Prinsendam is a small gem of a ship. Throughout her
career, she has had the reputation for being a high quality
ship much adored by passengers and crew. At the same
time, she has had a difficult time finding a cruise line
where she really fit in.
The ship was built in Finland and entered service in 1988
as the Royal Viking Sun of the Royal Viking Line. While
the ship received good reviews for her luxurious style, the
line had financial difficulties and was dissolved in 1994.
At that point, Royal Viking Sun was sold along with the
brand name to Cunard.
The venerable British line formed a subsidiary called
"Cunard Royal Viking Line" into which it put Royal
Viking Sun, Sagafjord (more recently Saga Rose) and
Vistafjord (more recently Saga Ruby). Royal Viking Sun
with her five-star plus service had little to do with the
cruising styles of the other two ships and having a Nordic
line within a quintessentially British line was simply
odd. Nonetheless, Royal Viking Sun continued to receive
high marks from passengers, crew and the media.
When Carnival Corporation acquired Cunard in 1998, it
set about trying to bring focus to Cunard. Part of this was
making the Cunard fleet less of a polyglot of sizes,
cruising styles and nationalities. Accordingly, in 1999, it
refurbished Royal Viking Sun and transferred her to the
corporation's small ship luxury brand Seabourn Cruises.
The ship was accordingly renamed Seabourn Sun.
While the new line's focus was on luxury, the other ships
in the Seabourn fleet at that time were small yacht-like
craft. At more, than 37,000 gross tons, Seabourn Sun was
too big and did not really fit in. Consequently, the ship
was once again refurbished and was transferred to sister
company Holland America Line as Prinsendam in 2002.
Although smaller than the rest of the HAL fleet,
Prinsendam does fit in. HAL's S class ships (See our
profiles of Maasdam and Veendam) are relatively small
ships. Moreover, HAL has been able to modify
Prinsendam to include many of the HAL signature features
including an extensive art collection.
Today, the ship is also known by the nickname "The
Elegant Explorer". Her itinerary takes her all over the
world and with her small size, she is able to go to ports
that are off the beaten path. Cruises on Prinsendam tend
to be much longer than the average.
The cruising style on Prinsendam is sophisticated and
cultured. While it is not designed to be six-star as in the
Royal Viking Sun days, it is clearly an elegant premium
Passengers on Prinsendam tend to be well-traveled and
well-educated. There are relatively few families with
PHOTO TOUR AND
Pools, Spa, Sports and Open Deck................Page Two
Shops and Other Public Areas.......................Page Three
Bars, Lounges, Nighttime Entertainment.........Page Four
At the center of Prinsendam's
three-deck Atrium is an etched
glass sculpture lit by fiber optics.
An HAL trademark is large
carefully designed displays of
Sprinkled amongst the public
areas are interesting cultural
Prinsendam has an extensive and varied art collection including
several works by maritime artists Stephen Card (above left).
Prinsendam is well-known for the friendliness of her crew
Above right: The Front Office or reception desk.
Left: The Shore Excursions Office.
Below: The Furture Cruise Desk.
Cruise ship photo tour - Holland America Line - Prinsendam - page 1