The ms Zuiderdam, Holland America’s first ship in its Vista-class series, came out of dry dock after undergoing three weeks of extensive renovations at the Fincantieri Palermo Shipyard in Italy. The transformation includes 34 new guest staterooms, the addition of an Explorations Café—powered by The New York Times,  a larger Pinnacle Grill restaurant, the addition of a new Pinnacle Bar, increased seating in the Lido Restaurant, and an environmentally friendly, state-of-the-art “wet cleaning machine” (for dry cleaning).

“The Zuiderdam’s recent enhancements are just one more example of Holland America Line’s commitment to our Signature of Excellence,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “These changes allow us to deliver even more on our mission: ‘Through excellence, we create once-in-a-lifetime experiences every time.’ ”

In addition to the renovations, the 1,918-guest Zuiderdam will continue several much-admired Holland America Line features: the innovative Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine Magazine; the Greenhouse Spa and Salon; and a youth facility that includes the teens-only Loft.

Amenities aboard the Zuiderdam represent the hallmarks of a Holland America Line cruise experience, keeping in line with the premium cruise company’s accent on providing a sophisticated and refined cruise-travel lifestyle. Staterooms include plush Euro-top Mariner’s Dream Beds, deluxe waffle/terry-cloth robes, Egyptian cotton towels, flat-panel TVs, DVD players, make-up mirrors with halo lighting, massage shower heads, professional-grade hair dryers, fresh flowers and complimentary fruit baskets.

Additional Refinements
To add to the cruising pleasure of her guests, the Zuiderdam now has an expanded-and-updated shopping arcade, featuring the exclusive, chic jewelry shop, Merabella. All hardwood floors have been refinished and additional artwork graces the passageways. A new high-end home theatre-style screening room has also been added for small group audio-visual presentations, to view videos and DVDs, and to accommodate private parties.

For the remainder of 2008, Zuiderdam cruises include 15 Eastern/Western Mediterranean 12-day sailings with a 17-day transatlantic “Autumn Odyssey” crossing from Venice, Italy, to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, on October 23. In early November, the Zuiderdam will begin its popular 10-day Southern Caribbean & Panama Canal Sunfarer cruises