Since we’ve been talking so much recently about family travel, here’s some information on another line that has an outstanding children’s program: Holland America. If your children are between the ages of 3 and 17, this line has a myriad of activities, functions, and amenities that will keep them happy and entertained for the duration of your cruise.
A caveat: although children aged 6 months and up (12 months on Transoceanic sailings) are permitted on the line, Holland America does not have programs for children under three. So if you’re looking for childcare/activities for the wee ones, this line is probably not your best bet. (If normal parenting duties on vacation are fine by you, then they’re still a great vacation option- HAL does offer baby food, high chairs and booster seats- just request them in advance of boarding.)
Let’s take a look at all this line offers!
For children aged 3-7, Club HAL® offers activities like pirate treasure hunts, hands-on pizza making, storytelling, “Little Artists” crafts, ice cream sundae parties and a farewell pajama party.
Teens and tweens ages 8-12 have even more options and can participated in Xbox and Wii tournaments, relay races, scavenger hunts, and karaoke disco parties. At this age, they can also become involved with the award-winning National Park Service Jr. Ranger Program in Alaska on Alaska cruises.
Club HAL also offer activities for children aged 3-12 between 8:00am and 4:00pm on port days.
Teens ages 13-17 can enjoy more mature pursuits like mocktail mixology classes, late night sporting competitions, cooking demos, and teen yoga. There are also hip hop classes, guys verses girls scavenger hunts, tech classes and teen only night club events. They also have dedicated teen spaces with The Loft and The Oasis.
When there are more than 100 children on board, a HAL Talent Show is offered. (The Loft and Oasis are not available on the Prinsendam. The Oasis is located on the Statendam, Ryndam, Veendam, Rotterdam, Zaandam, Volendam and Amsterdam.)
In addition, the line offers kid-friendly food, with menu items that include sandwiches, tacos, hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza. HAL also offers kid-friendly birthday parties with advance notice.
Babysitting services are available for a small surcharge for children 3 years of age or older, but is provided by staff on a volunteer basis, and may not always be available. Babysitting service is not offered while the ship is in port.
Club HAL® After Hours is available on all ships (except the ms Prinsendam) from 10:00pm – 12:00am for children 3 years of age or older. The fee is US$5.00 per child, per hour.