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Nieuw Amsterdam in Port Everglades (Photo: Adam Coulter)

Holland America Line to Bring Back Libraries Across the Fleet; Leaning Into Longer Voyages

Nieuw Amsterdam in Port Everglades (Photo: Adam Coulter)
U.K. Executive Editor
Adam Coulter

Mar 27, 2023

Read time
3 min read

(11:14 a.m. EST) -- Holland America Line will be reinstating libraries across the fleet following a successful return on Rotterdam, the President of the line has confirmed.

HAL Passengers' Number One Ask: Bring Back Libraries

Holland America Line President Gus Antorcha Presents Onboard Nieuw Statendam (Photo: Adam Coulter)

The number one thing passengers asked for during "the pause" were libraries, Gus Antorcha told journalists on a ship tour of Nieuw Amsterdam to showcase the line's new sustainable seafood offering.

Holland America Line had previously taken out libraries across the fleet and replaced them with Microsoft Studios where technology classes were held.

"One thing we did add are libraries," Antorcha said. "I get a lot of calls from Mariners [HAL's loyalty guests], a lot, and it was very interesting during the pause, they were all eager to get back, which is wonderful.

"And I asked them, what's the one thing which you wanted to see onboard the ships and the answer was libraries, so were making an incremental investment to add libraries on all the ships.

"Rotterdam was a little easier as it was during the build process, but you'll see more and more libraries added as the ships make their way through dry dock."

Crow's Nest Bar Returns to Reading, Relaxing Space

The Crow's Nest on Deck 12 forward offers sweeping views of the sea aboard Rotterdam (Photo: Aaron Saunders)

Antorcha also confirmed the Crow's Nest bar would return to its previous use, as a bar and lounge, rather than a lecture and shore excursion area.

"The talks and lectures we're going to take down to the promenade area and it opens up more space for activities or reading or games or arts and crafts in that area.

"It's really a hub with a coffee shop up there that's always busy, so we wanted to add more up there as opposed to a room which is sometimes being utilized and sometimes not."

The move comes among other changes referenced by Antorcha, which includes Vista-class ships ZuiderdamOosterdamWesterdam and Noordam losing the popular B.B. King's Blues Club for a new venue known as the Rolling Stone Lounge, which will play R&B, rock and pop favorites.

Newer ships Rotterdam, Nieuw Statendam and Koningsdam will have a similar venue known as the Rolling Stone Rock Room.

Holland America Line Introduces "Legendary Voyages"

Holland America Line Legendary Voyages map (Photo: Adam Coulter)

As part of its 150 Anniversary Celebrations, the line is introducing "Legendary Voyages", which range from 25 to 59 days.

Most of these will sail roundtrip or to/from a North American homeport, traveling as far afield as Australia and New Zealand, the Amazon and South America, South Pacific and Hawaii, Greenland and Iceland, Asia, Alaska and the Arctic Circle.

"As the leader in long itineraries, Holland America Line is excited to continue to connect our deployment and onboard programming to further enrich the guest experience," said Kacy Cole, vice president of marketing and e-commerce, Holland America Line. "The destination-rich itineraries found on Legendary Voyages are carefully crafted to allow guests to linger longer and enjoy the journey as well as the destination."

Sustainable Seafood Partnership Across All Six Alaska-Based Ships

Chef Ethan Stowell and Chef Rudi Sodamin at a cooking demo onboard Holland America Line Nieuw Amsterdam (Photo: Adam Coulter)

Antorcha was onboard to showcase the line's sustainably sourced local seafood from small Alaskan companies, which was announced last July and will be available on all six of the line's Alaska-based ships this season.

It is the first formal partnership of its kind between Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) and a major cruise line, and marks 75 years of HAL being in Alaska.

Chef Ethan Stowell (pictured above) did a cooking demo with some of the seafood onboard Nieuw Amsterdam.

Updated March 27, 2023
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