Carnival Australia vs Holland America Line

Compare and contrast Carnival Australia and Holland America cruise lines.

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You can part with a lot of money when you book a cruise, so how do you make sure you’re booking with the line that’s best for you?

This easy-to-read guide shows you how Carnival Australia and Holland America Line size up against each other, so your budget is well spent.

Carnival vs Holland America Line

FeatureCarnival AustraliaHolland AmericaVerdict
Where does it sail to?
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Pacific Islands
  • Honlulu
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Caribbean
  • Europe
  • New Zealand
  • South America
  • USA
Holland America Line visits more destinations.
Does it have Wi-Fi?Yes, for a fee.Yes, for a fee.Both offer Wi-Fi at a cost.
Does it provide towels?Yes.Yes.Both provide towels.
Contact options
  • E-mail
  • Phone
  • E-mail
  • Phone
The contact options are the same.
Is it all-inclusive?NoNo.Neither is all inclusive.
How much is the deposit?Deposits vary by duration and deal, but generally the following applies:
  • $150 for 1-6 day sailings
  • $250 for 7-16 day sailings
  • $400 for 17+ day sailings

Full payment is required 75 days before to departure.

Deposits vary based on your cruise.

They range from $350 to $2,900 per person.

Holland America Line’s deposits are higher.
Does it have a gym?Yes.Yes.Both have gyms.
Does it have hairdryers, laundry and irons?Yes. Laundry and irons incur a fee.Hairdryers - yes. Laundrette use comes at a charge and is only available on ms Amsterdam, ms Maasdam, ms Prinsendam ,ms Veendam and ms Zaandam.Carnival offers more laundry facilities.
Does it include food?Yes.Yes.Both offer food.
Does it have casinos?Yes.Yes.Both have casinos.
Does it have an ATM?Yes.No.Holland America Line does not provide ATMs.
Does it have formal nights?Yes.Gala nights - dressy without the need for black tie.Both offer formal nights.
How much are drinks?$5 to $8 for a beer and $6 to $12 for a glass of wine.US$6-$7 for a beer, US$9-$11 for a glass of wine.Drink prices are similar.
Is it good for families?Yes.Yes. Kids' clubs on all ships except for ms Prinsendam.Both are family friendly.
Does it have child care?Carnival’s kids clubs are not classed as day care. It does offer evening babysitting to children aged 6 months to 11 years.Babysitting is available. Fees apply.Both offer forms of child care.
Does it have virtual balconies?No.No.Neither offer virtual balconies.
Does it have a waterslide?Yes.No.Holland America does not provide waterslides.
Does it have a promenade?Yes.Yes.Both offer promenades.
Does it have free room service?24-hour room service will need to be paid for.Yes.Holland America Line’s room service is free.
What are my payment options?
  • American Express
  • Carnival EasyPay
  • Carnival Gift Card
  • Cashier’s Cheque
  • Discover Card
  • Diner’s club
  • Mastercard
  • PayPal
  • Visa
  • Visa Debit
  • Western Union Quick Collect
  • American Express
  • Discover Card
  • Mastercard
  • Visa
Carnival accepts more payment methods.
Can I price match?No.No.Neither price match
Does it allow for cancellations/changes?Some fares come with cancellation penalties.Cancellation charges of 15% to 100% apply.Both have cancellation penalties.
How much are airport transfers to the departure port?Prices vary. But a 20-mile journey costs around $40.Prices vary. They start at around $20.Transfer prices are similar.
How much are gratuities?Tipping is not required.A daily charge of $13.50 is applied to onboard accounts for staterooms.Holland America Line’s gratuities are higher.
Has a ship ever sunk?No.No.No ship has ever sunk on either line.

Who offers the best price?

Prices for an 11-night Pacific Islands cruise, round trip from Sydney, stopping at five ports of call, start at $1,349 with Carnival Australia.

Prices for a 13-night Pacific Treasures cruise, round trip from Sydney starts from $2,939 with Holland America Line.

The verdict?

Prices rise astronomically with Holland America Line, though to be fair, its sailing does include two extra nights on board as well as two extra ports of call. It’s also renowned for being a more luxurious liner compared to Carnival Australia, which is more family friendly.

Is this cruise line good?

Cruise review website Cruise Critic rates Australia-centric ships Carnival Spirit and as 4 and 4.5/5. Reviews consistently praise the service and the friendliness of the staff.

Cruise Critic rates Holland America Line 4/5. Reviewers often mention the relaxed atmosphere on board and the high standard of musical entertainment.

What are the deals like?

Carnival Australia offers deals like late-booking discounts and weekly discounts on specific itineraries.

Holland America Line’s ever-changing deals include early-bird booking discounts that offer credit, pre-paid gratuities and onboard spending money. The line also offers destination specific deals.

The verdict?

Both cruise lines offer similar deals. It’s a tough call, so we think it all comes down to the right sail at the right price for you.

Top Carnival and Holland America deals


Up to 45% off Australia and New Zealand cruises

Available on select dates in 2022-2023 with Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line and more. Sample rate is for a 3-night cruise with Carnival Cruises.

3+ nights last-minute cruises from USD$180

Available on select travel dates with Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruises, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and more. Sample rate is for a 3-night Caribbean cruise with MSC. Destinations include Australia, Japan, Vietnam, Italy, Alaska and more. T&Cs apply.

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