Last updated: 10:53 AM ET, Thu March 17 2016

Behind the Scenes: Holland America Line’s New Brand and Koningsdam Sea Trials

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Holland America Line | Jason Leppert | January 22, 2016

Behind the Scenes: Holland America Line’s New Brand and Koningsdam Sea Trials

Photo courtesy of Holland America Line

Holland America Line previously announced a new brand that is now coming to fruition, amid a frenzy of other cruise line rebranding, as it airs a new TV commercial and the new Koningsdam completes its sea trials ahead of her anticipated launch.

Marketing Campaign

The cruise line is freshening its image with a new minimized logo, “Savor the Journey” motto, and strategic partnerships, all of which we’ve analyzed before, and now the company is appropriately broadening its corresponding marketing campaign ahead of its newest ship introduction.

“‘Savor the Journey’ is all-encompassing and tells the story of today’s Holland America Line cruise experience, from our breadth of destinations to our classic style, gracious service, impeccable cuisine and onboard entertainment and enrichment programs,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “Our goal is to marry how we present the brand with what motivates our guests to travel today. That theme carries through to the logo, advertising, marketing collateral, partnerships and other enhancements.”

READ MORE: Holland America Line Embraces Past and Present on Koningsdam

A new 30-second television commercial, hosted at my Popular Cruising YouTube channel below,  conveys the timeless nature of the brand’s ships and destinations, inviting guests to write their own story while along for the ride. The spot will run locally and nationally in metropolitan markets attached to programs such as “Today,” “The Voice,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Saturday Night Live” and “60 Minutes.” Some of these placements clearly indicate a younger target demographic while others focus on more traditional markets.

“We haven’t had a broadcast campaign to this extent in many years, so it’s exciting to see the brand taking steps to increase awareness and spread the word that if you want to see the world in the most enriching way possible, Holland America Line is the company to take you there,” Ashford added.

Plus, print ads will also spread the message inviting guests to “Write the Next Great Chapter in Your Life Story,” enjoy “Barcelona and Lincoln Center in One Day” and imagine “Mediterranean Blues and Delta Blues. On One Cruise.” The pieces will be placed in magazines like AFAR; Bon Appétit; Condé Nast Traveler; Departures; Food & Wine; O, The Oprah Magazine; Porthole; Smithsonian; Travel + Leisure and trade publications.

Koningsdam Sea Trials

All of this, of course, is leading up to the launch of Holland America’s next new ship, the Koningsdam, scheduled for delivery in April. On the way to its May 20, 2016 naming ceremony, the ship has recently completed two sets of successful sea trials that began from the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy on Jan. 2, when the vessel was tested for seaworthiness. The ship then went to the yard’s Trieste dry-dock for standard hull maintenance before its second set of testing and return to Marghera on Jan. 16 to finalize the ship.

READ MORE: The Role of Nostalgia in Modern Cruise Shipping

During the ship’s performance tests, Captain Emiel de Vries, Koningsdam’s master-designate was onboard for its initial maneuvers and mechanical system and safety checks. You can see photos of the ship’s early run below (and in the header above).

“Koningsdam is a new class of ship for Holland America Line, so everyone was eager to get the ship out in the open water for the first time on sea trials,” said Ashford. "Koningsdam delivered a strong performance and is now back at the ship yard for the final phase of work in anticipation of the early April delivery.”

In a delicate balance, the television commercial speaks to the line’s heritage and timelessness while the Koninsgdam itself treads more in modern territories. While they both sell to me personally at the age of 32, whether or not they will to the broader “SNL” and “The Voice” crowd and younger millennials is to be seen.

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