HOLLAND AMERICA LINE IS, by many measures, a large cruise operator, with 14 ships calling on more than 400 ports and all seven continents. Yet its fleet consists solely of medium-sized vessels, each classically designed with sleek, navy-blue hulls evoking the golden age of ocean liners. Holland America resisted adding mega-ships to its line, favoring smaller, tradition-laden vessels while discretely incorporating modern perks and luxury appointments along the way. There are no climbing walls, water slides or amusement park rides on board, but Holland America passengers can expect exceptional afternoon teas and, in colder waters, hearty mugs of pea soup served on deck.
The pea soup is a playful nod to Holland America’s Dutch origins, dating back to 1873. Although Holland America Line is now owned by Carnival and headquartered in Seattle, many crew members are graduates of the line’s own training school in Indonesia (the former Dutch East Indies).
Although anchored to maritime traditions, Holland America sails with the times. This year America’s Test Kitchen goes fleet-wide, offering cooking shows and hands-on workshops run by its TV stars. Passengers can also now consult with experts before booking shore excursions in the shiny new topdeck coffeehouse/internet café known as Explorations Central, or EXC. And, after dark, Holland America’s Music Walk lights up with chamber music conducted on the Lincoln Center Stage, chart-topping bands rocking the night away at Billboard Onboard, and groups in the groove performing at B.B. King’s Blues Club.
Holland America Line’s newest and largest ship, the 2,650-passenger ms Koningsdam, takes an even bolder track into the future with facilities and programs designed to appeal to the rising tide of younger travelers and families. The ship’s theater is equipped with a 270-degree LED screen; the Lido Pool operates its own movie screen; and several innovative dining venues take the spotlight, including the up-to-date Culinary Arts Center’s farm-to-table show kitchen. Meanwhile, Holland America’s wide choice of spacious staterooms widens even further on the ms Koningsdam to include spa cabins, singles’ cabins and family staterooms (sleeping up to five, with extra closet space and two separate bathrooms).
By combining a classic maritime atmosphere with contemporary cruising trends, Holland America can treat its passengers to the quintessential premium cruise experience. This is especially evident in Alaska, where Holland America remains the industry leader, devoting fully half its fleet to more than 130 voyages each summer and, as owner of the Westmark Hotels chain in Alaska, offering passengers a seamless way to combine land and sea journeys that encompass America’s last frontier.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
I imagine that when writer Hans Christian Andersen mused, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale,” he was standing at the edge of Copenhagen’s historic Tivoli Gardens, one of his favorite haunts, enlivened by the swirl of human happiness that surrounded him: children laughing; carousels spinning; games of chance played for prizes; lovers holding hands; hungry people whispering over sweets, hot drinks, beer and towering, open-faced smørrebrød, Denmark’s quintessential sandwich. That fairy tale lives on today at the second-oldest amusement park in the world, a spectacle of folly architecture, bakeries, gardens, rides, restaurants, puppet shows and joy ... and which also happens to be one of the city’s most storied places to convene for business.
The restored Park Hyatt Toronto reopened its doors, bringing luxury, sophistication and glamour alongside a nod to the hotel’s Canadian heritage. Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge collaborated on the hotel’s refresh, drawing inspiration from Canada’s seasons and natural landscapes.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
I recently dined at Irwin’s in Philadelphia. The restaurant is located on the rooftop of the Bok Building, a former school turned collective of small businesses, non-profits, artist workshops, a bar and restaurant. I previously visited Bok for the bar and yoga classes, and I was excited to experience the restaurant.
Cathay Pacific reaffirms its commitment to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 with a pledge to use Sustainable Aviation Fuel for 10 percent of its total fuel consumption by 2030. The airline has made pioneering efforts in supporting SAF development for more than 10 years.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
Arriving early afternoon in Puerto Rico, we jumped in an Uber and took a short, 15-minute drive from the airport to La Concha. As it was Tuesday, the streets were not too busy and the hotel lobby was calm. During the weekend, the scene likely would have been more bustling. We were greeted by a staff member who requested proof of vaccination and government-issued ID, and were given a wristband to indicate we were fully vaccinated. All guests are required to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times while moving around the hotel. Hand sanitizer stations were placed around the lobby, in elevators and in each common area.