Holland America Line Nieuw Statendam Cruise Ship Review

Holland America Line

Nieuw Statendam

 by Evan Gove

Holland America Line


From cuisine crafted in collaboration with well-known Chef Rudi Sodamin to a commitment to outstanding guest services, Nieuw Statendam is challenging the idea that a cruise vacation has to be one size fits all.

The ship also happens to be the largest and most advanced in the whole fleet thanks to a focus on modern amenities and outstanding design. Nieuw Statendam is the second of Holland’s Pinnacle-Class ships and bears a strong resemblance to her sister ship MS Koningsdam with a few noticeable differences. 


Porthole Cruise and Travel Ship Rating: 4.1 out of 5

One thing cruisers notice when they sail with Holland America Line is the dedication to eating well and Nieuw Statendam is no exception. Most are quick to say the dining rooms included with the cruise are on par with the specialty restaurants which require a surcharge. There’s a wide variety of dining options for whatever cruisers are craving no matter what time of day (or night) it may be. 

It’s impossible to discuss the cuisine on board Holland America Line without mentioning Executive Chef Rudi Sodamin, whose restaurant Rudi’s Sel de Mer is one of the best French brasseries at sea. A particular focus on seafood is what you’ll find at Rudi’s, with towers piled high with crab, shrimp, and octopus and a broiled catch-of-the-day option with your choice of sauce. You may not find a better bouillabaisse anywhere at sea! Unlike on her sister ship, there is a flat fee for dining at Rudi’s on board Nieuw Statendam rather than an a la cart charge. 

Another popular restaurant on board Holland America Line ships which found its way to Nieuw Statendam is the always delicious Pinnacle Grill. An intimate dining experience, the Pinnacle Grill is the best place on board the ship for a date night with fantastic surf and turf options on the menu. Start off with lobster bisque or the crab cakes with a sweet chili-mustard sauce before diving into a plate of lamb chops or an 18 oz. bone-in ribeye. If you’re feeling adventurous, Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford has a handpicked signature steak available for an additional charge. But, trust us, this 36 oz. bone-in ribeye is well worth it, particularly to share. Add a lobster tail to any entree for an additional $5. 

For Italian-lovers, Canaletto is the best place for fresh pastas and other Italian-inspired seafood dishes. Canaletto has a smaller upcharge than Pinnacle or Rudi’s at only $15 per person. 

Those who love cuisines from the Far East need to try Tamarind at least once when cruising on board Nieuw Statendam. The menu features dishes from Japan, China, and other Southeast Asian inspirations and pays a special homage to our planet’s natural elements: water, fire, wood, and earth. Enjoy chilled or hot sake while sampling such delicacies as wok-seared lobster or any number of specialty sushi options. 

As mentioned, many find the food in the main dining room to be on par with what you find in the ship’s specialty restaurants so don’t feel like you have to pay more to eat well when sailing on board Nieuw Statendam.  The main dining room was designed by master interior designer Adam D. Tihany and offers a diverse menu no matter what time of day. Grand Dutch Cafe is a great place to grab a coffee or a pastry before the day begins. 

For those looking for a more casual meal, the Lido Market serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a station-style layout. You can also head over to New York Deli & Pizza and grab a slice of one of the many specialty pies. 

Holland America Line is known for being more of an adult-oriented cruise line with many on-board activities and shore excursions centered around enrichment and learning. For example, the Microsoft Studio offers guests the chance to learn more about operating the many software programs produced by the company with one on one or group instruction from certified teachers. 

The Crow’s Nest has tons of puzzles, games, and books to enjoy during a sea day or anytime. Since Oprah is the ship’s godmother, Nieuw Statendam offers discussions on the latest Oprah’s Book Club picks. 

Be sure to check out a live cooking demonstration from the culinary team at America’s Test Kitchen or book your own small group demonstration for a fee. There are a number of other enrichment programs like dancing, wine tastings, casino gaming tips, and more. 

Get active on the Sport Court or Fitness Center before dancing the night away at one of the many on board music and club venues. 

Guests sailing on board Nieuw Statendam have plenty of options when it comes to their stateroom choice. The ship features all the standard interior, ocean view, and balcony staterooms, each with comfortable furnishings and a modern, but understated color and design scheme. Some of these rooms are connecting, which is perfect for families or those sailing with large groups. 

The suites on board Nieuw Statendam are a step up in terms of luxury and offer unique perks to those who book them. You don’t have to stay in the ultra-chic Pinnacle Suite to enjoy added comfort and perks, either. The Neptune and Signature Suites feature some cool amenities like whirlpool baths, private verandas, and exclusive entrance into the Greenhouse Spa & Salon for any number of health and beauty treatments. 

The vast majority of cabins are balcony veranda staterooms which accommodate between two and four people. The balcony has a table and chairs so if you want some private relaxation time away from the commotion of the lido deck, a balcony stateroom is your best bet. 

The World’s Stage, as it’s called on board Nieuw Statendam, is the place where entertainment lives. With space for over 600 people and without any obstructed views, the theater hosts a number of unique shows and lectures, and it serves as a meetup spot for those headed off on shore excursions. 

A partnership with Rolling Stone magazine created the very popular Rolling Stone Rock Room and the Music Walk; both pay homage to the rock stars of yesterday and those of today. You can’t go far on board Nieuw Statendam without hearing your favorite rock classics or any music, for that matter. 

Some of the best places to hear live music on board Nieuw Statendam are: 

  • B.B. King’s Blues Bar
  • Lincoln Center Stage
  • The World Stage
  • Ocean Bar