Alcohol Information for Holland America Cruises

drinks on a cruise ship

Are you planning to bring alcohol on a Holland America cruise? If so, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the cruise line's alcohol policy, so you don't end up having to unexpectedly leave behind your favorite libations.

Policy for Bringing Alcohol on a Holland America Cruise

Holland America's strict alcohol policy is well-known throughout the cruise community. In regards to bringing booze onboard its ships, Holland America strongly enforces the following rules:

  • Carrying on liquor at embarkation: Not allowed
  • Carrying on wine or champagne: Allowed, with a corkage fee of $15
  • Carrying on liquor purchased in port: Allowed, but retained until last day of the cruise
  • Purchasing liquor in the ship's duty-free shop: Allowed, but retained until the last day of the cruise

Basically, the only types of alcohol you are allowed to bring from outside sources, and later consume on your Holland America cruise, are wine and champagne. However, you will be subject to a $15 corkage fee if you plan to consume your personal wine and champagne in one of the ship's restaurants or bars. In addition, if you plan to celebrate with your personal liquors in your cabin, you can take advantage of Holland America's reduced-price beverage package for in-stateroom consumption of alcoholic beverages. The package includes a Holland America staff member coming to your cabin and uncorking your favorite wines and champagnes for a nominal fee. Just remember the beverage package is not offered for alcohol purchased in the vessels' shops or at port. That liquor will be collected for safekeeping and delivered to your stateroom on the last day of the voyage.

Other Alcohol-Related Rules

Similar to other major cruise lines Holland America enforces a drinking age on all its ships. No one under the age of 21 is allowed to be served or consume liquor of any kind on any of the company's ships, regardless of the vessels' destinations. Likewise, Holland America strongly enforces another alcohol-related rule, which states adults are not allowed to purchase alcoholic beverages for underage passengers. Passengers caught violating the company's onboard alcohol policy are subject to penalties, including but not limited to disembarkation without compensation.

Tips for Consuming Alcohol on a Holland America Cruise

The best way to consume alcohol on a Holland America cruise is to do so legally. It's not a good idea to sneak alcohol onboard Holland America ships. The cruise line x-rays all bags prior to disembarking. In addition, Holland America checks for alcohol in passengers' bags as they return to the ship from various ports. If alcohol is found during these searches, the prohibited beverages are collected and kept until the last day of the cruise.

If you enjoy imbibing on cruise ships, your best option is to purchase available onboard alcoholic beverages. Holland America serves local draught beer on special occasions. For example, Alaska Amber will be served on certain nights during Alaska sailings. Likewise, German Rostock beer will be served during BierFest on Baltic cruises. Otherwise, passengers are able to purchase bottled Budweiser and Heineken beer on all cruises.

Finally, your last option is to take advantage of the vast beverage menu available onboard Holland America ships. The cruise line is well-known for having some of the best mixologists in the industry, who happily serve up the latest and greatest cocktails in the world, including watermelon mojitos, cosmopolitans and creamsicles. On Holland America's newest ship, Eurodam, passengers can sign up for the "Pub Crawl," whereby the bar staff leads cruisers on a tour of the ship's lounges. As of July 2010, the price for participation was $20, but that includes four drinks that would cost easily that much otherwise.

Alcohol Information for Holland America Cruises