The 85,000-ton, 1,848-passenger Noordam, the fourth and last installment of the Vista class, is the first Holland America ship to be delivered with all of the Signature of Excellence upgrades already in place. The amenities include Euro-top mattresses, flat-panel TV's and DVD players in all cabins, new dining options, the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine, and the Greenhouse Spa and Salon.
Noordam will depart Venice on Friday for her new homeport, New York City, where it will offer 10- and 11-night Eastern and Southern Caribbean cruises. Ports of call include Grand Turk, Tortola, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Juan, Roseau and Barbados. The ship will switch cruise regions between May and September for 10-night voyages in the exotic Mediterranean from Rome.
The official dedication ceremony will take place on February 22, 2006, the same day as its maiden voyage, with Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin serving as godmother.