While the biggest news at Holland America Line is the new Koningsdam, which will cover the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the Caribbean this year, the line is building back up on the West Coast next winter, adding more sailings to the Mexican Riviera as well as Hawaii and through the Panama Canal.
“The (market) is certainly coming back, slowly but surely we have added capacity over the past few years and it is really starting to pick up and do well,” commented Simon Douwes, director of deployment and itinerary planning. “There is a lot of demand from the West Coast to sail to Mexico.”
Still a question mark, but with time to make changes, were a number of calls booked in Turkish ports for summer 2016.
Among numerous ship and capacity movements for 2016, the Rotterdam will sail an innovative European explorer-style cruise from New York to the Mediterranean, ending up in her winter homeport of Port Everglades where she will sail a set of long Caribbean itineraries until spring 2017.
Sailing a 10- and 11-day program from Port Everglades, the new Koningsdam will winter in the Caribbean as well, as the company will see a shift in Caribbean capacity toward slightly longer sailings.
“We do very well in 10-, 11- and 14-day Caribbean cruises,” said Douwes.
Putting a voyage together is based on the turnaround port, Douwes explained.
“First, we put the deployment together, which is the general area the ship will sail during the year,” he said. “Take the Oosterdam, for example, and it will sail in the winter in the Caribbean and be in Europe in the summer, that is the big overview.
“That is based on past performances in years prior,” he continued. “We don’t start new, it’s based on prior performances, and making a decision is a big analytical process. Once we have that, we go in and fill in the itinerary.”
Itineraries are then modeled on available performance data.
“We model it until we get to the deployment that will make us the most money,” Douwes said. “It is that simple.”