Holland America Line will reintroduce its Amsterdam weekend fam trips next year, giving agents the chance to get onboard upcoming ship Nieuw Statendam.
The vessel, the second in the line’s Pinnacle class, launches in December and will sail 7- and 14-night itineraries out of the Dutch port from April 2019 covering the Norwegian fjords, the Baltic, Iceland and the North Cape.
Lynn Narraway, UK and Ireland managing director, told TTG that although plans had not yet been confirmed, HAL would aim to host around five trips for UK agents, with each featuring an overnight stay in the city and a day onboard Nieuw Statendam for a tour, workshops and presentations.
“We ran our Amsterdam weekends a few years ago, and with Nieuw Statendam homeporting there next April it’s a great chance to repeat them,” said Narraway.
She also confirmed the line will take around 60 UK agents on a four-night preview cruise from Venice to Rome departing on December 1, hosting “a mix” of frontline retail staff and senior agency bosses.
TTG joined a media tour of the ship – currently around 85% complete – in Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Venice on October 19.
New features of the 2,666-passenger ship, a sister to Koningsdam, which launched in 2015, include live music venue the Rolling Stone Rock Room and a dining and concierge concept, Club Orange.
Narraway said HAL’s UK sales were up 15% year-on-year, adding that she hoped the similarities between Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam, which each have the Music Walk, World Stage and Rudi’s Sel de Mer restaurant, would give agents “real confidence” to recommend the ship.
Looking ahead to the line’s third Pinnacle-class vessel – due for delivery in 2021 – HAL president Orlando Ashford said: “If you look at each of the ships, Nieuw Statendam is a touch better than Koningsdam, and so Pinnacle-class three will be a touch better than Nieuw Statendam.”