Holland America Line Launches Explorations Team



    SEATTLE, Oct. 2 /CNW/ -- With today's traveler looking for more enriching
experiences and activities, Holland America Line has broadened its onboard
programming with the new Explorations Team.  As part of the premium line's
ongoing Signature of Excellence initiative, the Explorations Team will be
comprised of event staff with specific, niche expertise ranging from
technology to travel who will offer guests a menu of "edutainment" programs.
    The Holland America Line Explorations Team will be a cohesive team
dedicated to enhancing the overall cruise experience and includes an onboard
party planner, a travel guide, a "techspert" and dance directors. On cruises
lasting 12 days or more, a book club leader will also join the team.
    "People learn through experience and our guests are looking for programs,
events and activities they can personally connect with," said Richard D.
Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs.
"Our goal is not only to entertain guests but to offer them the opportunity to
learn a new skill or discover something about a new port or country; the
choice is theirs, and the Explorations Team is in place to facilitate that
choice."
    The onboard party planner will schedule, implement and host events in the
Culinary Arts Center, significantly expanding the innovative program which
already brings more than 70 culinary experts on board each year for cooking
demonstrations and seminars. The line has invested more than $14 million in
the professional show kitchens found on each ship and will use the space for
more activities such as wine tasting, craft classes, floral arranging, and
table and lifestyle presentations such as creating the line's beloved towel
animals.
    The travel guide will host lectures and be a one-stop source for
information on the various ports of call. A destination expert, the travel
guide will be available throughout the cruise to interact with guests on a
one-on-one basis, answer questions, and give presentations on the
destination's history, culture and geography. On Grand Voyages and on ms
Prinsendam, rotating guest speakers fill the role of travel guide.
    The "techspert" will be on hand to teach guests how to take advantage of
technology, whether helping guests make the most of their vacation photos,
arranging a digital scrapbook, blogging, creating a slideshow or editing a
movie. Classes and personal workshops will be available throughout the cruise.
Novices can learn about Web 2.0 and how to work with digital photos. Those
with more experience will enjoy the opportunity to learn new shortcuts and
techniques.
    Dance directors show guests how to dance the night away. Classes are
available throughout each cruise. Whether teaching line dancing in the Crow's
Nest or ballroom dancing in the Ocean Bar, the dance instructors will ensure
guests of all experience levels enjoy themselves while learning new steps.
After class, guests will find dance events on the ship's activity schedule
where they may show off their new moves.
    On cruises lasting 12 or more days, a book club leader will host lively
book discussions in the Explorations Cafe powered by the New York Times. Book
titles will be posted online before the cruise so guests interested in joining
the discussion will have time to read the chosen book. The book club leader
will plan and facilitate two to three discussions for each book. Books chosen
will relate to the sailing destination whether by author or topic. For
example, on an Australian itinerary the book may be "In a Sunburned Country"
by Bill Bryson or in Asia, "Saving Fish from Drowning: A Novel by Amy Tan."
    With the addition of this new team of experts, Holland America Line
guests now will have even more memories to take home from their cruise plus
the personal experiences that have enriched their lives to share with family
and friends. The Holland America Line Explorations Team will be implemented
fleet-wide.
    This $200-million phase in the Signature of Excellence commitment brings
the latest innovations at sea to Holland America Line's ms Statendam, ms
Maasdam, ms Ryndam, ms Veendam and ms Rotterdam. The first of the extensive
dry-dock periods begins with the Veendam in spring 2009 and the last will be
completed on the Maasdam in late 2010. While in dry-dock, ships will expand
the aft deck to create a new resort pool concept, The Retreat, and create a
new bar concept called Mix that features separate areas -- Martinis, Champagne
and Spirits & Ales. Enhancements will be made to all existing staterooms and
additional staterooms will be added to the ships. The ships will also
introduce 46 innovative lanai staterooms with direct access to the Lower
Promenade Deck. New spa staterooms near the Greenhouse Spa and Salon will
offer special in-room spa amenities. Overall Holland America Line has
committed $525 million to its Signature of Excellence program that redefines
premium cruising.
    For a cruise brochure or for more information, consult a professional
travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit
http://www.hollandamerica.com.


    
                      - http://www.hollandamerica.com -
    
    About Holland America Line [a division of Carnival Corporation and plc
(NYSE:   CCL and CUK)]
    Holland America Line's fleet of 14 ships offers nearly 500 cruises to 314
ports in more than 100 countries, territories or dependencies.  Two- to 108-
day itineraries visit all seven continents, and highlights include Antarctica,
South America, Australia/New Zealand and Asia voyages; a Grand World Voyage;
and popular sailings to ports in the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, Canada/New
England, Europe and Panama Canal.  A 15th ship, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, is
scheduled to join the fleet in 2010.
    Fleetwide, the company features Signature of Excellence enhancements, a
commitment totaling more than $525 million, that showcase the Culinary Arts
Center presented by Food & Wine magazine - a state-of-the-art onboard show
kitchen where more than 60 celebrated guest chefs and culinary experts provide
cooking demonstrations and classes - Explorations CafC) powered by The New
York Times, teens-only activity areas and all new stateroom amenities
highlighted by flat-panel TVs and plush Euro-top Mariner's Dream Beds.
    
    World's Leading Cruise Lines
    
    The highest-rated premium cruise line in the world, Holland America Line
is a member of the exclusive World's Leading Cruise Lines alliance, which also
includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Seabourn Cruise
Line and Costa Cruises.  Sharing a passion to please each guest and a
commitment to quality and value, these lines appeal to a wide range of
lifestyles and budgets.  The World's Leading Cruise Lines offer exciting and
enriching cruise vacations to the world's most desirable destinations.

    
     CONTACT:  Rose Abello
     PHONE:    800-637-5029, 206-281-3535
     FAX:      206-262-5934
     EMAIL:    pr@hollandamerica.com

    




For further information:

For further information: Rose Abello of Holland America Line,
1-800-637-5029, or +1-206-281-3535, fax, +1-206-262-5934,
pr@hollandamerica.com


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