Holland America unveils several initiatives, including suite renovations

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Suite renovations will begin in December for the Eurodam. Pictured, a rendering of a renovated Signature Suite.
Suite renovations will begin in December for the Eurodam. Pictured, a rendering of a renovated Signature Suite.

A new tag line

Holland America Line is subtly changing its logo and adding a new tag line, “Savor the Journey.” 

The current “Signature of Excellence” slogan will disappear after Jan. 1. HAL has used the “Signature of Excellence" tag line for about 10 years. 

The new logo differs from the old one mainly because the tall-masted sailing ship that is outlined in white against a modern blue cruise ship will disappear. “We’ve cleaned up the lines and modernized it a bit,” said HAL president Orlando Ashford. “It’s an evolution, not a revolution.”

Ashford frequently says his challenge is to leverage and protect HAL’s heritage but incorporate new elements for the future. “This logo and adjustment to the tag line does that,” he said.

NEW YORK — Holland America Line announced a trio of strategic partnerships and said it will spend $40 million redoing the suites on most of its ships over the next few years.

A partnership with BBC Earth will beef up HAL's edutainment offerings such as a concert based on the “Frozen Planet” program that pairs footage from the program with live music. 

Two other partnerships will help prospective guests plan cruises. Afar Media will supply write-ups of about 400 ports visited by HAL ships, which will be available on the HAL website. And Seattle-based Utrip will provide a personalized, interactive itinerary planning tool which will be integrated into HAL’s website.

HAL president Orlando Ashford said the partnership with Afar will deliver shore excursion information in a way that’s never been done before. And he said the Utrip tool will provide a “fun and engaging way” for guests to personalize their voyage plans before their ship departs.

The BBC Earth partnership has similarities to one forged a year ago by Princess Cruises with Discovery Channel. The Discovery at Sea programming has been popular with guests since it debuted on Princess in early 2015.

In addition to the Frozen Planet show, BBC Earth will supply enrichment activities, including a game show based on "the weird, wonderful and obscure in our natural world" and BBC Earth theater screenings with special introductions by the film crew behind the programs.

Kids programming will include an onboard explorer trail, BBC Earth animal and dinosaur fact shows and “fun workshops.”

There will also be theme cruises that will include access to creators of BBC Earth shows and, for kids, a chance to have film workshops with the BBC Earth YouTube team.

HAL said the Afar partnership will yield exclusive Destination Guides that include an overview of up to 20 top picks to see and do in a port area. They will offer restaurant, cafe/market and boutique shopping suggestions.

The Utrip platform will work hand-in-glove with the Destination Guides, HAL said. Cruisers will be able to use the Utrip functionality to select desired ports of call, highlights and activities ashore. They will then receive customized recommendations on the line’s cruise itineraries, port highlights, as well as shore excursions tailored to their interests.

Guests can create profiles with interactive sliders covering history, art/culture, food/drink, nature, outdoors and contemporary life. They use the profiles to narrow their search for a HAL cruise most suited to their interests. They can also input particular countries or destinations to search for HAL cruises that go just to the places they want to visit.

HAL’s suite renovations will start in December for the Eurodam and April for the Oosterdam, and continue over the next few years for all of the line’s Signature, Vista and R-class ships.

Rendering of a renovated Neptune Suite on the Eurodam.
Rendering of a renovated Neptune Suite on the Eurodam.

The main living area in each suite will be refreshed with a new sofa, lounge chairs and desk chair. A stylish new headboard, new carpet and wall coverings will bring a contemporary feel to the suites, HAL said.

The renovations will also add a new quartz stone top on the desk, dresser, nightstands and makeup vanity, along with new vanity lighting.

In the suite bathrooms, a wall of designer glass tile serves as a backdrop to the new vanity area that includes new stone tops, modern faucets and under-mount sinks. Other enhancements include new contemporary mirrors with integrated side-by-side LED lighting and new floor tiles, as well as a nightlight which enables guests to easily find their way in the dark.

Electronic upgrades include a new USB outlet added to the bed’s headboard, bedside LED lights that facilitate late-night reading, upgraded electrical outlets and a lighted closet rod that makes it easy to select the day’s attire.

An interactive television system also is set for installation, with complimentary movies on demand as well as easy access to the daily program and shipboard information.

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