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.