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.
The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua recently announced the final phase of a $100 million resort-wide transformation, set to be unveiled by the end of 2022. Located across 54 acres of pristine, wide-open space overlooking Honokahua Bay, The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua is a sanctuary for guests seeking a luxurious escape.
Considering an autumnal adventure or Thanksgiving trip this year? Well, with walkable cities, cozy pubs and lots of seasonal festivals, the island of Ireland is calling. And if you need more reasons to Press the Green Button and go, take a look and see what awaits you on the Emerald Isle …
Banyan Tree Group recently announced its first-ever expansion into Japan with five new properties across four concepts. The hospitality group’s partnership with Wealth Management Group saw Dhawa Yura and Garrya Nijo Castle launch in June, with two more properties slated to open now through 2026. Another partnership with Terraform Capital sees plans to build Cassia, a property in the ski resort of Niseko.
Global business travel is making its way back, even as the pandemic and other world events continue to challenge its return. In a recent poll from the Global Business Travel Association, more than four in five respondents (86 percent) from across the industry said they feel more optimistic than they did at the beginning of the year. Business travel bookings, the need to travel to do business and employee willingness to travel are all on the rise.
Wilderness Reserve, an 8,000-acre estate of historic and charming properties, woodlands and lakes, invites visitors to its newly launched YOXMAN, a three-day, Michelin-starred dining experience. Four United Kingdom chefs come together to prepare an array of different cuisines throughout the weekend, and guests are treated to plenty of entertainment throughout the experience.
Much of the global business travel industry has already made sustainable business travel a priority with a focus on reducing emissions and their environmental footprint. But the industry, as well as external stakeholders, such as policymakers, recognize more needs to be done.
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts adds to its growing collection with Rosewood Hotel Bauer, slated to open in Venice in 2025. Led by Venice-based architect Alberto Torsello and interior design group BAR Studio, the property will lie in the city’s historic San Marco district.