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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.

  • Donna

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

  • Julie

    Hi Donna, there are different shows at all times to accommodate both seatings. You’ll be ok! If there’s a show at a certain time you want to attend, let your server know you need to be out in time.

  • Shirley St. James

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

  • Julie

    While there’s no official bridge instructor onboard, guests who love bridge often form their own games and play together.

  • Suzanne

    Are there dance lessons onboard?

  • Julie

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

  • Julie

    Which ship are you on, Julie?

  • Julie

    Suzanne, currently there are line dance lessons on all ships, and dance instructors only on Grand Voyages.

  • Joe Gingell

    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?

  • Joe

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

  • Julie

    Hi Joe, it all depends on the activity and ship. Many activities are included, like the Digital Workshop, BBC Earth, viewing ATK cooking demos, etc. However, if you want to have a hands-on cooking class, that costs extra. There is an excellent teens program from 13-17 years with mocktail parties, karaoke and trivia contests, jewelry making, video games, staff vs. teens volleyball tournaments, themed events and more. That is included. If you have specific activities, please ask here or call reservations: 1-855-932-1711.

  • Julie

    Here is more information on Volendam:

  • margaret clark

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

  • Julie

    Hi Margaret, included are the Dining Room, Lido Market and Dive-In. There is a surcharge for Pinnacle Grill, Rudi’s Sel de Mer Pop-Up and Canaletto. Aqua aerobics are free.

  • Kelly M

    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?

  • Julie

    Hi Kelly, we do not have karaoke on Holland America Line. Aboard Oosterdam, you will be able to dance at B.B. Kings. As for the show, you do not need to make a reservation. There is wheelchair seating, however it is first-come, first served like all of our seating.

  • Connie Watson

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

  • Julie

    Connie, our ships no longer have full libraries. We’re finding that the majority of our guests are using e-readers and so many of our books were being stolen. However, there is a small selection in the Crow’s Nest, and there are tables for puzzles.

  • Monica Weber

    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

  • Julie

    Pickleball isn’t officially offered but it can be arranged on board.

  • James Keady

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

  • Julie

    Hi James, we do not offer Karaoke on board, but Zuiderdam does feature B.B. King’s Blues Club, Billboard Onboard and Lincoln Center Stage.

  • Celia Boyce

    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?

  • Julie

    There is not a Gallery Bar on Koningsdam, but the Crow’s Nest is a nice space to relax and play games.

  • mary

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

  • Julie

    Hi Mary, there is Line Dancing on board, Tai Chi on select Asia cruises and we do not have Zumba on any HAL cruise.

  • Terri

    Can you take a tour of the bridge?

  • Julie

    At this time, we do not offer a public tour of the bridge.

  • Anie

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

  • Julie

    The center is free to use. Select classes have a fee, but there is no fee to use the equipment, etc.

  • Bob

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


    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

  • Julie

    There is mass everyday around 5 pm, including embarkation. You will not have mass on debarkation day, as you get off too early.

  • Julie

    Yes, there is ping pong and a non-regulation tennis court. Equipment is supplied.

  • Sharon

    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…

  • Julie

    Hi Sharon, children are permitted at the show. However, there is no guest piano. Enjoy your Alaska cruise!

  • Karin

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

  • Julie

    Hi Karin, yes, we offer yoga classes.

  • Willie

    Good day, is there a tennis or pickleball court on the Nieu Amsterdam?

  • Julie

    We do have Pickleball on the sports court.

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