As part of a company-wide effort to differentiate its product, Holland America Line is optimizing its itineraries to include more longer and grand voyages.
“Deployment is something that we are pretty much focused on. We are evolving and spending more time thinking about what our guests want and how to become more differentiated,” said Gus Antorcha, the company’s president.
One of the trends that Holland America identified through surveys is a preference for longer voyages, he added, noting that the company is adding lengthier itineraries in different parts of the world.
In the Caribbean, for instance, the brand is reducing its seven-day capacity to add more cruises with of nine nights in length and longer.
“That affords us to visit ports that the others don’t get to as often. That also affords us more time to pull together a number of ports that is hard to put together on another cruise lines,” he explained.
In 2023, capacity on 12-day Caribbean cruises was increased by 41 percent, Antorcha said, with more itineraries that go to the ABC Islands, the Panama Canal, Colombia and more.
“There’s less capacity going down there,” he noted.
Holland America Line is also increasing emphasis on longer and grand voyages; doubling capacity cruises on of over 50 days.
“It was very well received by our guests. A lot of this comes from understanding our guests very deeply with a lot of research and focus groups. They tell us where they want to go and we are responding to that,” Antorcha added.
The company launched a new category called Legendary Voyages which, according to him, include unique itineraries of 25 to 59 days.
One of these new itineraries is the 28-day Coral Triangle, Volcanos and Great Barrier Reef cruise. Setting sail in early 2025, the voyage covers 7,000 miles and sails to Philippines, Papua New Guinea, East Timor, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia.
Two of the visited destinations are Rabaul and Kiriwina Island, which, according to Paul Grigsby, vice president of revenue planning and analytics at Holland America Line, offer “fantastic ecosystems.”
“They are teeming with natural life and also really cool World War Two history,” he highlighted, noting that the itinerary was designed with the help of marine biologists.
“We also added another layer of volcanism to it, including Kumba Volcano, which is like the Stromboli of the Southeast Asia and goes off every two minutes,” Grigsby said.
The cruise will also allow guests to visit the Krakatoa Volcano, which offers a “fascinating history,” he added.