The beautiful décor of Nieuw Amsterdam.

Holland America just floated out it newest ship, the new Nieuw Amsterdam. As the sister ship to the beautiful Eurodam (2008), she is sure to be a beautiful ship. The process of floating out means the ship just moved past the construction stage of sitting on blocks inside a dry dock. The ship is now afloat - although still within the construction area.

This is the new Nieuw Amsterdam because Holland America, like many ocean liner companies started in the 1800s, has a tradition of giving new vessels namesake titles from previous ships no longer in service. This will be Holland America's fourth Nieuw Amsterdam.

Eurodam and the forthcoming Nieuw Amsterdam are the most comfortable, interesting and beautiful Holland America ships yet. They feature the finest décor, engaging onboard attractions; wonderful art collections and generous and comfortable staterooms.

Alternative dining venues include an Asian-fusion Restaurant, an Italian-themed trattoria and the signature Pinnacle Grill featuring the best of Pacific Northwest cuisine. Asian inspired dishes will include the favorite on our recent Eurodam cruise, the wasabi soy-crusted beef tenderloin steak. The Pinnacle Grill will offer wonderfully fresh king salmon, rack of lamb chops and filet mignon.

You can feed your mind in the Explorations Café, powered by the New York Times. This combination library, newsstand (yes, you can get newspapers at sea!) and coffee house will download a digital copy of the New York Times every day - even if thousands of miles out to sea, and print copies for the passengers to browse. The coffee café also offers puzzles and games, Internet connectivity, thousands of books and a library of DVDs you can check out and enjoy in your stateroom on the flat-panel televisions.

There is a Culinary Arts Center sponsored by Food and Wine Magazine where guests can attend cooking demonstrations by the world-class chefs onboard. If you want to improve your digital photography to create a digital scrapbook and slideshow, instructors onboard who actually work for Seattle-based Microsoft will offer computer classes featuring Windows 7.

Nighttime on Nieuw Amsterdam will bring great stage shows, a real movie theater with newly released films, a casino, and a fine string quartet to be enjoyed with an even finer cognac. There is even a discretely placed gentlemen's smoking room with freshly rolled cigars.

The average size of the non-verandah staterooms is 185 square feet (the lowest categories), and balcony cabins cover a generous 254 square feet. Every stateroom features Euro-top mattresses, bathrobes, 100% Egyptian cotton towels, massage showerheads, magnifying makeup mirrors and hair dryers, Elemis soaps and related products, fresh fruit, shoe shines, beverage and free room service and nightly turn-down service.

Nieuw Amsterdam will debut in Europe July of 2010. It will spend the rest of the summer season cruising the Mediterranean on various eastern and western Med itineraries from Istanbul to Barcelona before finally embarking on its transatlantic voyage in October. Upon landing in Ft Lauderdale in November it will offer alternating 7-day Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises.