Holland America Line (HAL) has revealed the new Explorations Central and Rijksmuseum at Sea on board Westerdam.
In an event in Barcelona attended by travel agents and press, including Cruise Adviser, the line revealed the new-look vessel following a 12-day dry dock at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Palermo, Italy.
As part of the refit, Westerdam now has the Music Walk venues Lincoln Center Stage and Billboard Onboard.
Elsewhere, the Gallery Bar, a new Lido Market and The Retreat area with private cabanas have been added.
With the addition of 25 guest staterooms, including 18 verandah and seven interior staterooms, on Deck 10, the ship’s capacity has been increased to 1,964 guests.
Explorations Central, or EXC, forms part of what HAL calls destination immersion. Found in the ship’s Crow Nest, the area includes interactive screens, including a Virtual Bridge, designed to enrich guests’ experiences.
The area is ‘powered’ by The New York Times, and guests will be able to the read the celebrated broadsheet newspaper on iPad screens.
Perhaps most impressive, however, is the HAL’s partnership with Rijksmuseum.
Rijksmuseum at Sea will allow guests to enjoy reproductions of some of the museum’s most famous masterpieces in dedicated space located on Deck One of the Atrium. The artworks will appear on giant LED screens.
The features are being rolled out across the fleet, with EXC to be added to each vessel within the new two years.
“We have many innovative new programs and enhancements launching across the fleet, and it’s exciting to see them finally come to life on Westerdam, which is the first Holland America Line ship to get Rijksmuseum at Sea and EXC,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “Holland America Line is in a transformative era, and that will be reflected in on board spaces over the coming years as ships are updated with new venues and programming that are moving our brand forward.”