When Holland America’s ms Koningsdam debuts in April 2016, guests will be able to try their hand at mixing wines to create their own personal blend. This new winemaking experience will be offered at BLEND, a new specialty venue purpose-built for wine-blending.
To bring this vision to life, Holland America has partnered with Washington State’s oldest winery, Chateau Ste. Michelle. Their collaboration masterfully blends wine education and entertainment into an immersive new experience that will accommodate up to ten guests. Whether you’re a self-proclaimed wine aficionado or someone who’s a little more familiar with the boxed variety, you’ll enjoy participating in the blending process and putting your own personal touch on a new creation.
Holland America Line’s president, Orlando Ashford, describes the thinking behind this new experience: “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. 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 exception cuisine.”
October 15, 2015 2 Comments
Big news: Holland America Line will bring back their popular Dancing with the Stars: At Sea program for the 2015-2016 season!
This marks the third year for this exciting ocean bound homage to ABC’s hit reality show. The highlight will be the Champion’s Cruise competition aboard the ms Nieuw Amsterdam’s Western Caribbean sailing on January 10, 2016.
This amazing program will be on all itineraries throughout the fleet, along with six Dancing with the Stars themed cruises featuring both celebrities and professional dancers. Past celebrity dancers included Mark Ballas, Emma Slater, Joey Fatone and Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson to name a few. [Read more →]
November 4, 2014 No Comments
The name for the latest addition to the famed Holland America fleet was recently announced as the ms Koningsdam; a name that tributes both the company’s history and the new era of luxury cruising that Holland America Line will usher in with this 2,650 passenger ship.
Throughout its 141-year history, Holland America Line has bestowed the “dam” suffix on each of their vessels, and the Koningsdam carries on this tradition. In Dutch, the word “koning” means “king” which couldn’t be a better way to describe this glorious new ship.
Holland America has a proud heritage with the Netherlands, and many of Holland America Line’s ships have been christened by members of the Dutch Royal Family over the past 75 years. Most recently, ms Nieuw Amsterdam was christened by Her Royal Highness Princess Máxima in 2010. And in 2008 ms Eurodam was christened by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.
With such a proud heritage, it seems only fitting that their newest vessel be known as a royal member of their proud family. “This new Pinnacle Class ship will be our largest, most contemporary vessel, and it was only fitting to give it a name that embodies great achievement for the future, while embracing timeless tradition.” said Stein Kruse, chief executive officer of the Holland America Group.
September 16, 2014 3 Comments
By Raquel Grinnell, Cruise Consultant, The Cruise Web, Inc.
I love to cook. I mean, REALLY love to cook. I find great pleasure in choosing the perfect ingredients, the action of chopping vegetables into a perfect dice, stirring a pot of deliciousness that fills my home with the most amazing smells and of course, savoring the end result. The best part is sharing a meal prepared with love with my friends and family. I feel the same way about travel, and I think that the two are very closely related… Both cooking and a wonderful vacation are a journey in which you experience new and amazing things, usually with the ones you love. Every trip that I’ve ever taken has resulted in me bringing back a local ingredient that I wouldn’t be able to get at home; from homemade Bahamian hot sauce and delectable rum cakes in the Caribbean, to regional cured meats from Germany, to very potent cashew wine from Belize. These local delicacies were used in my interpretation of dishes from each locale, and brought back lovely memories of our travels.
One of mine and my husband Mr. Fish’s great pleasures is to cruise and travel as often as possible, which in our opinion is not often enough! (You can read more about Mr. Fish in last month’s recipe here: http://cruiseweb.com/blog/2014/06/grilled-snapper-recipe-from-celebrity-cruises/.) Part of the fun is planning our next big adventure, and we never know when or from where the inspiration will strike us. Recently, a visit to an Asian market had us fascinated with ingredients that we’ve never used before, and that got us thinking about where these exotic dishes came from and, ultimately, where we’d like to travel next… maybe Singapore, or Thailand, or even Vietnam or Korea? There are cruises where we can visit most, if not all, of these countries in one trip! And the cuisine from each is so varied, yet uses many of the same ingredients… ginger, spicy chile peppers, coconut milk, rice, cilantro, lemongrass, garlic. All of these and more were available fresh, frozen or dried at my Asian market and motivated me to try something new. After consulting Holland America Line‘s cookbook, called Appetizers, I found the perfect foil for my Southeast Asian craving – Curried Coconut Risotto with Shrimp. Since this recipe is scaled to provide appetizer portions, I just doubled all the ingredients and made more than enough for a fantastic dinner for myself and Mr. Fish.
July 21, 2014 2 Comments
Holland America fans rejoice! Starting May 2, 2015 the cruise line will officially return to Bermuda after leaving in 2012. These new itineraries depart from Boston and Quebec City and feature 7- and 14-day itineraries. All of the sailings include four days docked in Hamilton, Bermuda. The 14-day itineraries both feature ports of call in Canada and New England.
Bermuda is home to natural beauty like Horseshoe Bay and Crystal Cave. Adventurers get a thrill out of motor scooting along the island’s curvy seaside roads and scuba diving to see ships wrecked off the coast of the island. Bermuda is also a great place for history lovers as St. George, its former capital, is considered the oldest continually populated English town in the “New World.” It is also the oldest remaining British colony. [Read more →]
April 15, 2014 2 Comments
By Erica Kritt, Social Media Coordinator, The Cruise Web, Inc.
When I think of summer on a cruise, I immediately think of fruit soup. On nearly every cruise I’ve taken there has been a selection of creamy, sweet fruit soups. I remember that on my first cruise they were served at the buffet and my mother and I quickly became obsessed.
If you aren’t familiar with these fruit soups served on several cruises, they’re like milkshakes you eat with a spoon. These creamy concoctions can be made with virtually any fruit. I’ve had them with cherry and peach and pineapple. For this recipe I chose to use bananas and I found a super simple recipe courtesy of Holland America, and I found that not only is this dish quick and easy, it’s something you can easily put your own twist on by trying different ingredient combinations. [Read more →]
February 18, 2014 1 Comment
One of our favorite things about the end of the year is looking back at all that has happened. As a company, this year (our 19th) has been an exciting one full of growth. Early in the year we added Viking Cruises to our preferred partners and we also celebrated many 10-year anniversaries and one 15-year employment anniversary. We fit right in with the cruise industry, which this year had some great moments. Here is what we thought were the top 5 of 2013:
1. The Debut of the Norwegian Breakaway – This ship made a statement. She’s not the biggest ship in the sea, and she’s not offering extremely different itineraries, but she is jam-packed with exciting activities and features. Start with the fact that she has a New York theme, where you can get a hot dog from a cart while onboard, then move to the exciting shows like the Broadway productions Rock of Ages and Burn the Floor. You can also find several gourmet restaurants onboard, most notably Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s Ocean Blue.
2. Kate Middleton Christens the Royal Princess – Following in the footsteps of her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, HRH the Duchess of Cambridge, formerly known as Kate Middleton, christened the Royal Princess back in June, just a month before giving birth to Prince George. Diana christened the original Royal Princess back in 1984. The Royal Princess is a landmark ship for Princess, she’s larger than any ship in their fleet and offers innovative features like the SeaWalk and a stunning fountain show on the pool deck.
3. Holland America partners with Dancing with the Stars – This year cruisers had dance fever as on all of Holland America’s ships they could take Dancing with the Stars dance classes and even compete to become the champion dancer of their sailing. This partnership, which is continuing through 2014, also includes a selection of sailings where some of the show’s professional dancers, like Kym Johnson, Mark Ballas and Derrek Hough, appear on board along with the show’s most popular stars, including Shawn Johnson and Carson Kressely, to perform, meet guests and participate in Q & As. [Read more →]
December 26, 2013 No Comments
Holland America recently announced that their passenger-favorite program Dancing with the Stars: At Sea is returning for its second year. That means every cruise through October 2014 will give passengers the chance to compete for Holland America’s version of the mirror ball trophy.
Every sailing on the fleet will give passengers the opportunity to take dance classes and, if they choose, to compete. Dancers must make it through a preliminary judgement before making it to perform for all the ship’s passengers. The winner’s score will then be compared to all the other winners from other sailings, to find the best dancer for each of Holland’s 15 ships. Then those winners are invited onto a Championship cruise, which will be held Dec. 6, 2014 on the ms Westerdam, to compete for the trophy.
This renewal also means Holland America will have a few more sailings that feature the dancers and celebrities from the ABC hit TV show Dancing with the Stars. While the details are still becoming available, winner Kym Johnson is scheduled to appear, as is fan favorite Tristan MacManus. Celebrities scheduled to appear are Carson Kressley and Sabrina Bryan. The dates of these cruises are as follows:
- January 5, 2014, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, 7-Day Eastern Caribbean
- June 14, 2014, ms Zuiderdam, 7-Day Alaska (roundtrip Vancouver)
- June 21, 2014, ms Zuiderdam, 7-Day Alaska (roundtrip Vancouver)
- July 26, 2104 ms Westerdam, 7-Day Alaska (roundtrip Seattle)
- August 2, 2014, ms Westerdam, 7-Day Alaska (roundtrip Seattle)
- November 29, 2014, ms Westerdam, 7-Day Eastern Caribbean
You can learn more about this program and other ways you can get your groove on aboard your next cruise in our blog: Dancing Your Night and Day Away . If you’d like more information on booking a Dancing with the Stars: At Sea cruise, contact The Cruise Web at 1-800-377-9383 today!
December 3, 2013 No Comments
Next week is the finale of Season 17 of ABC’s now classic reality competition Dancing with the Stars. This show has captured the imagination of men and women across the country. For nine years now the show has drawn more than 10 million viewers per episode. Perhaps the viewers tune in to reconnect with a celebrity from their youth, or to check out the sparkly costumes, but something tells us it’s the amazing dances that keep them coming back.
Holland America took note of this intense interest and for the past year has offered a program called Dancing with the Stars: At Sea. Onboard, passengers have been treated to dance classes and a few special cruises have featured some of the professional dancers from the show, like Kym Johnson, Mark Ballas and fan favorite Tristan MacManus, along with some of the celebrities like Shawn Johnson and Joey Fatone. [Read more →]
November 18, 2013 No Comments
By Don Dean, Senior Director of Finance and Human Resources, The Cruise Web, Inc.
In early May, my wife and I had the opportunity to sail on Holland America’s ms Oosterdam to Alaska. Alaska is a fantastic destination, and I could go on about it for some time. However, today I really want to focus on Holland America, which falls into the premium cruise category. If you are a regular reader of our Newsletter, you may recall last October’s issue in which Rosalind Smith, our Business Development manager, shared her summary of the various cruise lines market segments of contemporary, premium, and luxury. Rosalind wrote a fun description of the categories by using an analogy of the cruise lines to shoes. I would like to go a little more in depth on the premium cruise experience.
As the market segment name implies, premium is that one-step up in your cruise experience. On the ms Oosterdam, we were part of a Holland America event for the top agencies for Holland America (yes, our Alaskan cruise was a business trip complete with business meetings). When on such a cruise, I am always a little suspect that while trying to impress us, our experience may not be the same as the other passengers. Consequently, I participate in onboard activities with the other passengers without sharing my affiliation to the cruise industry. I use this as an opportunity to do my own market research, and I inquire about the experience of the other passengers. [Read more →]
August 20, 2013 2 Comments