Alcohol Information for Holland America Cruises

Contributor: Sally Painter
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 unexpectedly leaving your favorite libations behind.

Policy for Bringing Alcohol on a Holland America Cruise

Holland America, a division of Carnival Corporation, has a strict alcohol policy that's well-known throughout the cruising community. As for bringing booze onboard its ships, Holland America strongly enforces its rules. Any violations are confiscated and returned at the time of final disembarkment.

Wine or Champagne Allowed for Carry-on Alcohol

You must be at least 21 years old to bring or consume alcohol onboard. Each person is allowed one bottle of wine or champagne with no corking fee. The bottle cannot be any larger than 750 ml. That's a little over 25 oz. The wine or champagne must be in carry-on luggage at the time of boarding. You may bring additional wine or champagne (size no more than 750 ml) in carry-on luggage, but you will be charged an $18 USD corking fee for each bottle. This fee is charged regardless if you plan to consume the alcohol in your room or in one of the ship's restaurants or bars.

  • Carrying on liquor at embarkation: Not allowed
  • 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

Bringing a Cooler on Board

You can bring a cooler on board as long as it is no larger than 12"x12"x12". You cannot use it for alcoholic beverages. Don't attempt to bring a larger cooler on board; you'll be instructed to take it to your car. If you didn't arrive via your own vehicle and have no place to store the cooler off the ship, then it will be confiscated and destroyed.

Exceptions to Cooler Size Rule

The only exceptions to the rule governing cooler size are for special needs. If you need a larger cooler to accommodate health-related items, such as medication, kosher foods, special diet foods, baby food or formula you will need to hand-carry them on board. Coolers can't be checked in as baggage.

Holland America Cruises Alcohol Information on Drinking Age

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.

Two wine glasses toasting

Tips for Consuming Alcohol on a Holland America Cruise

As you now realize, it isn't a good idea to sneak alcohol onboard Holland America ships. The cruise line x-rays all bags at embarkation. In addition, Holland America checks for alcohol in passengers' bags when 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 when they are returned to the passenger.

Purchasing Onboard Alcoholic Beverages

The best way to consume alcohol on a Holland America cruise is to do so legally. 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.

Reduced Price Beverage Packages

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 packages. Holland America Line does not offer an in-room dining beverage package. Guests who purchase a wine or beer package can enjoy their bottles in their stateroom. Signature and Elite Beverage Packages do not apply to items from the in-room minibar or from drinks purchased from the in-room dining menu. 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 prior to disembarkment.

  • Signature Beverage Package: $51.69 per person, per day, with advance purchase, or $57.44 when purchased onboard. Includes a variety of wine, beer, spirits, cocktails, sodas and coffee for drinks costing $9 or less.
  • Elite Beverage Package: $63.19 per person, per day. Premium spirits, cocktails, wines, beers, coffees, nonalcoholic beverages, bottled water, and sodas, up to a value of $15. Includes the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines on Koningsdam, which offer more than 100 flavors.
  • Quench Beverage Package: $20.64 per person, per day. Enjoy unlimited cocktails, juices, bottled water, Explorations Café Beverages, and sodas. This includes a souvenir cup that you can take home. Plus on the Koningsdam ship, you get a Freestyle Coca-Cola cup to enjoy 100+ refreshing Coca-Cola flavors. Package must be purchased for the duration of the voyage.

Popular Onboard Cocktails

One of the best options for consuming alcohol is to take advantage of the vast beverage menu 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. For example, Award Winning Master Mixologist Dale DeGroff aka King Cocktail wows passengers with his original cocktails that have quickly become a favorite among guests.

Dale DeGroff
Dale DeGroff
Blue Florida
Blue Florida
Cafe Maguey
Cafe Maguey
Whiskey Smash
Whiskey Smash

Join an Onboard Pub Crawl

One activity you may want to include during your Holland America cruise is the ship's "Pub Crawl". The crawl is available for $22 plus a surcharge of 15% per person. The Pub Crawl is offered on all ships usually once during a seven-day cruise. The bar staff leads cruisers on a tour of the ship's lounges.

Using Alcohol Information for Holland America Cruises

Once you understand the alcohol rules for Holland America Cruises, you can plan your cruise accordingly. There are many options on board the ship that ensure you can enjoy alcoholic beverages during your cruise.

Alcohol Information for Holland America Cruises