iPod culture is cruising to new heights: Following in the footsteps of lines like Celebrity and Windstar, which offer iPod loaners and docking stations to guests, Holland America will now feature the familiar gadget -- with a fresh new spin.
As of July 30, guests onboard Westerdam can borrow iPods as a narration tool for 40- to 50-minute self-guided art tours throughout the ship's public areas. Radio hosts Paul Lasley and Elizabeth Harryman will provide information on each of the artists' background and their pieces, as well as artist interviews.
But the self-guided iPod tour isn't all talk -- the soothing sounds of Mozart's "Symphony No. 40 in G Minor," playful tunes like Benny the Bouncer's "A Lie Ta Vita," and cultural music such as "Andean Folk Melody" will serve as background music.
Walking directions as well as photos on its display screen to help guests recognize each piece complete the package. About 20 percent of the art onboard will be covered, with the additional 80 percent included in an onboard scavenger hunt.
So far, Westerdam is the only ship in Holland America's fleet to feature the interactive iPod art tour. But by the end of the year, the remaining 12 ships will join the iPod generation with this enrichment option. There will be 40 iPods available for passengers on the Vista-class ships and 30 for the rest. All iPods are free of charge to passengers, but exclusive to the art tour.
Quick tip: If you're attached to your own iPod or afraid the ship may run out, you can always download the tour from Holland America's Web site prior to your trip.