Holland America plans to make Koningsdam a culinary standout among the fleet
When Holland America debuts ms Koningsdam in February 2016, expect the line to upgrade its dining onboard the first Pinnacle Class ship. The Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine magazine, seems the most notable. It has a designated shipboard setting, with a show kitchen and individual cooking stations so you can take demonstration and hands-on cooking classes. (The latter is invaluable to actual learning.) Expect classes for kids and teenagers, too.
At night the room is transformed into a dining venue called Dinner at the Culinary Arts Center. It’s an immersive farm-to-table experience for which the chef prepares artisanal dishes in the show kitchen and you enjoy each course as it’s prepared. Some ingredients will actually be harvested from a glass-enclosed growing area just off the kitchen. (And I do hope it’s more than herbs.)
Nine interactive displays lining the center’s entryway allow you to explore the lives of food and wine luminaries, culinary secrets, recipes, and more. (Hmm, I imagine Oceania Cruises – with its trendsetting cooking centers - is taking note of HAL’s ambitious new culinary school.)
Sel de Mer (salt of the sea) sounds like a restaurant I’d like to visit. This new French seafood brasserie serves fresh oysters, seafood chowder, bouillabaisse and such, with modern twists. Chefs aim to go ashore whenever possible and bring back the catch of the day and a daily special. Fresh fish and shellfish are displayed on ice in the center of the dining room so you may choose your fave. Very cool.
Holland America is also going Dutch. They’re introducing a Grand Dutch Café, reflecting the fleet’s heritage. Think a décor of Delftware’s blue-and-white hues and silhouettes of Amsterdam’s charming buildings, with a menu of Dutch-themed snacks and beverages. And Heineken beer, natch.
Tamarind, the Asian restaurant onboard Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam, is enhanced on Koningsdam by a sushi bar. There’s room for just seven guests, for lunch and dinner. I bet this will be one popular bar.
Lido is transformed into a modern marketplace, with different themed stations for walk-up service either to grab-and-go, or be quickly made to order. Salads, fruits, and health-conscious options are part of this redo.
Doesn’t it sound terrific? Now, let’s see how it tastes when the ship debuts. Meanwhile, check out a new video at hollandamerica.com that gives visuals and more details on the expanded culinary offerings.