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BBC Earth, AFAR & Utrip Bring Natural World & Cruise Personalization to Guests

At a media event yesterday in New York at the famed Explorer’s Club, Holland America Line announced new partnerships that will bring the natural wonders of the world to life and allow guests to personalize their Holland America Line cruise like never before.

A new collaboration with BBC Earth will takes guests to unique landscapes all over the world in an exciting and dramatic way, while AFAR and Utrip partnerships will allow guests to plan their cruises and shoreside adventures on Holland America Line’s website in a way that is unlike anything offered in the cruise industry.

Ashford presented the new partners to a packed house at the Explorer's Club.

Ashford presented the new partners to a packed house at the Explorer’s Club.

BBC Earth Brings ‘Frozen Planet’ Onboard
Holland America Line is partnering with award-winning BBC Earth to bring world-class fun and factual entertainment onboard its fleet of premium ships. Through the innovative and breathtaking programming that is a signature of BBC Earth, guests will be taken closer to the ocean and natural world through groundbreaking concerts, films, shows, children’s activities and theme cruises.


The BBC Earth program is set to roll out across Holland America Line’s fleet starting in April 2016 and will be on all ships by September 2016.

A highlight of the partnership will be a live concert specially adapted for the line based on the “Frozen Planet” program, which will take guests on a journey into the majestic wilderness of the Polar Regions. The production will feature “Frozen Planet” footage and be accompanied by live musicians, making it a feast for the senses.

On all ships, guests will also be able to enjoy enriching activities including a game show uncovering the weird, wonderful and obscure in our natural world and BBC Earth theater screenings with special introductions by the film crew behind the programs. Junior cruisers can get in on the adventure as well with an on-board explorer trail, fun workshops, and BBC Earth animal and dinosaur fact shows. They will even have the opportunity to try their hand at being a journalist.

Guests who want a deeper BBC Earth experience can join a featured theme cruise that will include access to the creators of your favorite BBC Earth shows who share their behind-the-scenes stories of how the programs are made and conduct master classes in their craft. Younger guests will also have the opportunity to have film workshops with the BBC Earth YouTube team. Featured cruise dates will be announced at a later time.

AFAR Media Provides Destination Guides for All Ports & Scenic Cruising
Holland America Line is partnering with experiential travel expert AFAR Media to help cruisers dream, plan, choose and prepare for the perfect cruise vacation. Through the collaboration, AFAR will provide “Destination Guides” for all of Holland America Line’s ports of call and scenic cruising areas — totaling approximately 400.


The Destination Guides will be available on Holland America Line’s website, giving guests access to the most comprehensive information accessible to travelers in the cruise industry. AFAR will utilize its vast network of local experts to curate the content, providing travelers with authentic recommendations for top attractions, restaurants and shopping experiences in each destination.

From the world’s most iconic cities to relatively undiscovered ports that Holland America Line is known for visiting, each Destination Guide will contain an overview of up to 20 top picks to see and do in the area; recommended restaurants, cafes and markets; and boutique shopping suggestions.

Utrip Software Allows Guests to Tailor Their Cruise Experience
Selecting the right cruise itinerary and then deciding what to do while in port can be daunting, but Holland America Line’s new collaboration with UTrip will give guests the most comprehensive and interactive personalized planning and discovery tool in the cruise industry.


Through integration into the Holland America Line website, the Utrip platform will offer a novel way to personalize content in new Destination Guides being created in partnership with AFAR Media. Cruisers will be able to browse the information on their own or utilize the Utrip functionality to select desired ports of call, highlights and activities ashore. They will then receive customized recommendations on the line’s cruise itineraries, port highlights, as well as shore excursions tailored to their interests.

Utrip simplifies searching through Holland America Line’s thousands of cruise itineraries and shoreside activities by enabling guests to narrow down their options and save specific ports and interests. These are recommended by either a pre-determined profile or a personalized one created with interactive sliders covering History, Art and Culture, Food and Drink, Nature and Outdoors, and Contemporary Life.

For each destination, Utrip searches top-pick attractions, local dining and shopping options for the best match to personal preferences. Interactive maps allow users to see the location of each suggestion and click for additional information. The interface also will make recommendations for Holland America Line group shore excursions based on preferences.

Another facet of the Utrip platform is that it will enable guests to find cruises visiting specific ports and regions without having to sort through dozens of itineraries in the area. For example, if a traveler knows she wants to visit Europe and explore Spain, Italy and Monaco, and more specifically Barcelona, Rome, and Monte Carlo, Utrip might recommend ms Oosterdam’s 12-day Mediterranean Rivieras voyage departing May 24, 2016, or ms Eurodam’s 12-day Mediterranean Tapestry cruise departing July 5, 2016.

The Utrip software will work with AFAR Destination Guides so guests can personalize their cruise and shoreside experience.

The Utrip software will work with AFAR Destination Guides so guests can personalize their cruise and shoreside experience.

More exciting announcements are in the works over the next several months, so stay tuned Holland America Line fans!

Which partnership are you most excited to experience? Tell us in the comments below!

  • Louis Beaudry

    Your comment is awaiting moderation. Since October 30, 2015 ???

    I guess only positive comments are allowed.

  • Louis Beaudry

    Maybe I should address my comments to the HAB (???) Editorial Team LOL … Maybe they would at least reply

  • Julie

    Louis, how can we assist?

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