Holland America has officially welcomed a new member into the family. In a traditional maritime handover ceremony on Monday, the line took delivery of the 86,000-ton, 2,104-passenger Eurodam from Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard, just outside of Venice.
Eurodam is the 14th ship in the fleet and first in the line's Signature class, and represents an entirely new design concept. Some first-for-HAL features include tented cabanas for private use (full-day rentals are $45 on port days and $75 on sea days) and a Pan-Asian specialty restaurant.
The vessel will also boast 56 top-deck, luxury spa staterooms. Perched up on the two highest decks, the accommodations will feature special in-cabin amenities (organic cotton bathrobes, massaging showerheads, aroma therapy bath salts, special healthy room service menus, Yoga mats, iPod docks), as well as a water feature. Room decor will rely on earth tones -- soft greens, browns and grays. Get full details here.
Favorites like the Pinnacle Grill, serving Pacific Northwest fare, and the Explorations Cafe, a Web-based learning area powered by The New York Times, have returned.
The ship will next head to Rotterdam on June 29 for several days of inaugural events, with Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands -- a nod to the line's Nether-roots -- christening the ship on July 1. A three-night European Prelude cruise departing Rotterdam on July 2 and sailing to Copenhagen will follow.
The "maiden" voyage, a 10-night Northern Europe cruise roundtrip from Copenhagen, will depart on July 5. The vessel will then head over to the United States for a season of Canada and New England cruises, followed by a stint in the Caribbean.
Cruise Critic will be on hand for all the festivities, so stay tuned.
--by Dan Askin, Assistant Editor
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Holland America Accepts Delivery of Eurodam
June 17, 2008