect setting for afternoon tea! Departing from Hamilton Island, your cruise will cross the Whitsunday Passage, passing a number of Whitsunday Island resorts and landmarks. You’ll learn about the history of the island, from the days of Captain cook right through current day and enjoy pastries, cakes and scones prepared onboard … along with a selection of teas, of course!

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Modern Dubai & Tea at the Burj Al Arab

Left: Burj Al Arab. Right: Palm Jumeirah.

Left: Burj Al Arab. Right: Palm Jumeirah.

If afternoon tea in a grand setting is what you seek, it will be hard to beat the Modern Dubai & Tea at the Burj Al Arab tour. After a panoramic drive through Dubai, United Arab Emirates, including a stop on the “trunk” of Palm Jumeirah, a fully reclaimed palm tree-shaped island off the coast, you will head to perhaps the most luxurious hotel in the world. Shaped like a spinnaker sail, you’ve certainly seen photos of Burj Al Arab before, but you have to see it in person to appreciate its beauty. Here you will enjoy a traditional afternoon tea. This tour also includes a stop at the iconic Burj Khalifa.

Canada: A Stroll through Quebec City & Tea at the Chateau Frontenac

Chateau Frontenac is one of Quebec's most famous attractions.

Chateau Frontenac is one of Quebec’s most famous attractions.

Enjoy a bit of old world charm and taste castle life with tea and pastries at the world-famous Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. The Chateau’s legendary appeal adds a special flavor to the delicious cup of tea you’ll enjoy. But before you get to sit down to enjoy it, you’ll have a delightful stroll through Quebec City, discovering its historic side along the way. Quebec’s lovely cobblestone streets make for a charming walk as you visit the Lower Town’s Place Royale and Le Quartier Petit-Champlain, and the Upper Town’s Place d’Armes, Dufferin Terrace and the Ursulines Convent. When you reach the Chateau you’ll be delighted as you walk through its doors and feel as though you’ve stepped back in time.

User Tarhills gave the tour five stars on the Holland America website and said it was a wonderful afternoon.

“We were able to tour several beautiful churches as well as viewing sites over the course of our terrific tour. The tour culminated with a beautifully done tea at the Chateau Frontenac. This is definitely an excursion you do not want to miss.”

Ocho Rios, Jamaica: Tea at Good Hope Great House

Good Hope Great House

Good Hope Great House

You also can experience the joy of high tea in the Caribbean, complete with scones and sandwiches on the beautiful grounds of Ocho Rios’ Good Hope Great House. This marvelous estate in Jamaica is nestled against a backdrop of the Hummingbird Garden, and morning and afternoon tea served here evokes a tradition once reserved only for Jamaica’s elite. You also will have time to tour the Great House and roam the grounds.

Singapore: Chinese Set Luncheon at Raffles Hotel

Before heading to lunch at Singapore's Raffles Hotel, you'll visit a Chinese tea house.

Raffles Hotel, Singapore

On the Chinese Set Luncheon at the Raffles Hotel tour you will visit a quaint Chinese tea house in Singapore and listen to a talk on how the Chinese brew tea. You’ll take in the flavors and aromas of the tealeaves and feel like royalty — Queen Elizabeth once visited here! Find a unique Chinese teapot and tealeaves to take home with you. This tour also includes a visit to exotic Little India where you can taste spices and eye colorful saris before continuing past Arab Street and the gold-domed Sultan Mosque. You’ll enjoy a Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel, where the cocktail was invented exactly 100 years ago, followed by a sumptuous Chinese lunch served in the hotel’s Royal China Restaurant.

Tea Time Onboard


But you don’t even have to step off the ship to enjoy a cup! Tea is offered every afternoon in Holland America Line’s main dining rooms, but the experience is not always the same. In addition to a typical tea, guests will find three distinct tea-time themes once throughout their cruise.

Traditional Dutch High Tea provides a classic sampling of desserts and cakes with tea and coffee.

The whimsical Cupcake Tea lets guests pair their cup with a selection of 10 or more types of decadent cupcakes.

And the Indonesian Tea Ceremony is an authentic experience where the crew dresses in traditional batik and headdress and guests enjoy organic black tea, spiced black tea, crisp green tea, and green jasmine tea, along with traditional Indonesian pastries.

Eurodam crew members wear traditional dress for an Indonesian tea ceremony. Photo by Jackie Sheckler Finch.

Eurodam crew members wear traditional dress for an Indonesian tea ceremony. Photo by Jackie Sheckler Finch.

Remember, tours can be pre-booked before you cruise so you get your top choices.

Tea lovers, have you taken any of these tours or enjoyed tea time onboard? Which is your favorite theme? Tell us in the comments below.

We want to make your dream cruise even dreamier with our new View & Verandah promotion. We’re offering stateroom upgrades, up to 10 percent off shore excursions and up to 25 percent off Collectors’ Voyages on 2016-2017 sailings when booked by Feb. 29, 2016. Canada & New England cruises are included! Check out the offer to see if your date is available and book now!


Join the Discussion


  1. Marj Gordon December 17, 2015 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    We always attend both the Dutch and Indonesian teas while on our Holland America Line cruises, and always enjoy them both.
    Alas, we were a bit disappointed on our 2015 cruises that Holland America Lines’ exclusive “Darjeeling Blend” tea was not available! It is our favorite!
    We hope that it will be back again in time for our next cruise in June 2016!

  2. jane morse January 13, 2016 at 9:08 am - Reply

    Love tea time but hate being confined to Bigelow. Perhaps a more varied selection of teas would provide more pleasure.

  3. Kate June 7, 2017 at 11:56 am - Reply

    Currently browsing through these blogs while sailing on Holland America.. Strange to read this, our ship ran out of black tea a couple of days into our 24 night cruise. We still don’t have any and we have 8 days left!

  4. David July 6, 2017 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    I read on that Royal Dutch & Indonesian Teas services have been discontinued. I am very disappointed since I have my first cruise with HAL coming up in 4 weeks and I have been waiting to try the tea service since I book the trip more than 1 year ago. That does not bode well.

  5. Sherry petersen March 10, 2019 at 12:31 am - Reply

    So, do you have afternoon tea with Little sandwiches, desserts, and tea on the Neiuw Amsterdam any of the days?

  6. Pam Lankford March 23, 2019 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    Is there tea time every afternoon on the Koningsdam?

  7. Bernice Mellman July 14, 2019 at 10:32 am - Reply

    Is there Tea Time on Holland Zaandam in September.?

  8. Debbie December 31, 2019 at 10:51 am - Reply

    We are sailing on the Oosterdam on Jan. 4. Tea time is one of the key things that brings us back to Holland American instead of other cruise lines. I have seen some comments that Tea Time no longer occurs. Is there still tea time on the Oosterdam?

  9. Ken Meyer February 18, 2022 at 7:31 am - Reply

    is tea time available on the Panama Canal cruises this April 2021? Thank you.

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