Nieuw Amsterdam in Europe
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I was extremely lucky to be one of the first to experience the Nieuw Amsterdam on her inaugural sailing from Venice on Sunday, 4 July 2010. The festivities of the launch of a new ship are incredibly memorable. The day began with the 14 captains from the Holland America cruises fleet arriving by flotilla before appearing from under the stage on the main show lounge. The godmother of the Netherlands, Princess Maxima, pushed the engine thrust forward to release the champagne bottle which smashed ceremoniously against the side of the ship. My fellow passengers and I then blessed the ship’s bell with champagne and signed a signature wall which will remain on the ship for her lifetime.
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Nieuw Amsterdam’s theme is New York (New York was once called Nieuw Amsterdam) and this is evident in everything it does. It brings a new style to Holland America’s cruise fleet. She’s very art nouveau with a contemporary yet classic style – chrome replacing brass, and vivid retro colours and furnishings of the 20s to 60s. It is home to more than US$3 million of artwork, including pieces by Andy Warhol, and the atrium showcases a crystal sculpture of the New York skyline hanging from the ceiling.
The piano bar is adorned with black and white photos of famous celebrities who have performed in Now York’s many clubs giving it a real jazz bar vibe. And the stateroom corridors showcase photographs of an early transatlantic crossing and New York during the golden age of cruising through the 1920s to 1960s.
I’d happily recommend a cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam, not only for the luxurious Holland America cruise experience and her exciting itineraries, but also for the ship as a destination herself. The Nieuw Amsterdam has reproduced an era long passed, where cruising was an opulent passage of travel between Europe and the New World.