MS Koningsdam

MS Koningsdam

The MS Koningsdam was in April 2016 by the Holland America Line (HAL) put into service. It is the first new build of the "Pinnacle class". The term stands in English for: summit, peak or unique. These characterizations apply to the MS Koningsdam. When she entered service, she was the largest, most technically sophisticated and most luxurious cruise ship that HAL had ever built. Two sister ships, the Nieuw Statendam and the Rotterdam, have since followed in 2018 and 2022.

MS Koningsdam - a true premium ship

MS Koningsdam is aimed at guests who appreciate the premium segment; and who are willing to spend money on it. In return they receive exemplary equipment, excellent service, excellent gastronomic services in different restaurants as well as varied entertainment offers.

MS Koningsdam in Willemstad/Curacao

With her 296 meter long, navy blue hull, white deck paint and distinctive funnel, MS Koningsdam looks extremely classy. Kissing mouths or imaginative hull paintings would be out of place on this cruise ship.

The public spaces appear luxurious. High-quality carpet floors, elaborate, tasteful furniture and modern works of art underline the impression. The art objects take up music themes in different variations. The focus is on musicians, musical instruments and pop stars. The three-storey atrium continues the musical theme with stylized harps in a variety of ways. The varied design of the restaurants, bars and lounges appear to be of one piece. When it comes to dining, the Pinnacle-class ships offer more dining options than any of the other eight members of the fleet. 

MS Koningsdam - Atrium

MS Koningsdam - Atrium 

Never before have we seen a cruise ship so lavishly adorned with plants: opulent floral decorations in the public areas, orchids on almost every table in the Lido Market buffet restaurant and olive trees in the pool areas.

MS Koningsdam - lush floral decorations

MS Koningsdam - lush floral decorations

MS Koningsdam - well-travelled olive tree

MS Koningsdam - well-travelled olive tree

MS Koningsdam is a family ship. Attention was paid to lounge areas intended exclusively for adults, as well as to refuges for children and teenagers. We test the ship during a ten-day Caribbean cruise.

Cabins & Suites

The shipping company names 1.331 cabins and suites. With double occupancy, this corresponds to 2.650 beds. All cabins meet high standards. Imitation pine was chosen as the wall covering. A light background stretches behind the beds; the carpets have tasteful shades of purple.

Cupboards and drawers offer enough space. The beds are high and comfortable. There is also no objection to the rest of the technical equipment in the cabins with flat screen TV and film selection (Movies on Demand). The sockets fit American and European plug systems.

Koningsdam - Balcony Stateroom #8027

The walls of the bathrooms are covered with white laminate. Gray floor tiles, large shower trays, modern washbasins, high-quality fittings appear to be of one piece.

The cabins and suites are divided into eight main categories. The range extends from inside cabins with 13,30 square meters to the Pinnacle Suite with almost 120 square meters. There are also special spa cabins, family cabins with a sea view for a maximum of five people with two bathrooms, outside cabins for single travelers and cabins suitable for the disabled.

As befits a premium brand, cabin service takes place twice a day. The cabin stewards work in pairs. They are polite, well trained and see themselves as service providers.

A new towel animal every day

Eating and Drinking


The ten on-board restaurants are divided into those that are included in the travel price and restaurants that are subject to a surcharge.

Inclusive restaurants

The included restaurants include the two-storey main restaurant The Dining Room and the excellently equipped buffet restaurant Lido Market, the Burger Station Dive-In, the pizzeria New York Deli & Pizza and the bistro Grand Dutch Café.

MS Koningsdam - Main Dining Room
MS Koningsdam - Lido Market Restaurant
Lido Market Restaurant - the masters of the wok
MS Koningsdam - the Grand Dutch Café

Restaurants subject to surcharge

The Italian restaurant Canaletto is subject to a surcharge, the Sel de Mer brasserie, the Pinnacle Grill steakhouse, the Asian Tamarind and the Culinary Arts Center.

MS Koningsdam - Restaurant Canaletto
MS Koningsdam - Restaurant Sel de Mer
MS Koningsdam - Pinnacle Grill
MS Koningsdam - Tamarind Restaurant

During the day, the Culinary Arts Center is used for cooking classes. In the evening, meals are prepared in front of the passengers according to the "farm-to-table concept", which includes the use of fresh ingredients and suitable herbs from the on-board greenhouse.

MS Koningsdam - Culinary Arts Center

As usual on cruise ships, coffee, tea, iced tea or similar soft drinks are served free of charge. All other drinks require additional payments.

Variety and quality of the dishes

Whatever we order: appetizers in the Grand Dutch Café, breakfast in the Lido Market or dinner in the main restaurant, we are treated to a wide range of dishes of the highest quality. Even in the Burger Station Dive-In, the dishes, including the fries, are individually prepared.

MS Koningsdam - the sushi station at the Lido Market Restaurant

The specialty restaurants only open in the evening. We test the Pinnacle Grill and the Sel de Mer. We enjoy top-class cuisine and excellent service in both places.

MS Koningsdam - Pinnacle Grill Restaurant

MS Koningsdam - Pinnacle Grill Restaurant

MS Koningsdam - Restaurant Sel de Mer

MS Koningsdam - Restaurant Sel de Mer 

Wine cellar & wine waiter

The wine offers are fixed to the restaurants. In general, good wines are offered. The shipping company maintains the disproportionately high price level that American ships are used to.

MS Koningsdam - Canaletto Restaurant wine store

General service

All service restaurants offer dedicated service that is focused on the well-being of the guests. The guest may follow the recommendations for individual dishes without looking at them. – The clearing service in the buffet restaurant also offers no reason to complain. In addition to their work, the employees still find time to get the guests a drink.

MS Koningsdam - the team from Sel de Mer Restaurant

Exemplary hygiene

Buffet restaurants on cruise ships are extremely convenient. The quality of the food convinces almost everywhere. However, there is a problem with hygiene from time to time: guests sometimes reach into the cheese buffet with their fingers, treat the conscientiously prepared food carelessly and sometimes lack decency when it comes to self-service. On the MS Koningsdam, passengers do not serve themselves at the buffet. You will be presented with the selected dishes. Exemplary!

Open dining option

The Main Dining Room opens at 17:45pm and 20:00pm There are fixed dining times with a fixed table arrangement. Irrespective of this, HAL offers guests in the main restaurant a flexible, open dining service between 17:15pm and 21:00pm, the "Open Dining Option".

Bars & Lounges

The range of bars & lounges is diverse. No bar, no lounge resembles the others in terms of their equipment. We particularly like the Crow's Nest, the Ocean Bar, the Panorama Bar and the Tamarind Bar. If we were whiskey connoisseurs, we would make the small Whiskey Bar our regular haunt.

MS Koningsdam - the Crow's Nest
MS Koningsdam - Ocean Bar
MS Koningsdam - Tamarind Bar
MS Koningsdam - Whiskey Bar Notes

The "Blend" deserves a special mention. The wine bar was created in collaboration with the award-winning Chateau Ste. Michelle in Washington state. The suite guests have it good: They enjoy their stay in the comfortable Neptune Lounge.

MS Koningsdam - Wine Bar Blend

MS Koningsdam - Wine Bar Blend

MS Koningsdam - the Neptune Lounge for suite guests

MS Koningsdam - the Neptune Lounge for suite guests 

The daily, stylish tea time takes place in the Queen's Lounge.

Sport & Wellness

The sports area, which extends across the entire width of the Lido Deck and is equipped with the best technology, not only arouses storms of enthusiasm among sporty people.

MS Koningsdam - Training equipment in the sports sector

MS Koningsdam - Training equipment in the sports sector

MS Koningsdam - treadmills in the sports area

MS Koningsdam - treadmills in the sports area 

Sun-seekers and swimmers can use the Lido Deck with the Lido Pool in the middle of the ship and the Sea View Pool in the stern area. The ship's five whirlpools are also well frequented. The six-part glass roof over the Lido Pool is opened in good weather.

MS Koningsdam - Loungers at the Lido Pool

MS Koningsdam - Loungers at the Lido Pool

MS Koningsdam - the Sea View Pool

MS Koningsdam - the Sea View Pool 

There is enough space for deck chairs not only in the spacious pool area but also on the higher decks. However, shaded areas are rare. There is no stinginess with pool towels, and according to our observations, the drinks service also works.

MS Koningsdam - pool loungersMS Koningsdam - pool loungers

Further sports offers:
A 560 meter long promenade leads around the whole ship on the third deck. however, the jogging track on the Sun Deck is ridiculously short at 140 meters. Table tennis, shuffleboard, a large field for ball sports and sports equipment on the Sun Deck complete the sporting offer.

MS Koningsdam - the short jogging track
MS Koningsdam - the shuffle board field
MS Koningsdam - the field for ball games
MS Koningsdam - Outdoor sports equipment

The Greenhouse SPA & Salon connects to the gym on deck 9. A branch of the SPA is located above on deck 10. The entire wellness area offers various treatment rooms for a variety of applications. Saunas and an indoor pool complete the wellness offers.

MS Koningsdam - Greenhouse SPA & Salon
Greenhouse SPA & Salon - Treatment Room
Greenhouse SPA & Salon - Loungers
Greenhouse SPA & Salon - Retreat

The SPA offers also include the retreat cabanas on the observation deck (deck 12). They are available to ship guests as luxurious, private retreats for a fee.

MS Koningsdam - Retreat Cabanas

MS Koningsdam - Retreat Cabanas

MS Koningsdam - View of a retreat cabana

MS Koningsdam Retreat Cabana


The main task of the entertainment complex is to entertain more than 2.500 guests in a sophisticated way when the ship is at full capacity. An ambitious program provides qualified entertainment throughout the day. The technical requirements for this are in place.

World Stage

A key venue is the two-story World Stage. The special feature of this main stage is the 76 meter long, 270° curved HD LED screen that stretches over two decks. It enables spectacular projections. At certain events, round seats are offered behind the stage. On these occasions, singers and dancers interact with the spectators surrounding them.

MS Koningsdam - Information session at the World Stage theatre

MS Koningsdam - Information session at the World Stage theatre

Speaking of dancers: in the course of our trip we see several stage shows by the 10-strong dance troupe. The dancers act perfectly, sometimes go at a hell of a pace and are very happy with what they are doing.

Cinema LED screen

Feature films and film documentaries are regularly shown under the glass roof of the Lido Deck that can be opened. The sun loungers serve as cinema loungers in the evenings. Free popcorn is served with the movies.

Music Walk

The Music Walk provides a variety of musical entertainment. Everything revolves around music on three stages. A wide variety of musical offerings are offered to guests in the evenings. Venues are:

The Lincoln Center Stage:

There performers perform a variety of chamber music performances every day;

MS Koningsdam - chamber music ensembleMS Koningsdam - chamber music ensemble

The Billboard Onboard:

Two pianists and singers, sitting opposite each other and interacting ingeniously, present the chart-breakers and popular hits of the last 50 years to the guests;

MS Koningsdam - Pianist on Billboard Onboard

MS Koningsdam - Pianist on Billboard Onboard

MS Koningsdam - Pianists in Billboard Onboard

MS Koningsdam - Pianists in Billboard Onboard 

The BB King's Blues Club:

The BB King's All-Stars Band heats up their guests in the evenings in the two-story club with blues, jazz, rock and upbeat music from Memphis/Tennessee. Matching the listening pleasure, cocktails are served with names such as "Lucille" or "Rock me Baby".

MS Koningsdam - BB King's Blues Club

MS Koningsdam - BB King's Blues Club

MS Koningsdam - Singer at BB King's Blues Club

MS Koningsdam - Singer at BB King's Blues Club 

Other entertainment

An American cruise ship is inconceivable without a casino. The casino with table and slot machines is on deck 3. According to our observations, it is regularly popular.

MS Koningsdam - in the casino

MS Koningsdam - in the casino

MS Koningsdam - in the casino

MS Koningsdam - in the casino 

Among the audience favorites are bingo events with attractive prizes.

Art galleries, art auctions and cruise ship shops are also places of entertainment, we feel. These areas are - like the casino - mainly on the 3rd deck.

MS Koningsdam - the art auction will start shortly
MS Koningsdam - the liquor shop
MS Koningsdam - dance lesson
MS Koningsdam - digital workshop

We think the edutainment offers are first class. We are particularly enthusiastic about the film documentaries from BBC Earth. They are perfect for the World Stage LED screen.

General information about MS Koningsdam


April 2016


Queen Máxima of the Netherlands


Length 296 meters, width 35 meters


99.500 GT

Passenger decks

12 decks


4 diesel engines of 17.000 HP each

2 azipods

Drive power 28.000 kW


Estimated: $ 520 million


2.650 with double occupancy




Ca. 1.000




Fincantieri, Marghera / Venice

Board language


Currency on board

U.S. dollar

Conclusion and evaluation of the ship

We report on a perfect cruise ship. The MS Koningsdam, which went into service in April 2016, was designed and built according to the most modern aspects. All areas of the ship offer passengers premium quality: The equipment, the gastronomic offers, the service and the entertainment meet the highest demands.

MS Koningsdam - Ocean BarMS Koningsdam - Ocean Bar

German cruise guests who would like to get to know high-quality cruise offers instead of their cult brands AIDA Cruises and TUI Cruises should warmly recommend the MS Koningsdam as a cruise ship.

Update - April 2023

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