Ms Westerdam debuts new public spaces and amenities
I have just been on board Holland America Lines recently refurbished ms Westerdam for a quick look around at the recent renovations that have taken place on this Vista Class ship, built in 2004 at Fincantieri shipyard in Italy.
The ship debuted major renewals that added many new public spaces and amenities, including two firsts for the fleet: Explorations Central, or EXC, in the former Crow’s Nest and Rijksmuseum at Sea.
ms Westerdam also received the popular music venues Lincoln Centre Stage and Billboard Onboard, the intimate Gallery Bar, and The Retreat area with private cabanas.
EXC (Explorations Central) Spaces
Holland America Line is enhancing its destination immersion experiences with the launch of EXC programming on ms Westerdam. The multifaceted EXC experience combines a wide array of indispensable travel resources with enrichment opportunities for guests making their travel experience more engaging, vivid and meaningful.
Much of the EXC experience is featured in the newly created Exploration Central’s hub located in the Crow’s Nest, now a comprehensive resource and engagement centre with interactive screens and a Virtual Bridge.
- This is the home base for exploring new destinations, the Service Hub features interactive map tables, unique port information and HAL’s always-helpful EXC staff
- Explore your itinerary through a curated collection of books on history, geography, food art and culture
The Explorations Cafe presented by the New York Times
- Enjoy a great cup of coffee and a snack whilst puzzling over a crossword or Sudoku puzzle.
- The Destinations Display offers sweeping views of the most breath-taking ports and invites you o share insights from your own travels via a touch-sensitive interactive display where you can answer the question of the day and compare your experiences with your fellow guests.
- This intimate space allows smaller group discussions with your EXC Team. h also hosts Our book club.
- The Virtual Bridge offers an exciting “behind- the-scenes“ peek into the inner workings of the ship and its systems. Two oversized, see-through,screens display the speed, current location and other fun facts that are usually only accessible to the bridge officers. You can even see the azipods turn!
Rijksmuseum at Sea on ms Westerdam
Holland America Line’s partnership with Rijksmuseum — the Museum of the Netherlands in Amsterdam — celebrates the company’s Dutch heritage. With Rijksmuseum at Sea on Westerdam, reproductions of some of the museum’s most famous masterpieces are showcased at a dedicated space located on Deck One of the Atrium. A staircase was removed to accommodate this new, bright space, and there is also a huge hi-res visual display that showcases works of art in hi-definition – revealing details of paintings and art works that you would miss with your naked eye looking at the original. Guests also can view videos about the museum and its collections on the in-stateroom television.
Music Walk Adds Lincoln Center Stage and Billboard Onboard
Guests have even more entertainment options with the addition of Lincoln Centre Stage and Billboard Onboard, complementing the already-existing and wildly popular B.B. King’s Blues Club. Under the exclusive partnership, Lincoln Centre Stage showcases an ensemble of world-class musicians performing multiple chamber music programs nightly, while Billboard Onboard features the talents of two pianists performing dynamic shows centred around leading figures of the music industry as chronicled by Billboard.
America’s Test Kitchen Receives New Look
America’s Test Kitchen also sports a new look with the room receiving a new color palate and enhancements to the show kitchen featuring gray and red motifs as well as new tables and chairs for guests viewing the cooking demonstrations. Produced in partnership with the namesake, long-running public television cooking program, America’s Test Kitchen features shipboard cooking demonstrations and hands-on workshops — with topics ranging from creating authentic Asian dumplings to making the perfect pie crust — that will combine foolproof, accessible recipes and cooking techniques that are rooted in the rigorous testing and science-based approach of America’s Test Kitchen.
Raising a Glass in Gallery Bar
During the dry dock, ms Westerdam received the intimate Gallery Bar. The sophisticated venue, serving an exclusive cocktail menu created by celebrity mixologist Dale DeGroff, replaces the Northern Lights night club and is adorned with an eclectic and whimsical mix of artwork including portraits, landscapes, still lifes and abstract pieces.
Staterooms and The Retreat
To further complete ms Westerdam’s transformation, 25 new staterooms were added near the top of the ship on Deck 10. The 18 verandah and seven interior staterooms increase the ship’s capacity to 1,964 guests. Additionally, the suites were upgraded to include new headboards, new carpets, wall coverings, and curtains. Electronic upgrades include a new USB outlet added to the bed’s headboard, and bedside LED lights,.
A new interactive television system was installed throughout the ship, featuring large LED flat-screen TVs with complimentary movies and popular TV shows on demand as well as easy access to the daily program and shipboard information including restaurant overviews, spa services and guest billing.
Outside on Deck 11, The Retreat was relocated from Deck 10, providing a quiet lounging area and 15 private cabanas available for rental that offer a relaxing oasis on deck. Various other public spaces around the ship received new soft furnishings including carpets, drapery, chairs and sofas, while additional outside enhancements include new pool deck loungers and teak decking.
These enhancements to ms Westerdam are part of a $300 million programme and will be added to the rest of the fleet in due course.
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