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The 38,000-ton Prinsendam is well suited for longer cruises. Her smaller size makes it easy to get around yet she is much larger than a yacht, with plenty of public areas on board. Carrying only 793 passengers means the ship doesn't overwhelm ports of call and makes tendering passengers ashore easier in ports without a cruise pier.

Every cabin aboard Prinsendam has a walk-in closet. On my 14-night Alaska sailing it certainly gave me plenty of space for clothes and storage. The well appointed staterooms also have a refrigerator, hair dryer, phone, locking drawers, safe, individually controlled air conditioning and most bathrooms have a full tub and shower. Mattresses and pillows were among the most comfortable I've experienced at sea and beds have cozy duvets instead of blankets.

Cabins are roomy ranging from 181 to 238 square feet with suites from 362-724 square feet. The exception is the Standard Inside cabins which are only 128 to 138 square feet. Most cabins have a sitting area with love seat, table and chair great for relaxing in-cabin. The useful additional amenities for deluxe cabins and suites include bath robes, extra-luxurious towels, DVD (and access to the DVD library), personalized stationery, verandah and floor to ceiling windows.

The two self-service launderettes with irons and ironing boards, found on Main and Verandah decks, are another welcome touch on Prinsendam's longer routes.

Prinsendam is no stranger to extended, globetrotting itineraries with added luxury. She started out in 1988 as the Royal Viking Sun for Royal Viking Line and as such was rated as the number one ship in the world for many years. In 1999 she continued her upscale existence becoming the Seabourn Sun for Seabourn Cruise Line. Following a major refit after joining Holland America, she boasts all the traditional features of the HAL fleet - the Explorer's Lounge, Ocean Bar, Crow's Nest, Java Cafe, Wajang Theater, Half Moon Room, the Queen's Lounge showroom, La Fontaine Dining Room and a wrap-round promenade - as well as The Pinnacle Grill Pacific Northwest specialty restaurant, a new Internet Center, an Art Gallery, Roman style spa, fitness center and an impressive Golf Club and Pro Shop complete with golf simulator.

Here are some photos of this lovely vessel.

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ms Prinsendam, courtesy Holland America Line

Docked at Pier 35, San Francisco

Docked as Astoria, Oregon

At Juneau

Pool deck

Promenade Deck

Spa pool and Jacuzzi

Recycling containers, blankets and towels, neatly displayed by the main pool.

The Gala Afternoon Tea in the main dining room.

Lafontaine Dining Room

Chef David Smith in the stylish Pinnacle Grill restaurant. Select your own steak or lamb chops for preparation in the grill's galley which features a 1600 degree grill. Sublime side dishes and desserts are also served. Service is impeccable by the dedicated wait staff. Bulgari china, Rosenthal crystal and some very unique holloware add to the special experience of dining here. Reservations required. On my cruise, many passengers returned for a second time during the cruise.

Luncheon in the Lido Restaurant. The food here was as good as the main dining room with made to order items, pizza and a sandwich bar available along with the buffet.

Lido Restaurant seating extends outside to the aft deck.

Passengers enjoy the passing scenery from The Crow's Nest lounge.

Those who enjoy reading found a comfortable spot in the Explorers Lounge.

The wall-size painting in the Explorers Lounge is an oil on aluminum of the 17th Century Dutch East India Company ships by Ian Cairnie.

Deluxe Verandah Outside Cabin.

The Prinsendam has lovely rattan furniture on the balconies.


Susan Milne, 2004