Holland America Lines ms Veendam in Alaska
The ms Veendam has a passenger capacity of 1350 guests, housing an additional 580 staff. In comparison to many other cruise lines, we were looking at being in a relatively private environment. We didn’t encounter long lines at the buffet, crowded elevators, packed amenities.. it was really quite nice. The ship itself was dedicated in 1996, by actress Debbie Reynolds, but was very current in its services, facilities and furnishings. The gorgeous wood decks gave it the historic feel true to a established cruise ship.
We flew out of Chicago early in the morning on Friday, August 8th. After a very quick layover in Seattle, we were in Vancouver waiting for our next direction. After we had landed we were directed to a separate area in customs for cruise passengers and it was very relieving to soon realize that we were being directed to a much smaller group of travelers than many of the cruise partitions. It already gave our trip a personal feel.
Seabus chooglin by Dave Olson -- Vancouver Harbour Center
Being bussed through Vancouver to the harbor was already the beginning of our vacation. We no longer felt like we were still on the journey to get there, but our cruise hosts were giving us a “tour” of Vancouver. We truly appreciated the narration as we traveled through the city, it was a beautiful day and actually made us question why we had never visited Vancouver before.
Once we arrived at the dock, we were very quickly escorted to the ship, no worries about our luggage as we knew that our bags would meet us in our suite. We boarded the ship, received an introduction to our “cozy” room and started to explore the rest of the ms Veendam on our own.
Looking aft from the Veendam as we disembark from Vancouver
As we pulled out of Vancouver, we truly were lucky to enjoy warmer temps, sunny skies and a few well made cocktails on the deck. We ended our afternoon in the ships Crow’s Nest for free appetizers, mojitos and some quiet time. We were able to breathe, enjoyed each other and the spectacular scenery.
Drinks while disembarking Vancouver
As you’ll see throughout the blog, the shores of Alaska are mainly untouched, only the landscape and its natural inhabitants to take in. The waters were full as well, with occasional whales, seals sitting on buoys and white capped waves hitting the ship.
Looking Fore over the Bow of the MS Veendam