Ms Zaandam, Holland America Line

It’s a toss-up – a tango lesson, a how to mix the best martini class, a hot stone massage or happy hour in the Crow’s Nest? These are just some of the evening choices on Ms Zaandam that’s part of the Holland America Line stable. Considered a mid-size ship that accommodates 1,432 guests and 604 crew, it doesn’t take long to find your way around this hotel at sea on a two-week South America Discovery Explorer cruise from Buenos Aires in Argentina to Valparaiso in Chile.

Highlight ports include the Falkland Islands, Ushuaia, and Puerto Montt as well as scenic cruising around windy Cape Horn and the photogenic Chilean Fjords. The ship features eclectic décor with a gigantic organ with mechanical figures in the atrium, classical Dutch artwork and a collection of rock and roll memorabilia including a guitar signed by the Rolling Stones.

Dining is an adventure at Canaletto where Italian fare stars, the elegant Pinnacle Grill and a special Evening at La Cirque where Sirio Maccioni’s New York menu is replicated. Whether you dine on a signature hamburger at Dive In or cooked to order selections at the Lido Market, casual dining also measures up. Service is impressive throughout but it’s that scenery that wows all.

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