Holland America Line Turns Heads With New Innovations

with Ming Tappin

BDMs Tom Steer & Tami Normann of Holland America Line

55 agents enjoyed the breakfast seminar at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia

Tom spoke about the many new innovations Holland America has implemented onboard

Agents from Expedia CruiseShipcenters enjoyed the seminar: (l - r) Janette Hooper, Doris Ordano, Brian Anderson & Anton Coertze.


55 agents attended Holland America's PartnerSHIPS seminar series on a dreary morning last week in YVR, but bright and chipper were BDMs Tom Steer & Tami Normann as they brought us up to speed with what's new at Holland America.

The focus was the brand's new image and innovations that 1st came to life aboard the Eurodam in 2008, the Nieuw Amsterdam in 2010, and now on the well applauded Koningsdam. Lighter colour schemes, modern touches and upbeat entertainment now enhance HAL’s traditional teak decks and fresh flowers. If you think that Holland America is only for seniors, Tom and Tami are inviting you to take a 2nd look.

Cruising has certainly grown up over the years as we have come a long way from the days of party ships and booze cruises. While the fun and frivolity still exists for those who seek it, today's travellers - and certainly Holland America's guests - are globetrotting learners looking to experience new cultures and adventures. And it has little to do with age. Young couples, families & millennials are all interested in learning about the world they live in. To that end, Holland America has implemented a variety of innovations, ranging from the Culinary Council of global celebrity chefs and Journeys Shore excursions, to the newly announced enrichment programs with America's Test Kitchen, Rijksmuseum at Sea and BBC Earth. 

The PartnerSHIPS seminar gave us a terrific update on these new developments as well as a refresher on the familiar classics. To further understand the many facets of Holland America, Tom & Tami encourage agents to take the HAL Academy online training, and also cruise Holland America themselves. Plenty of travel agent rates are available on www.gohal.com.

Doris Ordano of Expedia CruiseShipCenters has taken this good advice to heart. As a 4-star Mariner herself, she spoke to me about Holland America with passion. As with most loyal fans, there was worry at the beginning that the cruise line will alienate their past guests in search of a new and younger audience with the shipboard updates and innovations. But this has not been the case. Doris tells me that she and her clients find a happy medium onboard, and are especially delighted with the new Lincoln Centre Stage & BB Kings Blues Club. Doris is looking forward to sailing the Nieuw Amsterdam in the Caribbean next month.

I too will have the privilege to sail on Holland America soon. I will be onboard the Koningsdam as she makes her North American debut November 9th. I cannot wait to see all of the buzz for myself. Please watch for my report in a future column.





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