September 11, 2016


Holland America Line’s ms Maasdam will be arriving in Australia for the first time in October this year, giving Australian cruisers the opportunity to experience not only a new ship to our waters but new exotic itineraries as well.

This 1,259 capacity vessel will be joining ms Noordam for sailings around Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific throughout 2016 and 2017.


Culinary Arts Centre

Holland America Line is famous for the magnificent artworks and antiques that decorate the interiors of their ships and in keeping with the Line’s tradition of ship themes, ms Maasdam is themed around treasures collected by the merchants of the Dutch East Indies. Reflecting this theme, some of the on board items include a golden gilt bronze figure of a Boddhisattva from China’s Qianlong period (1736-1795), a portrait of a nobleman and charts on the walls depicting maritime navigation of the time.

As always, cruisers will be delighted by the excellent enrichment, culinary and entertainment initiatives that Holland America has become so well known for, including the Culinary Arts Center, Pinnacle Grill, Canaletto Restaurant, Explorations Café and Rembrandt Show Lounge to name a few. The extensive Journeys Ashore™ program will also continue to inform and engage guests at each port throughout their cruise.

Departing Sydney on 16 December 2016 for a 17 day Christmas and New Year cruise, ms Maasdam will make her way to New Zealand via Eden, Melbourne, Burnie and Hobart, before visiting some of the land of the long white cloud’s most spectacular places, including Milford Sound, Akaroa and the Coromandel Peninsula.

For those looking for a slightly shorter cruise, the 13 day Australia and New Zealand sailing is sure to suit. Departing Auckland on 2 January 2017, ms Maasdam will make her way down the eastern coast of New Zealand with calls to Napier, Wellington and Akaroa before embarking on scenic cruising through the incredible Fiordland National Park. From here, she makes her way across the Tasman to Hobart, Melbourne and Burnie before sailing into Sydney Harbour.

hal_table-266Tony Archbold, Holland America Line’s Director of Sales, Australia and New Zealand said “We’re so pleased to be welcoming ms Maasdam to our region for the upcoming season. She’s a much loved ship, and one, in fact, that Holland America Line Mariners consistently name as one of their favourites in the fleet. It’s also great news that she’ll be back again later in 2017 for the 2017/18 season. With this is mind, we felt it only fitting that Maasdam be the first of our ships to sail the new Pacific Explorer itinerary. We know our guests are going to be delighted and excited by this culturally rich and spectacular sailing.”

In a brand new itinerary for Holland America Line, ms Maasdam will be departing Sydney on 22 November 2017 for the inaugural 31 day Pacific Explorer. This will be a highlight of ms Maasdam’s stay, with the itinerary taking guests on a journey to some of the region’s most beautiful destinations such as Tauranga, Nuku’alofa, Moorea and more. There will be no shortage of pristine landscapes, crystal clear waters and cultural experiences on the month long sailing and overnight stays in many ports will ensure cruisers have ample time to explore and experience them all.

Sandra Tiltman


September 11, 2016


Sydney’s Genesian Theatre in Kent Street is known for staging a selection of quality dramas, but this time they have surprised us with a musicial, the Sydney premiere of “Our House”.

dsc09890-1This Olivier Award winning musical, written by Tim Firth, one of Britain’s leading playwrights, is a moving story that presents two paths which the 16 year old hero, Joe, (well played by Matt Clark) can take when dealing with the same set of circumstances and the consequences of each of the choices that he makes.

Music and lyrics, which give the show a happy vibe, are by British supergroup Madness and feature popular well known hit songs such as the title ‘Our House’, ‘It Must Be Love’, ‘Wings of a Dove’ and ‘Baggy Trousers’, all sung very professionally by the cast, who manage to do some great dance moves as well.

Director Roger Gimblett brings all the action to life in this amateur theatre production along with Musical Director Timothy Carter and choreographer Debbie Smith who draw splendid performances from the cast.

“Our House” is currently playing at The Genesian Theatre until 8 October 2016 on Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm
with a Sunday matinée at 4.30pm. The performance runs for two and a quarter hours with an interval.

Sandra Tiltman     Photos: John Pond