Holland America Line Announces $200 Million in Enhancements to Five Ships as Part of Ongoing Signature of Excellence

    Commitment now exceeds $525 million

    SEATTLE, Sept. 4 /CNW/-- As part of its ongoing Signature of Excellence,
Holland America Line is doubling the amount to be spent in upgrades,
enhancements and new features on five of the line's most popular ships.  Over
the next two years, the ms Statendam, ms Ryndam, ms Maasdam, ms Veendam and ms
Rotterdam will undergo extensive dry docks to create new venues, new
staterooms, new decor and more.  The 18-month, $200 million program will begin
when Veendam enters an extended dock in spring 2009, and the last ship is
slated for completion in late 2010.
    The investment in this new series of enhancements will include a new
resort pool concept, innovative lanai staterooms, new entertainment and
enrichment options, all new stateroom decor and more.  Holland America Line's
commitment to enhancing its premium fleet now exceeds $525 million.
    Signature of Excellence features and amenities are evident in every
aspect of the Holland America Line cruise experience, offering guests more
luxurious accommodations, more enticing destinations, enhanced dining
experiences, more creative activities and even higher levels of service.
    Previously, during the first phase of Signature of Excellence, these five
ships were enhanced with the Explorations Cafe, Culinary Arts Center, expanded
Club HAL youth facilities and more. This next installment reinforces Holland
America Line's commitment to its popular mid-sized ships.  The enhancements
will add more verandah staterooms, introduce a new category of stateroom,
expand the Lido Deck's pool feature with The Retreat, create a showroom at sea
and upgrade staterooms, bathrooms and fixtures.
    "Holland America Line has long been the leader in the premium cruise
segment," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president of sales,
marketing and guest services. "This significant and continued investment
reaffirms our commitment to our fleet of mid-sized ships and our ongoing
leadership in the premium category by continually raising the bar in terms of
products and services.
    "In an era where cruise lines are building ships to carry more than 5,000
passengers, Holland America Line remains focused on mid-sized vessels," said
Meadows. "These enhancements will blend the latest innovations for premium
travel into our ships, creating a deluxe experience that is unparalleled."
    The most dramatic alteration will be to the aft portion of the ships,
allowing for a new resort-style pool area on Lido deck called The Retreat with
a shallow area where guests may lounge in chairs and dip their fingers and
toes in the water or relax on the bench and dangle their legs in the
refreshing water. A new pool bar and an upscale pizzeria called Slice will be
installed, as well as a canopy and wind screens to provide additional covered
seating for the Lido Restaurant.
    All staterooms will receive new decor, carpeting and soft goods.  Each
ship also will have an additional 44 to 46 staterooms, 32 with verandahs and
the remaining will be inside staterooms. On the four S-class ships, twelve
staterooms near the spa (on Deck 9) also will have verandahs added, and along
with three inside staterooms, become 'spa staterooms' featuring a variety of
enhanced spa amenities.  On the Rotterdam, 23 staterooms on Verandah deck will
become spa staterooms. On the five ships, forty-six new lanai staterooms will
be created by replacing existing windows of 42 staterooms (on Lower Promenade
Deck 6) with lanai doors that open directly onto the walk-around promenade,
and adding four additional staterooms.
    The program also involves enhancements to several of the public rooms. A
Merabella luxury jewelry shop will be added. The Casino and Piano bars will be
reconfigured into a multi-themed area called Mix with three separate
bars-Martinis, Champagne and Spirits & Ales. Next door, the high-energy casino
will be redesigned highlighting the always trendy table and slot games.   The
main show space will be transformed into the Showroom at Sea with the ambiance
of a glamorous nightclub. The ever-popular Ocean Bar will be refurbished and
carpets will be replaced in most public areas. The new Sky Room on Sports Deck
will feature the latest in multi-generational video games and high-tech
    Entertainment and enrichment, or "edutainment," is taking on a new,
contemporary look and feel across the fleet.  A new Explorations Team employs
cruise staff, each specializing in a particular area, to educate and entertain
guests with an expanded menu of activities including flower arranging,
hands-on cooking, dancing and working with digital photos, blogs and movies.
Each team consists of a party planner, a travel guide, dance directors and a
"techspert." On longer cruises, a book club leader joins the team to lead
lively group discussions.
    Renowned for service levels provided by its award-winning staff, the
program will also include significant crew area enhancements including a new
fitness facility, internet centers, staterooms and recreational areas.
    The industry-leading Signature of Excellence initiative announced nearly
five years ago in November 2003 has evolved into an ongoing and comprehensive
review of every aspect of the Holland America Line experience.   Signature of
Excellence is Holland America Line's brand promise and continues to bring
innovation and relevance to guests.

    Signature of Excellence: By the Numbers
    Statistics on Signature of Excellence to date include:

    -- More than 2,000 people (including Holland America Line staff, shipyard
       workers, contractors and ship personnel) have tested and retested
       hundreds of items to ensure quality, coordinated delivery schedules and
       complex installations.
    -- 10 million hours worked in dry-dock.
    -- 1.2 million pounds of steel installed on the ships.
    -- 695,743 luxury items added to staterooms, from Mariner's Dream beds and
       bathrobes to make-up mirrors and new blow dryers.
    -- 49,372 pieces of electronic equipment, from televisions to CD players,
       DVD players to computers, installed on the 13 ships.
    -- 27,000 book titles added to Explorations Cafes. At one book a week, it
       would take more than 500 years to read them all.
    -- If you stacked all the new Euro-Top plush mattresses, they would reach
       21,089 feet high -- almost 770 feet higher than the summit of Alaska's
       Mt. McKinley.
    -- 254 nautical miles of electrical cable installed on the ships -- enough
       to reach from Ft. Lauderdale to just off shore of Half Moon Cay,
       Holland America Line's private Caribbean island.
    -- 170 new ways to explore destinations on the Medallion, Signature, World
       Wonder and Encore Collection shore excursions.
    -- 60 nationalities represented by people working in the shipyards -- a
       virtual United Nations.
    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 -
    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 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, +1-206-281-3535, Fax, +1-206-262-5934, pr@hollandamerica.com

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890