Holland America Line will be launching Explorations Central (EXC) in 2017. The EXC experience will combine a variety of travel resources and enrichment opportunities for guests, allowing them to further immerse themselves in a destination and its history.
Several ships will be converting their Crow’s Nests into a new venue, Explorations Central – a comprehensive resource and engagement center. Programming for EXC begins in early 2017 and will roll out across the entire fleet by year’s end. The EXC shipboard center will debut aboard Westerdam this coming April.
From the EXC room, guests can enjoy in-depth content via digital storytelling and interactive videos on subjects including travel, food, and arts. EXC will have a virtual bridge where real-time data is relayed from the ship’s actual bridge.
Holland America Line will also be introducing a dedicated EXC Team that will customize guidance for each destination, covering local culture and history. They will provide information about the best tours, most popular sites, and where to go to feel like a local. EXC Talks by the EXC Guides bring each locale to life: guests will learn local customs, hear interesting tales, and gain insight into each port of call.
Through EXC Encounters, guests will meet local cultural representatives before the ship reaches its destination. In addition to learning specifics from each destination, EXC Encounters also include informal small-group gatherings hosted by the EXC Guides, where guests will learn language and cultural etiquette lessons, among other programs.
EXC Port Guides compile handbooks using information from AFAR Media for guests to take ashore with them. Options include following the guide or creating a personalized journey: for the latter, printed EXC Port Maps present a simple view of the best each port has to offer by highlighting the key points that are easily reachable during the stay.
The final portion of the EXC experience is a series of new curated films, documentaries, and TV shows exploring the destinations through the guest room televisions.