Holland America, a 15-ship cruise line owned by Carnival Corp., has partnered with BBC Earth, a brand of BBC Worldwide that markets the BBC’s natural history content such as the popular films “Frozen Planet,” “Blue Planet” and “Planet Earth.” The alliance will bring BBC Earth-related concerts, films, shows, kids’ activities and theme cruises to the premium line. Programs will roll out in April, when Holland America’s new ship Koningsdam debuts, and will be featured on all ships by September 2016.
“Holland America Line cruises are all about experiential travel and venturing to all corners of the globe, and this exclusive partnership with BBC Earth will make that a richer, more rewarding experience for our guests,” says Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “No one else in the cruise industry is offering the depth of quality content that BBC Earth will bring to our ships, and we hope this program will give our guests a deeper connection to the destinations we visit.”
A highlight of the partnership will be a live concert specially adapted for the line based on the “Frozen Planet” program, which will take guests on a journey into the majestic wilderness of the Polar Regions. The production will feature “Frozen Planet” footage and be accompanied by live musicians.
Guests who want a deeper BBC Earth experience can join a featured theme cruise that will include access to the creators of top BBC Earth shows who share their behind-the-scenes stories of how the programs are made and conduct master classes in their craft. Younger guests will also have the opportunity to have film workshops with the BBC Earth YouTube team. Featured cruise dates will be announced at a later time.
And there’s more news from Holland America: The line also is partnering with experiential travel expert AFAR Media to “help cruisers dream, plan, choose and prepare for the perfect cruise vacation.” Through the collaboration, AFAR will provide destination guides for all of Holland America Line’s ports of call and scenic cruising areas — totaling approximately 400.
The destination guides will be available on Holland America Line’s website, providing guests with comprehensive information places the line’s ships visit. AFAR says it will utilize its network of local experts to curate the content, providing travelers with authentic recommendations for top attractions, restaurants and shopping experiences in each destination.
According to Holland America, each destination guide will contain an overview of up to 20 top picks to see and do in the area; recommended restaurants, cafes and markets; and boutique shopping suggestions.
“To our guests, a Holland America Line cruise is much more than the cruise itself,” explains Ashford. “Our guests are passionate about travel; it’s a lifestyle for them. So the dreaming and planning are all part of the experience. AFAR will elevate the way we engage with our guests and add value in a meaningful way.”
Finally, Holland America says it knows that selecting the right cruise itinerary and then deciding what to do while in port can be daunting for cruisers, so the line unveiled a new collaboration with Utrip that will give guests an interactive personalized planning and discovery tool.
Through integration into the Holland America Line website, the Utrip platform will offer a novel way to personalize content found in the AFAR destination guides. Cruisers will be able to browse the information on their own or utilize the Utrip functionality to select desired ports of call, highlights and activities ashore.
Utrip simplifies searching through Holland America Line’s thousands of cruise itineraries and shoreside activities by enabling guests to narrow down their options and save specific ports and interests. For example, if a traveler knows she wants to visit Europe and explore Spain, Italy and Monaco, and more specifically Barcelona, Rome, and Monte Carlo, Utrip might recommend Oosterdam’s 12-day Mediterranean Rivieras voyage departing May 24, 2016, or Eurodam’s 12-day Mediterranean Tapestry cruise departing July 5, 2016.