prinsendam cruise ship review & photos - holland america line

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Prinsendam - Holland America Line - cruise ship review & photos

If you like cruises but hate luggage restrictions, long flights, congested airports and lots of waiting you might want to consider a cruise that leaves from a port close to home. For my friend Lucy and I, the term "doorstep cruising" really turned into reality on a Monday in July. After a relaxed morning at home, I close my front door at two in the afternoon and open a bottle of Californian Merlot in our stateroom on board Holland America's "Elegant Explorer" Prinsendam exactly one hour later. As we sail from Amsterdam we toast to the start of our 14-day voyage to the Baltic capitals on this gracious, inviting ship. Traveling without leaving home - everyone should try it!

At age 15, Prinsendam has seen the world. More than once! Designed for upscale worldwide cruising as flagship of the now defunct Royal Viking Line, she was constructed at Wärtsilä Marine's Helsinki shipyard and entered service as the widely acclaimed Royal Viking Sun in December of 1989. At the time, the ship was the epitome of luxury with her huge single seating dining room, lap pool, large standard staterooms with walk-in closets and bath tubs, plus some of the most extravagant balconied suites afloat.

In 1994, Royal Viking Line was taken over by Cunard. Once Cunard joined the Carnival family a few years later, a tonnage reshuffle brought Royal Viking Sun to the five-star Seabourn fleet as Seabourn Sun. That career move didn't really work out as the 37,845 ton, 793-guest vessel proved difficult to market amongst Seabourn 200-guest super yachts. The ship finally ended up with Holland America Line, who renamed her Prinsendam and sent her to the shipyard for a thorough refit. With a new two-seating dining room operation, a new bar and signature Pinnacle Grill, Prinsendam is marketed as "Elegant Explorer", employed on longer voyages that offer the well-known Holland America product in a more intimate setting.

Cruise Line: Holland America Line
Year built: 1988
Building Yard: Wärtsila Marine, Finland
Gross Tonnage: 37,845
Length: 204.0 m (674.2 ft)
Beam: 28.9 m (91.8 ft)
Passengers (norm.): 793
Passengers (max): 843
Crew: 460
Service speed: 21.8 knots
Sister ships: -

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Prinsendam in the North Sea Canal
Prinsendam anchored off Visby, Sweden
Prinsendam docked at Helsinki, Finland
Prinsendam transiting the North Sea Canal
The proud logo of Holland America Line

 

Photos and text: © 2005-2006 Bart de Boer - www.ShipParade.com.

First published on January 29, 2006

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