The floating cities of Holland America Cruises magically transform your cruise into amazing because of the hard-working staff working tirelessly and seamlessly below deck!
So if you want to learn how to access the covert Holland America cruise behind the scenes tour, keep reading!
Who doesn’t want to venture into areas on a cruise ship where you are normally unable to gain access?
This is your chance to visit those areas, see what is happening, and quelch your thirst for answers about how a cruise ship flawlessly provides a lifetime vacation!
We’ve gathered many photos for you to see because on a recent cruise with Holland America Lines (HAL Cruises), we had a special invitation to visit the Holland America cruise behind the scenes, and we are sharing that today!
We toured the HAL ms Nieuw Amsterdam ship tour was educational and interesting and offered great insight and perspective into what it takes to magically make that floating city work each day, round the clock!
Table of Contents
How To Access The HAL Cruise Ship Behind-The-Scenes Tour?
Let’s start with how to gain access to the lesser-known 1.5-hour cruise ship tour below deck!
And if you have been on the ‘fun ship,’ you might be familiar with the carnival behind the scenes tour, which is an open offering, unlike HAL Cruises, where certain classes of ships offer them.
So unlike carnival cruise behind the scenes tours, you’ll want to book on a HAL Cruise class ship that offers these.
Can you get a tour of the engine room on a cruise with Holland America? Yes, keep reading how.
To experience the covert Holland America Cruise behind the scenes tour, you must be on a
- or Signature-Class Ships (Nieuw Amsterdam is a signature-class ship)
The first day you board, you’ll want to go to the concierge or front desk and ask about the behind the scenes tours.
Place your name on the list and hope they have enough others who want to pay to see the action below!
These tours are small group tours(12-15 people) and a great opportunity to ask questions about anything about the areas of the ship you will be touring.
The Holland America cruise behind the scenes tours (where available) can show you how the ship operates and what goes into ensuring passengers have a great experience.
What You Can Expect To See On A HAL Cruise Ship Behind the Scenes Tour
On our tour, we saw the following areas, while other tours may differ
- The Bridge – which is usually inaccessible due to security restrictions
- HAL Cruise Ships’ Nieuw Amsterdam Galley Kitchen
- Provisions Area
- Laundry Facilities
- Environmental Services
Can you get a tour of the engine room on a cruise with HAL Cruises? Not on these specific cruises but other Holland America cruises have offered engine room tours.
Walking and participating in this tour provides an insider’s perspective and a deeper appreciation for the cruise you are on.
When you see and experience the hard work behind the scenes, you feel closer to the brand, the vacation, and the overall cruise adventure.
I truly believe that a HAL cruise ship behind-the-scenes tour is definitely for the more discerning cruiser who wishes to dive deeper into the floating city in the normally restricted areas.
You’ll find an adventure within the ship, just like those you have when you disembark and take an excursion.
What Is The Cost Of A HAL Cruise Tour
The typical tour length is one and a half hours, through which you will be walking in other-wise restricted areas, and your cost will be $150pp.
How Many People Go On The HAL ms Nieuw Amsterdam Ship Tour
Generally speaking, up to 15 people can go on the HAL Cruise ship behind-the-scenes tour.
However, unlike most things on the ship, the tours are not announced. So use the suggestion I provided above to get on the list for the tour.
Are you still wondering why you would want to tour the Holland America cruise ship?
Touring a cruise ship behind the scenes reveals some of the secrets and mysteries of how a cruise ship takes care of all of its clientele.
You’ll get to see the crew working in their job in real-time.
Plus, since not every ship in the Holland American line offers the coveted behind-the-scenes tour of the ship, and you are on one of the ships that do, you’ll want to take that tour!
Our Holland America Crusie Behind The Scenes Itinerary
Here’s a quick overview of what we could see in over an hour and a half.
- The Bridge
- Food Storage
- Provisions Room
- Galley Kitchen
- Environmental Services
- Laundry Facilities
The Holland America cruise behind the scenes tour is informative and interesting, sharing a feast for the eyes with so much to see and learn about.
(1) What Is The Bridge Of A Ship
The bridge of a ship is the most crucial part of the ship.
Here you’ll find the officers of the floating city and the Captain working round the clock to keep the vessel safe navigating the waters.
The bridge is at the highest area of the ship and inaccessible to guests (other than through the ship tour), and the vantage point allows the captain and ship officers to maintain a clear view of the vast open ocean continually.
Things That Happen Inside The Bridge
- maintain course
- check speed
- check the direction of both the wind and the waves
- continuously monitor the weather
- keep the ship lit for other boats to see
- consistently monitor the radar for other ships nearby
(2) The Tireless Galley Kitchen on HAL ms Nieuw Amsterdam
The next stop is the relentless, nonstop galley kitchen, the heart and soul kitchen on the ship, a large, commercial kitchen.
Staff, You’ll See Working In The Galley Kitchen
- Head Chef
- Sous Chefs
- Line Cooks
- Prep cooks
Everyone has their dedicated job to tend to prepare food seamlessly.
It’s a bustling place, as meals served on a HAL Cruise ship are 24 hours a day, so the kitchen staff is always busy in some capacity.
Seeing the galley kitchen is a fantastic experience, and there are few other words to use.
(3) HAL ms Nieuw Amsterdam Ship Tour: Provision Rooms
First, you need to understand what a provisions room’s purpose is. Then, you can be in awe of what you will see.
The provisions room on a cruise ship is responsible for storing and distributing food and other supplies.
It is a vital part of the ship’s operations and is often one of the largest room/rooms on the vessel.
The provision rooms are typically temperature-controlled to keep food fresh and are usually near the ship’s galley.
The amount of food in here is almost unimaginable.
But there is also a non-perishable section that is not refrigerated; let’s look at each.
Food Storage Non-Perishable In The Floating HAL City
Canned goods are in the non-perishable provisions room, which is still temperature controlled, as seen in the photo.
(4) Holland America Cruise Behind The Scenes: Environmental Services
The environmental services area is the next stop on the HAL Cruise behind-the-scenes tour.
You might be wondering why the HAL Nieuw Amsterdam ship tour would include a tour of this area, but what you learn is amazing, and their desire to be eco-conscious shines through in every aspect.
What exactly are the environmental services responsibilities on a cruise ship?
This team works around the clock to ensure that the ship is clean and that all waste is disposed of properly.
- chemical disposal
- pest control
- proper disposal of trash
The staff in this cruise ship area is responsible for keeping the boat clean and debris-free.
This area is also responsible for ensuring the ship’s wastewater gets adequately treated before being discharged into the ocean.
The Environmental Services area’s team includes highly trained professionals dedicated to keeping the ship clean and safe for all passengers and crew.
The Environmental Services area is an integral part of the ship’s operations and is vital to the safety and comfort of all who sail on the vessel.
(5) Laundry Facilities On The HAL Cruise Behind The Scenes Tour
Consider how much laundry must be done daily in a huge floating hotel. We watched in awe as the staff was doing the laundry and how much laundry there was.
The laundry facilities are open 24 hours a day because the mass loads of laundry from the 2000+ passengers and crew must be done while floating about on the high seas.
So What Does The Laundry Facility Do, And Who Does It Help?
The crew working in the laundry center helps maintain the cleanliness of the cabins, dining areas, and pool areas, as well as the personal clothing of those aboard (when requested)
Here are some things that pass through this ship facility:
- Pool towels are provided in a room
- linens at dining tables (napkins and tablecloths)
- uniforms of the staff
- Laundry requests of guests (you can get your laundry done, so don’t overpack)
- Towels from the cabins
- sheets and pillowcases from each room
- linens from the kitchen prep areas too
It was refreshing to hear a passenger on our tour exclaim that “they had no idea how much laundry there is during a cruise and that they were going to stop requesting extra towels to lighten the burden.”
Will You Take A Holland America Cruise Behind The Scenes Tour On Your Next Cruise?
A fresh perspective on insight gained while touring the HAL Nieuw Amsterdam ship tour is a win for everyone, as it is a new step towards consideration of what it takes to make a cruise run!
For anyone that is not going on a cruise but really wants to see the heart and soul of the action below deck, check out these options:
- behind the scenes of a cruise ship documentary netflix
- behind the scenes cruise ship amazon
Taking a behind the scenes cruise tour can be a great way to learn more about the inner workings of a cruise ship. ~ DanaXO
Dana Vento is an accomplished travel writer who has written award-winning articles for Niagara Falls, USA, and Cabarrus, NC, and won IG photography for Southern Delaware beaches. Her best stories are on the pages of her passport. Dana offers tips for travel to help you have the best adventures!