• Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In
  • Find a Cruise
  • Deals
  • Excursions
  • More

Nieuw Amsterdam Review

2019 Best Overall
2019 Best for Cabins
2019 Best for Dining
View More

Find a Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise from £283

Nieuw Amsterdam
4.5 / 5.0
872 reviews

Unique entertainment options and a high standard of service that sets it apart
Overcrowded at times and occasionally inconsistent fee-based dining
Bottom Line
A great choice for a pampered, laid-back vacation -- particularly for music lovers




Passenger to Crew


Shore Excursions
Sails To
Eastern Caribbean, Caribbean, Alaska, Western Caribbean, Panama Canal & Central America, Southern Caribbean
Holland America Line Cruise Deals
Cynthia Drake
Cruise Critic Contributor

Nieuw Amsterdam Overview

Nieuw Amsterdam is a ship whose name is associated with a rich and celebrated history for Holland America Line, and being on the ship gives you a sense of the classic age of cruising, back when Hollywood starlets graced the pool deck and dressing up for dinner was a time-honored ritual.

Free Price Drop Alerts
Get tomorrow's price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

In December 2017, the ship underwent upgrades throughout, and several public spaces feel refreshed and contemporary. People who have previously traveled on Nieuw Amsterdam might breathe a sigh of relief to know that the ship has now banned smoking everywhere, except the outside Sea View Bar at the ship's aft. Carpeting has been replaced throughout the ship's public areas, and even the casino smells fresh and clean.

The ship lacks the flashiness or overwhelming size of some mega-cruise ships, but its unique entertainment options make up for any missing bells and whistles. For example, Nieuw Amsterdam's Music Walk creates a three-punch hit list of rich musical venues all within a short walk of each other on Deck 2. From the symphonic orchestral beauty of the Lincoln Center Stage to the soulful, dance-floor-burning hits of B.B. King's Blues Club to the sing-along atmosphere of Billboard Onboard, you're guaranteed to find something your ears will enjoy.

You might notice the small details, such as the cool towels provided at the dock before you return to the ship from a day at port, the wrapped silverware in the buffet restaurant and the way crew members and even passengers in the hallway are more likely to say, "Good afternoon" or "Good evening," rather than a more informal "Hi!" The whole effect is dignified and unrushed.

Another feature that we greatly appreciated was Holland America's Navigator, an internet-based application that allows passengers to see daily scheduled events at a glance, book dinner reservations and shore excursions, and chat with any family and friends who are traveling with you -- all without paying for internet access.

Holland America's clientele skews more toward older adults, and this ship fits that profile, with retirees accounting for a large number of the population. Though there weren't many younger cruisers or families during our trip, a friendly atmosphere and ample opportunities for getting to know fellow passengers over meals or on shore excursions led us to meet many interesting people along the way.

The biggest downsides of the ship were related to the number of people onboard compared to the size of the public spaces. For example, it was often very difficult to find pool chairs at either the main or the aft pools and waiting in line for meals or popular events was very much the norm. If peace and quiet is what you're seeking, the key is to find spaces of solitude wherever you can.


Included with your cruise fare:

  • Meals in the main dining room, Lido Marketplace buffet and at the poolside Dive-In grill
  • Room service
  • All main theater shows and musical performances at Billboard Onboard, B.B. King’s Blues Club and the Lincoln Center Stage
  • Use of the basketball court and sports facilities
  • Most daily activities unless otherwise noted
  • Water, basic coffee and tea (including iced), and select juices in the Lido Marketplace buffet
  • Complimentary fruit bowl, replenished daily, in staterooms and suites
  • Use of the fitness center, but not most fitness classes
  • Club HAL kids facility, for ages 3 to 17
  • In-stateroom movies-on-demand
  • Breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill (Neptune Suites only)
  • Access to the Neptune Lounge (Neptune Suites only)

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Daily gratuities ($14.50 per person, per day for guests in standard rooms and $16 per person, per day for suite guests)
  • Automatic beverage and Greenhouse Spa tips (15 percent for beverages, 18 percent for spa services)
  • Meals in the Pinnacle Grill, Tamarind and Canaletto specialty dining venues
  • Spa treatments, personal training classes and most group fitness classes
  • Use of the hydrotherapy pool and thermal suite at the Greenhouse Spa
  • All beverages outside of water, tea, coffee and select juices in the Lido Marketplace buffet
  • Shore excursions
  • Wi-Fi access (though passengers can use the "Chat" feature on Holland America’s Navigator app free of charge to message other onboard guests)
  • Photos taken by cruise photographers
  • Art gallery and retail shop purchases
  • Activities like bingo, and beer and spirits tasting events

Top Nieuw Amsterdam Itineraries

Nieuw Amsterdam
14-day western / tropical caribbean

Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Half Moon Cay, Falmouth, Grand Cayman (Georgetown), Cozumel, Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Key West, Grand Turk, Amber Cove (Puerto Plata), Half Moon Cay, Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)

View All Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam Itineraries (33)

Fellow Passengers

Nieuw Amsterdam attracts a large percentage of Americans from the Upper Midwest, East Coast and Canada. The majority of the passengers are couples and retirees, and daily activities and entertainment options seem to be designed for an older clientele. You'll find few families with young children onboard, but those who are cruising tend to receive special attention and enjoy a low child-to-crew member ratio in the onboard programs and activities.

Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam Dress Code

Daytime: Casual clothing is the norm during the day.

Evening: On a seven-day itinerary, you can expect two formal evenings (called Gala Nights), while the rest of the nights are designated "smart casual" in the Dining Room and specialty restaurants. On Gala Nights the majority of women wear dresses (similar to what you might find at a daytime wedding), while men wear button-down shirts -- occasionally paired with jackets on formal nights. A small percentage of people dressed to the nines, with one group on our sailing even donning tails and top hats.

Not permitted: Swimsuits and other pool wear, men's tank tops, shorts and distressed jeans are not allowed in any of the restaurants during the evening hours.

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

Free Price Drop Alerts
Get tomorrow's price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Find a Cruise

Nieuw Amsterdam Ratings

Public Rooms4.54.3
Fitness Recreation4.03.8
Value For Money4.03.9

Already Booked?

Get to know who you'll be sailing with

More about Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam

Where does Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam sail from?

How much does it cost to go on Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam?

Cruises on Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam start from £283 per person.

Is Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam a good ship to cruise on?

Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam won 16 awards over the years, including Best Overall, Best for Cabins and Best for Dining in 2019.

Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice

  • 2019 Best Overall
  • 2019 Best for Cabins
  • 2019 Best for Dining
  • 2019 Best for Public Rooms
  • 2019 Best for Service
  • 2019 Best for Value
  • 2016 Best for Dining
  • 2016 Best for Service
  • 2015 Best Overall
  • 2015 Best for Cabins
  • 2015 Best for Dining
  • 2015 Best for Embarkation
  • 2015 Best for Public Rooms
  • 2015 Best for Service
  • 2013 Best for Dining
  • 2013 Best for Value
Show More

Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam Member Reviews

Nieuw Amsterdam
Sail Date: Dec 2019
Just got off the Nieuw Amsterdam 7-day cruise (12/28 to 1/4) and we had a very nice time. Currently, the Nieuw Amsterdam is traveling on 1 of 2 azipod’s because 1 is inoperative.... Read More
Nieuw Amsterdam
When and How
Sail Date: Feb 2020
I do think that Nieuw Amsterdam is the perfect age and era of HAL ship - there are still bathtubs in outsides and balconies and there is still that lovely deck and the service is excellent while the ship... Read More
Nieuw Amsterdam
Sail Date: Dec 2019
We snapped that up and looked forward to getting on the Nieuw Amsterdam.... Read More
Nieuw Amsterdam
Sail Date: Nov 2019
We are doing a Thanksgiving cruise to the Eastern Caribbean on the Nieuw Amsterdam.... Read More

Holland America Line Fleet

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
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.

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.

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
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.

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

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

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Cookie Consent