Holland America Line review

Relax on a classic cruise with excellent overall value.

Holland America Line targets cruisers 50 and older, with its elevated entertainment — think live music and dance performances, but not flashy Broadway-esque spectacles — and a relaxed on-deck vibe. Its midsized ships are spacious and don’t feel overcrowded. You’ll get a traditional cruising experience without the hefty price tag of luxury lines.

If you’re looking for a serene retreat at a decent price, Holland America Line could be just what you need.

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14 ships

Number of ships



Price matches


Target demographic Seniors, Singles, Disabled
Number of ships 14 ships
Contact options Phone, Email
Payment options Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card
Deposit required Deposit at checkout
Deposit required No price matching
Food Food included
Drink Alcohol included
Room service Room service included

Review by

Amy Stoltenberg is a staff writer covering all things travel, shopping and lifestyle. After earning a BA at Savannah College of Art and Design, she worked as technical designer in corporate fashion before opting for a career with unlimited travel time. When her laptop's closed, you can find her wandering around Los Angeles looking for hole-in-the-wall eateries and plotting her way to all 50 states (she's currently at 28).

Expert review

Loyal Holland America Line cruisers herald the sophisticated experience aboard ships that aren’t trying to be theme parks at sea. But if you’re looking for a truly luxury experience, consider Crystal or or Viking Ocean Cruises. Or, simply browse cruise lines to find one that better suits your style.

Where do Holland America Line cruises depart from?

Holland America Line offers frequent departures from key US port cities like Seattle, San Diego and Fort Lauderdale. Here’s where you can start your journey:

  • Holland America Line currently sails from:Baltimore, Barbados, Barcelona, Bermuda, Charleston, Copenhagen, Dover, Fort Lauderdale, Galveston, Honolulu, Jacksonville, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Mobile, New Orleans, New York City, Norfolk, Port Canaveral, San Diego, San Francisco, San Juan, Tampa, Tampa/St.Petersburg, Vancouver, Venice

Holland America Line destinations

Holland America Line sails to every continent around the world — including Antarctica. Its itineraries range from three to 100 or more nights, though most last between 10 to 14. Here’s where you can go:

  • Here’s where it sails to:Alaska, Bahamas, Baja Mexico, Canada and New England, Eastern Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, Mexican Riviera, Panama Canal, Southern Caribbean, Transatlantic, Western Caribbean

Why you should (or shouldn’t) cruise with Holland America Line

Holland America Line cruises have a classic feel, with afternoon tea included and a range of entertainment options nightly. Visit the Lincoln Center Stage for classical music, B.B. King’s Blues Club for rhythm and blues, Billboard on Billboard for piano tunes, or the World Stage for a variety of live music — though exact options vary by ship. Partnerships with BBC and Lincoln Center elevate onboard activities for kids and adults alike.

Still, Holland America Line isn’t for everyone. While it tends to be more expensive than Royal Caribbean or Carnival, it’s not technically a luxury liner so gratuities, Wi-Fi, shore excursions and alcoholic drinks aren’t included in your fare.

Here’s what to consider before booking a trip with Holland America Line


  • 24/7 complimentary room service
  • Flexible dining options, from buffet style to five-course traditional
  • Midsize ships feel more intimate than mega ships
  • Programs for kids and teens
  • Cabins are wheelchair-friendly and ships are accessible
  • Digital workshops in partnership with Microsoft
  • Wellness activities sponsored by O Magazine
  • Cooking demonstrations in partnership with America’s Test Kitchen


  • Fewer onboard activities compared to Carnival, NCL or Royal Caribbean.
  • Wi-Fi costs extra and gets pricey.
  • Gratuity not included.
  • Alcoholic drinks and specialty teas and coffees not included.
  • If you buy alcohol at a port, Holland America Line will hold it until after the cruise, so you can’t drink it on board.
  • Pool areas are pretty basic, no water slides.

Holland America Line was awarded Best Overall Cruise Value for 21 consecutive years by the World Ocean & Cruise Line Society. It’s also been named number one for Alaska cruises in the AFAR Traveler’s Choice Awards.

How much are gratuities on Holland America Line?

Holland America Line charges $14.50 a person daily for passengers staying in a regular stateroom, and $16 a person daily for passengers staying in a suite. They’re automatically charged to your account, though you can adjust the amount at the end of your trip if you’d rather pay more or less. Gratuities go straight to the staff members.

A 15% gratuity charge is automatically added to bar charges.

Frequently asked questions

Traveling during COVID-19
The CDC continues to advise caution when traveling within or outside the US, However, it no longer requires self-quarantine or a COVID-19 test for fully vaccinated domestic travelers as of April 2021. International travelers need to get tested three days prior to flying out of the US and within three days after returning, even if you are fully vaccinated. It recommends that you delay travel if you’re not fully vaccinated to protect yourself and your family from getting or spreading the virus.

If you’re planning a trip outside the US, bear in mind that many countries have placed restrictions on US tourists. Check the US embassy website for updates before booking international travel.

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