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The Best of the Autumn 2017 Iglu Cruise Show

clock 12th October 2017 | comment0 Comments

Due to ever-increasing demand for our Iglu Cruise Holiday Show, we recently held our second and final show of the year at the beautiful Epsom Downs Racecourse.

Guests were greeted with spectacular views over the venue, where the sun was shining and our staff were smiling. With faultless transport links, complimentary parking, and welcome drinks on hand throughout the day, the atmosphere was relaxed and cheerful. Hundreds of cruise fans turned out to be a part of the event, to discuss their future cruising needs, and gain valuable advice from our experts.

An impressive array of cruise line representatives, travel agents, and other specialists were on hand to offer information and guidance, and to inspire cruisers with all possible cruising options. With six live talks taking place throughout the day, guests could find answers to all their holiday questions with ease.

A real highlight of the day was BBC presenter Nicholas Owen’s talk about his life experiences, and love for cruising with Cunard. With Cunard in attendance, guests were privy to an authentic and thorough insight into life onboard their ships. Other talks included ‘Why River Cruising Could be for You’, which explained the exciting versatility of cruising the world’s rivers, and ‘Handcrafted Cruise Holidays’, during which our very own experts detailed the possibilities of a tailor made cruise.

As well as making the most of the opportunity to learn more about all things cruise, guests also had the chance of winning a Luxury Hamper, courtesy of Holland America Line. We would like to thank all entrees, and are delighted to congratulate our winner - Jerry from Bognor Regis!

We at Iglu Cruise thoroughly enjoyed our day with all of those who attended, and can’t wait to see you at our 2018 shows, which are set to be even better!



We interview Wendy Lahmich, Holland America Line's UK Sales Director

clock 27th March 2017 | comment0 Comments

Updated June 2019

We collated some of our most frequently asked questions about Holland America Line (HAL) and pitched them to Wendy Lahmich, the cruise line's Sales Director for the UK & Ireland. She shared with us some great information for anyone new to the brand, plus some personal memories based on her own experiences with this fantastic cruise line...

What has been your most memorable cruise?

I had always wanted to go to Alaska, and I finally embarked on a Holland America Line Inside Passage cruise 14 years ago. My favourite memories include seeing orca whales in the wake of our ship and viewing the incredible scenery in Glacier Bay.

 

 

Do you have any favourite ports and why?

Other than Alaska my favourite ports would have to be Kotor, in Montenegro and Dubrovnik, in Croatia. I just love the Dalmatian Coast for its stunning architecture, scenery and lovely people. Of course, you can see all of these destinations on a Holland America Line cruise, departing from Venice – one of the most iconic cities you can ever sail from!

What are HAL's stand out features?

Holland America Line is known for our “carefully curated” itineraries which really do give our guests authentic destination immersion both before their cruise via our online destination guides and onboard with our experts, along with long days and overnight stays in iconic cities like Sydney, Shanghai and Singapore.

We launched a beautiful new ship in 2016, ms Koningsdam, and with it a whole host of new partnerships (we called it our “Bold New Story”), most of which are now being rolled out fleetwide. Our partnership with BBC Earth brings incredible Frozen Planet concerts to the main show lounge; we now have Music Walk featuring the BB Kings blues, dueling pianos at Billboard Onboard and great classical music from Lincoln Centre Stage. Plus, our already excellent culinary reputation has been enhanced by new restaurants – very French Sel de Mer, “Dine at the Culinary Arts Centre” on Koningsdam and a partnership with America’s Test Kitchen, offering guests regional cookery demonstrations and more. 

 


My personal favourite? Our unique wine blending facility on ms Koningsdam where a small group of guests learn to blend and create their own red wines, with help from the experts of Chateau St Michelle. Before this experience I knew very little about red wine….and I learnt so much!

Are there any age ranges best suited to HAL?

Holland America Line appeals to discerning travellers of all ages. Obviously longer itineraries will appeal to a slightly older demographic, but our excellent CLUB HAL amenities for children aged 3 upwards also attract many families during school holidays – including my own!

Which hobbies/interests do HAL best cater to?

Enrichment is an important feature of Holland America Line. When on holiday our guests like to learn, so we have a huge choice of activities from cookery and digital workshops to painting and drawing skills at ‘Rijksmuseum at Sea’. One of our popular partnerships is with O, the Oprah Magazine, which helps provide wellness activities, classes, seminars and so much more! Our Explorations Central experts also provide lots of information about the culture, customs, sights and history of the destinations visited during the cruise. And of course there are many places just to relax and watch the world go by such as the Greenhouse Spa & Salon, our extensive deck areas which feature two pools – and our wrap-around Promenade deck.

 

 

My absolute favourite place for relaxation onboard ships which have the area is the Retreat, where I always book a Private Cabana for the whole duration of the cruise! It is a must for me as it does exactly what it says on the tin but in total luxury!

What should our customers know before booking a cruise with HAL?

Holland America Line is an international company which means you’ll have the opportunity to interact with amazing people from many different countries. English is the official language onboard, however we are very proud of our Dutch officers and our academy trained Indonesian and Filipino crew who provide intuitive, yet friendly service and are really adept at getting to know guests’ names and preferences very early in the cruise.

How does HAL cater for singles?

We welcome single travellers onboard (me being one of them!) and we arrange get-togethers, socials and dining according to their preferences. While we do feature some new single staterooms on ms Koningsdam, many guests choose to “share” accommodation with another single guest of the same sex (in designated stateroom categories), for instant companionship - and to avoid single supplements.

What is the dress code?

Daytime is always casual and most evenings are informal. We still offer guests the opportunity to dress up on two evenings per week and enjoy a more celebratory evening meal in the restaurant however, those who prefer to stay casual may dine in one of our alternative restaurants at the Lido or even order a freshly-baked pizza in the comfort of their stateroom.

 

 

What are the most popular itineraries?

Alaska has always sold really well for us, and Holland America Line celebrated 70 years in Alaska in 2017 – with more ships, glaciers and gala dinners than ever before! As well as cruises from Vancouver, Seattle and Seward, we offer a range of incredible Land + Sea Journeys which, as well as a cruise, include up to 3 nights at our McKinley Chalet hotel in Denali National Park, for nature at its very wildest! Another very popular destination is South America, especially the 14 -16 night “Passage” cruises that sail from Buenos Aires or Santiago, combining cities like Montevideo and Ushuaia with the breathtaking Chilean Fjords and Glacier Alley – plus, a day at Port Stanley in the Falklands, a chance to see penguins visit a real British pub!

What does the future hold for Holland America Line?

We have not long celebrated the launch of ms Nieuw Statendam in Autumn 2018, and we have another “Dam” ship due for delivery in 2021 - showing there is a huge demand for Holland America Line’s mid-size, premium product and incredible destination experience. We constantly continue to enhance the existing fleet for example, ms Westerdam now features upgraded suites, the Music Walk, our Explorations Central concept and “Rijksmuseum at Sea” art instalment.

 

If you're feeling inspired to cruise with this ever-popular cruise line, take a look at our current Holland America Line cruise offers.





What's the cruising experience like for teenagers onboard Holland America Line?

clock 20th March 2017 | comment0 Comments

Sasha Narraway was only five years old the first time she went on a cruise, remembering only snippets. Speaking of her first cruise as a teenager, Sasha vividly describes her fun-packed experience where she relished everything Holland America Line had to offer for teenagers cruising onboard MS Nieuw Amsterdam.

 


I was really looking forward to cruising, especially the restaurants, shows and fun of the Club HAL teen club! We sailed from Venice on a 12 Nt Mediterranean Empires cruise on Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam. The cruise started with an overnight onboard, so we had a full day to walk around the stunning city of Venice. The weather was amazing and I loved the orchestras in St Mark’s Square. The buildings were picturesque and we took lots of photos. We also bought some beautiful Venetian masks for the masquerade ball on the ship a couple of days later. I stood right at the bow of the ship as we sailed down the Grand Canal with Tom, our “On Location” guide, telling us all about the history of Venice. 

 

 

Some days were spent just swimming and sunbathing, others exploring ancient sites like Ephesus and the Acropolis or cities like Istanbul. My favourite place on the ship was the Cabana Club, where we had our own private cabana. Accommpanied with a butler service, we would be transported to a world of relaxation with refreshing lemonade, chocolate covered strawberries and a whole fruit platter delivered to us by smiling waiters.  I also loved Club HAL, which was the perfect place for younger guests onboard to hang out as well as The Loft. 

 

Left: The Loft, Right: Club HAL


Most days, once I’d had too much sun or if the Cabanas were closing, I’d run to the amazing, almost private, cinema downstairs. There was free popcorn, huge comfortable chairs, plenty of leg room and all the latest films that hadn’t yet come out in England! I also loved the big shows in the main theatre. What more could a budding 13-year-old actress want?

 

 

Most evenings we ate in the main restaurant as we loved the atmosphere and the smiley waiters but on Mummy’s birthday we ate in the Pinnacle Grill and had amazing steaks and a birthday cake. The Asian restaurant (Tamarind) was my favourite; we used chopsticks and I loved the smell of the Thai spices. We also went to Canaletto, the Italian restaurant, one night. I managed to wear all 12 dresses I had taken with me! One day Mica (my brother) and I did a cooking class in the Culinary Arts theatre. We had great fun making pancakes and adding different toppings to them. On our last night we went to the Show Lounge to watch ‘Dancing with the Stars’ which was like Strictly Come Dancing. They even had Len and Bruno on a video screen.

 

Left: Tamarind, Right: Pinnacle Grill

 

If I had to pick a few of my favourite places on the cruise they would be Venice, Santorini and Cephalonia. I didn’t really know what to expect in Istanbul, but the beautiful skyline of mosques and bridges were so pretty that I didn’t know where I was. This holiday had something for all of us and is one I will never forget - I doubt my friends will forget it either because I’ve bored them with it many times. I found all of the crew onboard to be fantastic. They all had lovely smiles on their faces and they always worked so hard, nothing was too much trouble. It was so good not having to make my bed or set the table everyday - I think Mummy thought so too! I can’t wait for my next Holland America Line Cruise!

 

 More about ms Nieuw Amsterdam | More about Holland America Line





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