Holland America Line will introduce Rolling Stone Rock Room, a new classic rock club developed in partnership with Rolling Stone magazine, on the 2,666-passenger Nieuw Statendam, the premium line’s newest ship set for delivery on December 1, 2018
The new “live music” venue will also be added to sister Pinnacle-class ship, Koningsdam, that same month.
Live Five-Piece Band
The new classic rock club venue will have a five-piece band playing hits inspired by the magazine’s top sales list, according to Orlando Ashford, Holland America's president.
Talking to travel advisors in a trade video conference Friday, Ashford said the new “live music” venue will become part of both ships' Music Walk. That’s a popular “live music” concept that Holland America has introduced on some ships.
Currently, Music Walk venues on Koningsdam (and soon to be on Nieuw Statendam) include Lincoln Stage Live, Billboard Onboard and B.B. King’s Blues Club.
Some other ships also have some or all of those live music venues too; Westerdam, for example, has all three. The line is now mulling over Rolling Stone Rock updates for the Signature- and Vista-class ships
A Great Soundtrack
"You know that a great cruise deserves a great soundtrack,” Ashford said, noting that his line is excited to tap into Rolling Stone’s expertise to create a new live entertainment venue.
He also stressed that the most beautiful things in life aren’t things – they’re experiences, and that with this and other recent product enhancements, “I like to say that Holland America is for explorers, foodies and music lovers.”
Certainly the Music Walk experience has changed the aura onboard in the evening. No longer do guests simply head to their staterooms after dinner. Many stay out and enjoy the nightlife.
In a press release issued by Holland America Line, Meng Ru Kuok, CEO of Rolling Stone International, said: “Rolling Stone and Holland America Line are two iconic brands that share the vision of bringing the best in music to cruisers. We’re looking forward to this unique brand experience and the first partnership of its kind for us, to bring the Rolling Stone brand to life in the ultimate live rock venue at sea.”
Update for Agents
Eva Jenner, Holland America's vice president of sales, and Denella Ri’chard, director of trade communications and engagement, also participated in the Thursday trade video conference, which brought agents up to date on more Holland America news and program updates.
- Nieuw Statendam successfully finished sea trials and is now back in the shipyard for finishing touches, before its launch later in the year.
- Oprah Winfrey will serve as Nieuw Statendam’s godmother when the ship launches in December. Her magazine, O, The Oprah Magazine, has a partnership with the line.
- A Girls' Getaway sailing, offered by O, The Oprah Magazine in partnership with the line and slated for the Caribbean this coming January, is sold out.
- Nieuw Statendam will have the same kind of family staterooms as Koningsdam does; they accommodate five people and have two separate areas with showers.
- New retail experiences are helping Holland America better align its offerings with guest expectations. Ashford cited Sophia Fiora for fine jewelry including personalized jewelry options, as well as new art galleries that feature emerging artists from destinations visited and regional artists in residence.
- He also talked about the new Fujifilm interactive space, Wonder Photo Shop, currently on Eurodam. Ashford told the agents: “We’re finalizing the timing of adding this experience to more ships.”
- EXC or Exploration Central programming is now available across the entire fleet and Ashford said Holland America is "in the process of installing interactive discovery areas where guests can do their own research."
- On September 10, Maasdam, sailed from Port Everglades, FL, on Holland America's first EXC In-Depth Voyage, a 34-day "Kon Tiki" itinerary. Jenner said these voyages offer a "different experience" for seasoned travelers, immersive elements, themes, and a highly customized approach to cruising.
- Zodiacs are also carried onboard Maasdam for select EXC In-Depth voyages; their first use will be in the South Pacific in November.
- Holland America will have six ships in Europe next summer, including both its Pinnacle-class ships.
- Agents should visit www.gohal.com for the latest Holland America updates.
“As you can see, we’ve been very, very busy,” Ashford told the agents. He also said guests are loving what the line has done “and they’re giving us the highest guest satisfaction ratings ever recorded.”