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Holland America Vegan Food: Vegan Dining on Nieuw Statendam Cruise

Vegan Guide to Nieuw Statendam

How to dine as a vegan on Holland America Line cruises. Worried about maintaining your vegan diet on a cruise ship? It’s easy to eat vegan food while cruising around the world. If you follow a vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free diet, or have any other kinds of food allergies or restrictions, you don’t need to worry about going hungry on a cruise ship.

I’ve sailed on multiple cruises on several cruise lines as a vegan and I’ve never gone hungry. While the two of us have sailed on exclusively vegan cruises, we’re happy to report that Holland America Line offers a great variety of veggie meals on their cruises.

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When Justin and I boarded Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam for the first time, I was curious about the vegan meals that we’d have the opportunity to eat. I’m happy to report that Holland America dining options are very adaptable to a veg lifestyle, and it’s one of the best cruises for vegans.

In this Holland America vegan dining guide, I’m going to show you exactly what we ate over our 7 day Norway cruise on Nieuw Statendam (which sailed to Oslo, Kristiansand, Stavanger, and Flam).

Holland America Vegan in the Main Dining Room

Main Dining Room on Nieuw Statendam, Holland America Line

In the main dining room, there is a separate vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free menu. On the first night, we ordered off this menu without any difficulty. We simply mentioned that we were vegan to our server, and he reappeared with this wonderful menu. I was delighted to discover that the menu is primarily vegan and all vegetarian. There are enough hot appetizers, cold appetizers, soups, salads, and main courses that you can eat something different each night. I took these photos of the Holland America vegan menu so you can take a look.

Holland America Vegan Menu
Holland America Vegan Menu
Holland America Vegan Menu

Vegan Appetizers

We were delighted to see that Holland America menus extended beyond the traditional one offered each night to a special vegan one. While Justin and I didn’t dine in the main dining room enough times to sample everything, we can highly recommend every dish that we tried. Under the cold appetizers, we ate the Quinoa & Cashew Nut Salad, the Vegetable Spring Roll, and the Asian Crispy Noodle Salad.

Holland America Dining Options - Vegan and vegetarian menu
Vegetarian and vegan on Holland America Nieuw Statendam cruise
HAL Nieuw Statendam - Vegan in the main dining room

Vegan Soups

We tried all of the three vegan / vegetarian soups at one point in time or another on the cruise. The soups on the menu are: Asian Noodle Soup (my personal fav!), Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, and Pasta Fagioli. We always ordered soup instead of salad for some reason (probably because it was a little chilly out some days), but the salads looked really yummy, too.

Soups on the vegan and vegetarian menu on Holland America Line cruises
HAL Cruises - Vegetarian and vegan soup on the veggie menu

Vegan Entrees

As for the entrees, Justin and I ordered the following dishes: Grilled Portabella Mushroom with Zucchini Spaghetti, Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry, Tempeh and Vegetable Kabob, and the Curried Cauliflower Steak.

Grilled Portabella Mushroom with Zucchini Spaghetti - Vegan menu on HAL Nieuw Statendam
Holland America Vegan Menu - Tofu stir fry
Holland America vegan menu - Tempeh and vegetable kabobs
Cauliflower curry dish - Holland America Vegan Menu

Be sure to take a peek at the regular main dining room menu, too. There are sometimes vegetarian dishes on it that also happen to be vegan. On one occasion, I ordered a Tofu Curry from the regular Holland America menu and it was super tasty.

Tofu Curry in the main dining room on HAL Nieuw Statendam

Vegan Desserts

For dessert in the main dining room, it will always be some form of sorbet or fruit. On one evening, the sorbet arrived in a little dish with a fancy wafer cookie in it. On another occasion, the sorbet came in a fancy dish with some berries in the middle. The plating and presentation of each meal was the best that I’d seen on any cruise ship.

Sorbet on Holland America Line Nieuw Statendam
Strawberry Sorbet - Holland America Vegan on a Cruise

Holland America Dining Options: Specialty Restaurants

Thinking about dining at one of the specialty restaurants on Nieuw Statendam? There are a few options for specialty dining on this HAL cruise:

  • Canaletto – Italian restaurant
  • Pinnacle Grill – Steakhouse
  • Tamarind – Asian restaurant
  • Nama Sushi – Japanese restaurant
  • Rudi’s Sel de Mer – French brasserie

We found that the best specialty restaurant for vegan food was Canaletto, the Italian restaurant. There were a few vegetarian dishes that they easily adapted into vegan dishes by removing some ingredients like milk and cheese. To start, we ordered an endive salad with avocado and various greens. For the entree, we ate a tomato risotto topped with grilled vegetables. And it wasn’t a surprise that we ordered another sorbet dish for dessert, but it was very refreshing and yummy.

Canaletto Italian Restaurant on Nieuw Statendam - Vegan meal
Vegan Holland America Line - Risotto at Canaletto
Sorbet at Canaletto specialty restaurant on Nieuw Statendam

Vegan Dining at the Lido Market

The Lido Market is a major upgrade to the buffet that you’ll see on most cruise ships. While there are a few grab-n-go items, most of the stations at the Lido Market prepare the food fresh before your eyes. By preparing the meals in small batches, you’ll receive the freshest food and made just the way you like it. I also love that this avoids cross contamination of ingredients and foods from other passengers. I’m sure it also cuts down on illnesses aboard the cruise ship, too!

Holland America Vegan at Lido Market

One of our favorite stations at the Lido Market was the salad station. There’s a large variety of various vegetables, toppings and dressings. Simply ask for the ingredients that you prefer, and a staff member will whip up a salad exactly to your liking in a huge salad bowl for you. Justin and I ate big salads every day for lunch, which were nutritious and delicious!

Salads at Lido Market on HAL Cruises

Another station that I visited daily at the Lido Market was the one serving Asian food. There was always some sort of rice or noodle stir fry with just vegetables in it. Passengers have the option of adding a protein, but I kept mine simply vegetarian without the meat. There were also veggie sushi rolls, too. If you don’t see any out on display, just ask for the vegetarian sushi. Sometimes the veggie rolls had tofu and a vegetable, and sometimes they only had vegetables inside them. In the evening, there’s an even better stir fry area where you can get a made-to-order stir fry dish. You can choose from a few different sauces, vegetables, noodles, and even add tofu.

Lido Market for Vegans on HAL Nieuw Statendam
Sushi on HAL Nieuw Statendam at the Lido Market
Lido Market tofu stir fry on HAL Nieuw Statendam - Holland America vegan

Of course, there’s always a place with potatoes or French fries, various kinds of bread, fresh fruit, and more. Sometimes the best Holland America vegan food was right there at the Lido Market for lunch and dinner. We only dined once at Lido Market for breakfast, opting to order room service breakfast each day (more on that below!). The only thing that wasn’t available on the room service menu were the hash brown potatoes that you could order at the Lido Market.

Vegan Pizza and Fast Food on Nieuw Statendam

There are a few Holland America vegan fast food options on Nieuw Statendam that we really enjoyed, including a pizzeria, a burger joint, and a gelato spot. These are all near the pool in the middle of the cruise ship.

Vegan Pizza at New York Pizza

First, New York Pizza became our second home on the cruise ship, I swear. We were constantly ordering freshly made pizzas just to our liking. To order a vegan pizza, ask for no cheese and then add as many veggies as you’d like. It’s easy to make your own pizza. You’ll get a little buzzer and the pizza will be ready in 5-10 minutes. In the morning, New York Pizza has an assortment of bagels. You can choose peanut butter or jam as a topping.

To order a vegan pizza, ask for no cheese and then add as many veggies as you’d like. It’s easy to make your own pizza. You’ll get a little buzzer and the pizza will be ready in 5-10 minutes. In the morning, New York Pizza has an assortment of bagels. You can choose peanut butter or jam as a topping.

New York Pizza - Holland America vegan
Holland America vegan pizza

Vegan Options at the Dive-In

Another dining option mid-ship right by the pool is the Dive-In. This is where you’ll find classic American food like burgers and fries. Again, everything is made to order. You’ll order your burger or hot dog at the front, take a buzzer, and receive your food soon. There’s always a veggie burger on the menu that changes every day. Holland America vegan burger options include a mushroom burger, a brown rice based burger, bean burgers, and more. Be sure to order a side of fries, too.

Holland America Line Nieuw Statendam Dive-In fast food
Dive In - Veggie burgers and fries - Holland America vegan

Vegan Gelato

Lastly, right beside the Dive In, there’s an authentic gelato place. Gelato does come at an extra cost, but it is only a small amount and it’s definitely worth it. There was only one vegan gelato option on the menu, which was a banana gelato. Oh my goodness, it was so yummy! I highly recommend that you order a scoop…or two…or three. For Holland America vegan dessert selections, it’s mostly sorbet and fruit, so it’s nice to have an option that tastes a little more like ice cream.

Gelato on Nieuw Statendam - HAL Cruises

Room Service Breakfast on Nieuw Statendam

Justin and I ordered room service for breakfast every day on the Nieuw Statendam. We often dined on our balcony or had breakfast in bed. Holland America vegan breakfast options for room service include: bagels with peanut butter or jam, toast, fresh fruit, veggie sausages, banana, orange juice, coffee and tea. It was a great way to start the day without having to leave the cabin. Having breakfast out on the balcony was one of our most memorable meals. There’s nothing better than dining with a view!

Room service breakfast on Nieuw Statendam - Holland America vegan
Room service breakfast - vegan and vegetarian - HAL Cruises
View from our balcony on Nieuw Statendam, Holland America Line

Coffee Shops on Nieuw Statendam

In addition to several bars and other venues with espresso machines, there are two main coffee shops on Nieuw Statendam: the Grand Dutch Cafe and the Exploration Central & Cafe at the Crow’s Nest. At the Grand Dutch Cafe, you can find hot beverages like an Americano, latte, or cappuccino.

There’s always soy milk for your coffee, too. The Grand Dutch Cafe is decorated and styled like a traditional Dutch cafe, as a nod to HAL’s Dutch heritage. There are some Dutch-themed snacks (unfortunately, these are not vegan) and you can also order beer here, too. For fans of the coffee on board, you can bring home your own bag of roasted coffee beans!

Grand Dutch Cafe on Nieuw Statendam
Rotterdam 1873 coffee on Holland America Line cruises
Grand Dutch Cafe - Holland America vegan guide

At the cafe up at the Crow’s Nest, you’ll find some iced beverages in addition to the hot ones. I loved ordering iced soy lattes, which is a great Holland America vegan coffee option on board. There are some wonderful views with a large seating area from the Crow’s Nest. It’s a very relaxing and quiet environment to spend on board, from morning to evening.

Cafe at the Crow's Nest - HAL Nieuw Statendam
Explorations Cafe on Nieuw Statendam at the Crow's Nest

As you can see, Holland America vegan options are plentiful and you won’t have any problem finding delicious plant-based meals. There are so many vegan and vegetarian meals on the cruise ship everywhere you go. You’ll find Holland America food that’s vegan in the main dining room, the Lido Market, fast food options and coffee bars.

We were very impressed with the quality of each meal as everything tasted very delicious. If you’re searching for vegan friendly cruise lines, don’t hesitate to book your holiday with Holland America Line. It’s one of the best cruises for vegans, hands down.

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More Vegan Cruise Blog Posts

As someone who has travelled on many cruises as a vegan, I never go hungry. Here are some more travel blog posts about finding vegan eats on a cruise ship:

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Wednesday 28th of September 2022

Food ON the ship sounds like it won't be a problem at all. I'm 67 and almost fully vegan -- vegetarian with limited tolerance for daily proteins, so I can be a little flexible for a number of years. However, at my age, protein is an issue. Males 60+ do not fully digest and absorb protein very efficiently; it's recommended that I try to eat 110-120 grams of protein a day, which seems crazy, but I do try to make sure I get plenty of protein throughout my day. What do vegans do during the days ashore? Just bring along their own protein bars and such? Can I expect to find vegan food near the major cruise ports in popular ports like Aruba? Does the ship let you take food off of the ship to eat later in the day? What do more experienced people do?


Thursday 29th of September 2022

Hi Stephen! Most people end up dining exclusively on board because everything is included, but it's really dependent on the cruise port. When we were in Norway, we found a restaurant that had lots of vegan burgers that we wanted to try. That was fantastic! You'd have to do some independent research for the ports you're visiting to see if there are any nearby vegan-friendly spots. Hope that's helpful!


Tuesday 10th of May 2022

Thanks for this interesting "update": we have been on HAL twice, in 2013 and 2017, and on both occasions, the vegan experience was already excellent. Good to hear they have improved a couple of items, like vegan burgers or the pizza. But about your question about the favourite cruise line when it comes to food: this must be Hapag Lloyd Cruises from Germany (we are German ourselves). To be fair, it is another price level, but what we have experienced with them - especially on the "Europa 2" - was sometimes beyond belief: for breakfast, they had adapted all the freshly baked bread on bord to make it vegan; they had ordered some vegan spreads in advance for us (like vegan cottage cheese), or prepared them freshly for us (like lentil spreads). They were also able to make scrambled tofu, and always had an ayurvedic dish which was also always vegan. For lunch, we got a speparate vegan menu with always a couple of choices. In the afternoon, the served freshly baked waffles - we were asked by the head waitress on the second day during lunch why we hadn't been there the day before - I said: "Well, we are vegans", and she answered almost indignantly: "why, do you think we haven't thought of this? We have prepared a vegan version for you!", and they were fantastic, served whith icing sugar and hot cherries. For dinner in the main restaurant, we also got a separate menu with always several choices (which were never repeated during our 8-day-cruise!); but they also have some speciality restaurants like an Italian, a French and an Asian restaurant (all includes in the price, but you have to book them in advance). In all these speciality restaurants, they had also prepared separate vegan menus for us whith different choices, and the food was always outstanding. The confectioner on bord had specially prepared a couple of different vegan pralines for us, which we always got whith our coffes after dinner. But there was one thing that topped all this: on the last evening of every Hapag Llody cruise, it is a tradition that all passengers can have real caviar. And to our massive surprise, they had even thought of that, and we got some vegan caviar (made of algae; a product that costs only a couple of Euros, but it was more the fact that they had even thought of this detail that made this so special). So, all in all, this may well be the best choice for vegans - with some money to spend, because a cruise on the Europa 2 will set you back at least about 550 Euros per day - unfortunately per person. But we thought it was worth every cent. One thing you have to do is to inform them of your wishes when booking, and again a couple of weeks before the cruise, just to make sure this information has arrived on the ship. But then, they do really everything possible for you to have a fantastic vegan cruise! But HAL is our first choice for cruises if we do not want to spend a fortune for a cruise (we can also only afford Hapag Lloyd every couple of years, to be honest).


Thursday 12th of May 2022

Thank you so much for letting me know! I haven't heard of Hapag Lloyd Cruises but I am going to look into them now. That sounds incredible!!!


Wednesday 23rd of February 2022

Considering a Holland America cruise. This was super helpful and makes me want to go!!! Thank you!!


Wednesday 23rd of February 2022

Thank you, Christina! I'm glad you found it helpful :)


Sunday 14th of March 2021

omg thank you so much for the veg-menu pics <3


Monday 15th of March 2021

You're welcome!! :)


Monday 9th of November 2020

This is such an amazing post! I'm thinking about taking this same cruise (Nieuw Statendam) but the one that departs from Amsterdam and goes back to Rotterdam (12-day cruise). I did travel with this same cruise line on 2018 with a friend, we did a Mediterranean cruise around Greece, it was gorgeous. And I found a lot of vegan food, specially down at the Lido Market. I was a bit sad about the lack of desserts though (so many non-vegan desserts everywhere!). But what I loved was that New York Deli & Pizza had vegan cheese! So I didn't have to ask for a non-cheese pizza. I hope my husband and I will find this many options next year, if we're able to travel. We're both vegans and it would be very sad to be 12 days just eating fruit, salad or chips, lol. Thanks for all the tips! :)

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