Holland America Line’s Noordam sailed into Sydney Harbour this morning for the very first time, finishing a 25-day cruise from Alaska. The 2,000 passenger ship will be sailing a number of voyages in the region between now and April.
Cruise Passenger was one of a lucky few to get a sneak peek inside the ship, which was launched in 2006. Entertainment is a big part of a Holland America voyage, with BB King’s Blues Club one of the most popular experiences. The show features musicians from the bar of the same name in Memphis, who perform classic blues tunes every night of a cruise.
On the main stage, the traditional orchestra pit and movable sets have been replaced by nine state of the art LCD screens – valued at an impressive $1 million each. The screens allow for dynamic, changeable sets that make use of the latest technology, during shows like Sound Stage.
Visitors were also treated to a top deck seafood buffet and barbecue under the supervision of none other than Australian celebrity chef Mark Best. Best is a member of Holland America’s Culinary Council, advising the line on menus and local produce, as well as performing demonstrations on select cruises.
The top deck also features a number of private cabanas that can be booked by guests by the day or for the duration of a cruise. Shady sunloungers, great views and table service make this the most luxurious place to spend the afternoon.
Holland America is set to welcome its first new ship in six years in April next year, with the launch of Koningsdam. The ship will reinvent the Holland America experience, with a unique design from Adam Tihany that is inspired by musical instruments. The new World Stage theatre will have 270-degree LCD screens and surround sound to create a fully immersive entertainment experience. And an expanded Culinary Arts Centre will operate as a cooking school by day and a farm-to-table restaurant at night, complete with fresh herbs picked from the on-ship garden.