Even as its fleet has grown, Holland America has remained comfortable in its niche at the smaller end of the big ship market. The most recent addition to its fleet accommodates just over 2,600 passengers, which is unquestionably substantial, but the line has so far shied away from launching the kind of mega-resorts favoured by some of its competitors. Instead, its focus is on providing a comfortable and elegant cruise experience in attractively appointed surroundings, blending the best elements of traditional cruising with a number of more modern innovations.
You wouldn't describe Holland America as one of the ultra-premium lines, but it certainly occupies a place at the upper end of the market. Prices are competitive, but reflective of the high standards of luxury and service on offer.
Inevitably it tends to be the case that more traditional lines appeal to a primarily older demographic, and so it is with Holland America. Notwithstanding that, the quality and range of onboard facilities means that the line does cater surprisingly well to the needs of families, even if younger guests tend to be in a minority.
Holland America is a big line with a big history. Tracing its roots back to 1873, it has been carrying passengers around in style for well over 100 years and has a rich heritage upon which to draw. It hasn't been slow to embrace some more modern touches, but its overall approach is still a primarily traditional one.
Whilst many lines have gradually abandoned some of the more traditional elements of cruising, Holland America is still amongst the more old fashioned in terms of outlook and most guests still embrace relatively formal dress for dinner and other special occasions.