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Holland America Line may send its newest ship, the Nieuw Statendam to visit Australia with TV personality and ship’s godmother to the ship, Oprah Winfrey onboard.

HAL president Orlando Ashford said at the World Leading Cruise Lines summit last weekend on board Majestic Princess he was in the region to assess new ship deployments here.

“Maybe one of our new ships may visit Australia. As for Oprah, who loves Australia and New Zealand for a vacation, she may even cruise here.  That’s why I am here.”

The 2666-passenger Nieuw Statendam will be launched on 5 December when she sails on her inaugural voyage from Rome to Fort Lauderdale.

Oprah Winfrey is scheduled to sail on the Nieuw Statendam from January 30 to February 2 2019.

The Statendam, a sister ship to Koningsdam, which was launched two years ago, is the second of HAL’s Pinnacle-class ships. It will feature speciality restaurants from Sel de Mer to the Grand Dutch Café. Guests can also sign up for the America’s Test Kitchen’s cooking classes and hands-on workshops.

Music lovers can look forward to the ship’s new Rolling Stone Rock Room where rock and roll music of the last 40 years will be played.

Tony Archbold, senior sales and marketing director in Australia said that Statendam will have more than US$4 million worth of art on board.

He said that HAL’s artlink gallery will introduce more emerging artists to reflect the itineraries, ports and destinations.

“Our collection of artwork will be itinerary specific with more Australian artists for journeys to Sydney,’’ he told a media briefing on board the Noordam when the ship visited Sydney yesterday after a 14-day journey from New Zealand.

Mr Archbold also said that HAL is revamping its retail shops introducing Sophia Fiori for custom-made jewellery.

The line has also launched more innovative and immersive shore excursions on board the 1258-guest Maasdam. The new EXC In-depth voyages will use local scholars and customized zodiacs for guests to have a truly immersive experience.

Some of the immersive shore excursions will include taking a guided walking tour of Komodo National Park in search of the Komodo dragon, seeing  the Fijian kava or watching the platypus playing in billabongs in Australia.

He said that Alaska and Europe are two of the line’s most popular destinations. Hal has been cruising to Alaska for 70 years and is the only land operator in Alaska.

Australia is HAL’s second biggest market after America.


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