Midgardur by Center Hotels

Ahead of the Holland America Lines Islands of Iceland and Scotland cruise, I spent a couple of nights at the Midgardur by Center Hotels in downtown Reykjavik, located at the end of the city’s main shopping street.

Midgardur by Center Hotels spa

This is a lovely, modern and convenient property for exploring town, with a spa (indoor and outdoor hot tubs, sauna, and relax spaces) for winding down after a busy day of exploring Reykjavik or a day tour further afield.

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Once we’ve boarded the MS Nieuw Statendam, it’s time for lunch at the Lido Market, a visit to the muster station (pre-sailing safety requirement), and exploring this world-class ship.

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Holland America’s Navigator app lets you connect to the internet, book excursions, view deck plans, dining options/reservations and account statements. HAL’s premium wifi package connects four devices to high-speed Internet.

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This particular sailing has two sea days, with plenty of activities and opportunities to enjoy life aboard the MS Nieuw Statendam.

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The World Stage, BB King’s Blues Club, Rolling Stone Rock Room, and casino are just a few entertainment options on board.

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[The magic of visual artist/illusionist extraordinaire Rubén Vilagrand at the World Stage]

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Thermal Suite

I opted for the add-on Thermal Suite 7-day pass, which allows access to the infrared sauna, hydrothermal pool, and heated tile loungers with stunning floor-to-ceiling window views.

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There are also two steam rooms, one with a large round window looking out to sea. This simple, yet stunnng space promotes instant calm while releasing toxins.

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My verandah stateroom on the Sun Deck is located towards the front of the ship. The bathroom, closets and desk area all offer a decent amount of storage space for comfort.

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Several shelves and cubbies around the room offer space for smaller items. North American and USB power outlets at each side of the bed and at the desk keep your tech charged.

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The two beds (with pillow options) can be separated or pushed together. Lighting and airco/heating will only operate with the key card inserted into the slot by the door (with the balcony door closed).

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[World Stage, located on Decks 2 and 3]

Holland America’s housekeeping staff is warm, outgoing and service-oriented. Any requests are greeted with a smile and room cleaning is quick and efficient from day to day.

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[Dutch Grand Cafe]


There are many dining options available; several venues are included in the cruise fee, while other speciality dining spots are charged separately (Canaletto, Tamarind, Morimoto By Sea, Nami Sushi, Rudi’s Sel de Mer, Pinnacle Grill). There’s also a gelato bar, a Grand Dutch Cafe and several bars scattered around the ship.

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[Royal Dutch tea served in the Dining Room on sea days]

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[An indulgent Bossche bol at the Dutch Grand Cafe]

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[L to R: Dining Room Executive Chef Jundiel Marcelo, Fleet Executive Chef Sinu Pillai]

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[A wine tasting event underway in the Dining Room]

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[Chianti-braised beef short rib with seasonal vegetables served at Canaletto]

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[Canaletto’s chocolate hazelnut tart]

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[Rudi’s Sel de Mer is always a treat for artistically-presented seafood and desserts]

Morimoto By Sea Pop-Up (inside Tamarind) offers a beautifully curated menu of Asian appetizers, entrees and eye-catching desserts.

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[Morimoto’s Ishiyaki Buri Bop: Fresh Pacific Yellowtail, white rice cooked in a hot stone bowl]

The pop-up is offered on all Holland America Line ships, and as a regular venue on the Nieuw Amsterdam.

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[Morimoto By Sea Chef Subianto Prabiancana, Tamarind Restaurant Manager Carlos Mignone]

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[Explorations Central & Cafe/Crow’s Nest]

On Deck 12, the Crow’s Nest offers snacks and an assortment of drinks. The surrounding spaces include tables for board games and puzzles, and art studio, and plenty of room to unwind. You’ll also find the shore excursions team and The Retreat cabanas on this deck.

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[Pickle ball and jogging track with a view of Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands), Sun Deck]

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[The Retreat cabanas, by reservation]

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[I created an adorable ‘HALly the Whale’ during a couple of crochet workshops]

If you’re feeling crafty, head into the Art Studio on Deck 12 to enjoy origami, crocheting, knitting, and watercolour painting workshops, especially popular on sea days!

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And just like her sister ships, the MS Nieuw Statendam contains unique sculptures, paintings and photos to enjoy, many featuring eye-catching details.

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I was a media guest aboard the MS Nieuw Statendam for the purpose of exploring Holland America’s Islands of Iceland and Scotland sailing. Opinions, as always, remain our own.

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