Holland America Line has announced it will launch a new destination immersion experience called Explorations Central, or EXC.
Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s President, said: “Explorations Central is revolutionising 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.
“Those who see the world better understand the world; and when we better understand the world we can gain insights into ourselves and personally experience the transformative effects of travel. EXC is going to show our guests the world in a whole new way and enable them to engage in truly meaningful experiences.”
The EXC experience combines a wide range of travel resources with enrichment opportunities for guests that make their travel experience more engaging, vivid 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 and engagement centre. Programming for EXC begins in early 2017 and will roll out across the entire fleet by the end of the year. The EXC shipboard centre will debut on board MS Westerdam in April 2017 following a scheduled dry dock and is scheduled to expand across the rest of the fleet through 2018.
As the centrepiece for interactive discovery, Explorations Central – in the space currently occupied by the Crow’s Nest – will be a hub of information. In-depth content will display digital storytelling and interactive video experiences on subjects ranging from travel and food, to the arts. 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.
Also being introduced is a dedicated EXC Team that will bring local culture and history onboard with customised guidance for each destination. EXC Talks by the EXC Guides bring each locale to life by digging deeper, beyond facts and figures.
Through EXC Encounters, local cultural representatives come on board before the ship reaches the next destination to build anticipation for the adventures that lie ahead. Guests might learn how to play the steel drums from a Trinidadian, make a flower lei with a native Hawaiian, or create a sense of balance and serenity every morning in a class led by a master tai chi instructor.
Completing the new onboard 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.
Whether you’re looking for a cultural holiday or relaxing break, find your perfect cruise here.