New From HAL: Revamped Agent Program, Retail, Culinary Cruises

Holland America Line's retail update will include a new photo area developed in partnership with Fujifilm. // Photo by Holland America Line

Holland America Line has announced of number of updates, including a new travel agent program, retail updates across its fleet and a new lineup of culinary cruises on tap for 2018.

Updates for Travel Agents

As part of the cruise line’s new “Committed to Your Success” program for travel agents, the line has launched five sales teams under the leadership of VP of Sales Eva Jenner. The teams are Strategic Accounts; Field Sales; National Account Sales; Trade Communications and Engagement; and Sales Planning and Development (Sales Intelligence, Sales Administration, Charter and Incentive Sales, Series and Wholesaler Sales and International Sales). The teams will be headed by a member of the new sales leadership team, which includes Michele Sutter, director, Strategic Account Sales; Christine Stevens, senior director of Field Sales; Charles Dunwoody, senior director, National Account Sales, North America; Rob Coleman, senior director of Sales Planning and Development; and Denella Ri’chard, senior director, Trade Communications and Engagement.

In addition to the newly created channel sales area, a new Strategic Accounts team was formed that reports to Sutter. Nate Burdulis and Tara Schreiner are senior managers, Strategic Accounts, and Amy Barnett is senior sales representative, Strategic Accounts.

Sales territories across North America have also been reconfigured, with four senior managers of Field Sales overseeing the BDMs in their territory. They are Jackie Day, western; Cathy Larson, central; Lucy Owen, eastern; and Tami Normann, Canada.

Holland America said it is also dedicating more educational resources for travel agents, including new Holland America Line Academy courses and Specialist Training courses, as well as the North America PartnerSHIPS Sales Seminar Series of in-person and webinar events.

New Retail Updates

In onboard product news, Holland America is rolling out a new retail experience to eight of its ships this year, starting with the Veendam and expanding to the Maasdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Oosterdam, Prinsendam, Rotterdam, Westerdam and Zaandam over the coming months. To launch and oversee the new program, Patrick Kells has joined Holland America Group as director of retail, reporting to Kelli Coleman, vice president, onboard revenue, photo and retail.

The new retail program includes a new partnership with Fujifilm on a photo space onboard that will enable guests to immediately print their photos from their smartphones or memory cards, as well as to create keepsakes like photo books, mugs, shirts, keychains, magnets, mousepads and more. The keepsakes will be produced offsite and shipped to guests upon their return home.

The line is also launching an expanded Holland America Line logo collection, ranging from custom apparel to locally made artworks, as well as co-branded merchandise from partners like Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King’s Blues Club, BBC Earth and America’s Test Kitchen. New supplier Sofia Fiori, a famous Hollywood jewelry stylist, will operate a new fine jewlry and watch area.

New Culinary Cruises

Finally, in itinerary news, Holland America is introducing a new lineup of Food & Beverage Aficionado Cruises in 2018 that will showcase the line’s Culinary Council, Master Mixologist Dale DeGroff, its wine curator and its winemaker partners. During each cruise, guests will be able to attend cooking, cocktail or wine demonstrations; get to know the experts at presentations; meet them at photo opportunities; and join a reservation-only dinner in the Pinnacle Grill. All events will be complimentary, except for the Pinnacle Grill dinner, reservations for which can be made through the Ship Services department upon booking. The current schedule includes:

Rudi Sodamin, Culinary Council Chairman:

  • Koningsdam, 7-Day Norse Legends, July 1, 2018, roundtrip Amsterdam, Netherlands

David Burke:

  • Zuiderdam, 10-Day Colors of Canada & New England, Sept. 13, 2018, New York City to Quebec, Canada

Andy Matsuda:

  • Nieuw Amsterdam, 7-Day Western Caribbean, March 17, 2018, roundtrip Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Koningsdam, 7-Day Norse Legends, June 3, 2018, roundtrip Amsterdam, Netherlands

Ethan Stowell:

  • Eurodam, 7-Day Alaskan Explorer, May 26, 2018, roundtrip Seattle, Washington
  • Amsterdam, 7-Day Alaskan Explorer, Sept. 16, 2018, roundtrip Seattle, Washington

Jacques Torres:

  • Westerdam, 7-Day Glacier Discovery, June 24, 2018, Vancouver, Canada, to Seward, Alaska
  • Veendam, 14-Day Summer Cuba, Aug. 4, 2018, roundtrip Boston, Massachusetts

Dale DeGroff:

  • Zuiderdam, 18-Day Azores and Normandy, April 22, 2018, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Copenhagen, Denmark (DeGroff on board through Bermuda call on April 25)
  • Oosterdam, 7-Day Tropical Caribbean, Nov. 10, 2018, roundtrip Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Select cruises throughout 2018 will also spotlight wine, with a different Chateau Ste. Michelle expert joining the onboard vinologist for three, one-hour sessions each day at BLEND by Chateau Ste. Michelle. They'll also be present for the ship's special Cellar Master's Dinner at the Culinary Arts Center. There is a fee for this dinner. The current schedule includes:

Leah Adint:

  • Koningsdam, 12-day European Splendour, May 1, 2018, Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy to Amsterdam, Netherlands

David Rosenthal:

  • Koningsdam, 7-day Norse Legends, June 3, 2018, roundtrip Amsterdam, Netherlands

Kara Koh:

  • Koningsdam, 7-day Norse Legends, July 1, 2018, roundtrip Amsterdam, Netherlands

Tracey Keller:

  • Koningsdam, 7-day Viking Sagas, July 22, 2018, roundtrip Amsterdam, Netherlands

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