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Zaandam Review

2018 Best for Fitness & Recreation
2017 Best Overall
2017 Best for Entertainment
View More

Find a Zaandam Cruise from £795

Zaandam
4.0 / 5.0
557 reviews

Pros
Easy-to-navigate ship with a spacious feel and grown-up vibe.
Cons
Few balconies, little variety in cabin categories, mediocre evening entertainment.
Bottom Line
Perfect-sized ship for port-intensive itineraries.

About

Passengers
1,432

Crew
604

Passenger to Crew
2.37:1

Launched
2000

Shore Excursions
701
Sails To
Canada & New England, Panama Canal & Central America, Southern Caribbean, Hawaii
Holland America Line Cruise Deals
Erica Silverstein
Cruise Critic Contributor

Zaandam Overview

Zaandam is a classy ship that proves you don't need gadgets and gimmicks to have a good time. It's an older ship, sure, and lacking in balconies, but that also means you'll find spacious inside and outside cabins with tons of storage and bathrooms with tubs, a full wraparound promenade complete with teak deck chairs and cozy blankets, and not so much nickel and diming.

With just 1,432 passengers, the ship rarely feels crowded, and passengers can enjoy a truly relaxing vacation at sea. It's easy to get everywhere, with only 10 decks. Lounges are plentiful, whether for an afternoon game of cards or post-dinner drink. Holland America Line generally appeals to a mature crowd, especially with Zaandam's longer cruises, but short cruises will bring in families, who take advantage of the top-deck kids club, the all-weather pool with retractable roof and variety of board games and puzzles in the Explorations Cafe.

The Pinnacle Grill is always one of our favorite specialty restaurants at sea, and the main dining room is a pleasure at breakfast and fine (but not amazing) at dinner. We were impressed with the variety and quality of offerings at the pool grill and the buffet, even if we wished the latter were open longer hours. Room service is mostly complimentary -- a nice touch.

If you're looking for nonstop activities or fast-paced nightlife, Zaandam is not the ship for you. You'll find more party bridge than late-night partying. Entertainment is not necessarily a strong point, but that may change in 2020 when the line's Music Walk venues are added to the ship. Activities lean toward computer classes, afternoon tea and cooking demos; shuffleboard and table tennis are other popular pastimes. Daily trivia sessions, including evening music trivia, bring in the crowds.

Service was unremarkable, but crew were always friendly and would greet us in the hallways. Turn-down chocolates and towel animals remain a nightly ritual to look forward to.

Zaandam is a perfect choice for those who prefer low-key entertainment in spacious surroundings, port-focused itineraries and reasonable, but not overwhelming, dining options. It's classy and classic, and a lovely home for seeing the world.

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Top Zaandam Itineraries

Zaandam
19-day voyage of the vikings

Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Dublin, Akureyri, Isafjord, St. John's (Newfoundland), Halifax, Boston

View All Holland America Zaandam Itineraries (19)

Fellow Passengers

Holland America traditionally attracts one of cruising's more senior demographics, with most passengers retired or semiretired. You will find some families with children (mainly multigenerational), especially on shorter cruises during school breaks. Most passengers hail from North America, but you'll always find a variety of international cruisers.


Holland America Zaandam Dress Code

Daytime: Casual, to fit the destination and season.

Evening: Most nights are smart-casual, with men wearing slacks or jeans, and women in skirts, slacks or capris, or perhaps a casual dress. On gala nights and in the Pinnacle Grill, a dressier look is requested: collared shirts and slacks for men, and elegant dresses, skirts or slacks for women. Those wishing to avoid dressing up can eat at the Lido Market; note that Canaletto Restaurant, though located adjacent to the Lido, adheres to the evening dress code.

Not permitted: Distressed jeans, shorts, men's tank tops and swimwear are not permitted in the main dining room or specialty restaurants.

For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Holland America.

Zaandam Inclusions

Included with your cruise fare:

  • One main dining room, buffet, poolside grill and room service

  • All theater shows

  • Most daily activities

  • Use of the gym, but not most classes

  • Huge DVD library for in-cabin use

  • Shoeshine service

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Gratuities ($14.50 per person, per day or $16 per person, per day for those staying in suites)

  • Automatic beverage and spa tips (15 percent for both)

  • Specialty restaurants Pinnacle Grill, Sel de Mer and Canaletto

  • All drinks beyond water, tea (including iced tea), coffee and select juices in the buffet

  • Spa treatments

  • Shore excursions

  • Wi-Fi

  • Photos and artwork, boutique purchases


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Zaandam Ratings

CategoryEditorMember
Cabins4.53.8
Dining4.03.8
Entertainment3.53.5
Public Rooms4.04.2
Fitness Recreation4.03.7
Family3.52.7
Enrichment3.53.6
Service4.04.3
Value For Money4.03.7

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More about Holland America Zaandam

Where does Holland America Zaandam sail from?

Holland America Zaandam departs from Montreal, Boston, San Diego, Fort Lauderdale, Port Everglades, Rotterdam and Cape Town

How much does it cost to go on Holland America Zaandam?

Cruises on Holland America Zaandam start from £795 per person.

Is Holland America Zaandam a good ship to cruise on?

Holland America Zaandam won 5 awards over the years.

Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice

  • 2018 Best for Fitness & Recreation
  • 2017 Best Overall
  • 2017 Best for Entertainment
  • 2017 Best for Public Rooms
  • 2017 Best for Service

Holland America Zaandam Member Reviews

AKJonesy
Sail Date: Dec 2019
This was a first voyage on Zaandam, and even though it is a BIT smaller than what we've sailed on, I was pleased overall.... Read More
Herbs Mom
Sail Date: Jan 2020
We hadn't been on the Zaandam before and weren't quite sure what to expect.... Read More
poinsettiaplate
Sail Date: Oct 2019
The ship: The Zaandam is a nice sized ship and is easy to get around. The public rooms and walkways have been left as they were intended when the ship was built.... Read More
brted
Sail Date: Jul 2019
I was a little nervous after reading reviews here, but was very happy with the Zaandam. The ship is a little old, but is well kept and our group of 15 had very few problems.... Read More

Holland America Line Fleet

Maasdam
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

594 reviews

Holland America's stately Maasdam launched in 1994, but has gone through two major refurbishments in 2006 and 2011, adding contemporary features.

View All Holland America Maasdam Cruises
Rotterdam
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Launched in 1997, Rotterdam VI is a throwback to earlier cruise ships compared to most megaships built after 1995.

Veendam
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

The last of Holland America's Statendam-class ships, Veendam blends a modicum of hipness with the strong traditional flavor that HAL's known for.

Volendam
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


The 1,432-passenger Volendam has had a couple of refurbishments since its 1999 debut, one in 2006 and one in 2011, which saw a ship-wide spruce up.

Holland America Volendam Cruises to Alaska Holland America Volendam Cruises to the Panama Canal & Central America View All Holland America Volendam Cruises
Amsterdam
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Built in 2000, Amsterdam is smaller than the line's Vista and Signature classes of ships and a recently had Canaletto, a casual Italian eatery, installed.

Prinsendam
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Prinsendam, Holland America's smallest vessel offers destination-immersive itineraries and superb value for money.

Zuiderdam
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


As cruise lines add a dizzying array of features, Zuiderdam maintains Holland America's satisfying and enjoyable, although not particularly surprising, experience at sea.

Westerdam

Although it's not a new ship, Holland America's Westerdam continues to do what the line does best -- balance the traditional cruising experience with updated, contemporary amenities.

Noordam
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Holland America Line aims to strike a balance between classic and contemporary, and the intimate, 2,000-passenger Noordam, christened in 2006, manages this well.

Eurodam
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Traditional and upscale; emphasizes music and gourmet dining; features Billboard Onboard, Lincoln Center Onstage, B.B. King's Blues Club; holds about 3,000.

Nieuw Amsterdam
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Traditional emphasis on gourmet dining, live music and an impressive art collection; highlights are the Culinary Arts Center and B.B. King's Blues Club; holds fewer than 3,000.

Koningsdam
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Upscale; emphasis on music and gourmet dining; highlights are the Culinary Arts Center, Billboard Onboard, Lincoln Center Stage and B.B. King's All-Stars Band; holds about 3,500.

Nieuw Statendam
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Holland America welcomes a second ship to its Pinnacle Class in 2018. Nieuw Statendam will follow in the footsteps of Koningsdam, the line's largest ship.

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