Holland America Line raises daily gratuity

Holland America Line guests will be asked to pay $1 more per day in gratuities.

The current rates are $13.50 for standard accommodations and $15 for suites. Those figures jump to $14.50 and $16, respectively, for all sailings departing Dec. 1 and afterwards, except the 2019 Grand World Voyage and the 2019 Grand South America Antarctica Voyage.

The gratuity is automatically added to a guest’s shipboard account but can be adjusted up or down.

The rate was last adjusted 18 months ago. Prior to April 2017, it was $12.50 for standard cabins and $13.50 for suites.

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Fincantieri lays first keel block for Nieuw Statendam and order a Third Ship

Fincantieri lays first keel block for Nieuw Statendam

Fincantieri laid the first piece of keel for Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam at its Marghera yard in Venice, Italy on 20 March. The 260-ton block, which is 11.3 metres long and 34.8 wide, will form the central section of Nieuw Statendam.

Built as a sister to Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam will be Holland America’s second 99,800gt Pinnacle class ship and will be delivered at the end of 2018. The vessel will be able to accommodate up to 2,650 passengers in more than 1,300 cabins and feature interiors created by two major studios – Tihany Design and YSA Design.

Holland America Line to Build Third Pinnacle Class Ship for Delivery in 2021

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Carnival Corporation announced that it has signed a memorandum of agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri S.p.A. to build two new cruise ships with final contracts expected to be executed in early 2017. The two new ships are designated for the company’s Holland America Line and Princess Cruises brands.

Holland America Line’s new ship will be built at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Marghera, Italy, with an expected delivery in 2021.

“We are extremely pleased to formally announce these two new ships and build on the success and popularity of their sister ships already sailing guests around the globe,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “Our goal is to exceed expectations of the 11.5 million guests who sail with us each year, and these new ships will offer more opportunities for our guests to create lifelong vacation memories while generating added excitement around the fast-growing global demand for cruise vacations.”

Holland America Line’s new 99,500-ton, 2,660-guest ship will be its third Pinnacle Class vessel, following the design of the line’s newest and largest ship, ms Koningsdam, and its sister ship, ms Nieuw Statendam, scheduled for delivery in November 2018.

The new ship will combine classic hallmarks of the brand while featuring several of the innovative venues that were introduced on Koningsdam, as well as new concepts that will debut on Nieuw Statendam and additional elements unique to the new vessel.

Each of Carnival Corporation’s new ships will be specifically designed and developed for each brand and the guests and markets it will serve, supporting the corporation’s overall goal of providing extraordinary vacation experiences at an exceptional value for its guests around the world. Specific features and amenities for the ships, along with deployment details, will be revealed in the coming months.

Port Everglades enables mobile customs declaration

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Passengers disembarking from cruise ships at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale will be able to use an app on their smartphones to fill out re-entry forms for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Airports, including those in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, already have this feature but Port Everglades will be the only U.S. cruise port to offer it, port director Steve Cernak said.

“An added bonus is that [the system] will be in service in time for the arrivals of Royal Caribbean International’s Harmony of the Seas and Holland America Line’s Koningsdam,” Cernak said.

Port Everglades plans to go live with the service on Nov. 4.

The app is currently available for Apple phones and is expected to be available for Android phones later this month.

Developed by Airside Mobile and Airports Council International-North America in partnership with the CBP, the app allows U.S. citizens with a passport debarking a cruise ship to complete their customs declaration using their smartphones or other mobile devices, expediting their clearance process in the terminal.

A physical passport or passport card is still required for re-entry.

The Fort Lauderdale port also recently completed pilot testing of the Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks in two of its cruise terminals, another CBP initiative to streamline the traveler-screening process.