Photography by Nikolaj Lund

(3:30 p.m. EDT) -- Holland America Line is developing a series of exclusive art experiences onboard its ships and in ports it visits. Launching this summer in partnership with ArtLink, the new program will deliver a multi-pronged experience giving art-loving cruisers the chance to learn more about the local art scenes in regions sailed to, as well as participate in interactive art events or select art-themed EXC tours.

The program will start with an educational component before expanding to include an onboard residency program where passengers will have the chance to attend live demos and hands-on workshops with visiting artists. The line will also work with ArtLink to develop a series of art-themed EXC tours that visit emerging artists in their workshops and galleries in port. 

To begin with, the program will be based out of an onboard gallery space dedicated to exhibiting works by emerging artists from the destinations visited by the ships. Exhibits might include photographs, sculptures, crafts, painting and drawings and will be changed on a regular basis to keep them fresh and relevant. All works will be available for sale. All ships except Prinsendam will have the galleries by fall 2018.

An ArtLink Art Concierge and Art Specialist will be on-hand in the gallery to provide the background of the selected artists and their works. Special talks and meet-and-greets with the artists will occasionally be available as well.

"As with many aspects of our onboard experience that have been elevated successfully over the past few years, we wanted to enhance the way art was present on board and reflected throughout the cruises in a way that was meaningful to our guests," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line.

Photography by Oleg Oprisco

The line previously worked with ArtLink to curate artwork for its newbuilds, Koningsdam and the upcoming Nieuw Statendam.

"Through our work with ArtLink on our newbuilds, we connected with a mutual passion to create an innovative art experience that was more integrated with the places we visit," Ashford added. "The right piece of art can be not only an incredible souvenir for our guests but also a prominent way for them to connect emotionally with their travels."

During the program's launch period, the galleries will feature works by a select group of emerging international artists. This general collection will be slowly replaced with changing exhibitions that reflect the ports the specific ships have sailed to.

Among the artists to be featured in the first exhibit are: Nikolaj Lund, a Copenhagen-based photographer who focuses on the emotional bond between musicians and their instruments; and Kevin Best, a photographer from New Zealand who reinterprets still life paintings from the Dutch Golden Age using items from that era such as bronze candlesticks, antique silverware, German jugs and more. '

--By Dori Saltzman, Senior Editor