Holland America Line’s Seattle-centric strategy

Holland America Line has launched a campaign to promote itself as Seattle’s hometown cruise line.

It’s a smart move that dovetails with an increasing emphasis on local as well as national marketing of cruise brands.

HAL won’t be advertising itself that way in Omaha or San Antonio, said President Orlando Ashford. But the greater Seattle area, with 3.6 million residents, is a top metro market with the income to cruise and HAL’s ships conveniently departing all summer from its piers.

Ashford said HAL, which has been located in Seattle for 32 years, wants to raise its profile as a corporate citizen in an area that includes names such as Microsoft, Nordstrom, Starbucks and Amazon.com.

Save for perhaps Princess Cruises in Los Angeles, it’s hard to think of another cruise line with such a strong position as a hometown cruise line.

Miami is a bit of an open city, with Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International all having a longstanding claim.

But Norwegian made a play for New York and Miami with the introduction of its last two ships, the Norwegian Breakaway and Getaway, which were themed to those two cities.

And Carnival is making a big push to be considered the local favorite in the Texas market, where it is the official cruise line of the Dallas Cowboys, and in New Orleans where it recently struck a similar deal with the New Orleans Saints.

Who knows, maybe there’s a deal in the works to make HAL the official cruise line of the Seattle Seahawks, whose blue 12th man banner is ubiquitous in the Seattle-Tacoma area.

It might look good draped on HAL’s new downtown headquarters, which is expected to open at the end of next year.

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Carnival Corp. to build second cruise terminal in Barcelona


Norwegian Jade in Barcelona.

Carnival Corp. has received approval to build and operate a second private cruise terminal in Barcelona, Europe’s busiest cruise port.

The cruise company said it will spend more than 30 million euros (about $33 million) on the project. Carnival said construction is slated to start in 2016 and that the facility could open as early as 2018.

The terminal, to be built at the port’s Adossat wharf, will be one of Europe’s largest at nearly 125,000 square feet, Carnival said.

There has been a “consistent surge in growth” in Barcelona over the past several years, said Giora Israel, Carnival Corp.’s senior vice president of global port and destination development. Barcelona is a destination and homeport for seven of Carnival Corp.’s 10 cruise brands.

Besides the terminal, Carnival Corp. will build and operate a new parking facility on the cruise pier.

The Port of Barcelona said it had 764 cruise calls in 2014.