August 18, 2018

Anne Vipond

About Anne Vipond

Anne Vipond is the author of several guidebooks to cruising destinations around the world. She draws on an extensive sailing background to impart her enthusiasm for cruise travel. From her home port of Vancouver, she travels by cruise ship to a wide range of destinations to keep her books current and useful for her cruise readers. Her cruising articles have been published in magazines and newspapers throughout North America and over seas.

NCL takes delivery of Bliss

NCL’s new Norwegian Bliss will cruise Alaska this season.

(Travel Pulse) Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of the 168,028-gross-ton Norwegian Bliss from Meyer Werft during a ceremony in Bremerhaven, Germany.

The ship will operate a two-day preview cruise before cruising to Southampton, England, to begin its transatlantic journey on April 21. Upon arrival in the U.S. on May 3, NCL will host two-night preview events in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles. The ship will be christened on May 30 in Seattle, from where it will begin a season of seven-day Alaska voyages on June 2.

Norwegian Bliss, the third ship in the line’s Breakaway Plus class, includes some new first-at-sea offerings such as the largest competitive racetrack at sea. The two-level, electric-car racetrack sits at the top of Deck 19, offering guests amazing views while twisting and turning at a speed of up to 30 mph. The ship also has an open-air laser tag course and a side-by-side multi-story race waterslide at the expansive Aqua Park. One waterslide extends over the edge of the ship and loops down to the deck below.

After its Alaska season, Norwegian Bliss will spend the fall cruising to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles. In winter 2018, it will sail the Caribbean from Miami, and in the 2019 fall/winter season, she will cruise from New York City to Florida, the Bahamas and Caribbean.

To book a cruise on Norwegian Bliss, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE(625-2784), or visit NCL

The Perennial Allure of Alaska

Seabourn Sojourn offers a luxury cruise experience in Alaska.

Everyone, it seems, wants to see Alaska. And many of us prefer to view the region’s magnificent coastal scenery from the decks of a cruise ship. The appeal of this vast northern state of glacier-clad mountains and majestic fjords is as strong as ever and the selection of cruise lines and itineraries servicing Alaska continues to grow.

The city of Vancouver has long been the main turnaround port for cruises to Alaska and it now shares that status with Seattle. Most cruises out of Seattle are one-week round-trip itineraries while those from Vancouver cover a wider range of choices. These include round-trip cruises of the Inside Passage and one-way cruises to the Alaska ports of Seward or Whittier (both near Anchorage) where land tours to Denali are popular. Several cruise lines also offer round-trip cruises to Alaska from the California ports of San Francisco and Los Angeles. For cruise enthusiasts, Alaska has never been easier to visit.

The cruise lines servicing Alaska cover all categories, from contemporary to luxury to expedition. Some lines, such as Princess Cruises and Holland America Line, have been cruising to Alaska for decades and position a fleet of ships on the west coast throughout the May-to-October season. Other lines offering cruises to Alaska include Disney, NCL, Oceania and Royal Caribbean. In the luxury market, Crystal, Silversea and Regent Seven Seas have been joined by Seabourn, which returned to the region in 2017 after a 15-year hiatus. Cunard will be back in Alaska for the summer of 2019.

Expedition cruising is also thriving in Alaska, where wilderness and natural beauty are the star attractions. Alaskan Dream Cruises, Lindblad Expeditions, Ponant, Un-Cruise Adventures and Windstar all offer off-the-beaten track voyages with a close-up look at the scenery. But even if you’re booked on a large ship, the shore excursions offered include wilderness adventures such as kayaking, hiking, whale watching and rock climbing, not to mention helicopter rides to sled dog camps where you can take a turn at mushing across a glacier.

Expedition cruising includes sea adventures in Zodiac inflatables.


For the best of both worlds, a luxury cruise on Seabourn’s 450-passenger Sojourn provides not only spacious accommodations and impeccable service but an expedition-style itinerary that follows narrow, twisting channels and stops at unspoiled hideaways, such as the Inian Islands, where the ship’s expert expedition team leads shore excursions in Zodiacs and sea kayaks. Sea otters are abundant in the waters off this cluster of small islands in Icy Strait, as are Pacific white-sided dolphins, orcas and humpback whales.

No matter which cruise line you choose, Alaska’s wilderness will be sure to steal the show.

Holland America Line Revamps Onboard Retail Experience

HAL revamps retail space on its ships with new supplier partnerships. The changes began with Veendam and will expand to half a dozen other ships.

Holland America Line is introducing a new retail experience on board its ships to better align with its ongoing brand evolution. The multi-faceted retail plan introduces new products and services, including an expanded logo collection, locally cultivated items, a new Fujifilm photo space and new supplier partnerships.

The retail rollout began with Veendam and expands to Maasdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Oosterdam, Prinsendam, Rotterdam, Westerdam and Zaandam over the coming months.

“Over the past several years we have significantly elevated our entertainment, enrichment and culinary programs to enhance the way our guests experience the global destinations we visit,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “This new retail strategy continues the path of introducing innovative, new shipboard opportunities to exceed the expectations of travelers today and in the future. With more premium products and selections that reflect the destinations they are visiting, plus an interactive and engaging new photo area, our guests will enjoy more meaningful keepsakes from their cruise.”

Holland America Line is partnering with Fujifilm for a new, interactive, creative photo space on board that will enable guests to immediately print their photos from their mobile phones or memory cards using instant photo machines. Guests also will be able to share cruise memories by creating keepsake souvenirs featuring images from their cruise on product offerings such as photo books, mugs, shirts, keychains, magnets, mousepads and more.

The retail enhancement introduces an expanded Holland America Line logo collection featuring iconic products that will leave guests with lasting memories of their cruise. From custom apparel to locally made artworks, the new items go beyond traditional cruise logo souvenirs. The new shops also will feature co-branded merchandise from some of Holland America Line’s partners including Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King’s Blues Club, BBC Earth and America’s Test Kitchen.

To bring the destinations on board in an authentic way, the new retail program will showcase unique products from local artisans and designers that capture the cultures visited around the world.

Holland America Line is looking to make shopping more engaging and meaningful, and interactive and enriching events will be offered so guests can see the different items and peruse the space with guidance from helpful yet unobtrusive shop staff.

NCL Holdings Announces New Terminal in Miami

Artist rendering of new NCL terminal in Miami. The project is being designed by Bermello Ajamil & Partners of Miami.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, unveiled the design of the new and dedicated Norwegian Cruise Line terminal at PortMiami which has been the company’s home since its launch in 1966. Pending the final approval by the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners, the project will commence in May 2018, and is scheduled for completion by the fall of 2019.

“Norwegian has been sailing from Miami for over fifty years, longer than any other cruise line, and we are honored to be partnering with PortMiami and Miami-Dade County to construct an iconic terminal that will contribute to Miami’s world famous skyline and strengthen its position as the Cruise Capital of the World,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

Norwegian is widely recognized for introducing modern-day cruising more than 50 years ago, by transforming a common means of transportation to a new style of vacation with its first Caribbean voyages out of the port of Miami and launching the city’s status as the “cruising capital of the world.” As a result of the continued relationship, Miami-Dade County will invest $100 million to build a new terminal dedicated to Norwegian Cruise Line, with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. augmenting the county’s allocated funds with its own contribution to PortMiami, as was unveiled today at a press conference held at the 2018 Seatrade Cruise Global exhibition.

“The construction of a new cruise terminal with the capacity to berth an additional 5,000-passenger cruise ship represents thousands of jobs and increased opportunities for our community. We are grateful for Norwegian Cruise Line’s continued partnership.” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez.

The modern terminal draws its inspiration from a nautilus, with its spiraled and multi-level façade, opening up to grand ocean views. Once complete it will be the new “pearl” of Miami, redefining the landscape of the city’s skyline. Innovative lighting, inviting indoor and outdoor waiting areas and other guest-centric elements will enhance the overall passenger experience. At nearly 166,500 square feet, the debuting Norwegian terminal will accommodate ships of up to 5,000 passengers, and feature new technology to support faster and more efficient embarkation and disembarkation processes, as well as expedited security screening and luggage check-in. A dedicated lounge and service area will facilitate a warm and welcoming sense of arrival for large groups and charters, and a new parking garage, and valet parking area with direct access to the terminal and lounge are also scheduled to be completed.

The Dutch charm of Curacao

Willemstad’s colorful harbor viewed from a cruise ship.


Few Caribbean ports of call can surpass the arrival awaiting passengers whose ship docks in Willemstad’s St. Anna Bay. As your ship approaches, the Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge swings open to allow entry into this narrow inlet overlooked by the restored waterfront warehouses of colonial Willemstad. Added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1997, Willemstad’s Dutch gabled buildings were first painted a variety of colors in 1817 when the governor complained that the sun’s glare off the stark white buildings was giving him headaches.

Those same colorful buildings now house shops, art galleries and restaurants catering to tourists that fill the narrow cobblestone streets. But it’s easy to leave the crowds behind when strolling this picturesque port, starting with the waterfront promenade. This walkway leads seaward from the pontoon footbridge to the battlements of Waterfort at the harbor entrance.

Soaking up the waterfront atmosphere in Willemstad.


At the other end of this compact town is another pedestrian bridge, this one straddling the narrow Waaigat Canal. Here you will find a floating market where Venezuelan boats loaded with fresh fruit, vegetables and fish sell their wares. Tourists looking for trinkets are studiously ignored by locals buying their groceries.

Large ships dock at the entrance to St. Anna Bay on Curacao.


Curacao was originally colonized by the Spanish but it wasn’t until the Dutch West India Company took possession of the island in 1634 that the port of Willemstad was established. The resourceful Dutch found a new role for the bitter-tasting Valencia oranges the Spanish settlers had tried to grow – they discovered that the fruit’s sundried peels contained an etheric oil which became the basis for Curacao’s famous liqueur.

The Curacao Liqueur Distillery is located in a former colonial mansion on the east side of Willemstad’s harbor, but we opted to spend the rest of our day in port by taking a taxi to the Hilton resort where a pleasant beach can be enjoyed followed by refreshments and lunch at an umbrella table on the patio overlooking the water.

We were thoroughly enjoying our interlude here when the iguanas showed up. They were very bold and one of the males was extremely large. As they closed in on us, we began to gather up our things in readiness to leave. That’s when a guest at the next table, an elderly woman, cheerfully told us not to be afraid of the iguanas.

“They’re plant eaters,” she said. “They won’t hurt you.”

Nonetheless, we decided it was a good time to return by taxi to the ship.

The Café Culture of Paris

Luxembourg Garden and Palace in the Latin Quarter.


Ernest Hemingway sought authenticity long before the term was coined in connection to travel. In fact, he often took up residence in the places he visited. He spent years living in Paris and later penned A Moveable Feast, which is both a memoir and a literary guidebook to that fascinating city. Lesser known but equally engaging is That Summer in Paris by Morley Callaghan, a Canadian author who met Hemingway when they were both young reporters working for a Toronto newspaper.

Callaghan reconnected with Hemingway in 1929 when he and his wife travelled to Paris on a much-anticipated sojourn. An up-and-coming novelist, Callaghan was eager to experience the city’s thriving café culture and meet some of the famous authors living in the Latin Quarter, including F. Scott Fitzgerald and James Joyce. It was during that summer that he and Hemingway spent many an afternoon honing their boxing skills at the American Club’s gym.

The café culture of Paris hasn’t changed much since Hemmingway’s day.


On my last visit to Paris I was keen to see the places described by these two writers. My husband and I were staying in a three-star hotel just a block off Luxembourg Garden, so our mornings began with a stroll past the brilliant flower beds in front of Luxembourg Palace. This elegant 17th-century palace houses the French Senate and overlooks an ornamental pond where children launch vintage toy boats.

Hemmingway lived near Luxembourg Garden on Rue Ferou.


When Hemingway first moved to Paris and was living on meager earnings from his short stories, he often had no money for lunch. So, to avoid the tantalizing aromas wafting from street cafés, he would walk instead through the beautifully manicured Luxembourg Garden. By the time Callaghan came to Paris and looked up his old newspaper friend, Hemingway was a successful novelist and living with his second wife in a fashionable apartment on rue Ferou. If you’re strolling along this cobblestoned lane, which leads from Luxembourg Garden to Place Saint-Sulpice, look for the stone lions mounted on the entrance pillars at the gated courtyard of 6 rue Ferou.

The famous Left Bank cafés referred to in the memoirs of Hemingway and Callaghan are all within walking distance of Luxembourg Garden. A block north of Place Saint-Sulpice are the famous cafés of St-Germain des Prés, where writers, artists and intellectuals of the 1920s would gather. However, we decided to try one of the restaurants on Boulevard du Montparnasse, a short walk south of Luxembourg Garden, where another cluster of iconic cafés is located.

Famous La Rotonde restaurant on Boulevard du Montparnasse.


La Coupole, Le Dome, La Rotonde and Le Select attracted the likes of Gauguin, Picasso and Hemingway to their tables. We decided to dine at Le Select because this was Callaghan’s favourite spot when he and his wife lived in Paris. Its art deco interior has been preserved and we could easily imagine Callaghan and Hemingway sitting here after their weekly boxing match, enjoying a drink and each other’s company.

One our most memorable meals in Paris was lunch at the café in Luxembourg Garden. What better place to enjoy a croque-monsieur – that classic French bistro sandwich of ham and melted cheese – than at an outdoor table in a quintessential Parisian park.

Cruise Industry finds men more interested in cruising

Caribbean and Mediterranean destinations remain most popular, depending on income bracket.


The new Cruise Industry Consumer Outlook, conducted on behalf of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), found men and Millennials are more interested in taking a cruise among all travelers surveyed. This is the latest installment in the Cruise Industry Consumer Outlook of 2017, in partnership with J.D. Power, and new findings than six out of ten (63 percent) respondents have an increased interest in cruising – with overwhelming interest among men and Millennials. The report details consumer traveler behaviors, attitudes, and opinions toward both cruise and land-based travel.

“CLIA highly values keeping a finger on the pulse of consumer cruise attitudes and preferences in order to create an ever-improving industry based on traveler feedback,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “The Cruise Industry Consumer Outlook plays a key role in helping us continue to adapt and appeal to every type of traveler with evolving business practices, varied cruise durations, and available destinations.”

Who is interested in cruising?
When it comes to specific generations interested in cruising, about 85 percent of Millennials expressed that an interest in cruise travel has increased within the last year, while 64 percent of Gen Xers said the same, compared to 40 percent of Baby Boomers citing the same sentiment. Across all generations, the report found that the increased interest in cruising is higher for men (74 percent) than for women (54 percent). Further, more than seven out of ten (71 percent) men named ocean cruises as the type of vacation they are most interested in taking within the next three years. In regards to cruise atmosphere, more than half (62 percent) of both female and male respondents cite casual elegance as their preferred cruise style.

Other key findings from the latest Cruise Industry Consumer Outlook of 2017:
Repeat Cruising: The report found 80 percent of past cruisers have an increased interest in taking a cruise, while 50 percent of non-cruisers said the same. Repeat cruisers are drawn to cruise travel largely due to the value this vacation type offers.
Cruising Costs: When compared to both land-packaged tours and all-inclusive trips, more than half (57 percent) of respondents surveyed believe cruising offers a high value, compared to 48 percent saying the same for land-based vacations. When it comes to outside factors impacting leisure travel plans, nearly a quarter (24 percent) of respondents cite job responsibilities as the top factor.
Keeping it Close: The report also found travelers are drawn to cruising for a variety of reasons including destinations and convenience. Regarding cruise ports being within driving distance, respondents acknowledged the convenience of driving to the cruise ship (68 percent), the reduced hassle of not having to fly to a port (64 percent), and the cost savings when not needing to fly (57 percent) as the primary benefits of having a lot more cruise embarkation options available in North America.
Destinations & Durations: Cruise destinations and durations also positively impacted consumer attitudes toward cruising. When it comes to cruise destinations, more than one-third (36 percent) of travelers prefer the Caribbean region, while a quarter (27 percent) chose the Mediterranean. The Caribbean is more favored by people in the lower income brackets while interest in the Mediterranean is higher for higher-income brackets. Seven-day cruises are also the most popular among those surveyed (33 percent) when compared to other cruise durations.
Oceans of Interest: According to the new research, respondents are showing an increased interest in ocean cruising when compared to reports earlier in the year. Currently, 34 percent of respondents interested in cruising will definitely be taking an ocean cruise compared to 23 percent reported in January.
The inforgraphic is available here.

HAL’s Koningsdam’s art collection tops over $4 million

The stunning Atrium sculpture titled “Harps”. The $600,000 piece is an impressive 7.5-ton stainless steel sculpture that spans three decks.


One of the most notable features of any Holland America Line ship is the remarkable collection of museum-quality art on board. The line’s newest vessel, ms Koningsdam is no exception. With a collection worth $4.1 million, the ship highlights the talents of leading hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany, working with art curator ArtLink, and YSA Design to procure a thought-provoking collection of diverse works that complements the ship’s design while stimulating conversation.

The result is a floating art gallery with 1,920 pieces ranging in value from $500 to $600,000 that spans the decks, public rooms and staterooms. More than 21 nationalities are represented by Koningsdam’s artists, with the greatest number of contributors coming from the Netherlands, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Koningsdam features artworks in many media, including photography, painting, mixed media, illustration, prints and sculpture. Ranging from classic to whimsical, a variety of two-dimensional, mixed-media pieces using materials including paint-injected bubble wrap, computer disks on wood, toy cars cast in resin, aluminum wire, cast paper, bamboo and more are scattered throughout the ship. Many of the pieces change appearance depending on the viewer’s vantage point, inviting guests to take time to ponder and discuss the works of art.

The largest and most expensive work is the stunning Atrium sculpture titled “Harps” that is based on a concept by Adam D. Tihany, who was at the helm of the ship’s design and is regarded as one of the world’s pre-eminent hospitality designers. The $600,000 piece is an impressive 7.5-ton stainless steel sculpture that spans three decks.

“Extensive collections of unique and thought-provoking art have always been a hallmark of our elegant on board ambiance, and Koningsdam showcases one of our most exciting and contemporary displays,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Surrounding our guests with a vast array of meaningful artwork is a natural extension of the cruise experience as art awakens your senses, enriches your perspectives, inspires conversation and crosses cultural boundaries, all the same transformative values of travel.”

Additional pieces that carry an impressive price tag include Jason Krugman’s multideck “Quad Helix” light sculpture located in the Queen’s Lounge that cost $174,750; the custom-designed Swarovski crystal globe made by Dutch design group Studio Job valued at $100,000 located on Deck 3, mid-ship stair lobby; and the $54,000 “Rabbit” by Berg and Meyers nestled in The Retreat, which has turned into one of the most talked about pieces on board.

The large-scale tulip images behind the Guest Services desk on Deck 3 are by a Netherlands-based artist who was commissioned to photograph Holland America Line’s Signature Tulip. This unique flower only blooms for a couple of weeks every year, so ArtLink’s team traveled to the Netherlands to collect the blooms directly from the only grower in the world of the Signature Tulip, and they arrived at the photographer’s studio in time to capture the moment.

Dutch artist Peter Gentenaar recently exhibited his work at Paris’ famed Louvre, and now Holland America Line guests can enjoy his captivating, two-story sculpture in The Dining Room. Titled “Wings of the Pharao,” the piece is made from handmade cast paper, Belgian linen and bamboo, and Gentenaar came on board the ship during construction in the yard to complete the installation.

As he has done for the entire Holland America Line fleet, Stephen J. Card, a British artist regarded as one of the finest maritime painters working today, created two paintings that are on display in the Captain’s Corner of the Crow’s Nest, forward on Deck 11.

A highlight for many Holland America Line devotees are the historic art objects on display that came from ms Ryndam and ms Statendam, which were transferred to sister brand P&O Australia.

Whether it’s a collection of pieces featuring famous musicians or a wooden ship sculpture with a cello for its hull, the art aboard Koningsdam makes up one of the finest collections in the world. Guests can explore the decks inside and out and discover inspired works around every turn.

Danish Warmth in Copenhagen

Danish streets and culture mesh in the sense of connectedness.


We can all use a good hug now and then, and many a Dane practices hygge on a daily basis. They do this by taking time to enjoy life’s small pleasures, especially the sharing of meals with family and friends. If coziness is an essential part of hygge, no one does it better than the Danes, for they wouldn’t think of setting a dinner table without the warm glow of candles, and that dining table is probably Danish modern.

Danish modern design is on display throughout Copenhagen – Denmark’s capital and a busy base port for Northern Europe cruises. A pleasing mix of old world charm and modernist architecture, Copenhagen is considered one of the world’s most livable cities. You can walk everywhere in the downtown core, where pedestrian-only streets include the mile-long Strøget, its five interconnecting streets lined with shops selling an array of Danish products. These include handpainted porcelain, damask tablecloths, fine table linens and wooden toys.

Amid the selection of shops along the Strøget are cafés and coffeehouse serving mouth-watering pastries and freshly-brewed coffee. After admiring the 17th-century architecture at Kongens Nytorv (King’s New Square) you can pop into Reinh Van Hauen bakery for a tasty cinnamon roll called kanel-snegl. Delicious layer cakes, including a chocolate and coffee mousse creation honouring the Danish author Karen Blixen, are served in La Glace patisserie at Skoubogade 3, just off the Strøget.

Danish pastries served with a smile in the Winter Garden Cafe.


After strolling the length of the Strøget, from King’s New Square to City Hall Square, you’ll be ready for lunch at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, an art museum founded in 1897 by the brewing magnate Carl Jacobsen. The museum’s domed courtyard is bright and airy and the perfect spot to pause for a light lunch in its Winter Garden café.

Close by are the famous Tivoli Gardens – an amusement park of twinkling lights, flower gardens, rides and restaurants which first opened in 1843. King Christian VIII authorized its construction upon hearing the convincing argument that people amusing themselves do not think about politics. When Walt Disney began planning Disneyland, he drew inspiration from the magical atmosphere created at Tivoli Gardens.

Modern street art adorns the Strøget.


Opposite the Tivoli Gardens is a statue of Hans Christian Andersen, immortalized as the author of such beloved fairy tales as The Ugly Duckling and The Little Mermaid. A bronze statue of the Little Mermaid sits demurely on a shoreside boulder in Copenhagen’s harbour. She’s a short stroll from Langelinie Cruise Pier and one of numerous attractions awaiting visitors to Copenhagen, a city whose residents know how to enjoy the little things in life.

Westerdam shows off new enhancements on Med cruises

The 82,000 ton Westerdam has been upgraded to handle 1964 passengers on Med cruises.


When Holland America Line’s ms Westerdam emerged from a 12-day dry dock at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Palermo, Italy, in late April, the ship debuted major renovations that added many new public spaces and amenities, including two firsts for the fleet: Explorations Central, or EXC, in the Crow’s Nest and Rijksmuseum at Sea. Westerdam also received the popular Music Walk venues Lincoln Center Stage and Billboard Onboard, the intimate Gallery Bar, a reimagined Lido Market and The Retreat area with private cabanas.

Newly released photos show the renovations, along with additional upgrades and modifications including suite upgrades, enhancements to the Greenhouse Spa and Salon, renovations to youth areas Club HAL and The Loft, and the new Holland America Line logo on the funnels. Deck 10 saw the addition of 25 guest staterooms, including 18 verandah and seven interior staterooms, increasing the capacity of the ship to 1,964 guests.

“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.”

Holland America Line’s partnership with Rijksmuseum — the Museum of the Netherlands in Amsterdam — celebrates the company’s Dutch heritage. With Rijksmuseum at Sea on Westerdam, reproductions of some of the museum’s most famous masterpieces are showcased at a dedicated space located on Deck One of the Atrium. Guests also can view videos about the museum and its collections on the in-stateroom television.

To further complete Westerdam’s transformation, 25 new staterooms were added near the top of the ship on Deck 10. The 18 verandah and seven interior staterooms increase the ship’s capacity to 1,964 guests.

Additionally, the suites on board received the fleetwide suite upgrades. The main living area was refreshed with a new headboard, new carpet, wall coverings, a privacy curtain, drapery, bed runner and bed skirt. New quartz-stone surfaces were added to the desk, dresser, nightstands and makeup vanity which, along with new vanity lighting, enhance the cosmetic transformation. Electronic upgrades include a new USB outlet added to the bed’s headboard, bedside LED lights, upgraded electrical outlets and a lighted closet rod. Suite bathrooms also were upgraded, including a wall of designer glass tile, new vanity area, stylish floor tiles and a nightlight.

A new interactive television system was installed throughout the ship, featuring large LED flat-screen TVs with complimentary movies and popular TV shows on demand as well as easy access to the daily program and shipboard information including restaurant overviews, spa services and guest billing.

Outside on Deck 11, The Retreat was relocated from Deck 10, providing a quiet lounging area and 15 private cabanas available for rental that offer a relaxing oasis on deck. Various other public spaces around the ship received new soft furnishings including carpets, drapery, chairs and sofas, while additional outside enhancements include new pool deck loungers and teak decking.

Westerdam currently is cruising the Mediterranean on 12-day itineraries between Barcelona, Spain, and Venice or Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy. To learn more visit: Holland America