Holland America Line's Signature of Excellence at Greatest Level Ever

    On-Going Commitment Continues to Deliver a Superior Premium Cruise
    Experience that Exceeds Guest Expectations

<p><span class="xn-location">SEATTLE</span>, <span class="xn-chron">March 18</span> /CNW/ -- As part of its on-going Signature of Excellence program, Holland <span class="xn-person">America Line</span> continues to add enhancements and new features to its fleet of ships, including dramatic new public areas and stateroom upgrades as well as expand their industry-leading enrichment program.  From <span class="xn-chron">May 2009</span> through <span class="xn-chron">April 2011</span>, 11 ships will have completed dry dock refurbishments adding several elements from the ongoing Signature of Excellence enhancements, extending the company's efforts to its most extensive level to date.</p>
<p>"Signature of Excellence raised the bar in the premium cruise category and highlights Holland America Line's outstanding brand attributes," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs.  "The enhancements have received several awards and generated rave reviews from our guests, travel seller partners and the industry alike.  We will continue to demonstrate our commitment to our fleet of mid-sized ships through our investment in this program, which engages our guests in innovative and enriching new ways."</p>
<p>The unprecedented Signature of Excellence enhancements launched in 2004 emphasize Holland America Line's dedication to all aspects of the guest experience, including spacious, elegant ships and accommodations; sophisticated five-star dining; gracious, award-winning service; extensive enrichment programs and activities; and compelling worldwide itineraries.</p>
<p>The cruise experience delivered by Holland <span class="xn-person">America Line</span> and the Signature of Excellence enhancements appeal to discerning cruisers who prefer mid-sized ships, personalized service and sophisticated ambiance throughout both public areas and staterooms.  To date, Holland <span class="xn-person">America Line</span> has invested more than <span class="xn-money">$525 million</span> into Signature of Excellence.</p>

    Latest Signature of Excellence Enhancements Arrive on Five Ships
<p>The investment in the latest series of enhancements will include new entertainment and enrichment options and all new stateroom decor aboard five ships: ms Veendam, ms <span class="xn-location">Rotterdam</span>, ms Ryndam, ms Statendam and ms Maasdam.  Veendam and <span class="xn-location">Rotterdam</span> also received a new resort pool concept and innovative new lanai staterooms.  Three ships' enhancements are already complete, while Statendam will receive upgrades in <span class="xn-chron">April 2010</span> and Maasdam in <span class="xn-chron">April 2011</span>.</p>

    Public area highlights of the latest phase feature:
    --  Mix, a new bar concept with three specialty lounges serving their
        namesakes: Martinis, Champagne and Spirits & Ales.
    --  Showroom at Sea, a glamorous nightclub with a new slate of
        featuring seasoned Broadway entertainers.
    --  A new resort pool feature called The Retreat, a shallow area where
        guests may lounge in chairs and dip their fingers and toes in the
        water. The Retreat also includes a new pool bar, upscale pizzeria
        Slice and a giant LED screen for evening movies.
    --  Canaletto, a complimentary Italian restaurant that was introduced
        aboard ms Eurodam, comes to life for dinner when a section of the Lido
        is transformed with glass partitions and an Italian ambiance.
    --  A redesigned, high-energy casino highlighting the latest table and
    --  Addition of a Merabella luxury jewelry boutique.

    New Stateroom Designs and Lanai and Spa Staterooms
<p>Under the latest series of enhancements, Holland <span class="xn-person">America Line</span> is introducing new soft goods, new carpeting, completely renovated bathrooms with new vanities and cabinetry, new Spa staterooms and, on Veendam and <span class="xn-location">Rotterdam</span>, the new Lanai stateroom category.</p>
<p>Lanai staterooms feature doors that open directly onto the walk-around promenade, while Spa staterooms located near the Greenhouse Spa offer exclusive amenities such as an organic cotton bathrobe and slippers, yoga mat, water fountain, special room service menus and treatments, and more.  In addition to the five ships mentioned earlier, Spa staterooms are currently on Eurodam and will be added to the forthcoming Nieuw <span class="xn-location">Amsterdam</span>.</p>
<p>Additionally, on all ships, staterooms feature the Mariner Dream Bed with premium plush Euro-top mattress and high-quality cotton bed linens, flat-screen TVs and bathroom enhancements ranging from deluxe bathrobes to lighted, magnifying make-up mirrors. All suites include comfortable bed duvets, fully-stocked mini-bars, VCR/DVD players with access to an extensive video/DVD library, personalized stationery and use of the exclusive concierge-staffed Neptune Lounge.</p>

    Explorations Team Delivers Robust Enrichment Programs
<p>To provide guests with new and unique experiences, Holland <span class="xn-person">America Line</span> offers the Explorations program, guided by staff with specific expertise ranging from technology to travel.  The team includes a Party Planner, LifeStylist, Travel Guide and "Techspert."  On cruises lasting 14 days or more, a book club leader also joins the team.</p>

    Among the Explorations activities are:
    --  The onboard Party Planner hosting Explore Food & Entertaining events
        the Culinary Arts Center, significantly expanding the innovative
        program which brings more than 70 culinary experts on board each year
        for cooking demonstrations and seminars.
    --  The Travel Guide, as the destination expert on board under the Explore
        Our World programming, delivering dynamic multimedia presentations
        about the ship's itinerary and be a one-stop source for port-of-call
    --  The "Techspert" offering Explore Technology classes and personal
        workshops where guests can learn how to blog, work with digital photos
        arrange a digital scrapbook, create a slideshow or edit a movie.
    --  The LifeStylist leading the Explore Wellbeing Program.  Developed in
        cooperation with the Greenhouse Spa, the program focuses on various
        forms of well being.
    --  Other activities by the Explorations Team range from dance lessons to
        wine tasting, floral arranging and craft classes.

    Extensive Activities for Guests to Discover, Learn and Daydream
<p>Aboard ship, Holland America Line's Signature of Excellence activities provide relaxing and inspiring options while allowing the freedom and time to make choices.  Among the latest innovations aboard the company's premium ships are the:</p>
    --  Digital Workshop Powered by Windows, which offers complimentary
        on how to manipulate photos and videos online to share with family and
    --  The Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine Magazine, features
        shipboard chefs and guest experts providing cooking demonstrations,
        specialty workshops and seminars for adults and kids. The Explorations
        Team Party Planner will host innovative new culinary events and
        programs ranging from regional dish preparation to barista training.
    --  Greenhouse Spa & Salon expansion with exclusive signature treatments
        and more treatment rooms, including couple's massage rooms, dry float
        suite with massage option and thermal suites with hydro-therapy pool,
        steam and aromatic room, heated ceramic lounges and in-suite showers. 
        Unique new offerings include Acupuncture and Tai Chi.
    --  Expanded Club HAL and teen programs.  Kids ages 3-7 participate in
        creative arts, watch big-screen television and enjoy a play area. 
        Older kids 8-12 have an area featuring arcade games, air hockey,
        foosball, Karaoke, Internet access and Sony PlayStations.  Teens 13-18
        can enjoy The Loft, a teens-only lounge, connecting to a teens-only
        deck called The Oasis.
    --  Explorations Cafe -- powered by The New York Times, where guests can
        sip coffee, browse one of the most extensive libraries at sea, enjoy
        diverse music at one of several listening stations or surf the
    --  An expanded Exploration Speakers Series, including topics that excite
        and enlighten guests, leaving them wanting to learn more.  Sessions
        range from culinary to mixology to entertaining for guests.
    --  A new complimentary Ship Flicks movie lending program with more than
        1,000 titles aboard each ship.  DVDs are delivered to your stateroom
        and guests can re-order when finished.

    Service Enhancements Add to Gracious Experience
<p>Already renowned for its service, Holland America Line's expanded Signature of Excellence onboard services and amenities include:</p>
    --  Early Embarkation that features boarding as early as 11:30 a.m. 
        are welcomed aboard with live music and invited directly to the Lido
        Restaurant for lunch or to explore the public areas until staterooms
        are ready - when white-gloved stewards show the way.
    --  Silent Debarkation with one announcement that debarkation has begun
        one upon completion.  Guests may relax in public areas or their
        staterooms until the time stated on their debarkation letter.

    A Special Focus on the Port Experience
<p>Holland <span class="xn-person">America Line</span> ships will call at a total of 354 ports in 98 countries or territories in 2010.  Nearly 500 shore excursions include exotic and exclusive destinations through The Collections of Holland <span class="xn-person">America Line</span>.  Collections series are the Signature, Medallion, Encore and World Wonders Collections, each with its own individual focus.</p>
<p>Exclusive shore excursions range from private tours of Caribbean estates to African safaris offering opportunities to photograph big game.  Unusual shore excursions include such adventures as the Flight from <span class="xn-location">Helsinki</span> across the Arctic Circle to the city of Rovaniemi, Lapland, and the Vallarta Adventures' Outdoor Challenge, which takes place in jungles of Mexico's <span class="xn-person">Sierra Madre</span>.  This active six-hour excursion begins with a panga boat ride and off-road adventure and includes instruction in wilderness techniques and mule rides, plus splashing through streams, rappelling through waterfalls and soaring 200 feet above the ground on a 1000-foot zip line.</p>
<p>Holland <span class="xn-person">America Line</span> continues to enhance Half <span class="xn-person">Moon Cay</span>, its award-winning private island in the Caribbean, to offer more activities while maintaining its exclusive appeal.  The island offers full bar service, a buffet-style restaurant, three Water Sports Centers, a children's playground and beach area with slides and water toys, the exclusive Grand Cabana private retreat, and the activities of Horseback Riding by Land and Sea, Stingray Adventure, Personal Watercraft Adventure.  New additions are the Pirate Play Area, distinctive Lustre jewelry shops and a jogging course around the island.</p>
<p>For more information on Holland <span class="xn-person">America Line</span>, consult a travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit <a href="http://www.hollandamerica.com">www.hollandamerica.com</a>.</p>
<p>Find Holland <span class="xn-person">America Line</span> on Twitter, Facebook and the Holland America Blog.  Access all social media outlets via the Online Communities quick link at <a href="http://www.hollandamerica.com">www.hollandamerica.com</a>.</p>
<p>About Holland <span class="xn-person">America Line</span> [a division of Carnival Corporation and plc (NYSE:   CCL and CUK)]</p>
<p>Holland America Line's fleet of 14 ships offers almost 500 cruises to 354 ports in nearly 100 countries, territories or dependencies.  Two- to 108-day itineraries visit all seven continents, and highlights include Antarctica, <span class="xn-location">South America</span>, Australia/New Zealand and Asia voyages; a Grand World Voyage; and popular sailings to ports in the Caribbean, Alaska, <span class="xn-location">Mexico</span>, Canada/New England, <span class="xn-location">Europe</span> and <span class="xn-location">Panama</span> Canal.  A 15th ship, ms Nieuw <span class="xn-location">Amsterdam</span>, is scheduled to join the fleet on <span class="xn-chron">July 4, 2010</span>.</p>
<p>Fleetwide, the company features Signature of Excellence enhancements, a commitment totaling more than <span class="xn-money">$525 million</span>, 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 Cafe 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.</p>

    World's Leading Cruise Lines
<p>The highest-rated premium cruise line in the world, Holland <span class="xn-person">America Line</span> is a member of the exclusive World's Leading Cruise Lines alliance, which also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, <span class="xn-person">Princess Cruises</span>, 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.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
    CONTACT:  Sally Andrews
    PHONE:    800-637-5029
    FAX:      206-262-5934
    EMAIL:    pr@hollandamerica.com


For further information: For further information: Sally Andrews of Holland America Line, 1-800-637-5029, Fax, +1-206-262-5934, pr@hollandamerica.com Web Site: http://www.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