Holland America Line, the world’s second oldest cruise line (behind Cunard) maintains it will remain mid-size, with ships expected never to exceed 3,000 passengers. This will allow it to continue to access harbours around the world inaccessible to its super-ship counterparts.

MS Amsterdam as it currently operates is the third ship to carry the name in the 143-year annals of Holland America Line and was built by the renowned Fincantieri shipyard in Italy. Like its R-Class (Rotterdam Class) sisters, the 1,380-passenger Amsterdam features a signature centrepiece in its atrium, which in this case is a towering European-style astrolabe which manages ship time and world time along with tracking of planets and constellations.

Artwork abounds throughout the ship, many pieces reflective of Dutch heritage along with renowned maritime artist Stephen Card. Of particular interest is that a piano features in just about every bar and lounge, with entertainment rotating around each throughout the day.

A multitude of dining options feature throughout the ship, ranging from a tropically themed two-storey La Fontaine main dining room, to the classic favourites featured across many ships in the HAL fleet including Pinnacle Grill, Canaletto, Lido Buffet as well as an outstanding burger grill on the main pool deck.

Coinciding with a visit to Sydney by Holland America Line president Orlando Ashford, Cruise Advice was invited onboard MS Amsterdam during its latest Grand World Voyage for a taste of the passenger experience.