Holland America Line’s second Pinnacle-class ship, Nieuw Statendam, set off on its inaugural voyage last week from Rome to Fort Lauderdale. Harry Kemble reports

Holland America Line is to bring back its ship visit programme in Amsterdam in 2019 after a two-year break following the launch of Nieuw Statendam.

Agents will be given four opportunities to see the 2,650-passenger ship in the Dutch capital on the weekends of May 11, June 8, July 6 and September 7.

Nieuw Statendam launched this month and is currently sailing from Rome to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on its inaugural voyage, but next summer will operate out of Amsterdam.

The line will fly 50 agents from any UK airport to Amsterdam for each of the four Nieuw Statendam visits, with an Amsterdam day trip followed by a ship tour and lunch the next day.

Lynn Narraway, UK managing director of Holland America Line, said: “Agents get two bites of the cherry – they see the ship and experience a city break. It is probably the only opportunity they will get to see a HAL ship. It’s a bit more glamorous than seeing a ship in Southampton or Dover.”

There will also be ship visits for agents in Queensferry near Edinburgh on August 7 and 8; the Port of Tyne on August 6; Belfast on May 23; and Dublin on May 24.

Rather than return to Amsterdam last summer, Holland America Line hosted two ship visits on Koningsdam and Zuiderdam in Southampton –
200 agents attended each event.

Orlando Ashford, the line’s president, wants agents to target passengers with a certain mindset rather than any particular demographic when selling Nieuw Statendam. “What we at Holland America Line focus on is people who want to explore, music lovers and food lovers,” he said on the ship’s inaugural sailing.

Agents will be shown a video presentation by Ashford on board Nieuw Statendam during the summer visits.

Club Orange and music venues are key to new vessel

The boss of Holland America Line has singled out new speciality restaurant Club Orange and the enhanced live music offering as two key features on Nieuw Statendam.

Orlando Ashford, who is overseeing his second ship launch as the line’s president, said Club Orange had been launched on a trial basis and could be rolled out fleet-wide.

Neptune Suite passengers have automatic access to Club Orange, which serves both breakfast and dinner. Passengers staying in other cabin grades can pay $50 per day per cabin to eat there.

Other perks for Neptune Suite members include priority embarkation and disembarkation, as well as tender service.

“Club Orange has speciality amenities and menu options that will be just for Club Orange guests,” Ashford told Travel Weekly. “It is a trial of something new.”

Ashford also highlighted the four live music venues as “the heartbeat of the ship” known as Music Walk.