In the central atrium is a three story high, cut-class sculpture depicting the biblical Jacob's Ladder (above). It is a as close to glitter/shock and awe as the decor in
Veendam was the last of four Statendam class (a.k.a S-class) cruise ships built for Holland America in the early and mid-1990s. She was also the fourth HAL ship to be named after a small village in the northeastern part of The Netherlands.
She is not a big ship by today's standards but she is big enough to house the amenities that sophisticated travelers expect on a large cruise ship.
Sophistication is a word that comes readily to mind when
touring Veendam. The ship's art collection is superb
and the decor throughout elegant. Glitz has been kept to a
minimum. Good taste prevails.
The ship is small enough to go places where many of the
larger cruise ships cannot (e.g., Montreal). She is also maneuverable enough that she can dock in small ports
without the assistance of tugs.
At the same time, the ship has good seakeeping abilities
that enable her to handle rough seas.
The ship underwent a major refit in 2006 that included
building a two-story youth center and extending the spa
over the bridge. A subsequent major refit in 2009 saw the addition of a duck tail on the stern, the conversion of the aft pool area into the Retreat, the addition of balcony cabins to the stern, and several changes to the public rooms.
Veendam tends to attract well-educated, mature, experienced travelers.
Throughout the public areas on Veendam are numerous works of art. In all, there is some $2 million worth of art and
antiques onboard. The age, the styles and the subject matter are quite diverse but they are blended together tastefully so as to give the ship a unified decor.
Service is very important to HAL and it maintains its own hotel school in the Philippines to train new recruits before they arrive on ship. There is also a school in Indonesia for
restaurant workers. Additional training takes place on board. As a result, service tends to be friendly and efficient.
On Veendam, the Front Office (reception) and the Shore Excursions Office are next to each other in the atrium (above). Guests can book future HAL cruises at the Future Cruise Desks, which are next to the Explorations Cafe on Upper Promenade Deck.
Cruise ship photo tour and commentary - - Holland America Line - - Veendam - - Overview