Holland America Adopts Blog Format for Eurodam Info

August 6, 2007

In a new twist on the now-established cruise industry blog concept, Holland America's launched the first that will focus solely on the process of building a brand-new ship. Featuring the 86,700-ton, 2,104-passenger Eurodam, a prototype design for the line, the blog at www.eurodamnews.com offers tidbits ranging from technical (the development of a new air injection system) to traveler-friendly, like itinerary announcements and ship design details.

One of the draws of the blog is that key members of the new-build team will participate. It's too early to tell whether contributions from executives intricately involved in the Eurodam new-build process will yield ripe fruit -- but I can't think of another cruise line that's giving readers access to folks like this, including the line's director of new-builds, Eurodam's hotel operations chief and HAL's itinerary planner. Take note, too, that all postings have room for reader feedback.

One caveat: Like many other cruise line blogs -- including the candid, sometimes over-the-top (in a good way) series of postings by Carnival Freedom Cruise Director John Heald -- this one was birthed by the line's public relations department.

And so far, there are times when the Eurodam copy is slightly less than forthcoming and this of course reminds you that, in fact, this is a public relations vehicle rather than a blog from an objective source. One piece that immediately brings home that point is a posting under accommodations; this notes that an additional deck on the ship "will accommodate 63 more staterooms than the Vista-class ships." What the piece fails to mention is that Holland America is basically increasing capacity without adding any significantly measurable extra space. Small detail, but still read with a critical eye.

It's anticipated that the blog will be updated several times a week -- with the ultimate goal of adding new info on a daily basis leading up to Eurodam's debut in June.

--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor