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Holland America to Invest $40 Million in Signature of Excellence

September 2, 2008 By: Ruthanne Terrero

Holland America will make an investment of $40 million per ship in the coming years as part of its ongoing Signature of Excellence program.

The improvements will be made first to the MS Veendam next April; the MS Rotterdam, MS Ryndam, MS Maasdam and MS Statendam will follow over the next two years.

Considered to be the most dramatic addition by HAL is the three-part “Retreat” lounging pool area, which will be added to the Lido Deck.

Cabins on all ships will also receive new décor, along the lines of the classic and tailored style of Holland America’s newest ship, the MS Eurodam, which this past weekend hosted a large group of travel agents and select media out of New York. Bathrooms on all ships will also be refinished.

“Lanai Staterooms” will be added to each ship by reconfiguring cabins that are currently on each ship’s lower Promenade Deck. These staterooms will open directly to the Promenade Deck, providing access to the outdoors that was previously not available. Forty-four additional Verandah accommodations will also be added to each ship. Additionally, 15 new Spa Staterooms, which currently exist on the Ryndam, will be added to the fleet.

Other amenities that will be added include the Merabella jewelry shop, which can be currently found on the Eurodam. The Casino and Piano bars of each shop will be reconfigured into a multi-themed area called Mix, which will have three separate bars dedicated to martinis, champagne, spirits and ales. Additionally, the main show space will be transformed into the Showroom at Sea, which will have a nightclub ambiance.

Ships will also employ an “Explorations Team,” which will provide guests with “edutainment” opportunities, such as flower arranging, cooking, dancing and working with digital photos, blogs and movies.

HAL launched its Signature of Excellence program five years ago; it considers the program to be an ongoing initiative to which it adds amenities and experiences that enhance the guest experience.


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