When Holland America Line’s Westerdam emerged from a 12-day dry dock at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Palermo, Italy, in late April, the ship debuted major renovations that added many new public spaces and amenities, including two firsts for the fleet: Explorations Central, or EXC, in the Crow’s Nest and Rijksmuseum at Sea.
Westerdam also received the line's popular Music Walk venues Lincoln Center Stage and Billboard Onboard, the intimate Gallery Bar, a reimagined Lido Market and The Retreat area with private cabanas.
Newly released photos show the renovations, along with additional upgrades and modifications including suite upgrades, enhancements to the Greenhouse Spa and Salon, renovations to youth areas Club HAL and The Loft and the new Holland America Line logo on the funnels.
On Deck 10, 25 guest staterooms were added including 18 veranda and seven interior staterooms, increasing the capacity of the ship to 1,964 guests.
“We have many innovative new programs and enhancements launching across the fleet, and it’s exciting to see them finally come to life on Westerdam, which is the first Holland America Line ship to get Rijksmuseum at Sea and EXC,” said Orlando Ashford, the line's president. “Holland America Line is in a transformative era, and that will be reflected in onboard spaces over the coming years as ships are updated with new venues and programming that are moving our brand forward.”
Westerdam currently is cruising the Mediterranean on 12-day itineraries between Barcelona, Spain, and Venice or Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy. Here's what the guests are experiencing onboard.
Rijksmuseum at Sea: Holland America Line’s partnership with Rijksmuseum — the Museum of the Netherlands in Amsterdam — celebrates the company’s Dutch heritage. With Rijksmuseum at Sea on Westerdam, reproductions of some of the museum’s most famous masterpieces are showcased at a dedicated space located on Deck One of the Atrium. Guests also can view videos about the museum and its collections on the in-stateroom television.
New EXC (Explorations Central): Holland America Line is amplifying its destination immersion experiences with the launch of EXC programming on Westerdam. The multifaceted EXC experience combines a wide array of travel resources with enrichment opportunities for guests to make their travel experience more engaging, vivid and meaningful.
Much of the EXC experience is featured in the newly created Exploration Central’s hub located in the Crow’s Nest, now a comprehensive resource and engagement center with interactive screens and a virtual bridge.
EXC programming also offers a full EXC Team to engage with guests, EXC Tours, EXC Destination Guides, EXC Channel and Theater EXC.
Music Walk Adds Lincoln Center Stage & Billboard: Guests have even more entertainment options with the addition of Lincoln Center Stage and Billboard Onboard, complementing the already-existing and popular B.B. King’s Blues Club.
Under the exclusive partnership, Lincoln Center Stage showcases an ensemble of professional musicians performing multiple chamber music programs nightly.
Billboard Onboard features the talents of two pianists performing shows centered around the interesting facts and figures of the music industry as chronicled by Billboard.
Raising a Glass in Gallery Bar: During the drydock, Westerdam received the intimate Gallery Bar. The sophisticated venue, serving an exclusive cocktail menu created by celebrity mixologist Dale DeGroff, replaces Northern Lights.
Gallery Bar is adorned with an eclectic and whimsical mix of artwork including portrait, landscape, still life and abstract pieces.
New Look for America’s Test Kitchen: America’s Test Kitchen also sports a new look with a new color palate and enhancements to the show kitchen; it features gray and red motifs as well as new tables and chairs for guests viewing the cooking demonstrations.
Produced in partnership with the namesake, long-running public television cooking program, America’s Test Kitchen features shipboard cooking demonstrations and hands-on workshops.
Topics range from creating authentic Asian dumplings to making the perfect pie crust. The classes combine foolproof, accessible recipes and cooking techniques rooted in the testing and science-based approach of America’s Test Kitchen.
Updated Lido Market: The traditional, casual Lido buffet has been transformed into the Lido Market concept with different themed stations. Guests can grab on the go or enjoy made to order.
Areas include fresh-baked breads and pastries at Breadboard, classic comfort food at Homestead, dishes from around the globe at Distant Lands, Wild Harvest’s freshly made personalized salads, and sweet treats at Sweet Spot. Lido Market also offers coffee, juices, water and iced tea served table-side.
In the evening, tables have an upgraded setting with placemats, glassware and cutlery and guests order their food from a new menu.
Additional Upgrades and Enhancements: To further complete Westerdam’s transformation, 25 new staterooms were added near the top of the ship on Deck 10. The 18 veranda and seven interior staterooms increase the ship’s capacity to 1,964 guests.
Additionally, the suites on board received the fleet-wide suite upgrades. The main living area was refreshed with a new headboard, new carpet, wall coverings, a privacy curtain, drapery, bed runner and bed skirt.
New quartz-stone surfaces were added to the desk, dresser, nightstands and makeup vanity which, along with new vanity lighting, enhance the cosmetic transformation.
Electronic upgrades include a new USB outlet added to the bed’s headboard, bedside LED lights, upgraded electrical outlets and a lighted closet rod. Suite bathrooms also were upgraded, including a wall of designer glass tile, new vanity area, stylish floor tiles and a nightlight.
A new interactive television system was installed throughout the ship, featuring large LED flat-screen TVs with complimentary movies and popular TV shows on demand as well as easy access to the daily program and shipboard information including restaurant overviews, spa services and guest billing.
Outside on Deck 11, The Retreat was relocated from Deck 10, providing a quiet lounging area and 15 private cabanas available for rental. The space resembles a relaxing oasis on deck.
In addition, other public spaces around the ship received new soft furnishings including carpets, draperies, chairs and sofas, while additional outside enhancements include new pool deck loungers and teak decking.