Cruise market continues growth

The growing popularity of cruising has led cruise line Holland America to order two new cruise ships that will go into service in about three years. The new 1,800-passenger ships will cost approximately US $400 million each.

Cruise ships continue to get bigger and better. Like their sister ships, the new 84,000-ton vessels will feature “exterior elevators,” which vertically transverse 10 decks and give guests panoramic sea views. The ships will also include a wide range of accommodation categories, with about 85 percent of staterooms offering an ocean view and private verandahs.

The 951-foot-long ships will display extensive multi-million-dollar art collections and include numerous dining options, from full-service meals to casual service. The ships will also offer expanded spa facilities and a “cabaret-style” show lounge.

Other features include an Internet cafe, business center and computer learning facility, Internet/e-mail data ports in all staterooms, a children’s facility with inside and outside areas, and a concierge lounge for suite guests. Two interior promenade decks, an exterior covered promenade deck encircling the entire ship, a large pool with a retractableome, and a “crow’s nest” observation lounge round out the onboard amenities.