• Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In
  • Find a Cruise
  • Deals
  • Excursions
  • More
You may also like
Live From Holland America's Nieuw Statendam: Smart Partnerships Shine
Nieuw Statendam

Live From Holland America's Nieuw Statendam: Smart Partnerships Shine

Live From Holland America's Nieuw Statendam: Smart Partnerships Shine
Nieuw Statendam

December 10, 2018

Brittany Chrusciel
By Brittany Chrusciel
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
(11:16 a.m. EST) -- Holland America is onboard with all the right people, and it's never been more apparent than on its newest ship, Nieuw Statendam. This week we're sailing aboard the ship and evidence of Holland America's hard-won partnerships is abundant -- from a brand-new Music Walk sponsorship from Rolling Stone Magazine to the longstanding link with the talented chefs who represent the brand's Culinary Council.
Holland America president Orlando Ashford told Cruise Critic the line is geared toward "explorers, food-lovers and music-lovers."
"Partnerships allow us to establish and elevate these concepts quickly."
But Holland America is not looking to reinvent cruising with its partnerships. Rather, the company wants to hone what they've already established. (After all, Holland America has a long maritime heritage that it's careful to preserve.)
For a line heavily based in tradition, the Pinnacle Class (which includes sister ship Koningsdam) isn't a departure, but rather a mark of "Holland America 2.0," as Ashford phrased it -- expanding upon the "swim lanes" of entertainment, enrichment, culinary and service for the modern explorer.
We couldn't agree more. We've found Nieuw Statendam to be quite a beautiful balance, much like a well-blended wine, which of course you can blend yourself through -- what else -- a partnership with Washington State winery Chateau Ste. Michelle.
The following are just a few of the partnerships you can find onboard Nieuw Statendam (and in some cases, fleetwide) that are making the best use of Holland America's assets.

Rolling Stone/BB King's/Billboard/Lincoln Center

Rolling Stone Rock Band (Photo: Cruise Critic)
Holland America's
Music Walk
is growing with the addition of the Rolling Stone Rock Room on its Pinnacle Class. The new venue brings a five-piece band of musicians to the stage who rock songs of the last few decades. Ashford told us that a few passengers had mentioned that they booked this cruise based largely on the recognition of Rolling Stone and their interest in the music.
Existing partnerships with Billboard and BB King's bring pop hits to tandem piano performances and the very best R&B musicians to bring the house down. Rather than shopping guides dispersed throughout your stateroom on Nieuw Statendam, you might find an informational (not sales!) brochure about Lincoln Center showcasing the incredible classical musicians who play onboard.
Replacing roving ship performers and nightclubs blasting house music, these live music venues bring an artistic integrity and energy to the Holland America nightlife scene, especially on Nieuw Statendam.

Notable Chefs

Nami Sushi on Nieuw Statendam (Photo: Holland America Line)
The Culinary Council isn't new to Holland America, but Frits van der Werff, vice president of food and beverage, told us that the line recently relaunched the concept to infuse new life into the program and to "make the best use of our experts and generate excitement." Led by extroverted executive chef Rudi Sodamin, you'll find dishes and touches from these chefs throughout your voyage onboard. Notably, the sushi bar inside of pan-Asian restaurant Tamarind has been broken out onboard Nieuw Statendam and renamed Nami Sushi with a new menu created by Chef Andy Matsuda. Across the fleet you'll find dishes from American chef David Burke in the Pinnacle Grill; in the Main Dining Room you'll find influences from Chef Elizabeth Falkner (with restaurants in San Francisco and Brooklyn) and Chef Ethan Stowell of Seattle.
Chocolatier Jacques Torres is the mastermind behind Holland America's "Chocolate Surprise" -- an event that includes copious amounts of cacao -- but we won't ruin the surprise.
On the beverage side, decorated mixologist Dale DeGroff leads the cocktail program and James Suckling, known as one of the world's most influential wine critics, has been recently recruited to curate onboard wine lists.
If you can't get enough culinary, a partnership with America's Test Kitchen offers free demos throughout your cruise with more intimate lessons for a nominal fee.

O Magazine & the Oprah Empire

There is perhaps no greater level of fame than that held by the mononymous Oprah, and Nieuw Statendam has the privilege of calling her its godmother. While this is the first ship that will be christened by Oprah, the partnership with O Magazine and her brand began in early 2017 and has rolled out fleetwide to include her popular book club, wellness initiatives like a morning meditation and a variety of Oprah's "favorite things" available in the onboard shops. Oprah will embark on her second sold-out sailing in 2019, which will be a Girls' Getaway cruise with special guests from best friend and editor-at-large Gayle King to creative director Adam Glassman, who will host style and shopping presentations. This lifestyle brand is aimed at cruisers looking to "live their best life."


Poof Art (Photo: Cruise Critic)
One of Holland America's least advertised but maybe most exciting partners is one of its art curators, ArtLink. The once-fledgling and now international company represents young and emerging artists, a market that CEO and founder Tal Danai tells us "did not exist 20 years ago." Nieuw Statendam marks the fourth cruise ship with an art collection curated by both ArtLink and Norwegian-based company YSA Design, and plans for future Holland America ships are already in the works. Unique to Nieuw Statendam is an art gallery that sells rather than auctions pieces that are entirely from emerging artists native to the destinations that the ship visits. What's more is that the company aims to make art accessible and affordable, with many works less than $500.
An exciting new artist-in-residence program is set to kick off on future voyages of Nieuw Statendam that will bring a local artists onboard to discuss their art and hold workshops that passengers can take part in.

Food & Wine Magazine

A huge component of the Holland America experience is its EXC excursion program, and Food & Wine magazine marries small-group port tours with culinary expertise. Now in more than 50 ports, the Food & Wine excursions allow passengers to shop with a local chef in Barcelona or combine fine art with street food at the Uffizi in Livorno. Ashford told us you can never visit a destination enough times that you have seen everything, and that in-depth tours such as the Food & Wine excursions allow you to "put a lens over the top of that city, whether it's through the food, art, etc.," which will help you get the most out of that port.
Also found in the EXC Lounge are online destination guides, created by a partnership with experiential travel brand AFAR, that help guide cruisers through the researching and planning process for ports of call.


Wonder Photo (Photo: Cruise Critic)
Quietly launched onboard Eurodam in June, Wonder Photo partners with Fujifilm to allow passengers to take advantage of evolving technology in order to create tangible memories from their personal photos. The fully digital touchscreens can create anything from mugs to mousepads using pictures on a mobile phone or memory card, a concept that comes from a brick-and-mortar Wonder Photo in Manhattan. The format, which is being rolled out to many ships in the fleet, not only creates a unique shopping opportunity, but eliminates the chemical and waste associated with printing so many formal photos onboard. "On early tests, both the enrichment and revenue aspects of Wonder Photo rated highly," said Ashford.
How was this article?
Popular with cruisers like you
Carnival Fascination, Imagination Removed from Carnival Cruises Fleet Roster

(4:19 p.m. EDT) -- Carnival Cruise Line has further reduced the likelihood of Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination returning to service for the line after the ships disappeared from an organizational flyer, updated in August 2020, showing the line's various classes of vessels.

Carnival Corporation & plc, the parent company of Carnival Cruise Line, had stated in July that it intended to dispose of two additional ships. While these vessels were not named, the assumption that these were Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination was based on the fact that Carni

Return of MSC Cruises: A Q and A with MSC's CEO

(12:05 p.m. EDT) -- MSC Cruises announced some of the industry's most ground-breaking health and safety protocols this week, as the international cruise line eyes a return to sailings in the Mediterranean this fall.

Cruise Critic conducted a question-and-answer session with Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises. Here's what he had to say:

Cruise Critic: Where will you restart your operations?

Gianni Onorato: We are ready with a passion to get back to the sea, and we've put together a really strong new health and safety protocol for our guests and our crew. We have had great feedback from the relevant authorities on where we propose to sail, and we're waiting in eager anticipati

Contact Tracing, Masks, Swab Tests in Terminal Part of MSC's Return to Cruise Plan

(2:15 p.m. EDT) -- In anticipation of a limited restart of cruising later this month in the Mediterranean, MSC Cruises gave more details of their health and safety protocols Tuesday, which are shaping up to be among the most sweeping and innovative that the cruise industry has seen so far. 

Speaking on a conference call with media, MSC CEO Gianni Onorato detailed the new health and safety initiatives that are expected to roll out later this month aboard MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica.

Sailings aboard the two vessels, which would initially be limited to residents of Schengen (European Union) countries, could start as early as August 15, pending the approval of the Italian government. I

Norway Suspends Cruise Ship Docking After COVID-19 Outbreak; SeaDream I Quarantined

(10:50 a.m. EDT) -- After a positive COVID-19 outbreak was detected on Hurtigruten's Roald Amundsen, Norway has suspended cruise ships sailing with over 100 people from disembarking in the country's ports for the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, Norwegian newspapers are reporting that passengers on the luxury ship SeaDream I are at sea in quarantine, as a guest on a previous voyage tested positive for COVID-19.

Hurtigruten Case Count Grows


P&O Cruises To Take Delivery Of Iona Before Autumn; Second Ship Coming in late 2022

(3:45 p.m. BST) -- P&O Cruises has updated two major dates for its fleet, announcing that Iona will be arriving before autumn and its sister ship will be delivered in December 2022.

The 5,200-passener Iona, which will be the largest ship custom-built for the U.K. cruise market, was originally set to debut in May 2020. It is also the first British ship to be powered by liquified natural gas. Delivery from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, has been delayed because of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The sister ship is yet unnamed and will also be built at Meyer Werft. Itineraries will go on sale in spring 2021.

P&O Cruises has voluntarily suspended operations t

New Zealand Puts the Breaks on Trans-Tasman Travel Bubble Plans

(5 p.m. EDT) -- New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has poured cold water over the idea of a Trans-Tasman travel "bubble" between New Zealand and Australia, according to reports in the Sydney Morning Herald.

While New Zealand has managed to go over three months without a case of COVID-19 with no known source, the Australian city of Melbourne saw 760 active cases of COVID-19 with no known source on Sunday, according to the Herald.

Those increasing numbers have led Australia's second-largest city to impose lockdown restrictions for si

Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.