Like all Holland America ships, the Veendam has a black hull topped with a white super-structure. The signature funnel features a drawing of the classic Nieuw Amsterdam launched in 1938 in the background and Dutch explorer Henry Hudson’s Half Moon sailing ship in the foreground.
The exterior decks of the Veendam include a wrap-around, covered promenade surrounding deck 6. This quarter-mile teak wood deck is perfect for strolling and is a busy place for those who like to walk for exercise.
Other features of the exterior decks include a swimming pool with a retractable roof on deck 11, which makes it useable in all sorts of weather. The Veendam also has hot tubs, two sports courts, and an adults-only outdoor area called The Retreat. The Veendam also has traditional padded wooden lounge chairs in the shade on deck 6 and many more contemporary (i.e. synthetic materials) ones on the three top decks.
The outside deck areas look much like those on the Maasdam, the sister ship of the Veendam. The links below provide a detailed tour of the outdoor decks of the Holland America Veendam cruise ship.
Holland America Veendam Promenade Deck
The teak wood promenade that surrounds deck 6 was a guest favorite on the Veendam. The weather was sunny on our Panama Canal cruise, but there was usually a breeze, so many who like to sit in the shade loved the deck chairs on this Lower Promenade deck.
I like to walk for exercise, so having a wide, covered quarter-mile track to walk on was a great feature. The Lanai staterooms open directly onto the Lower Promenade deck, and two chairs next to each door are reserved for the stateroom occupants.
Many of the newer cruise ships do not include a promenade deck. I'm glad that Holland America still features a walk-around deck on their ships.
Holland America Veendam Swimming Pool
Lido Deck 11 has a swimming pool with a retractable roof, making the pool usable in all types (and temperatures) of weather. In addition to Panama Canal cruises, the Veendam sails transatlantic itineraries like the "Voyage of the Vikings" that sometimes include cold or rainy weather. The Captain can close the roof over the pool and people can still swim, enjoy a drink at the Lido Bar, or have a snack at the Terrace Grill.
The Veendam does not have any water slides or aqua park rides like some of the larger cruise ships that attract more children. I didn't speak with anyone on the cruise ship (mostly filled with adults) who missed having an aqua park.
Holland America Veendam Sports Deck 12
The above photo shows the teak walking track on deck 12 of the Veendam that overlooks the swimming pool. In addition to this track, the Sports Deck has two sports courts--an outdoor basketball court and a paddle ball/tennis court.
The Retreat on the Holland America Veendam
Located aft of the Veendam Lido Restaurant on deck 11, The Retreat is an adults-only out door area that includes deck chairs, a small pool, and hot tubs. The area also features The Bar at the Retreat. In addition, Slice Pizza and the Lido buffet are nearby, so it's easy to find something to snack on to go along with a cold drink.
Holland America Veendam Pool at The Retreat
This small pool and the hot tubs are a nice place to relax at The Retreat on the Veendam. The adult area also has a video screen.
The Bar at the Retreat on the Holland America Veendam
The Bar at the Retreat is one of two outdoor bars on the Veendam. The other one is the Lido Bar, which is just forward of the Lido Buffet Restaurant, while The Retreat is aft of the buffet on the same deck.
Holland America Veendam Deck Chairs
Like all cruise ships, the Veendam has plenty of deck chairs available on all the outdoor decks. Those wanting to sit in the shade (or out of the rain) might check out the wooden lounges on the Lower Promenade Deck 6.