One of the more intimate vessels in Holland America Line’s fifteen ship fleet, the 720-by-101 foot MV Veendam is the final member of the Statendam Class quartet of ships built in the early-to-mid-1990s. Named for the town of Veendam in the northeastern part of Holland, the Veendam was built in 1996 by Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard near Venice, Italy. The ship’s godmother is famed actress Debbie Reynolds. Shown in this image as built, Veendam measured 55,758 gross tons with a capacity for 1,258 passengers. In 2009, the ship was given a comprehensive Signature Of Excellence modernization and slightly enlarged with a new capacity of 1,350 guests and an increased tonnage of 57,092. This is another early view of Veendam, showing the appearance of its stern and aft decks before the rebuilding. And this is the aft portion of the ship after the 2009 rebuilding, showing the additional deck of suites atop the stern and the ducktail sponson that was added to compensate for the extra weight. Since its inception in 1873, all Holland America passenger ships were given names with a “dam” suffix. The Veendam’s lineage can be traced via renowned maritime artist Stephen Card’s paintings, which are displayed in its forward stairtower. This is first Veendam, which sailed for HAL between 1888 and 1898. The second Veendam was a popular and handsome fixture in Holland America’s transatlantic and cruising fleet between 1922 and 1952. The third Veendam was originally Moore McCormack Line’s Argentina of 1958 and joined the Holland America fleet in 1973, sailing on and off for HAL for the next decade. After several subsequent careers, the ship was finally scrapped in India in 2003. Today’s Veendam has nine passenger decks, beginning at the very top of the ship with Deck 13 or Sky Deck, which has an open observation platform that surrounds the base of the radio mast. This is a view facing aft from Deck 13, showing the midships sunning and pool areas. The aft portion of Deck 13 is a teens-only space called The Oasis. This was added in 2009 and contains a wet area and sunning space. A staircase leads down to The Loft teen club. The teak-covered external portion of Deck 12 or Sun Deck begins midships and overlooks the pool area with sunning space and a shuffleboard court. Veendam’s pool area is covered by an all-weather steel and glass Magrodome that can be closed with the flick of a switch in inclement weather. On the starboard side of Deck 12, there is a basketball court at the base of the funnel. The port side of Deck 12 contains a practice tennis court at the base of the funnel. Deck 11 or Lido Deck begins with a narrow observation terrace that overlooks the bow. The midships portion of Deck 11 is home to the pool and two Jacuzzis, which are fronted by a bronze dolphin sculpture by Susanna Holt. The casual, buffet style Terrace Grill serves up burger fare on the forward/starboard side of the pool. The Pool Bar is directly aft of the pool and provides drink service for the pool area and Lido Restaurant, just aft. The teak covered aft portion of Deck 11 was added in the 2009 refit and now sports three Jacuzzi tubs underneath a giant LED adjacent to the Slice pizzeria and bar. On forward Deck 9 or Verandah Deck, there is another teak-covered open observation area overlooking the bow. The open fo’c’sle area on Deck 8 or Upper Promenade Deck is a designated crew area that is sometimes opened up to guests in scenic cruising areas such as Glacier Bay. A popular fixture on all Holland America ships are the teak lined, fully encircling promenades, which on the Veendam are found on the Lower Promenade Deck or Deck 6. Four times around equals one mile. The Loft teen club for 13 — 17 year olds is located in the aft portion of Deck 12 on the starboard side and features a lounge and night club area with a staircase that leads up to The Oasis open deck area. Adjoining The Loft on aft Deck 12 is Club HAL, the children’s play area. Activities for 3 – 7 and 8 – 12 year olds include pirate treasure hunts, hands-on pizza making, Xbox and Wii tournaments and more. The 290-seat Crow’s Nest is located on forward Deck 12 and features a large dance floor and bar as well as intimate alcoves on either side, all framed in floor-to-ceiling windows. Veendam has an excellent fitness center that adjoins the Greenhouse Spa on forward Deck 11. It offers a wide selection of cardio and weight machines, free weights and a stretching/aerobics area. A thermal suite is located in the forward portion of the Greenhouse Spa on Deck 11. There are several treatment rooms in the Greenhouse Spa, offering a menu of massages and skin therapies. In the aft portion of the spa, there is a beauty salon that provides manicures and pedicures in addition to hair dressing. The casual, buffet-style 362-seat Lido Restaurant is on aft Deck 11 and lined in full length windows that overlook the sea. It has numerous action stations serving sandwiches, hot entrées, Asian food, a salad bar and desserts. The Lido Restaurant also has an excellent pasta station with selections cooked to order. The forward/port section of the Lido Restaurant houses Canaletto, a reservations-required Italian dinner venue that seats 58. The per person tariff is $10.00. Located on midships Deck 10 or Navigation Deck, between the port and starboard passageways, the Neptune Lounge is a private concierge lounge reserved for guests occupying the top three suite categories. It seats 24. Spanning two levels, the 600-seat Showroom at Sea is Veendam’s main showroom where twice nightly productions, magicians and comedians take the stage. The space, which fronts the public areas on Decks 7 and 8, was completely revamped in 2009 with tiered seating on the lower level. The 125-seat Ocean Bar is a handsome space with full length windows on the starboard side of Deck 8 or Upper Promenade Deck, just aft of the showroom. It features a marble dance floor and a bandstand for live musicians. The Veendam’s Atrium spans three levels from Deck 6 up to Deck 8 in the heart of the ship. Its centerpiece is a striking Murano glass sculpture entitled “Jacob’s Ladder” by Venetian artist Luciano Vistosi. The Casino follows the Atrium on the port side of Deck 8. It offers gamers 5 blackjack tables, 1 roulette table, 1 stud poker table, 1 Three-Card poker table and 97 slot machines. The Mix is a 175-seat bar complex adjacent to the shopping area on starboard Deck 8. This portion of the ship was modernized considerably in the 2009 refit and includes a champagne bar, a spirits and ales bar and a martini bar. An alcove with a piano bar is immediately aft of The Mix. Merabella is a exclusive jewelry shop on Deck 8. A trio of spaces, including the original card room, library and puzzle corner were rebuilt in 2009 into the inviting Explorations Cafe, a combination coffee bar, library and internet space on aft or port Deck 8 accommodating up to 88 guests. Explorations has a menu of coffee specialties priced a la carte that come with delicious baked treats such as cookies, cakes and croissants. On the starboard side of the ship, the Explorer’s Lounge is a favorite pre-and post-dinner gathering place. With views of the sea through full length windows, it accommodates 75 guests. The Pinnacle Grill is an award-winning, 64-seat a la carte restaurant on the starboard side of Deck 8. For a tariff of $29.00, guests can choose from a menu of Pacific Rim specialties. Pinnacle Grill table settings include beautiful custom Bvlgari chargers. On the port side of Deck 8 near the entrance to the Rotterdam Dining Room, the Queen’s Room doubles as a private dining alcove and the Digital Workshop computer learning center. The soaring, 661-seat Rotterdam Dining Room occupies aft Decks 8 and 7. Grand staircases on either side of a musician’s balcony and a rows of flower-shaped chandeliers are key focal points. Rotterdam Dining Room table settings include Rosenthal china, Riedel stemware, silver plate cutlery and Frette linens. Deck 7 or Promenade Deck begins aft of the lower portion of the Showroom At Sea with a photo gallery on the port side. Located on the Deck 7 landing overlooking the Atrium, the Front Office houses the Veendam’s reception and shore excursion offices. The 210-seat Wajang Theater doubles as the Culinary Arts Center and can be found on Deck 7 just aft of the Atrium. An art gallery is located at the entrance of the Culinary Arts Center/Wajang Theater. Added in the Signature of Excellence Refit, a Wine Tasting gallery is across from the Culinary Arts Center/Wajang Theater. The Half Moon is the larger of two meeting rooms on aft Deck 7. When paired with the adjacent Hudson Room, it can accommodate up to 120 guests. This is the Hudson Room, the smaller of two meeting rooms aboard the Veendam. All Holland America ships have a fascinating collection of permanent art on display and the Veendam is no exception. This is a gilded iron figurehead in the Deck 4 vestibule. The Veendam has six main categories of accommodation. At the top of the tier is the 1,159 square-foot Pinnacle or Penthouse Verandah Suite, which has a separate bedroom with a king-size bed and living room with sofa bed that can accommodate two guests, a mini-bar, refrigerator and floor-to-ceiling windows. The Penthouse Verandah Suite also has a private dining room that can seat up to eight guests. The bathroom in the Penthouse Verandah Suite is outfitted in marble surfacing and features a Jacuzzi tub as well as a separate rainforest shower. The Penthouse Verandah Suite has a large walk-in closet. Cushioned loungers and a dining table are provided on the Penthouse Verandah Suite balcony. Separate from its main bathroom, there is a powder room in the Penthouse Verandah Suite. The Penthouse Verandah Suite has its own pantry and kitchen. Several pieces from the Veendam’s art collection grace the Penthouse Verandah Suite. Located in the entryway, this is a Dutch cabinet and set of bronze mortars from the 17th Century. Veendam has twenty eight 556-square-foot Neptune or Deluxe Verandah Suites, all of which can be found on Deck 10. They feature a spacious bedroom with 2 lower beds convertible to 1 king-size bed and a sofa bed for 2 persons, mini-bar, refrigerator and floor-to-ceiling windows. Deluxe Verandah Suites have a large dressing room and wardrobe next to the bedroom. Deluxe Verandah Suite bathrooms have twin sinks and a whirlpool bath. Deluxe Verandah Suite balconies are fitted with cushioned wicker loungers and a dining area. Veendam has 164 Vista or Verandah Suites that measure 292-square-feet. They feature 2 lower beds convertible to 1 queen-size bed, whirlpool bath & shower, sitting area, private verandah, mini-bar, refrigerator and floor-to-ceiling windows. Vista or Verandah Suite bathrooms have a full tub with shower. Vista or Verandah Suites have large, teak-lined balconies with cushioned wicker furnishings. Converted from standard Oceanview staterooms in the 2009 refit, the Veendam’s 38 Lanai Staterooms measure 197-square-feet and open up onto the fully encircling Lower Promenade Deck. They feature 2 lower beds convertible to 1 queen-size bed and sliding glass doors Deck chairs on Lower Promenade Deck are reserved for the exclusive use of occupants of the adjacent Lanai Suites. There are 306 Standard Outside Staterooms measuring 197-square-feet that feature 2 lower beds convertible to 1 queen-size bed. Standard Outside Stateroom bathrooms have showers. 138 Standard Inside Staterooms measure 182-square-feet and feature 2 lower beds convertible to 1 queen-size bed. There are eight wheelchair accessible staterooms on the Veendam in various categories. This is a Standard Outside with modified controls, wider doors and floorspace for wheelchairs to turn. Wheelchair access staterooms have modified bathrooms with large showers to accommodate wheelchairs. Holland America Ships use high quality Elemis amenities in wall-mounted, environmentally friendly dispensers, eliminating wasteful mini-plastic bottles.