This is the secret to an exceptional holiday

If you’re ready to board for your next adventure but aren’t quite sure where your destination is, or your transport mode, we may have just found your answer…

With the days getting shorter and the sun setting earlier, the warmer months are coming to a close – which means it’s time to start dreaming about your next sunny getaway. But where to? And how can you be sure you’ll have an unforgettable holiday?

The secret to an exceptional holiday is a complex recipe, but one that cruising maestro’s Holland America have mastered. From its focus on fresh food and live entertainment to its unique and in-depth shore visits and overnight stays, Holland America have perfected their cruising offering, delivering exceptional experiences you’ll recount forever more. Here, the recipe for an exceptional holiday, and how Holland America delivers….

Unbeatable Entertainment

Seasoned cruisers know that a ship is only as good as its amenities. And Holland America’s entertainment program is truly second-to-none – meaning you’ll never have a dull sea day again. Every day on board there’s something new, from intimate experiences to full-scale productions. For some old-school blues and soul, make your way to BB King’s Clues Club, where each night takes you on adventure through the sounds and heritage of the American South. Then there’s Billboard Onboard, which takes you through all the latest hits, with the odd game of trivia, too.

Feel the rhythm and blues… Image: BB Kings Blues Club on Nieuw Statendam. Photo: HAL.

It’s always worth making time for a performance by the Step One Dance Company, whose elite choreography, backed by state-of-the-art sound and projection, will dazzle you. Not to mention the World Stage: an enormous on-board theatre with a two-storey panoramic LED screen on select ships. For a deeper understanding of your destination, check out an EXC Talk: lectures told by local experts, hosted by the Cruise Director. Best of all? It’s all included in your fare.

If you have your heart set on a European cruise this northern hemisphere summer (or the next), then Holland America’s anniversary sale, with up to 30 per cent off cruise-only fares as well as up to USD$300 of onboard credit per stateroom, is your ticket to escaping the winter chills passport to success. Be quick – offer runs until May 31, 2024.

All aboard! Holland America’s ‘Rotterdam Ship’ sailing through the awe-inspiring Norwegian Fjords. Photo: HAL.

Fantastic Food

Holland America celebrated its 150th birthday last year, making it one of the world’s longest-running cruise lines. You don’t stay in the game for that long without understanding what your customers want. And those customers want excellent drinking and dining.

Dining on the high seas Rudi’s Sel de Mer on Nieuw Statendam is an intimate brasserie featuring classic French dishes reimagined with contemporary flair. Photo: HAL.

Holland America’s specialty restaurants are destinations in and of themselves – whether you’re craving a steakhouse at sea, classic French and Italian cooking, exhilarating Southeast Asian dining at Tamarind, and masterful sushi. Your included options are well worth seeking out too: from an American-style diner to a modern Italian marketplace. Got a bit of cabin fever? Make the most of the complimentary 24/7 room service.

Savour the fresh flavours. Image: Seared Haddock, Fresh Fish Program. Photo: HAL.

Holland America’s ‘Fresh Fish Program’ is also worth celebrating: it’s an initiative to serve locally sourced fresh ingredients, from port to plate in 48 hours, spearheaded by Chef Masaharu Morimoto, the line’s Global Fresh Fish Ambassador. Every cruise also has destination-tailored menus, to ensure that you’re sampling the flavours of the ports you visit.

Holland America cruises allow you to visit more UNESCO sites and develop a deeper understanding and connection to the destinations you visit. Image: Fort Lovrijenac and wall of Dubrovnik, Croatia, UNESCO Heritage Site. Photo: Adobe.

Connecting with Culture

A short port visit can be disappointing. Luckily, Holland America understands that, and offers an abundant amount of port visits with overnight stays – meaning you get a full chance to experience the amazing destinations you cruise to. You can have dinner at local restaurants, sample all the gelato you can muster, and shop to your heart’s content – without having to worry about rushing back to the ship.

Live like a local! Explore destinations solo or as a part of a tour, such as the Copenhagen City Cycling Tour. Photo: Getty Images.

Then there’s Explorations Central, at your ship’s Crow’s Nest, which will help you gain a deeper understanding of the destination you’re visiting. It’s a knowledge hub, like an ever-evolving visitor’s centre, where you’ll find interactive maps, local insights, tips on port activities, and more. It’s the perfect place to stop by during your cruise – whether to inspire you before you head into port, deepen your appreciation of a destination after you’ve left it, or to get you excited for the next stop on your cruise.

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