In 2019, Vasco da Gama, formerly operating as Pacific Eden, returned to her old home in Europe, where she was commissioned as Statendam by Holland-America Line in 1993. In 2015, the ship was sold to P&O Cruises Australia and renamed Pacific Eden.
Since summer 2021, she will be operated as Vasco da Gama by nicko cruises for the German-speaking public. The 30-meter wide and 219-meter long ship has 9 passenger decks that can accommodate nearly 1,300 passengers. Of the total 630 cabins and suites ranging in size from 16 to 102 square meters, only 129 are inward-facing; all others are outside cabins, 150 of which have balconies.
Wellness is very important on the “Vasco da Gama”. The gym, located next to the spa, is open 24 hours and has plenty of equipment. This includes 11 spinning bikes, 5 steppers, 7 treadmills, 5 seated bikes, 14 weight machines, 2 rowing machines, and a large selection of free weights. In the spa, dry and steam saunas are included in the trip price. The jogging trail is located on the top deck.
With a volume of 55,000 gross tons, the Vasco da Gama offers a ratio of 1 to 43 per passenger and has two pool areas – one is prominently located at the stern of the ship with generous sunbathing areas. The other is amidships and features a movable roof, which only a vanishingly small number of ships in the cruise industry have. In addition, there is a noble wellness area with sauna and steam bath, a large fitness center and sports areas on the outer decks. The “Hollywood’s” show theater extends over two decks and offers first-class evening entertainment.
Real quality is usually evident in the restaurant offerings. Here, too, the Vasco da Gama plays in the upper league with three à la carte restaurants. The Asian-oriented “Eurasia” in particular impresses with its special attention to detail, such as authentic Japanese tables at floor level. But the “Pantry” buffet restaurant also stands out conceptually. It is more reminiscent of a food court, combining different styles at different stations: these include a Mexican, an Indian, an Asian and a garden bar with salads, as well as a candy store for desserts and a meat grill. This conceptual approach also extends to the numerous bars and culminates in “The Dome,” an all-around glass viewing lounge.
The shipping company recently equipped the diesel engines of the Vasco da Gama with a new fuel system. Currently, a distinction is made between heavy fuel oil, which is still used in almost all ships for refueling, and modern liquefied natural gas (LNG). Since ports have so far lagged behind in offering appropriate LNG refueling, some shipping companies use a largely pollutant-reduced variant called MGO (Marine Gas Oil). Nicko-Cruises is the fourth operator in the world to convert its propulsion system to this with a large investment. The ship also has a urea-water-based nitrogen oxide catalyst (SCR). In addition, a new wastewater system from German company MARTIN Systems GmbH has been installed on the ship, which reduces suspended solids to zero without the use of chemicals.