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(5:15 p.m. EDT) — With Holland America’s newest ship, Koningsdam, the line is ramping up its commitment to entertainment.
The ship, which debuts in April 2016, is being designed with music-inspired elements, including a three-deck atrium that showcases a steel sculpture meant to represent a string quartet.
HAL forged that music connection — with flair – Tuesday at Cruise Shipping Miami, announcing brand partnerships with some of the biggest names in the entertainment business.
The news conference opened with a live performance, with musicians belting out hits like “Chain of Fools” and “Uptown Funk.” And the decor and vibe at the event was certainly funky, with colorful lights on video screens, entrance music for speakers and cocktails for celebration.
In fact, the atmosphere was such a departure for a line that has a reputation for tradition that Chief Executive Officer, Holland America Group, Stein Kruse was compelled to remark on it.
“So somebody asked me as I was walking in the door if I was sure this was Holland America Line,” Kruse joked.
Yes, this is HAL, but with a twist, as the line eyes the future of entertainment onboard 2,650-passenger Koningsdam,
When the new cruise ship debuts, it will have a Music Walk, an area designed with three separate and distinct music venues to appeal to a variety of music tastes.
B.B. King’s Blues Club, already on six ships, has been a success, said Bill Prince, Holland America’s director of entertainment – so much so that the line wanted to expand the concept other genres.
Billboard Onboard, a sing-along piano/guitar spot that focuses on hits from many eras and across genres — pop, rock and country included — will join B.B. King’s on Koningsdam.
So will Lincoln Center Stage, a collaboration with the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts that will expose cruisers to classical music with a quintet that combines piano and strings.
“Hopefully, with the power of these brands, we’re attracting a whole new audience,” Prince said.
The new entertainment spaces will operate six nights a week on seven-night sailings, and each will offer three programs per night. The programs will vary, to provide plenty of options. Each program will run 45 minutes to an hour.
B.B. King’s will also be added to Rotterdam in January and Oosterdam in April.