Holland America Line is taking steps to accommodate the desires of experiential travelers: travelers for whom seeing the top sights in a port of call just isn’t enough. While on shore, these travelers want to stray from the usual tourist path, meet local people, and get a first-hand look at local culture. They want experiences that will expand their understanding of the world while creating lasting cruise memories.
If you’re an experiential traveler, you’ll be glad to know that Holland America Line has formed some new partnerships – with Afar, UTrip and BBC Earth – to give you more of the type of onshore experiences you’re looking for.Afar’s detailed online destination guides, curated by a network of local experts, include recommendations for unique, authentic experiences in ports of call. The guides, now accessible to guests via the Holland America website, provide exclusive, in-depth information on approximately 400 ports, ranging from some of the world’s most-visited destinations to the relatively undiscovered ports that welcome Holland America ships.
Holland America hopes that guests will use the extensive information in Afar’s guides to find and enjoy onshore experiences that truly match their personal tastes and interests. To get started, each guide has a list of to 20 “top picks” to see and do in the area; recommended restaurants, cafes and markets; and boutique shopping suggestions. Holland America’s new collaboration with UTrip provides a comprehensive, interactive and personalized planning tool guests can use along with Afar’s guides. Guests can browse through the guides on their own, or use UTrip’s interface to narrow down their options. The interface uses interactive sliders that guests can adjust to indicate how interested they are in the art and culture, history, nature and the outdoors, food and drink or contemporary life of a destination. In response, the interface delivers the guide content that’s best suited to the guest’s personal taste.
UTrip also provides interactive maps that allow Holland America’s guests to pinpoint the location of each suggested experience and click for more information. Using predictive technology, the interface can also make recommendations for Holland America Line group shore excursions.Beginning in April, Holland America will also introduce new onboard enrichment programming through a partnership with BBC Earth, provider of the British Broadcasting Corporation’s natural history content. BBC Earth will take Holland America’s guests closer to the ocean and natural world through live musical concerts, photography classes, films, an interactive quiz show and even a themed cruise.
For example, one live concert will be based on BBC Earth’s “Frozen Planet” program, taking take Holland America’s guests on a journey into the majestic wilderness of the earth’s polar regions. With “Frozen Planet” footage accompanied by live musicians, this will be a feast for the senses.
The interactive quiz show will showcase some of the weirdest, most obscure and wonderful features of the natural world; and films will be accompanied by special introductions from members of the film crews behind the programs.
The partnership also includes some exclusive programming just for kids. Young cruisers have fun with an onboard explorer trail, special workshops, and BBC Earth animal and dinosaur fact shows. They’ll even have the opportunity to try their hand at being a BBC journalist.
With all of these offerings, Holland America hopes to show that cruising is a great choice for experiential travelers who want to delve into the character and customs of the line’s cruise destinations.
Find out more about Holland America’s choice of itineraries from your cruise travel professional.