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Crown Cruise Vacations | March 6, 2021

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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 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

    4 Reasons Why Today Is The Best Day to Plan a Vacation

    October 16, 2013 | Roger

    The economy might feel a bit shaky, and the finances may not be strong enough to jet away right this second, but its still a great day to start planning a vacation. We get the question in the office a lot, “when is the best time to plan our next trip?” The answer: “Today!” In most cases, locking down a trip early helps guarantee good rates, good availability and has very little downside. And in the last few months of the year, the time is especially right to plan ahead. With fewer people looking to travel, tour companies and cruise lines are giving some of their best prices of the year, coupled with amazing amenity offers.

    ‘Dancing with the Stars: At Sea’ Aboard Holland America

    May 8, 2013 | Heidi

    I admit it. I love “Dancing with the Stars.”  I always look forward to hearing who the new guest celebrities will be on the popular TV show and learning which pro dancer will be paired up with which new partner forthe season.

    I also love cruising.  So I was doubly happy when I heard that Holland America is combining the two for an exciting new cruise theme – “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea.”

    The Biggest Private Island Upgrade

    February 12, 2013 | Roger

    Holland America’s Half Moon Cay turns 15 this year. This private Bahamanian island is widely considered to be among the best private beach islands that cruise lines use today, and this year Holland America is upping their game by offering guests the biggest private island upgrade yet, a beach villa.

    Coming Soon: More New Ships!

    October 26, 2012 | Roger

    It has been a busy week for corporate offices across the cruise industry this week. Earlier this week, Norwegian Cruise Line announced its plans to build another Norwegian Breakaway type-ship in the near future. Royal Caribbean announced its plans to build another Oasis type ship for 2016, and today Carnival announced another Breeze-type ship for delivery in 2016, and a new Holland America ship in 2015.

    Holland America Line: Where the Food Matters

    October 23, 2012 | Roger

    These days, it is sort of a given that Holland America Line has some of the best food at sea for the larger mass-market cruise lines. The buffet tends to be out of control good, the main dining rooms provide excellent food on a regular basis, and the Pinnacle Grill set an industry standard for fine dining at sea.  But this commitment to good eats isn’t limited to mealtime on Holland America Line ships.