While some cruise ships are trending towards becoming destinations unto themselves, the rest seem to be returning to cruising basics with a finer focus on where they sail, and Holland America Line just put its name in the hat as the next in line with its new Explorations Central, or EXC, program.
Having just sailed on the Westerdam, it’s exciting to see that the ship, appropriately known in-house as the “Testerdam,” will be the first to receive the hardware associated with the new program by April 2017: essentially a vastly enhanced observation lounge. Where the Crow’s Nest and adjacent Explorations Cafe and library now sit, a new EXC venue (rendered above) dedicated fully to the destination will take shape.
On the surface, this may seem more evolutionary than revolutionary, but rather than a traditional simple shore excursion desk, outline of available tours and occasional lecture, the shoreside experience will now be highlighted onboard much more than before.
For starters, an observation lounge with windows beyond the ship is the perfect venue for
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