For the Love of Travel
For the Love of Travel

Noordam, A Symphony of Splendour

Holland America Line Noordam

Noordam, a Holland America Line, Vista class ship is a perfect ensemble of old bones and refreshed service where experiences matter the most, writes Harmeet Sehgal

There is something about the romance of cruising that intrigues travellers more than ever before. Setting sail for the first time on an ocean cruise liner can be both exciting and daunting. There are exciting stories of romantic getaways on cruise ships combining the romance and rejuvenation on the open seas. And there is anxiety about the rough seas and how would the navigation be? But nothing beats stepping on-board a giant ship as the holiday only gets better from there.

Cruising on a historic cruise line

Holland America Line is a 150 year old company that very well recogonised for exceptional sailing experience. The company has a fleet of 11 modern ships. The cruise line offers more than 500 sailings across seven continents and has a fleeting record of award-winning service and exquisite dining experiences at sea. I chose to experience a cruise on the ‘Noordam‘ their vista class ship from Dunedin, New Zealand to Sydney, Australia, a nine-day cruise that would sail through the magnificent realms Milford Sounds, over to Tasmania, Melbourne and finishing in Sydney.

Embarking on for the journey

It was a rainy embarkation in Dunedin on the 900 ft Noordam. A wet and windy welcome was quickly forgotten as I walked through the gangway and at first blush, I was impressed!

The Attrium of Noordam
The Attrium of Noordam. Photo: Harmeet Sehgal

A friendly and warm security check crew assisted with my luggage as I walked around to the reception to check-in. The ship’s visually striking, brightly lit multi-level atrium became apparent.The finely studded globe chandelier reflected multi-colored rays of light on the circular staircase that led to the Prominade.

The Verandah Stateroom

I was staying in the Verandah stateroom. Located on the 9th floor, mid-ship, Verandah staterooms are a great fit with just the right amount of room inside the stateroom and a lavish private outdoor verandah to soak in the sunshine on the cruise.

The Verandah Stateroom
The Verandah Stateroom. Photo: Supplied

It includes all amenities and a Queen-size Mariners Dream bed for the most amazing sleep. Large storage area and cupboards means you only need to unpack once on the cruise and a 24 hour ironing service is available through the valet.

Exquisite dining

Holland America Line is well known for its exquisite cuisine and dining on-board its ships. And on Noordam it was no different. There are a superb selection of dining options available at any time of the day and on any part of the ship.

Dining Room on Noordam
Dining Room on Noordam. Photo: Harmeet Sehgal

The main dining room is where a formal, sit-down meal service is served on the Promenade level, aft of ship and if you’re feeling like a more relaxed buffet, the Lido Market on the pool deck is a top place for endless food possibilities and multi-cuisine selections.

Dining at the Lido Market
Dining at Lido Market. Photo: Harmeet Sehgal

Lido Market is a celebration of food from across the globe with talented chefs showing their creation with ever-changing dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Spectacular Steakhouse at sea

For a more exquisite fine-dining experience, head to the Pinnacle Grill.

The Pinnacle Grill on board Noordam
The Pinnacle Grill on board Noordam. Photo: Harmeet Sehgal

Famous for it’s juicy steaks and sensational seafood, The Pinnacle Grill is well known in the cruise circles as one of the best dining establishments at sea. Signature dishes created by Master Chef Dave Burke are highlighted at The Pinnacle Grill including the enticing and tasty ‘Clothesline Candied Bacon’.

Clothesline bacon on board the Noordam
Dave Burke’s Clothesline Bacon. Photo: Harmeet Sehgal

Thinly sliced pork belly is marinated with Dijon mustard, orange zest and maple syrup and grilled to perfection and served on hooks resembling a clothesline. A must try for bacon lovers.

Eye fillet steak at The Pinnacle Grill
Eye fillet steak at The Pinnacle Grill. Photo: Harmeet Sehgal

Juicy steaks from the best cuts of meat can be found on the menu that are accompanied with a range of sauces and side dishes.

Superb entertainment

Great entertainment awaits guests on Noordam any time of the day. The activity daily is delivered every night that outlines the activities for the following day and they start from early morning yoga sessions to late night discos and everything in between.

Billboard on board Noordam
Billboard on board Noordam. Photo: Harmeet Sehgal

And then there are original collabs like Billboard Onboard where two expert pianists play Billboard chart toppers where guests can sing along or just sit back and enjoy the hits.

An evening at the Rolling Stone Lounge
An evening at the Rolling Stone Lounge. Photo: Harmeet Sehgal

The Rolling Stone lounge is where you can rock and pop the night away as the talented band pumps up the beat with chart busters.

Flower arranging sessions on the ship with the head florist on Noordam
Flower arranging sessions on the ship with the head florist. Photo: Harmeet Sehgal

Engaging sessions like flower arrangement lessons from the ships florist and the age-old bingo keeps you busy on sea days on the cruise.

World Stage on board Noordam
World Stage on board Noordam. Photo: Harmeet Sehgal

The World Stage hosts some of the largest variety of performances from talk lecture series to shows from the Step One Dance company.

Quiet spaces

One great thing about the Noordam was that there is an ample of quiet spaces apart from your stateroom where you can stretch a leg with a book or just play a game of chess.

Crow's Nest on board Noordam
Crow’s Nest on board Noordam. Photo: Harmeet Sehgal

On the Crows Nest, the 180 degree panoramic view from the ship is a great quiet place to relax or on the pool side on the Lido deck with a gin and tonic soaking up the sun under cover.

Bar on Lido Deck
Bar on Lido Deck. Photo: Harmeet Sehgal

Wellness and rejuvenation

A leisurely day at sea is best spent at the Greenhouse Spa & Salon, offering renowned rituals with a full suite of skin and facial treatments. Massage treatments using traditional techniques and products are sure to reset the balance with mind, body and soul as you cruise across the world’s oceans. Award-wining hair stylists are on hand to spruce up the look for the next event on-board.

Exceptional Shore Excursions

Shore excursions make up an integral part of any cruise and Holland America Line ensures selection of shore excursion experiences for guests are exceptional.

Noordam docked in Hobart.
Noordam docked in Hobart. Photo: Harmeet Sehgal

On the port day in Hobart, Tasmania, I was lucky to enjoy some exciting time out to the historic town of Richmond. Before heading to Richmond, we took a pit-stop to taste green-lipped Abalone, one of the most prized seafood raking up costs of up to $5,200/kg.

Greenlip Abalone at Hobart
Greenlip Abalone at Hobart. Photo: Harmeet Sehgal

At Richmond, we strolled the streets, tasted unique dishes like the scallops pie and visited historic landmarks like the first post office building in Australia and the world famous Richmond sandstone bridge.

The sandstone Richmond bridge in Hobart
Sandstone Richmond bridge in Hobart. Photo: Harmeet Sehgal

The essence of the trip was being together with fellow cruisers and sharing great times and forging new friendships.

The Verdict

Cruising on Noordam brought together the nostalgic romance of cruising along with a modern touch paired together with exceptional cuisine, service and entertainment.

Golden Hour at Sea on board Noordam
Golden Hour at Sea on board Noordam. Photo: Harmeet Sehgal

It gave me the freedom of doing as much and as little on the ship and to get along with people from different walks of life with a big motivation of sailing the seas.

Book your Holland America Cruise here

Also read: Cruising the Edge