|Zuiderdam at the dock in Skagway|
The balcony of the Penthouse suite on Holland America Line's Zuiderdam is not just a balcony - it is your own private outdoor dining room, living room, nature-watching observation deck and pool deck (well, jacuzzi deck) all-in-one. We had the good fortune of sailing Alaska's Inside Passage in the Zuiderdam Penthouse Verandah Suite #7046 last week, and the balcony served as all of these things for us, as well as being a comfortable gathering place for our family reunion cruise.
|Champagne toast sail-away from Vancouver!|
This suite is one of two penthouses on the Zuiderdam, and is located on the port side. For our cruise to Alaska, this turned out to be the perfect choice, as it seemed that the port side spent more time turned towards the main sights, such as the Margerie Glacier in Glacier Bay, than starboard. Other members of our group had starboard cabins, so we could easily switch sides to follow interesting views - however, we still seemed to spend most of our time on the portside penthouse balcony.
Of course, this may have something to do with its enormous space, comfortable furnishings and convenient layout. According to Holland America Line's website, the penthouse suite on the Zuiderdam measures 1, 150 sq. ft., including the balcony. We didn't measure the suite nor the balcony, but a consensus group guess put the area of the verandah about one-third of the total size, or approximately 400 sq. ft. Our party of ten could easily stand outside and not feel crowded. In fact, there was probably space for at least ten more.
|Left side: dining area with cozy built-in bench and lounge chairs|
|Right side: medium-sized jacuzzi tub and more lounge chairs|
Our group used the dining area on the balcony mostly for afternoon snack time. On the first day at sea, while cruising the inside passage, we had high tea delivered to the cabin and enjoyed our treats while looking for wildlife in the water and on shore.
|Tea time in the Inside Passage|
|A hungry visitor|
To cap off an amazing week, we had spectacularly beautiful weather in Glacier Bay, and could sit outside comfortably with just light jackets and sunglasses most of the day. At least one member of the group wasn't too impressed with the glaciers, however - he only had eyes for the jacuzzi tub!
|Swimming at the Margerie Glacier|
Cruising Alaska's Inside Passage on HAL's Zuiderdam
A Photo Tour of Zuiderdam's Penthouse Suite #7046
Shore Excursion: Gold Panning in Juneau
Shore Excursion: Supper at the Gold Creek Salmon Bake in Juneau
Shore Excursion: White Pass Railroad in Skagway
A Taste of Tracy Arm Fjord
Cruising Alaska's Glacier Bay