By: Lynn Elmhirst
There’s sailing… and there’s sailing! And in this episode, we do both! I and and Ship2Shore.TV Special Guest, designer Karen Sealy are cruising the Caribbean aboard the Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam. My friend Karen’s a talented TV interior designer, but she is also maybe the best guest possible for this cruise: she hails from the Caribbean, and has sailed since she was a child. So Karen thrives in hot tropical sun, especially on the deck of a sailboat! This itinerary has Karen’s name all over it!
The Nieuw Amsterdam is a bit bigger than Karen’s usual sailboats! The latest, biggest ship in the line, with an elegance and sense of marine tradition. Even the crew evokes the Netherlands’ sailing history, mostly Dutch or from countries that traded with the Dutch for hundreds of years.
We tour the bridge with the captain, and learn what path he took to ultimately take command of sailing this massive ship.
We get a private cooking lesson in the ship’s 15-million dollar Culinary Arts Center, where all the passengers are entertained by culinary lessons, tastings, and pairings, and the Dutch/Asian connection means we learn to make – and get to eat! – the best Penang red curry we’ve ever had without a 14-hour flight to Asia! Ditto the sake-tini’s with the barman, a totally unexpected treat sailing in the Caribbean! And that’s the opinion of two very dedicated foodies/ cocktail girls!
In our port of call St. Maarten, we change gears for a completely different kind of sailing – Karen’s kind of sailing! >The 12-Metre Challenge is the Caribbean’s top excursion year after year, and no wonder: this is an experience you just can’t have anywhere else in the world.
Visitors – even landlubbers or sailing newbies like me! – have the opportunity to sail on one of a fleet of 3 genuine America’s Cup racing yachts for an actual race! And everyone is part of the crew, with a job to do that somehow makes us all look like pro’s! Our competitive juices flowing, it’s a real team spirit that gets us (watch the show to find out where we place!) to the rum punch toast at the finish line!
To find out more about this Holland America Line cruise, visit HollandAmerica.com