Zaandam and Zuiderdam.
They are both part of Holland America Line’s fleet of classically styled, mid-sized cruise ships.
They both carry travelers to hundreds of destinations around the globe — and have done so many times over.
And of course, they both start with Z.
There are also some important differences that travelers may want to know about when planning a future voyage with Holland America Line. They include ship size, amenities and other offerings on board. It’s always helpful to know more about the ship you’ll be traveling on!
Let’s start with some quick facts.
- Guest Capacity: 1,432
- Refurbished: March 2022
- Maiden Voyage: 2000
- “R” Class – same class as Volendam
- Guest Capacity: 1,964
- Refurbished: previously in 2019; being refurbished again in December 2022
- Maiden Voyage: 2002
- “Vista” Class – same class as Noordam, Westerdam and Oosterdam
Dining & Lounges
Dining on any ship within the Holland America Line fleet will satisfy just about every craving you have. From classic burgers to fine dining, you will have spectacular choices morning, noon and night. Zaandam and Zuiderdam do not feature as many restaurants as the newer, larger ships from Holland America. However, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from at The Dining Room, Lido Market and Dive-In — the poolside café, along with specialty restaurants Pinnacle Grill and Canaletto. One difference: as of May 2022, Zuiderdam offers the acclaimed Pan-Asian Tamarind menu in the Pinnacle Grill during some voyages. The menu is not as extensive as the full Tamarind restaurant but has proven to be very popular with guests. (Our advice: Book a dining reservation early in your voyage if you know you want to try it, so you don’t miss out.) Both Zaandam and Zuiderdam also offer a pop-up version of Rudi’s Sel de Mer.
When you’re ready to relax with a drink, both ships have the popular Crow’s Nest, Lido Bar, Ocean Bar, Explorations Café and Sea View Bar. Zaandam also has the Explorer’s Lounge and Mix. On board Zuiderdam, one might stop by the Gallery Bar, Pinnacle Bar or the bar within Billboard Onboard.
Entertainment, Activities and Enrichment
The musical offerings on board may be one of the more notable differences between Zaandam and Zuiderdam. When Holland America Line began designing the MUSIC WALK® into its new ships, it updated Zuiderdam to have a MUSIC WALK® as well, along with some of its renowned musical performance spaces. They include Lincoln Center Stage, Billboard Onboard and Rolling Stone Rock Lounge (same concept as the Rolling Stone Rock Room on the new Pinnacle Class Ships). If you are a music lover and have interest in livelier evenings, you might consider Zuiderdam.
Both ships have the World Stage — the largest theater on board, which is home to a wide variety of performances day and night. Among its popular ongoing concerts and performers: the Step One Dance Company, BBC Earth Concerts and the sensational quartet by the name of Cantaré — which performs on select voyages. The World Stage is also where you would take in an EXC® Talk — a lecture inspired by the fascinating places being visited.
Both ships have a casino, movie screenings and Explorations Central Destination Programming. You can enjoy on-demand TV in your stateroom and visit the Explorations Central Discovery Center if you’re cruising on Zuiderdam.
More On Board Amenities
You’ll find many of the lovely amenities that enhance your experience and help you feel pampered on both ships. These include:
- The Greenhouse Spa & Salon
- Fitness Center
- Sport Courts
- Lido Pool
- Sea View Pool
- Hydro Pool
- Onboard Wi-Fi Access
- Neptune Lounge/Concierge for Pinnacle and Neptune Suite Guests
- The Shops
Zuiderdam adds Retreat Cabanas as an option for its guests, while Zaandam has a library.
As you can see, the onboard offerings are a bit more extensive on Zuiderdam. This comes down to the amount of space available on the ship and enriches the experience for the slightly larger number of people on board.
Staterooms and Suites
It should be noted that Zuiderdam has a dedicated verandah stateroom category, which has proved to be popular among our clients, especially those cruising on longer voyages and who want their own private outdoor area.
You have the option of booking a suite on either ship, all of which feature a veranda. Zaandam suite categories include the Vista Suite, Neptune Suite and Pinnacle Suite. Zuiderdam suite categories are Signature Suites, Neptune Suites and Pinnacle Suites.
Some of our most experienced Voyage Hosts have recently cruised on board both Zaandam and Zuiderdam.
To read about their personal experiences on board, read this blog post.