This follows an earlier announcement marking the 2011-12 season as the first time the line will have two ships sailing a series of itineraries in the region simultaneously. The 1,926 passenger Oosterdam will join ms Volendam, replacing the 1,432 passenger ms Zaandam in 2012-13. Ten to 25-day itineraries will be introduced in and around Australia and New Zealand.
To support the increasing sales demands, Holland America will work directly with Australian travel sellers, transitioning from a general sales agent arrangement with Travel the World. The Holland America Line Australia organization will reside at the offices of sister brand Carnival Australia and will include an independent sales team as well as marketing, reservations and administrative support for travel agents. The transition period is expected to be completed by December 2011. All current contracts and groups will remain in effect.
“Our relationship with Travel the World has been one of our longest and most successful GSA partnerships. Andrew Millmore, his family, and staff have done a superlative job for us and for that we are extremely grateful,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs, Holland America Line. “This is a natural next step in our strategy to expand our premium brand internationally. We are inspired by the continued demand for cruising in Australia and are confident this model - similar to what we have in Europe - will be successful in supporting our growth here.”
Detailed deployment for the 2012-13 Australia and New Zealand season will be announced later this year.