Holland America Line Celebrates Grand Opening of Denali Square Complex in Alaska with $20,000 Donation to Local School District

Guests on Holland America Line’s award-winning Alaska Land+Sea Journeys can now experience new dining, entertainment and amenities at the Denali Square complex located in the heart of the company’s McKinley Chalet Resort at the gates of Denali National Park. To celebrate today’s grand opening, Holland America Line presented the Denali Borough School District with a $20,000 check that will be spent on modernizing interactive classroom technology.

Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford welcomed attendees to Denali Square and unveiled the geomarker that was installed to commemorate the opening of the facility. Special guests included U.S. Senator for Alaska Lisa Murkowski; Superintendent of Denali National Park and Preserve Don Striker; Denali Borough School District Superintendent Dan Polta; and Ken Karstens, grandson of Harry Karstens, first superintendent of Denali National Park and namesake of the new Denali Square restaurant, Karstens Public House. Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald and Holland America Group Chief Executive Officer Stein Kruse also attended.

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“For nearly 70 years Holland America Line has been at the forefront of Alaska exploration, and the opening of Denali Square is another exciting moment in our company’s history because it elevates the way our guests will experience Denali and Alaska,” said Ashford. “A complex like Denali Square is unrivaled in our industry, and it brings more facets of the region to our guests by showcasing local cuisine, art, entertainment and so much more. Denali National Park has been and will continue to be the centerpiece of our incredible Land+Sea Journeys.”

A highlight of the ceremony was a performance by the local Tri-Valley High School choir from Healy, Alaska. Husky dogs from the National Parks Service at Denali National Park were also at the event with handlers for guests to learn more about and enjoy.

Over the past three years Holland America Line has been refining the guest experience at the 60-acre McKinley Chalet Resort, and last year an enhanced property layout and freshly remodeled guest rooms were unveiled. Holland America Line’s Land+Sea Journeys feature up to three nights at Denali, with an included Tundra Wilderness Tour deep into the Park for all multiple night guests.

Alaska-based companies heading up the McKinley Chalet Resort’s enhancement project include general contractor Dawson Construction and Stantec, which is providing engineering services. Additional firms involved are lead and landscape architect The Portico Group, restaurant architect Heliotrope Architects, structural engineering company Michael Leonard Associates and project manager Costigan Integrated, all of Seattle, Wash.

Holland America Line’s 45-Foot Ship Float ‘Cruises’ Through Downtown Seattle During Alaska Airlines Seafair Torchlight Parade

On Saturday, July 30, 2016, spectators at the Alaska Airlines Seafair Torchlight Parade in downtown Seattle watched Holland America Line’s ms Koningsdam cruising down the street. The unusual sight was a replica helium balloon of the ship, which was among more than 100 floats taking part in this annual event.

At 45 feet long and 11 feet tall, the detailed float required 30 employees to guide it carefully through the streets of Seattle on the 2.5-mile route. In addition to the float, Seattle’s Hometown Cruise Line was a presenting sponsor of the parade, with participating employees carrying a banner boasting the company’s hometown pride and proudly wearing shirts that read “Anchored in Seattle.”

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Holland America Line has been a sponsor and participant of the annual Seafair Torchlight Parade for many years, and employees previously carried an orca-whale balloon to highlight cruises to Alaska. This year’s cruise ship balloon was recently commissioned for the company to highlight its newest ship Koningsdam, launched in April, and to represent all the ships in the fleet, including the three sailing weekly from Seattle this summer.

For more information about Holland America Line, consult a travel professional, call 1-877-SAIL HAL (877-724-5425) or visit hollandamerica.com.

The Suite Life Will Be Even Sweeter with Upgrades on Holland America Line’s Signature- and Vista-Class Ships

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As part of a $300-million brand enhancement initiative, Holland America Line is planning exciting enhancements to its top staterooms with new furnishings, décor, amenities and upgrades for all suites on the line’s Signature-, Vista- and R-Class ships. The first ships to undergo the suite transformation will be ms Eurodam and ms Oosterdam, followed by ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Westerdam, ms Zuiderdam and ms Noordam. Additionally, ms Amsterdam, ms Rotterdam, ms Volendam and ms Zaandam will receive the suite enhancements as they head into their scheduled dry docks over the next few years.

Eurodam is scheduled to go into refit Dec. 7-20, 2015, at Freeport, Bahamas, and Oosterdam will head into dry dock April 3-18, 2016, at Fincantieri’s yard at Palermo, Sicily.

“Our suites are the epitome of luxury and pampering, and the new amenities and upgrades will ensure that our suite guests will continue to enjoy the finest in cruise accommodations,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “We have an ongoing program in place to keep our ships looking fresh, but dry-docking gives us an opportunity to take enhancements to the next level to ensure we deliver the elements that make up the Holland America Line cruise experience.“

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, while new soft goods — including a privacy curtain, drapery, bed runner and bed skirt — add a touch of elegance. A new quartz stone top on the desk, dresser, nightstands and makeup vanity, along with new vanity lighting, enhance the cosmetic transformation.

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. A fully new 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 including restaurant overviews, spa services and guest billing.

Suite bathrooms also will receive a makeover. 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, stylish floor tiles, as well as a nightlight which enables guests to easily find their way in the dark.

More Suite Amenities for the Entire Fleet
Starting in January 2016, all suites across the fleet will receive new amenities to complement the strong offering of amenities that already includes priority embarkation, disembarkation and tender service; exclusive use of the Neptune Lounge for Pinnacle and Neptune Suite guests; private breakfast service in the Pinnacle Grill; and complimentary laundry and dry cleaning services. New additions feature a premium duvet, superior bathrobes and slippers, Bose docking station, binoculars for use during the voyage, complimentary mimosas with in-suite breakfast and an in-suite coffee and espresso machine.

For more information about Holland America Line, consult a travel professional, call 1-877-SAIL HAL (877-724-5425) or visit hollandamerica.com.

Holland America Line Supports 2015 National Plan a Cruise Month with Explore 4 Savings, Onboard Credits and Cruise Giveaways

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Holland America Line is supporting October’s National Plan a Cruise Month organized by Cruise Lines International Association with Explore 4 savings, onboard credits and three special cruises that will be given away in CLIA’s #CruiseSmile sweepstakes.

The monthlong event offers promotions and online opportunities to give consumers the perfect chance to become more knowledgeable about cruising, as well as plan and book a cruise vacation while taking advantage of special savings and promotions.

“By putting the spotlight on cruising for the entire month of October, we’re able to spread the word about the value and benefits of a cruise vacation, particularly a Holland America Line cruise,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “The different promotions we’re featuring are sure to entice more travelers to book this month, and the #CruiseSmile sweepstakes is an added incentive to learn more about cruising and possibly win a Holland America Line cruise.”

Throughout the month, Holland America Line will feature the exclusive Explore 4 promotion on select holiday 2015 and January 2016 through April 2017 sailings that provides four added-value extras: a free Signature Beverage Package valued at up to US$1,400, free Pinnacle Grill dinner for two, reduced cruise fares for third and fourth guests in the same stateroom and 50 percent reduced deposits. Suite bookings also receive a $300 onboard spending credit per stateroom ($150 per person) and a free Canaletto dinner in addition to the other offers.

Guests looking to take advantage of the Explore 4 program can choose select itineraries to nearly all of Holland America Line’s global destinations, including Alaska and Alaska/Yukon Land+Sea Journeys, Bermuda, Canada/New England, Caribbean, Mediterranean and Baltic Europe, Mexico, Hawaii and Panama Canal.

Travelers making a booking during National Plan a Cruise Month on select 2015, 2016 and 2017 cruises also receive a special onboard credit, depending on the length of the cruise and type of cabin booked. Guests can receive up to $400 per stateroom in onboard credits in addition to all of the Explore 4 offers, when applicable. For example, guests who book a suite on a 15-day cruise receive a bonus $400 per stateroom in onboard credits.

As part of CLIA’s #CruiseSmile sweepstakes, three Holland America Line cruises will be given away throughout the month. One cruise from various cruise lines will be featured each day during promotion. The contest asks participants to upload a photo by visiting the #CruiseSmile microsite — www.cruisesmile.org — and share it via Facebook or Twitter, or by uploading a photo directly to their Twitter or Instagram profiles using the hashtag #CruiseSmile and tagging a friend. One winner randomly will be selected each day.

The three Holland America Line staterooms offered in the #CruiseSmile contest will be from the 14-day Far East Discovery voyage aboard ms Volendam departing Nov. 22, 2016, and two staterooms from the four-day Bahamas cruise departing Nov. 9, 2016, aboard Holland America Line’s soon-to-be-launched ms Koningsdam. Check the #CruiseSmile sweepstakes daily to see when these cruises will be featured.

Holland America Line also will host special events for guests aboard each of its ships during the National Plan a Cruise Month promotion. Guests who make bookings on board will be able to take advantage of Explore 4 savings, the CLIA onboard credit offer and our standard onboard credits for booking while on board of up to $400 per stateroom and reduced deposits starting at $100 per person. All travel partners will receive credit and full commission for all future bookings made by their clients while aboard.

For more information about Holland America Line, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL HAL (877-724-5425) or visit http://www.hollandamerica.com.

Guests Create Their Own Wine at BLEND by Chateau Ste. Michelle on Holland America Line’s ms Koningsdam

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Wine connoisseurs and novices alike can experience the art of winemaking at BLEND aboard Holland America Line’s new ms Koningsdam when the ship debuts in April 2016. In collaboration with Chateau Ste. Michelle, Washington State’s oldest and most acclaimed winery, the intimate venue will enable guests to blend their own wine and enjoy it at dinner or in the privacy of their stateroom.

BLEND — the first of its kind for Holland America Line and the only purpose-built wine-blending venue at sea — will have a tasting table that accommodates 10 guests who can create their own blend from a selection of five barrels of single-vineyard red wine. In addition to participating in the blending process, guests also will learn about wine from the ship’s wine expert, who leads the blending session.

“At the core of every Holland America Line cruise is our desire to offer unique, immersive and innovative experiences, and BLEND by Chateau Ste. Michelle is all of those things and more,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “The BLEND experience on Koningsdam is designed to appeal to everyone, and it will be exciting for our guests to create an exclusive wine tailored to their personal taste that they can enjoy onboard with our exceptional cuisine.”

After viewing a welcome video by Bob Bertheau, Chateau Ste. Michelle’s winemaker, guests will learn interesting information about the history of Washington wines and winemaking, examine soil samples, and see how different vineyard sites impact the flavors and style of the wine. The Cellar Master also will instruct guests on what characteristics, flavors and nuances to look for in the wine from each barrel.

Guests then sample the five unique wines, featuring such varietals as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot from the winery’s Cold Creek and Canoe Ridge Estate vineyards, and make tasting notes on what they like about each. The blending begins in a graduated cylinder, with guests determining how much of each wine to include in their personal bottle.

After the personalized wine blend is put into the bottle with a stopper, guests will be able to create their own label to add a personalized touch. The wine will then be sent to The Dining Room or another restaurant, where it will be waiting for the guests to enjoy with their evening meal. Alternatively guests can take the wine blend to their stateroom to enjoy at their leisure.

The wine blending sessions will be held daily for a fee, and reservations are required.

About Chateau Ste. Michelle
Founded in 1934, Chateau Ste. Michelle pioneered vinifera growing in Washington State and has been producing classic European varietal wines under the Ste. Michelle label since 1967. The winery combines an ongoing dedication to research with a commitment to classic winemaking traditions. The winery owns 3,500 acres of vineyards in the Columbia Valley of eastern Washington, including Canoe Ridge Estate and Cold Creek, which are LIVE and Salmon Safe certified as environmentally sustainable. Chateau Ste. Michelle enjoys winemaking partnerships with two of the world’s most distinguished vintners — Col Solare is an alliance with Tuscany’s Piero Antinori and Eroica Riesling is a partnership with the Mosel’s Ernst Loosen.
For more information about Holland America Line and Koningsdam, consult a travel professional, call 1-877-SAIL HAL (877-724-5425) or visit hollandamerica.com.

Seven Holland America Line Ships to Sail 98 Caribbean Departures Roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale and Tampa in 2015-16

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With longer itineraries and a unique mid-size ship experience, Holland America Line’s 2015-16 Caribbean season features a diverse range of options up to 21 days that include not-to-be-missed calls and ports not regularly found on typical Caribbean cruises.

Seven of the line’s premium ships will explore the entire region on cruises that sail roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., while ms Veendam returns to the Caribbean in January 2016 to take over the roundtrip Tampa, Fla., departures.

“Holland America Line provides the most port intensive and exclusive experience in the Caribbean, with a breadth of itinerary options to highlight the diversity of the region to our guests,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “The Caribbean is a popular destination because it’s a relaxing, tropical paradise that’s accessible to so many travelers, and by offering a wide range of ships and itineraries, we’re able to offer a dream vacation at a great value.”

From October 2015 through April 2016, ms Eurodam, ms Maasdam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Oosterdam, ms Veendam, ms Westerdam, ms Prinsendam and ms Zuiderdam sail a total of 98 seven-, 10-, 11-, 12- and 14-day cruises that can be combined into longer Collectors’ Voyages ranging from 14 to 21 days. The itineraries span the Caribbean on eastern, western and southern routes, as well as a partial transit of the Panama Canal.

All Fort Lauderdale itineraries feature a call at Half Moon Cay, the line’s award-winning private Bahamian island known for its pristine beaches, exciting shore excursions, exclusive beach cabanas and child-friendly activities.

Roundtrip Fort Lauderdale Itineraries
During the season, Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam will sail a series of seven-day eastern and western Caribbean itineraries that can be combined to form 14-day Collectors’ Voyages spanning both regions. Westerdam maintains a weekly schedule of seven-day eastern Caribbean cruises, while Maasdam sails seven- and 10-day eastern routes, as well as longer 11-day southern itineraries. Oosterdam also features 10- and 11-day southern Caribbean cruises ideal for guests looking for a longer vacation.

The Nieuw Amsterdam will also feature a new seven-day Tropical Caribbean itinerary in 2016 that calls on maiden port Amber Cove, Carnival Corporation’s new $85 million cruise center in the Dominican Republic. Located near the historic town of Puerto Plata, Amber Cover will provide access to a purpose-built facility with a welcome center, craft marketplace, eateries, a swimming pool and transportation hub for access to inland shore tours for a wide variety of interests.

In addition to the 14-day Collectors’ Voyages, other itineraries can be combined to form a diverse range of options, including a 21-day southern cruise on Oosterdam, a 21-day southern and eastern option on Maasdam and a 17-day nonrepeating double-eastern route, also on Maasdam.

Partial Panama Canal Transits
Guests looking to explore the Panama Canal without going through to the West Coast can embark on a convenient roundtrip Fort Lauderdale partial transit aboard Zuiderdam. The ship makes its way to Gatún Lake and spends the day leisurely scenic cruising. During the 10- and 11-day departures the ship also visits several Caribbean ports.

Zuiderdam recently underwent an extensive drydock to add 25 new staterooms and enhance several public areas — including the dining room, Neptune Lounge, Canaletto restaurant, The Greenhouse Spa and Salon, and the Dive-In outdoor grill serving signature burgers — with new furniture, signage, carpet and design updates.

Roundtrip Tampa Itineraries
Beginning in January 2016, Veendam spends the Caribbean season cruising roundtrip from Tampa on seven-day western and 12- and 14-day southern itineraries. The seven- and 14-day options can be combined to form a 21-day western/southern Caribbean Collectors’ Voyage.

Celebrate the Season with a Festive Holiday Cruise
For travelers who like to get away from the hustle, and chill of December, the holiday season is a special time onboard. A total of 13 holiday sailings will ply the warm waters of the Caribbean on far-reaching itineraries ranging from seven to 16 days. Several non-repeating itineraries can be combined to form 14- or 21-day Holiday Collectors’ Voyages.  Prinsendam also offers a 16-day southern Caribbean cruise, departing Dec. 19, 2015, sailing during both Christmas and New Year’s Day.

During the holiday cruises, guests can take part in a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, enjoy traditional holiday meals with all of the trimmings and indulge in a special Royal Dutch High Tea with fanciful holiday cookies and pastries. The ships’ international crew chorus performs a magical holiday show, while caroling and sing-alongs take place around the ship. Kids will delight in a visit from Santa Claus and holiday-themed crafts.

The New Year’s Eve sailings are the ideal setting to ring in a new year, featuring a festive holiday ball with a Champagne toast.

Go On Location in the Caribbean
On each cruise, regional cultural experiences are brought onboard, such as the Island Magic Steel Drum Band, learning to weave and craft with palm leaves and local rum tastings – all part of Holland America Line’s On Location program. The itinerary sets the stage for guests to indulge in localized experiences that makes the journey as enriching as the ports of call through lectures, demonstrations and performances.

For more information about Caribbean itineraries and Holland America Line, consult a travel professional, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL or visit hollandamerica.com.

Holland America Line Breaks Ground on New Base Camp Complex at the McKinley Chalet Resort at Denali National Park

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Holland America Line has broken ground on a new “Base Camp” complex at the company’s McKinley Chalet Resort near the entrance to Alaska’s Denali National Park. Expected to be complete for the 2016 Alaska cruise season, Base Camp is part of Holland America Line’s ongoing enhancement program at the property that also includes room updates, upgrades to soft goods and hotel decor and additional modifications.

The McKinley Chalet Resort provides accommodations for guests on Holland America Line’s Land+Sea Journeys that combine an Alaska cruise with an overland tour to Denali National Park and beyond. Base Camp will be centrally located between the main part of the property, containing the reception hall, dining facilities and guest rooms, and the riverfront guest rooms that provide stunning views of the Nenana River.

“Our McKinley Chalet Resort is the premier destination hotel in Alaska, and the addition of Base Camp to this already-spectacular property will make the guest experience all the more memorable and enriching,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “Base Camp enables us to showcase Alaska and Denali National Park on a whole new level by bringing even more of the local history to our guests through art, dining and music.”

Base Camp will serve as a new gathering area to relax, shop, dine and enjoy music and entertainment. The largest building in the complex will be the grand 7,800-square-foot restaurant reaching two stories high to showcase views of the neighboring mountains for dining guests. Those wanting to quench their thirst or listen to live music can visit the Gold Nugget Saloon, home to the “Music of Denali Dinner Theater” that becomes a bar and music venue after the show.

At the center of Base Camp is an amphitheater with a covered performance stage and a semicircle of bench seating for guests to enjoy a variety of local shows, ranger talks and demonstrations.

The new location also will feature cozy fire pits to gather around on cool Alaska evenings; outdoor seating for guests who wish to enjoy the scenery; three retail shops offering local goods; and an artist-in-residence cabin where Alaska native and local artists will display and discuss their works.

Walking paths in and around Base Camp show off the property’s mountainous landscapes and beautiful setting nestled just across the Nenana River from Denali National Park.

Alaska-based companies heading up the McKinley Chalet Resort’s enhancement project include general contractor Dawson Construction and Stantec, which is providing engineering services. Additional firms involved are lead and landscape architect The Portico Group, restaurant architect Heliotrope Architects, structural engineering company Michael Leonard Associates and project manager Costigan Integrated, all of Seattle, Wash.

Spanning nearly 60 acres, the McKinley Chalet Resort currently features 478 rooms, fine and casual dining, an on-site dinner theater, on-site raft departures and walking trails along the Nenana River.

Holland America Line’s Land+Sea Journeys combine the “must-see” of Denali National Park with the “seldom-seen” wonders of the Yukon, including one- or two-night stays in the heart of the Klondike Gold Rush country and up to three-night stays at Denali National Park.

This year, the Land+Sea Journeys run May through September and offer 13 options, ranging in total length from 10 to 20 days in two distinct series: Yukon+Denali Land+Sea Journeys and Denali Land+Sea Journeys. All Land+Sea Journeys combine a three- to seven-night Holland America Line cruise with an overland adventure that includes a one-, two- or three-night stay at Denali National Park as a centerpiece of the Alaska experience.

Each Land+Sea Journey also showcases places such as the gold rush town of Dawson City, charming Seward, historic Fairbanks, colorful Skagway and the historic narrow-gauge White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad.

For more information about the Alaska Land+Sea Journeys and Holland America Line, contact a travel professional, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL or visit hollandamerica.com. The Holland America Line Alaska tablet app also is available in the Apple, Android or Windows app stores.