Cruise line Holland America says that it’s basing its future scheduling around longer cruises and more interesting destinations.
The proof is already in the pudding, with two ships leaving from Florida this week, one on a 74-night circumnavigation of South America and the other a 128-night epic cruise with stops all around the night.
Although, according to the decision-makers, you can only expect more of this.
Holland America’s chief commercial officer Beth Bodensteiner told The Points Guy: “We decided that it made sense for us to really lean into these longer, more differentiated itineraries and kind of try to move away from the mass-market [itineraries] that others do a beautiful job of delivering.”
Ms Bodensteiner says this is a result of research revealing that since the pandemic, people want richer travel experiences.
“We do a lot of research when we go to plan our itineraries … and what we [see now] in the research, and I think a lot of this is because of the pandemic and people pausing on travel for a while … [is that] just overwhelmingly people [want a] longer, more unique deployment.”
Carnival Corporation, the owner of Holland America recently appointed a new CEO Josh Weinstein and Ms Bodensteiner says he is supporting Holland America’s shift towards longer itineraries.
“”He agrees with [the focus on longer sailings] and thinks it’s a good spot for us, but we’d already kind of been down the path of trying to think about how we can differentiate ourselves, and, quite honestly, how to drive our prices higher to return shareholder value.
“And that means a differentiated product that’s going to command higher pricing because it’s more unique.”
As far as the numbers go, Holland America will offer 28% more sailings of 25 nights or more this year when compared to 2019, as well as an even more significant 117% increase in sailings of 50 nights or longer.
If you want to join in on the fun, the cruise line has recently announced a 28-night sailing through Alaska, with the extended sailing time allowing for a much deeper dive into the remote regions of the polar destination.
For something a bit sooner, later this year there’s a 73-day Grand Africa Voyage sailings out of Fort Lauderdale, in pursuit of destinations like Tunisia, Greece, Egypt, Jordan, Seychelles, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique and so much more.
For an exciting that will take you right back home, you can sail from San Diego to Sydney over 34-days on October 8, 2023, immersing yourself in the South Pacific along the way with stops in Hawaii, Bora Bora, Papeete, the Cook Islands, Tonga and more.