Not content to sail on any old barge? Holland America Line might have the berth for you. The subsidiary of #1 cruise ship company Carnival Corporation operates 15 mid-sized luxury cruise ships with a passenger capacity of approximately 23,500 and sails to more than 350 destinations in the US along the West Coast, in New England, and Alaska. It also offers service to Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean, as well as round-the-world cruises. In addition to seafaring adventure, its Holland America Tours operates almost a dozen hotels, motorcoaches and rail service in Alaska and Canada's Yukon Territory. Holland America was founded in 1873 as the Netherlands-America Steamship Company.
Holland America Line operates as one of four brands in Carnival Corporation's North American cruise segment, including Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, and Seabourn. Across all four ships, Carnival generated 62% of its total passenger capacity through its North American brands.
Its mid-sized ships are designed to offer a more intimate cruising experience for passengers. As a result, Holland America Line boasts some of the industry's highest rates of repeat cruisers. The line has invested some $500 million as part of its Signature of Excellence initiative to continue to provide passengers with high-end experiences, dining, and service. Holland America Line also partners with brand names such as Food & Wine magazine, Microsoft, and The New York Times to make cruising on one of Holland America Line's ships a luxurious experience.
As more consumers vacationed closer to home during the economic downturn, Holland America Line has benefited by becoming one of the top cruise lines in Alaska. To expand its operations, Holland America Line in 2012 dedicated seven of its ships to sailing in this region between May and September. Holland America Line owns a private island in Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas, where most of its ships port.
As with other cruise operators, Holland America has faced rough waters in recent years due to record-high fuel prices in 2008, an economic recession in 2009, and subsequent cruise line accidents that made cruisers reluctant to book trips. Besides offering discounts, Holland America is looking to Europe as a growth market to fill berths. Other cost-cutting measures have been adopted such as applying a type of paint that reduces drag to the hulls of ships (which would increase fuel efficiency) and "cold ironing" -- using shore-side electricity while in port rather than using the ship's fuel. – less