MS Koningsdam Cruise Ship, United States of America

MS Koningsdam is a new cruise ship being constructed by Fincantieri at its Marghera shipyard, Italy, for Holland America Line. It will be the first Pinnacle-class vessel to join Holland America’s cruise ship fleet.

The first steel for MS Koningsdam was cut in February 2014, and a keel laying ceremony was held in August 2014. Delivery is expected in February 2016.

MS Koningsdam design

Koningsdam is designed in a contemporary style to create a perfect harmony with classic elegance. It will feature luxurious interiors that blend fresh air, fluid curves, elegant lines and illuminated spaces. The public spaces are designed to reflect tradition, whereas the architectural elements are inspired by music.

The central atrium with a ceiling skylight will be three decks high and adorned by an airy stainless steel sculpture. The interiors are designed by Adam D Tihany and Bjørn Storbraaten.

The 99,500 gross register tonnage (grt) cruise ship will have a capacity to accommodate 2,650 passengers and 1,025 crew members.

Accommodation aboard the new Pinnacle-class cruise ship

The new Pinnacle-class cruise ship will offer single and family staterooms. The staterooms will be classified into three categories, namely Neptune, Signature and Vista.

The ship will also feature 32 family ocean-view staterooms that occupy between 222ft2 and 231ft2, with two bathrooms and accommodation for five people, and 12 single ocean-view cabins measuring between 127ft2 and 172ft2. The staterooms and suites will be furnished with custom casework, USB ports and frameless glass shower doors.

A grand Pinnacle Suite of 1,290ft2 will comprise a living area, dining area, dressing area, bedroom and personal verandah with whirlpool. The cruise ship will also feature two Neptune Spa Suites and 43 Neptune Suites. The guests of Neptune and Pinnacle suites will have access to the Neptune Lounge, with the personalised service of a concierge.

The fleet-wide lounges offer worktables, a big-screen television, a library, sofas and chairs, complimentary refreshments and wi-fi at a nominal charge in the ship.

Koningsdam will also offer affordable accommodation, including 266 standard or large interior rooms of up to 225ftsq. Most of the rooms will feature verandas. The verandah spa accommodations, which will be located near the Greenhouse Spa & Salon, will offer health and wellness services during the journey.

Dining aboard the Koningsdam

The guests on-board Koningsdam can enjoy dining at six restaurants, namely the Pinnacle Grill, the main dining room, the Lido, Tamarind Asian fusion restaurant, In-Cabin and Balcony Dining, and Canaletto Italian restaurant.

The central bar area will allow the guests to check-in for an alternative-dining reservation at the central podium, and enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail before being seated at the restaurant.

The Culinary Arts Centre will offer activities such as hands-on classes and cooking demonstrations during the day, while it will transform into a dining area and the Grand Dutch Café to provide snacks or beverages in the evening.

MS Koningsdam entertainment venues

The Music Walk complex on the ship will encompass the Lincoln Centre Stage, Billboard Onboard and BB King’s Blues Club.

The World Stage, with multiple stage configurations, will feature high-definition 270° LED screen of two stories high and 250ft-long. It will be equipped with state-of-the-art sound systems and lighting for showcasing performances and productions.

Additional facilities will include Digital Workshop, Explorations Café, Fitness Centre, Merabella luxury shop, Signature Shops, Promenade, Casino and Explorer’s Lounge.

MS Koningsdam itineraries

MS Koningsdam will enter service with a seven-day round-trip voyage from Civitavecchia (Rome) to Naples, followed by a series of six 12-day sailings across the Mediterranean.


Carnival Vista the product of healthy competition

Business competition isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. It led to ruinous price wars in the late 19th century in many industries.

But it’s also a great goad to improvement. That seems to be what’s happening in the cruise industry, especially in the contemporary market, where a remarkable series of interesting ships have been coming out of Europe’s shipyards.

Judging by the renderings released last week, the latest to join the fray is the Carnival Vista, coming in 2016.

While still bearing the imprint of Funship 2.0, the Vista will have a number of novel elements not shared by other Carnival Cruise Line ships.

Guests on the SkyRide cycle 150 feet above the sea.

SkyRider, a recumbent cycle that runs a circuit around and above the sports deck, may be the most noticeable of the bunch. But there’s also an IMAX theater, part of a Multiplex area; a new kaleidoscopic water slide; a casual seafood restaurant; an area of suites with hammocks; and a new approach to family staterooms. With the Vista, Carnival will become the first cruise line to brew its own beer at sea.

The cluster of new features is reminiscent of two other ships introduced in 2014: Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Getaway and Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas. The new deck of indoor/outdoor restaurant space on the Vista’s Deck 5 looks remarkably like the Waterfront on Norwegian’s Breakaway/Getaway ships.

The Vista's resort-style pool deck.

Norwegian, Royal and Carnival have been rivals for more than 40 years, but their competition in ship design is as vital as it has ever been. Each is pushing the other to develop better and more exciting new features, and the benefits are accruing to cruise passengers who have a fantastic array of fun things to do on a ship.

And of course, there’s a lot for travel agents to talk about and sell on these new ships. So here’s a salute to healthy competition. Long may it reign.


Ideal Carnival Vista destinations

Ideal Carnival Vista destinations

With more than two years to go until the energy-efficient Carnival Cruise Line’s new ship, the Vista enters service; the news on her progress has been rather thin on the ground. We know her first steel was cut earlier this year, although her Keel is yet to be laid. Seeing as though the Carnival Vista progress is still in the early stages, there is not much news about.

Having said that, it does not stop cruise lovers from contemplating the ideal Carnival Vista destinations. There will be websites out there that come up with misleading titles suggesting they already know the Carnival Vista itinerary, along with her inaugural cruise, but none of this information has been made available, and so do not pay any attention to these.

We would like to know where it is you would prefer to go on the Vista, this could be a current destination, or if you would like Carnival to add a new one?

The usual suspects would be to choose anywhere in Alaska, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Southern, Caribbean Western, Eastern Seaboard, Hawaii, and Mexico.

However, would you like to see Carnival Cruise Line reach out to another region, the thought of Carnival Vista Mediterranean cruises for 2016 – 2017 does sound appealing?