Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Crown Cruise Vacations | October 22, 2020

Scroll to top

Top

Holland America Line Archives – Crown Cruise Vacations

Rotterdam VII Carries on Holland America Tradition

September 7, 2020 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

Holland America Line’s new flagship pays homage to an historic vessel. The new cruise ship will be named the Rotterdam and will be the new flagship for the Holland America fleet.

The Rotterdam is expected to be delivered from Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy on July 30, 2021. The ship will spend the summer exploring Northern Europe and the Baltic on roundtrip cruises from Amsterdam. Read more...

Holland America Line’s master chef Rudi Sodamin releases unusual ‘Food Faces’ art book

January 31, 2018 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

Creating faces out of his food is a labor of love for Rudi Sodamin. Using vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, grain and sweets, Sodamin has captured a cast of unforgettable characters expressing a whimsical spectrum of human emotion.

“’Food Faces’ has a universal appeal that crosses all ages, languages, art, cultures and food groups,” Sodamin said. “Food is an international language, understood by all, and everyone in the world, regardless of race, gender, experience or social status, can communicate and connect through food.”

As master chef for Holland America Line, Sodamin has delighted passengers for years with his delicious food and artistic food faces. Now the popular chef has a book showcasing his Food Faces talents. “Food Faces” is sold in bookstores nationwide.

“Rudi is an icon in the cruise industry for his culinary talent and creativity in the kitchen and is regarded as the hospitality industry’s most innovative chef, but today we congratulate him for his innovation as an artist with his beautiful new book,”  said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president.

“Rudi is esteemed throughout the world for his passion for his craft and his ability to translate that creative energy into serving thousands of guests each day on our ships. ’Food Faces’ allows people to be inspired by Rudi’s work every day in their homes.”

In the forward to “Food Faces,” Thomas Keller, chef, restaurateur and cookbook author, writes: “Rudi has a keen eye, playful sensibility and a willingness to let inspiration take him where it will. Rudi puts happiness front and center.”

On board Holland America Line ships, guests who dine in Rudi’s Sel de Mer pop-up restaurant can enjoy his dynamic Food Faces on exclusive limited-edition plates made by Bernardaud, the leading French manufacturer of Limoges porcelain. Each plate charger features a different image from the “Food Faces” book, creating an unusual and and fun table setting.

Story by Jackie Sheckler Finch

Photos courtesy of Holland American Line

Holland America shares California BLT recipe

August 9, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

I’ve made bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches ever since I was a preschooler. But mine were pretty basic – bacon, lettuce, tomato (from my Dad’s garden), white bread and Miracle Whip.

Delicious with a cold glass of milk.

But Justin Chapple, the senior test kitchen editor at Food & Wine Magazine, shared a different recipe on a Holland America cruise aboard ms Zuiderdam. The ship features cuisine presentations for guests in its Culinary Arts Center.

Justin’s recipe is for a California BLT. Definitely worth trying and a step up from one of my childhood favorites.

Here is the recipe if you’d like to make it:

                                                         CALIFORNIA BLT
Ingredients:
24 thin bacon slices
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. finely chopped tarragon
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and pepper
8 slices multigrain sandwich bread, lightly toasted
1 Hass avocado
2 Persian cucumbers
1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
4 small bibb lettuce leaves
1/2 cup mixed sprouts, like radish, sunflower and alfalfa

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Weave 6 strips of bacon into a lattice on the baking sheet, leaving enough space for 3 more lattices. Repeat with the remaining bacon strips.

  • Set a rack upside down on the bacon. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until browned and crisp. Remove the rack, then transfer the bacon lattices to paper towels to drain.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the tarragon and lemon juice. Season the tarragon mayonnaise with salt and pepper.
  • Spread the tarragon mayonnaise on each slice of bread. Arrange the sliced avocado, cucumbers and tomato on 4 slices of the bread and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with the bacon lattices, bibb leaves and sprouts. Close the sandwiches and serve. Serves four.
  • Read more...

    Learn how to be a MasterChef on Holland America cruise

    February 16, 2017 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

    Learn how to cook like a MasterChef on a seven-day Culinary Adventure cruise aboard the ms Eurodam departing from Fort Lauderdale on Nov. 12. This is the third MasterChef cruise for the popular Holland America program.

    Foodies and fans of America’s most watched cooking competition series get the rare opportunity to experience MasterChef LIVE with a new line-up of entertainment and activities featuring MasterChef All Stars.

    The cruise will include MasterChef menus and hands-on culinary demos from some of the best Home Cooks in the nation. The All Stars cooks will share what led them to receive an apron to cook in the legendary MasterChef Kitchen.

    The All Stars were mentored in-show by some of the most esteemed chefs in the world and program participants can enjoy the results. Cruisers also will get to taste the food they’ve seen created by the MasterChef All Stars.

    Some passengers will have a chance to be part of a lucky group of people chosen to participate in a Mystery Box Challenge or a Pressure Test. Participants will get to experience the pace, thrills and countdown of the clock similar to what the All Stars had to experience in the show.

    The cruise includes ports of call in Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.

    Photo courtesy of Holland America

    Holland America partners with Seattle Mariners for exciting programs

    September 28, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

    Fans cheer when a Seattle Mariners pitcher throws a strikeout during a home game. But now folks will have even more reasons to rejoice. For the third season in a row, the Seattle Mariners and Seattle’s hometown cruise line of Holland America will join forces to help the Seattle Children’s Hospital.

    For every Seattle Mariners strikeout at home, Holland America will make a cash donation to the Seattle Children’s Hospital. In 2015, Holland America rewarded the home strikeouts by presenting a check to the hospital for $25,000 on Fan Appreciation Night.

    “Holland America Line is proud of our ongoing partnership with the Seattle Mariners, and this season we’ve increased our support of their community outreach programs,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line.

    “Our two organizations share a like-minded commitment to giving back in the region, and together we can continue to make a difference in our community.”

    The cruise line also will continue to sponsor Get Well Tours with visits to area hospitals by Mariners players. Under the Seattle Mariners Get Well Tours, Mariners players along with the Mariner Moose mascot will visit area hospitals. During the visits, children and veterans will receive photos and autographs, plus a Holland American Line branded sports bag filled with Mariners items and baseball-related items such as replica baseballs and a stuffed moose.

    The cruise line also is adding a new component – the “Salute to Those Who Serve” recognition event. At 26 Mariners home games this season, the “Salute to Those Who Serve” program will honor some of the men and women from various branches of the United States Military. During Friday and Sunday games, a member of the military (active, reserve, veteran or retired) is recognized on-field for his or her service to our country. Each honoree will receive four tickets and one parking pass to the game. Holland America Line is the presenting sponsor of this program.

    In addition, Holland America Line is also the presenting sponsor of the annual Fan Appreciation Night at Safeco Field. Traditionally the final Friday home game of each season, Fan Appreciation Night celebrates the community support by local Mariners fans with prize drawings throughout the same. As part of its sponsorship, Holland America Line provides cruise giveaways at the special event.

    “Holland America Line has been a tremendous supporter over the past six years,” said Bob Aylward, executive vice president of corporate business for the Seattle Mariners. “We are proud to continue our relationship and expand our community outreach partnership to serve the community we all call home.”

    ms Veendam cruise ship honored for daring sea rescue of downed pilot

    September 21, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

    A pilot who ditched his aircraft in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Hawaii was lucky to be in the same area as the Holland America cruise ship ms Veendam. Now the ship’s captain and crew have been honored as “Seafarer of the Year” for the rescue of the pilot who ejected from his aircraft in the Pacific Ocean.

    The honor was presented by Lloyd’s List North American Maritime Awards, calling Veendam’s award one of the “stand-out moments of the gala dinner.”

    “Whenever the crew of a vessel are actively involved in a rescue it shows the capabilities and the humanity of the profession,” said Sander Wielemaker, Atlantic area manager DNV GL, sponsors of the award.

    “The master and crew, through coordination with the authorities, were able to save the life of the individual and no doubt add a moment of out-of-the-ordinary excitement for the passengers of the cruise ship.”

    On Sunday, Jan. 25, at 5:21 p.m., the ms Veendam answered the call for help. The pilot had ditched his single-engine Cirrus SR-22 after experiencing a mechanical issue with the fuel system.The pilot was located about 225 nautical miles off the coast of Maui, Hawaii.

    The pilot deployed the aircraft’s airframe parachute system and safely exited the plane into a life raft. Holland America Line crewmembers brought him aboard Veendam and provided him with food and accommodations. The pilot, who was in good condition, disembarked Jan. 26 at Lahaina.

    “Congratulations to the team on ms Veendam for coming to the aid of the pilot and for working together with the Coast Guard to conduct this successful rescue operation,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line.

    The “Seafarer of the Year” award recognizes the skills, bravery and professionalism that seafarers demonstrate daily.

    “The officers and crew performed exceptionally well and made a dramatic rescue – I am very proud of the Veendam team,” said Keith Taylor, executive vice president, fleet operations, Holland America Group, and retired Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard. “This rescue is a great reminder of the commitment all of us at Holland America Line, our sister brands and the cruise industry have in supporting rescue efforts at sea when we are near.”

    January was an eventful month for other Holland America ships, Ashford said. On Jan. 3, ms Zuiderdam rescued eight crewmembers from a sinking vessel in the Caribbean, and Jan. 4 ms Zaandam came to the aid of seven stranded crewmembers at the Arctowski Polish research station at King George Island in Antarctica.

    “We are honored to be able to assist in any distress situation when needed,” Ashford said. “Holland America Line employees consistently strive for professional and personal excellence, and to be honored for saving a life is both humbling and rewarding,”

    Photo courtesy of Holland America Group

    Holland America partners with master mixologist Dale DeGroff to create unique libations

    February 29, 2016 | Marie Poynter

    Like your martini shaken or stirred? How about a shot of bourbon on the rocks?

    Watching the sunset over the ocean with a cold drink is one of the joys of cruising. Now Holland America Line has teamed up with master mixologist Dale DeGroff for an innovative menu of creative cocktails. DeGroff’s creations debuted aboard ms Eurodam in January and will expand fleet wide by spring 2016.

    “For many guests, there’s nothing better than relaxing with a well-made, unique cocktail after a long day of sightseeing or before dinner, and adding a master mixologist to our team gives us the diversity we seek in creating the most robust food and beverage program at sea,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president.

    “We’re excited to welcome the talents of Dale DeGroff to our family, and we know our guests are going to enjoy his innovative creations,” Ashford said.

    Known as “King Cocktail,” DeGroff is the author of two best-selling cocktail books and founding president of The Museum of the American Cocktail.

    DeGroff’s cocktail menu includes the Gallery Gimlet, Hemingway Daiquiri, Yuzu Margarita, The Ritz Cocktail, Whiskey and Joe, Another Shade of Greyhound, and a “Slightly Less Than Perfect” Perfect Manhattan. Many of these drinks have a storied past. The Hemingway Daiquiri is a unique spin off of Hemingway’s favorite drink, the Papa Doble.

    The Ritz Cocktail is a dazzling champagne cocktail presented with a burst of flamed orange peel and was one of the most popular drinks at the legendary Rainbow Room where DeGroff created it as a tribute to the Ritz cocktails of Paris and Madrid.

    In addition to creating exclusive cocktails for all Holland America Line bars, DeGroff also will oversee staff training to ensure his signature cocktails will be crafted to perfection.

    Story by By Marie Poynter, Photo by David Kressler

    Holland America’s  ‘Dancing with the Stars: At Sea’ cruises into final season

    August 17, 2015 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

    Bring along your dancing shoes for a special chance to dance at sea with “Dancing with the Stars” Mirrorball Trophy winners and America’s favorite TV mom Florence Henderson on Holland America Line.

    The voyages mark the final chance to experience “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” before the partnership concludes. Tony Dovolani and Kym Johnson, along with celebrity personality Carson Kressley and Florence Henderson will be on the cruise departing Ft. Lauderdale on Jan. 3 and the Champions Cruise on Jan. 10, 2016. Read more...

    Cozy up with tea, and plan your warm weather vacation

    December 18, 2014 | Heidi

    ‘Tis the time of year for cold weather, when our thoughts drift to lying on the beach for a warm weather vacation.

    If you’d like to take a look at Caribbean cruises, click here.

    For the Bahamas, click here.

    And to look at Mexico, click here.

    While you’re reading, stay warm by making yourself a perfect cup of tea- courtesy of Jackie Finch, who got these instructions while on Holland America’s Eurodam.

    PREPARING PERFECT CUP OF TEA

    So how should the perfect cup of tea be prepared?

    First off, never fix tea with tap water, which I have always done. “Chlorine and fluoride have been added to tap water which can greatly affect the taste of tea,” said Eurodam’s Party Planner Anaise Brown. “It’s best to use artisan spring water.”

    Using hot tap water to speed up the boiling process is especially undesirable, she added, because then you are adding even more impurities from your home’s water heater. If you want to see the huge difference that water can make, Anaise suggests preparing cups of tea side by side using different sources of water. “You can really taste the difference.”

    Never microwave a cup of water for tea. Of course, I always do that.  Instead, bring the water to a rolling boil in a kettle and let it cool a bit.

    “Tea is very delicate so it cannot be in boiling hot water,” Anaise said.

    Measure the tea into a glass container (plastic and metal pick up unwanted flavors, Anaise said) and pour the hot water over the tea. “Don’t let the tea steep very long, no longer than three minutes,” Anaise said. If it is steeped too long, tea can get an acidic taste.

    “And never squeeze the tea bag.”

    All this time, I had thought that twisting the string of a tea bag around the bag was the proper way to squeeze out any last liquid and taste. In fact, Anaise recommends buying quality loose leaf tea instead of tea bags. “It pays to buy loose leaf tea because it tastes better and you can use the leaves over and over for more cups of tea,” she said.

    As for its benefits, tea contains antioxidants that can help protect the body. It also can boost the immune system and can help lower cholesterol. Tea is calorie free and helps keep a body hydrated.

    Holland America announces finalists for ‘Dancing With Stars: At Sea’

    April 11, 2014 | Heidi

    Shine up your dancing shoes. Holland America cruise line has announced it is extending its partnership with “Dancing with the Stars” for another season.

    Through the 2014 sailing season, passengers on Holland America ships can try their skills in the “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” program.  The competition will culminate with a Champions Cruise guest dance-off competition for the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy on Dec. 6, 2014, on the ms Nieuw Westerdam.

    “Our ‘Dancing with the Stars: At Sea’ programming has been wildly popular and a highlight of our cruises,” said  Richard Meadows, Holland America Line’s executive vice president, sales, marketing and guest programs.

    One winning dancer from each of the 15 ships in the Holland America fleet will compete for the top title on the Dec. 6 cruise. Finalists will be selected as the winning guest with the highest overall score from the onboard “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea.”

    In addition, Holland America also will feature six special “Dancing with the Stars” theme cruises featuring the television show’s professional dancers and celebrities.

    Currently scheduled to sail on all six theme cruises in 2014 are professional dancers Tristan MacManus and Kym Johnson and television personality Carson Kressley and actress Sabrina Bryan.

    By Jackie Sheckler Finch