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oosterdam cruise ship photos
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Oosterdam Facts & Figures
Owner/Operator:Holland America Line
Year built:2006
Builder:Fincantieri, Italy
Former names:-
Gross Tonnage:82,305
Length:289.8 m (951.4 ft)
Beam:32.2 m (105.6 ft)
Passengers (normal):1,920
Passengers (maximum):2,388
Crew:812
Service speed:22.0 kn
Sister Ships:Noordam, Westerdam, Zuiderdam
Oosterdam History

Second in a series of four idential cruise ships for Holland America Line, Oosterdam was built by Fincantieri yard in Marghera (Venice), Italy and was delivered in July, 2003. She sailed to her home port of Rotterdam, Netherlands and docked bow to bow with fleet mate Rotterdam after which on July 30 she was officially named by Princess Margriet. In 2009, additional staterooms were added to her aft decks, raising her gross tonnage from 81,769 to 82,305.

Oosterdam Photo Gallery
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Oosterdam Interior Photos
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From the ShipParade Archives: "I name this ship Oosterdam"
Amenities, decor, charges and services have changed since this article was written Text & Photos © 2005 Bart de Boer

More than a century ago, Holland America's board of directors could look out of the window of their beautiful Rotterdam head quarters to watch the famous transatlantic steamers sail from the Old World to New York. Could they have imagined that on a beautiful July day in the year 2003, that same head quarters (still going strong as Hotel New York) served as an appropriate background for the royal christening of a 86,799 ton contemporary Holland America giant?

Bringing both their flagship Rotterdam and brand new Oosterdam into the cruise line's long-time home port for an unsurpassed 130th birthday bash was the best PR stunt Holland America Line could have come up with. Thousands flocked to the port to witness the spectacular royal christening ceremony. In a seafaring country that once operated a "Spotless Fleet" of ocean liners, the arrival of not one but two Dutch-registered passenger ships resulted in traffic jams, crowds and lots of media attention - just the way Holland America's PR department had planned it!
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Built in Italy by Fincantieri, Oosterdam is second in a series of four identical ships (Zuiderdam, Oosterdam, Westerdam, Noordam). Although being a close relative to Costa's Atlantica Class and Carnival's Spirit Class, Holland America's Vista Class differs in many respects. With their remarkable twin funnels, their classic dark hulls and eclectic interior design, Oosterdam and her sisters were specifically designed to attract a younger crowd and offer guests more entertainment and dining options. But before we discover all that Oosterdam has to offer, we first mix 'n mingle with royalty!
On Tuesday, July 29th, 2003 at 4:00 PM, Princess Margriet of the Netherlands officially names Oosterdam. The traditional bottle of champagne comes sailing down from a rope that is attached to the bridge of fleet mate and HAL flagship Rotterdam, berthed bow-to- bow with Oosterdam. As soon as the bottle hits Oosterdam's hull, white doves are released, horns blow and the air is filled with confetti. A new ship is officially born!
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During his Keynote Address that evening, Kirk Lanterman, CEO of Holland America (now retired), recalls standing on the bridge of Maasdam when it first sailed into Rotterdam. When asked why there were so many people watching the ship from the shores of the Maas River, the Captain said "They have come to see their ship". And indeed, the Dutch still feel closely connected to Holland America Line, even though the company is headquartered in Seattle and part of the ever-growing Carnival Corporation. But all that doesn't really matter; the huge crowds lining the quayside during Oosterdam's christening ceremony prove that.
Berthed bow-to-bow with flagship Rotterdam, Oosterdam's name is officially unveiled in a glamorous ceremony that includes speeches, blessings, music and a royal godmother. Princess Margriet also named Rotterdam in 1997 and when she has spoken the words "I name this ship Oosterdam", a bottle of champagne comes flying down from the bridge wing of fleet mate Rotterdam
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I feel very fortunate being able to witness this event, standing on one of the forward open decks of the brand new Oosterdam, amidst white doves and confetti, deafened by the sound of both ship's horns. It is an unforgettable event! And the party continues once we have changed into our tuxedos. There are more speeches and music in the Vista Lounge, followed by a Gala Dinner. Both events are attended by Princess Margriet, who has changed into a stunning evening gown for the occasion. And when we stand out on deck after dinner to witness the magnificent fireworks light up the skies, it is clear that the city of Rotterdam has not forgotten Holland America Line. The line could not have chosen a better venue for the introduction of Oosterdam. Happy 130th birthday Holland America Line!
As the crew start to clear the decks from the tons of confetti, we venture up to 's highest point to begin our Ship Tour. Holland America's Vista Class ships have acres of outdoor space which make them ideal for cruises in sunnier climes. That said, Oosterdam and her sisters also feature a pool with a retractable glass roof, so should you experience a drop of "liquid sunshine", the pool action just continues.
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Beautiful wide sunning areas run along the sides of the ship's Observation Deck, with a wide open deck area just aft of the Crow's Nest. A circular staircase leads down to Lido Deck and the expansive Lido Pool area amidships. Covered by a sliding glass roof, the nicely sized pool with three Jacuzzis, a great Lido Bar and Terrace Grill may be used in all weather conditions. Even at night this is a remarkably attractive open deck area, with its innovative "trees of light" and ultra-comfortable seating areas. Uniquely, the walls of glass can be covered by curtains. Very classy!
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All the way forward on Lido Deck is a third pool, overlooking the Pool Deck and the skies above through a huge skylight. The Hydro Pool forms an integral part of the expansive Greenhouse Spa & Salon, operated by Steiners. Oosterdam's Spa offers a huge array of treatments, with elegant relaxation areas dotted between the various therapy rooms. You will find Thermal Suites, a hairdressing & beauty salon and a huge Gym with ocean views here.
Throughout the years, Holland America Line has built up a steady relationship with the Dutch design firm VFD Interiors, who have taken care of the interiors of most of the line's vessels. Known for their untraditional color combinations and "nook and cranny" design, the design team has incorporated many priceless works of art into the ship's interiors. Oosterdam's Lido Restaurant is a good example of VFD's more daring designs. Purples, pinks, bright yellow, green and blue... Almost all colors of the rainbow are represented in this huge restaurant. And to top it all off, some great classic artwork is showcased in the middle of this color attack. Personally, I do think it is a bit "much" and I do prefer the somewhat classier Lido Restaurants on the line's Rotterdam and Amsterdam.
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Large signs indicate which type of food is served at the serving stations, with large beverage sections incorpo-rated at strategic places. There's an ice-cream bar, offering free ice cream throughout the day. At night, The Lido Restaurant offers casual dining plus late night snacks. After getting their share of ice cream, kids just have to move up one deck from the Lido Restaurant to access their private quarters on Observation Deck. Kid's facilities on Oosterdam are relatively limited, even though the line has a popular kid's program in place on their larger ships. Still, there is a gaming room with arcade games and a nice youth hangout with Internet stations.
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Next we move up to Observation Deck and the Crow's Nest, Holland America's hallmark observation lounge and night club. Done in bright reds, the main section of the room is large and airy, while two intimate "wings" have a completely different atmosphere. On port side the cigarette smokers will find a refuge, while starboard side offers the Oak Room, a haven for cigar smokers. Sporting a faux fireplace, lots of wood accents and oversized leather chairs, this is one of the more traditionally designed rooms on Oosterdam.
With 23 stateroom categories to choose from, Oosterdam and her sisters offer everything from a comfortable inside double to a jaw-dropping 1,343 square feet Penthouse Verandah Suite with separate living room, bedroom and bathroom with Jacuzzi. Out of Oosterdam's 924 staterooms, 622 have a private balcony and 85% offer sea views.
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If there was some sort of award to be handed out for worst looking corridors, my vote would definitely go to Oosterdam. VFD Interiors have devised an odd looking carpet that is used throughout the ship in all sorts of flashy colors. Looking stained even when clean, the blue variant of this carpet is used in all cabin corridors. With plain white walls, plain white ceiling, plain stateroom doors and not one decoration in sight, going down to your stateroom almost makes you feel like being trapped in a hospital. Thankfully, when opening the stateroom door a much warmer atmosphere intrudes. Done in restful colors, Oosterdam's staterooms are equipped with all the comforts of home.
I was happy to see Holland America still provides towels with the famous HAL logo in the bathroom. It's one of the things that have disappeared from many ships. As for the bathroom; it's plain but efficient. We were occupying stateroom 5171, a Deluxe Verandah Outside Stateroom (category B) on Verandah Deck. This specific stateroom has a shower only instead of the shower/bath combination in most rooms. Don't let the term "bathtub" fool you though - "oversized shower stall" would be a far better description. All staterooms on Oosterdam are equipped with TV, mini bar (extra charge), safe and data port for laptops.
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Even in the inside stateroom you will find ample wardrobe space and a sitting area. And should you decide to splurge and go for the balcony stateroom, expect it to be of decent size, with wood-look rubber flooring and some very attractive patio furniture.
One of the hallmarks of VFD Interiors is their intricate use of space. With lots of nooks and crannies and an imaginative use of forms and colors, the design team has done the impossible: create a feeling of intimacy on a 86,799 ton ship. As the sun sets, it suddenly turns out that the odd lampshades and funny color combinations blend into a single home-like atmosphere, best described with the Dutch word for cozy, "gezellig".
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It must be said that this cozy feeling is enhanced by the charming crew. Holland America trains its staff in their own schools in the Orient and it shows. Without exception the crew is smiling and friendly. The administrative heart of Oosterdam is the Front Office on Main Deck, open around the clock for inquiries and staffed by charming staff dressed in immaculate white uniforms. Across the hall is the Shore Excursion desk. Holland America is renowned for the quality and choice of their shore tours, even though prices are very steep.
Two steps away from the Front Office and Shore Excursion desk is the ground floor level of the 3-deck Atrium, which is one of the design highlights of the ship. Done in an eclectic style, the revolving crystal globe that hangs suspended from the ceiling rightfully attracts a lot of attention. On the highest level, the Atrium gives way to the extensive Shopping Arcade (done in a sober, subdued style that works very well) and the Java Corner, a self-service lounge & coffee corner adjacent to the Conference and Internet Center with views of the teak-covered wrap around Promenade Deck outside. Walking back towards the Atrium, we stumble across the gorgeous Erasmus Library.
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The Erasmus Library is very spacious and done in a very attractive semi-classical style. Of special interest is the elaborate reading table and the beautifully illuminated globe that allows you to chart your own course. Back in the Atrium area we sit down for a drink in the wonderful Ocean Bar. The designers made very good use of this prime location and have brilliantly created two rooms in one. The area directly adjacent to the Atrium is bright and lively, with lots of reds and purples, while the bar area to starboard has its own identity with its wooden floors, neutral shades and intimate alcoves offering a nice view of the sea.
Dinner is served! On Oosterdam, dinner is served in three different locations. First, there is the 2-deck high Vista Dining Room, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here, you'll be assigned a table throughout your cruise in either First or Second Seating. For those not willing to dress up, the Lido Restaurant up on deck 9 serves a casual Bistro menu most evenings. And last but not least, the Odyssey Restaurant is the place to go for an exclusive Pinnacle Grill experience. Bon Appetit!
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Open every evening, the Pinnacle Grill at the Odyssey Restaurant is a reservations-only dining experience featuring specialties of the Pacific Northwest region. Expect oversized juice steaks and fine seafood in an ambiance that could not be any further from the look and feel of the Pacific Northwest. From most walls, oversized Dutch seafarers of yesteryear gaze at the diners that are seated in eclectic metallic chairs and are dining from Bvlgari plates. While certainly original, the result is somewhat disjointing and you would half expect a bowl of Dutch pea soup to appear on your plate instead of the King Salmon that is served up here.
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A great place to enjoy a before-dinner drink is the elegant Explorer's Lounge, perhaps the most traditional of public rooms on Oosterdam. Offering nice views of the sea through large windows, the room is basically located in a wide arcade, but the designers have made good use of lighting, artwork and furniture to create an inviting lounge area, with bar service from the nearby Windstar Café. Just before either dinner seating, the Explorer's Lounge is filling up with people anxious to see what is on the menu for dinner at the bi-level Vista Dining Room just aft.
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There, two grand staircases connect both levels, overlooked by a circular band stand. With a capacity of 1,050, the Vista Dining Room seats all guests in two seatings at tables for 2 to 8. Large windows, elaborate bouquets of fresh flowers and a warm color scheme make this an inviting dining room. On formal nights, the basic wood-framed chairs are covered with white "formal" jackets, making the room look like it is ready for its spring cleaning. A nice idea, but in reality it doesn't look as glamorous as you would think. Holland America has recently introduced new menus and if our Christening Dinner was anything to go by, you won't leave the Vista Dining Room hungry!
When introducing the Vista Class ships, Holland America Line also spruced up its evening entertainment options. With a dedicated disco, nightclub, trendy Sports Bar, casino and huge show lounge, Oosterdam caters to all ages and evenings on board can now be as quiet or upbeat as you like. At night, the color combinations that at first seem bizarre melt together and create a coziness that is quite unique for a ship of Oosterdam's size. For full-scale Broadway revues, head to the Vista Lounge, spanning three decks in height and with a seating capacity of 970. Done in bright orange, this is a typical Carnival-style showroom, with seemingly endless rows of benches so a maximum number of guests can be seated. An ingenious circular staircase within the Vista Lounge connects all three levels.
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The most hilarious piece of art can be found in the cavernous Casino on Lower Promenade Deck. It's a wooden elephant on a skateboard and I have the distinct feeling it isn't meant as a joke. Providing a Las Vegas experience, the Casino is decidedly bigger than on older Holland America ships - another sign of a change in target audience for the cruise line that traditionally caters to a somewhat older clientele. Right next door is the Northern Lights Disco, with its orange 60s retro look and large dance floor. And across the hall, be sure to check out two more watering holes. First, there is the exquisite Sports Bar with its gorgeous wooden floor, bold curvy furniture and lots of TV screens in all shapes and sizes. The design team really has excelled themselves here.
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In complete contrast, the toned-down Piano Bar next door is almost business like, if it wasn't for the brightly colored plaid fabrics on the chairs. And last but not least in the lineup of Oosterdam's late night spots, we should not forget the beautiful Queen's Room. Circular in form, there is a good view of the large dance floor from almost all 150 seats here. Colors are once again daring: orange, yellow and purple. Yet, the result is another proof that VFD Interiors really know their way with forms and colors. Looking eclectic at first, Oosterdam's interiors really grow on you and the design team should be complemented for creating many timeless spaces that are all very different but have one thing in common: they are utterly inviting and really come into their own right in the evening.
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