Destination immersion is the end goal with HAL’s new Explorations Central

Destination immersion is the end goal with HAL’s new Explorations Central

SEATTLE — Holland America Line has launched Explorations Central (EXC), a multi-faceted experience that combines travel resources with enrichment opportunities for guests that makes their trip more engaging and meaningful.

EXC will also feature the transformation of the Crow’s Nest on some ships to create a newly named venue – Explorations Central – as a comprehensive resource centre. Programming for EXC begins in early 2017 and will roll out fleet wide by the end of the year.

The EXC shipboard centre will debut aboard ms Westerdam in April following a scheduled dry dock, and is scheduled to expand across the entire fleet through 2018.

“Explorations Central is revolutionizing the way we deliver destinations to our guests, and it’s going to profoundly change how our guests are immersed in the history, culture and cuisine of the places we visit,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “EXC is going to show our guests the world in a whole new way and enable them to engage in truly meaningful experiences.”

As the centerpiece for interactive discovery, Explorations Central, in the space currently occupied by the Crow’s Nest, will be a hub of information where guests can relax with an espresso and collect information about a port. In-depth content will showcase digital storytelling and interactive videos on subjects ranging from travel and food to the arts.

Plus, in an industry first, EXC will feature a virtual ship’s bridge where real-time data from the ship’s actual bridge reveals the cruise experience to guests from a unique vantage point.

A dedicated EXC Team will bring local culture and history onboard with customized guidance for each destination. Guests can ask EXC Guides about the best tours, most popular sites and where to go to feel like a local.

Through EXC Encounters, local cultural representatives come onboard before the ship reaches the next destination to teach passengers about local customs and traditions. Guests might learn how to play the steel drums from a Trinidadian, for examples, or make a flower lei with a native Hawaiian.

Completing the new on-board offerings, stateroom televisions also become a portal to the world through the EXC Channel featuring a selection of curated films, documentaries and TV shows exploring destinations on the ship’s itinerary.

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