Mixing the Old & New On Board Holland America’s ms Koningsdam
Written by: Amanda Bailey on May 06, 2016
Do you have clients looking for a cruise that embraces both the classic and the contemporary? Will, the Business Development Manager for our partner company LoveShack Vacations, recently returned from a cruise that blended these two concepts perfectly.
His 12-day voyage on Holland America’s ms Koningsdam took him through three countries and eight ports that are rich in both history and beauty. As a travel agent, Will had access to this amazing opportunity, for a fraction of the normal cost of the cruise.
After departing from Rome, Will spent his first day at sea exploring the Koningsdam, which is Holland America’s newest ship. The ship’s debut also marked the launch of a new class for the cruise line known as Pinnacle-class cruising.
The Koningsdam is Holland America’s largest ship to date, and its expanded size allows for more public spaces, dining areas, and in general, a more light-filled interior.
Holland America’s ships are known for their tasteful elegance, and the Koningsdam’s decor delivers that same ambiance, with a few extra modern touches. The central pool area, for instance, is spread out over two levels: the traditional main pool level, and then a second-level mezzanine to provide extra lounging space.
Entertainment on board also falls in line with the ship’s refined, easygoing atmosphere. Holland America is not the line for travelers looking for all-night dancing and partying, but the Koningsdam did offer a variety of live entertainment every night. Movie nights under the stars held in the main pool area were a highlight, as were the nightly theatrical performances at the World Center Stage.
“I saw 3 of them in total and 1 of them in particular was simply an outstanding production, amazing performances and beautiful message to our world,” says Will.
Will’s personal favorite spot for some evening fun was B.B. King’s Blues Club, which played each night in the iconic Queen’s Lounge. The Memphis-inspired band played three sets, and had everyone in lounge up on their feet!
The modern amenities of the ship complemented the traditions and cultures Will experienced in port.
In Greece, he toured the famous ruins at the Acropolis in Athens, which is home to the palatial, striking Parthenon. The other ports he visited in Greece, Olympia, Rhodes and Crete, were all small enough that Will felt comfortable exploring on his own.
The overnight in Istanbul mid-way through the cruise was another highlight for Will.
“It’s a gorgeous city, very modern and it includes breathtaking ocean views,” he says. “The first night, we booked a tour called ‘Istanbul by night’ which took us to a traditional 50 years old restaurant and piano bar in the city. It was exquisite.”
The next day, Will took the self-guided route with a few fellow cruisers. For a few Euros each way, they took the local tram to the city center to visit the intricately designed Blue Mosque and the illustrious Hagia Sophia museum.
Even after soaking up all of this culture, history, and picture-perfect scenery, Will was still thrilled about the Koningdam’s very last port in Naples. Visiting Italy has been a lifelong dream of his, a dream he got to fulfill on his day tour of Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast.
Dramatic views of the shoreline, dotted by picturesque hilltop towns, left Will speechless. For those looking for romance, the sweeping panoramas of the sea and lush green forests of the Amalfi Coast is an excellent place to start!
As for meals, the Koningsdam kept Will savoring the journey, with dining options to fit any mood. With the flexible dining plan, he could choose when and where to enjoy the ship’s culinary offerings, rather than being tied to a set meal time.
In addition to the Main Dining room, guests could also make reservations at the luxurious Pinnacle Grill or the exotic Tamarind restaurant. Will also appreciated the convenience of the Lido Market, which offers different themed stations with easy, fresh grab-and-go food.
The Holland America product is a luxury option for cruisers, and Will recommends this particular cruise, “Turkish and Greek Treasures” for history buffs, groups interested in exploring the Mediterranean, and couples who are looking for more than just a party scene.
According to Will, the average passenger was between 60 and 80 years old, but that doesn’t mean Holland America’s elegant, top-notch amenities and itineraries can’t be appreciated by a younger traveler too!
The demand for travel agents continues to grow as more and more people recognize their value and experience. If you have a passion for travel and would like to become a part of this exciting industry, then starting a home-based travel agency might be a perfect fit for you!
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