When Holland America’s ms Koningsdam was dedicated on May 20, 2016, it marked a pivot towards the future for the cruise line. Long held as a bastion of traditional nautical heritage, the Koningsdam keeps those elements, while adding modern design techniques and amenities. This is no more apparent than in the naming of the vessel – “Konings” is Dutch for “King,” and The Netherlands’ Sovereign, King Willem-Alexander, is the first male to hold the throne in over 100 years.
Holland America commissioned Designer Adam D. Tihany and Architect Bjorn Storbratten (who also designed the ms Nieuw Amsterdam & ms Eurodam for HAL, along with Seabourn’s Odyssey-class ships and Silversea’s Silver Cloud and Silver Wind) to create an atmosphere and experience that would appeal to the brand’s loyal followers, while also attracting a new generation. What has resulted is a magnificent and varied outlet for multigenerational families that equally appeals to couples, thanks to the romantic undertones of the ship’s design and décor.
“Architecture of Music” is the underlying theme of the ship’s design, as witnessed by a visit to the ship’s central atrium, where a stainless steel sculpture borrows its curves from the arches, bows, and strings of a classical string quartet. Curves and lines appear subliminally in most other public areas, and when combined with the technology onboard, take the historic elements and lead them toward the cutting edge.
Music is particularly prevalent in the ship’s onboard entertainment, which runs the gamut from live classical (via a partnership with Lincoln Center) to the hits of the British Invasion (thanks to Billboard) and finally, to an 8-piece blues band at the late night B.B. King’s Blues Club (open ‘til midnight).
Two particular areas of interest to all cruise passengers, regardless of age or taste, are accommodations and dining. The Koningsdam’s Family Oceanview staterooms can sleep 5 guests and are equipped with 2 bathrooms, with one featuring a child-size bathtub. The living area comes with a double sleeper sofa and a Pullman bed. While these staterooms can sleep 5 guests, it should come as no surprise that it would be a tight temporary living arrangement at just over 220 square feet!
The Koningsdam also offers Spa staterooms, with a prime location near the Greenhouse Spa & Salon, and stocked with yoga mats, Bluetooth speakers, and other wellness-centric amenities, including access to exclusive spa treatments.
Dining aboard HAL’s newest ship is a shared experience, as chefs are more than willing to explain the techniques used to create their signature dishes. Wine blending sessions are also available to allow guests to create a custom bottle of wine to pair with their meal.
The ms Koningsdam is Holland America’s most ambitious and inclusive undertaking to date and is certain to continue to be praised by passengers, regardless of generation!