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Volendam Review

4.0 / 5.0
585 reviews
See all photos
Editor Rating
Very Good
Ashley Kosciolek

When it launched in 1999, Volendam had the highest passenger capacity in Holland America's fleet, carrying some 1,432 passengers at double occupancy. And, in a move that seems quaint now, it proved its modernity by being the first ship in the fleet to boast a dedicated internet center.

Volendam has come a long way since then -- attested by the dozens of plaques along a Deck 4 corridor, picked up from ports around the world. Through the years, dry docks added many improvements, and a late 2017 dry dock will bring more upgrades, including completing the refurbishment of every cabin bathroom.

Jazzy refurbs aside, Volendam is a classic, old-school cruise ship, which still maintains the tradition of dress-up nights. You won't find climbing walls, ziplines or other bells and whistles offered by the new mega-ships. Instead there are cooking demonstrations via America's Test Kitchen, trivia contests, tech classes and some of the best location experts at sea. You might say that Volendam is the perfect "Goldilocks ship" -- big enough to offer plenty of activities and enrichment, but not so big that you get lost in the crowd.

The ship's service is phenomenal, a hallmark of Holland America. Wait staff and cabin stewards are primarily Indonesian and Filipino; most officers are European, with many coming from Holland. Restaurant staff provide polished service, yet also have a sense of humor. You'll be greeted by every crew member you pass, whether a cabin steward or a painter.


Incredibly polished service from friendly, well-trained crew


Does show its age in several areas throughout the ship

Bottom Line

Nice variety of activities, amenities and enrichment on a manageable midsize vessel


Passengers: 1432
Crew: 604
Passenger to Crew: 2.37:1
Launched: 1999
Shore Excursions: 1552

Fellow Passengers

It would be difficult to find a more loyal group of individuals than those hearty Mariners, past passengers of Holland America Line. Volendam enjoys a particularly high ratio of repeat cruisers, many of whom have been onboard so often they feel at home with the staff and crew. Many stay for long periods, as well, often combining two or more itineraries, for cruises as long as five months.

Most passengers are "of an age," typically older than 55, and while most are couples, there is also a fair number of friends sharing quarters and a few singles, too.

Holland America's prime customers are from North America. On the ship's Asian itineraries, you can also expect a large number of Australians onboard, as well as a smaller group of Asian passengers. On any itinerary, there's likely to be a smattering of Europeans -- particularly Dutch, due to the line's link with Holland. All ship announcements, however, are made in English.

Holland America Volendam Dress Code

Daytime dress on Volendam is resort casual, and goes even more casual in Alaska, where standard port-day clothes include jeans, hiking boots and sweatshirts. However, beachwear, distressed jeans and men's tank tops are never permitted in the fine-dining restaurants.

Evening dress ranges from smart-casual to very dressy. Informal nights tend toward country-club casual, with women in slacks or skirts and nice tops and men in collared or button-down shirts and khakis. You can wear neat jeans in the fine-dining restaurants on informal nights, but shorts are never allowed at dinner. This is a traditional ship, so there are typically two "gala nights" on seven-night cruises and three on 10-night cruises. On gala nights, men are required (at minimum) to wear collared shirts and slacks in the fine-dining venues; jackets and ties are recommended. We even spotted some men in tuxedos (you can rent them onboard, so step it up, guys!). Dresses, skirts and slacks are all appropriate gala attire for women, who tend to go more glam than the men. Cocktail dresses are common, and there will be a few who go all-out in long gowns. This is definitely the time to show off your sequins and statement jewelry!

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Where does Holland America Volendam sail from?

Holland America Volendam departs from San Diego, Fort Lauderdale, Port Everglades, Vancouver, Montreal, Boston, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Sydney, and San Francisco

Where does Holland America Volendam sail to?

Holland America Volendam cruises to San Diego, Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco, Puerto Quetzal (Antigua), Corinto, Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera), Cartagena (Colombia), Half Moon Cay, Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades), St. Thomas, St. Kitts (Port Zante), St. Lucia, Barbados, Grenada, Guadeloupe, St. Maarten, San Juan, Vancouver, San Francisco, Kauai, Honolulu, Maui, Kona (Kailua Bay), Hilo, Ensenada, Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, Mazatlan, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Manzanillo, Newport, Boston, Rockland, Halifax, Sydney (Nova Scotia), Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island), Quebec City, Montreal, Bar Harbor, Portland (Maine), Saint John (New Brunswick), Corner Brook, Isafjord, Akureyri, Reykjavik, Santos (Sao Paulo), St. John's (Newfoundland), Baie-Comeau, Gaspe, Buenos Aires, Punta del Este, Rio de Janeiro, Buzios, Santarem, Manaus, Lanzarote, Agadir, Casablanca, Gibraltar, Barcelona, Seville, Lisbon, Porto (Leixoes), Cherbourg, Brugge (Bruges), Rotterdam, Eidfjord, Trondheim, Tromso, Santo Domingo, Santa Marta, Puerto Limon, Fuerte Amador (Balboa), Lima, Puerto Montt, Punta Arenas, Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego), Stanley, Montevideo, Fanning Island, Pago Pago, Apia, Samoa (formerly Western Samoa), Suva, Lautoka, Mystery Island, Isle of Pines (New Caledonia), Noumea, Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns, Komodo Island, Darwin, Broome, Exmouth, Perth (Fremantle), Albany (Australia), Port Lincoln, Kangaroo Island, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart, Port Arthur, Sydney (Australia), Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Napier, Tauranga, Auckland, Rarotonga, Moorea, Huahine, Tahiti (Papeete), Ponta Delgada, Tangier, Florence (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples, Catania, Athens (Piraeus), Haifa (Tel Aviv), Jerusalem (Ashdod), Cairo (Port Said), Alexandria, Tunis (La Goulette), Amber Cove (Puerto Plata), Tortola, Antigua, Dominica, Bonaire, Aruba, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman (Georgetown), Key West, Dravuni Island, Raiatea, Yorktown, and Eastport

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

Cruises on Holland America Volendam start from $599 per person.

Is Holland America Volendam a good ship to cruise on?

Holland America Volendam won 10 awards over the years.
Holland America Volendam Cruiser Reviews

Exciting Alaska Cruise!!!

HAL Volendam really came through! First, our family was excited to find that we were given a free upgrade to a Vista Suite! This made our trip even more memorable and awesome!Read More

10+ Cruises

Age 50s


Although the cruise highlights were terrific, the Volendam and Holland America unfortunately were not.Read More

10+ Cruises

Age 80s

One of my favorite cruises so far!!!

So, I did some research and selected the 10-night Panama Canal cruise with the Volendam. I am so glad I did! First of all, the Volendam was beautiful! It has had a very nice refresh.Read More

10+ Cruises

Age 50s

Phenomenal destination but lackluster ship

The passenger capacity for the Volendam is only about 1400 people. * This cruise also went into Glacier Bay National Park, which not all Alaska cruises do.Read More

2-5 Cruises

Age 40s

Holland America Line Fleet
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