Holland America Is Getting a $300 Million Makeover -- And BBC Earth Programs

by  Fran Golden | Nov 3, 2015
Neptune suite rendering
Neptune suite rendering / Holland America Line

Here’s a quick look at what’s new this week in cruising, and how it could impact your next trip… 

  • Big changes are coming to the 141-year-old Holland America Line. For starters, its pouring $300 million into upgrading its entire fleet -- $40 million of which will go toward upgrading the suites with modern and luxurious touches like quartz stone surfaces and USB outlets. But you don't have to stay in the fanciest cabins to take advantage of HAL's incredible new partnership with BBC Earth. Rolling out next April, the nature- and wildlife-focused programming will encompass everything from screenings to "edutainment" game shows to theme cruises with the shows' creators. The line has also paired up with Afar Media, the hip company behind Afar magazine, to deliver customized content for what-to-do-in-port planning based on cruiser interests.
  • Foodies, we dare you not to be tempted. Windstar Cruises is launching a series of cruises called the James Beard Culinary Collection, in which notable James Beard chefs will run cooking classes, spend quality time talking food, and introducing special menu additions. (Participating chefs will be announced in January.) Of course, onboard wine tastings and onshore food- and wine-minded excursions is part of the program, too -- and some will be included in the fare. These theme cruises are planned for 2016, heading for Spain, Morocco, and France.
    From $2,499 per person for a 7-night sailing from Lisbon to Barcelona
  • Sometimes, though, it's all about the comfort food. Princess Cruises' new gastropub, Salty Dog, serves up craft beer and a signature burger that combines a beef patty, grilled pork belly, kimchi, jalapeños, charred onion aioli, and Gruyere cheese. Already on the Crown Princess, the pub will debut on the Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess next month. (A $19 fee applies).
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