|With the launch of Noordam, the last Vista-class new-build, just one month off, Holland America is already hard at work on its next big project. The line has announced that it will call its next pair of ships the Signature class, inspired by its $225 million "Signature of Excellence" program ... and has trickled out the few first details on ship design and onboard amenities.|
How will the Signature class differ from the line's recent Vista-class models?
Innovative top-deck restaurant. The 144-seat eatery and 50-seat lounge will provide panoramic views of the ocean and the Lido pool.
Additional decks and cabins. The Signature class will feature 63 additional staterooms; 47 of the added accommodations will be verandah cabins, and 10 of them will be...
...a new style of stateroom. These 10 cabins, exclusive to the Signature class, will feature ceiling-to-floor and wall-to-wall windows.
Other additions include an Explorer's Lounge Bar, a premium wine-tasting lounge, a jewelry boutique, an atrium bar area and reconfigured show lounge, and a new photography center. Staterooms will be equipped from day one with premium "Signature of Excellence" amenities such as Euro-top beds, Egyptian cotton towels, flat-screen televisions and massaging shower heads. Favorite "Signature" features such as the Culinary Arts Center, Explorations Cafe and Pinnacle Grill are also on the blueprints.
One Signature-class ship is on order for delivery in the summer of 2008, with an option for another in the spring of 2010; the ships will be constructed at Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard. Both are as yet unnamed, but will be the largest vessels ever constructed for the line at 86,000 tons -- each carrying 2,044 passengers and a price tag of $450 million.