Holland America to Focus on Fresh, Regional and Local Onboard Experience

Gus Antorcha

As its onboard experience continues to evolve, Holland America Line is emphasizing three main elements: fresh, regional and local, said the company’s President Gus Antorcha, speaking at a press event on Sunday aboard the Nieuw Statendam at Port Everglades.

“We are focused on guest research and bringing the guest closer to the experiences from our vast itineraries and the regions we visit,” he explained.

For the fresh element, the Carnival-owned brand recently launched a global fresh fish program, which sees fresh fish sourced locally and served onboard in less than 48 hours, going from supplier to plate.

“We have a heavy emphasis on fish but it’s broader than that,” Antorcha said, noting that the program is also regionally inspired.

“It works very well with fresh because we are very focused on bringing in aspects of the food and culture of the places we visit,” he continued.

“When you are regional, it’s also easier to do fresh because you’re buying local, which brings us to our third piece: local.”

According to Antorcha, the company’s food and beverage program is the perfect intersection of the strategy’s three elements.

“If you are sailing from Seattle to Alaska this summer, you can try Rainier cherries and our fresh certified Alaskan Halibut,” he exemplified.

Antorcha also noted that the company’s research has shown that guests “love fish and particularly seafood.”

“They want to see that onboard, so it makes sense. It’s a matter of listening to our guests and understanding what they want,” he added.

The three-element strategy is not only being used for the company’s food offerings but also for entertainment and beverages, Antorcha noted.

“It’s what our guests want and, frankly, it’s what makes us differentiate: our itineraries and how we bring them to life onboard,” he said.

The strategy also drives impact in destinations visited by Holland America Line’s ships, giving back to communities.

“It’s important to us to support those economies and those people and the places that we visit,” Antorcha explained.

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