It’s no secret that Holland America Line is sending its 2004-built Westerdam into drydock in the spring. What was a secret, however, is that the line plans to use the drydock to roll out a brand-new innovation that was just announced today: a destination-immersion experience known as Exploration’s Central, or EXC.
EXC will see the transformation of Westerdam’s Crow’s Nest up on Deck 10 forward into a newly-named venue. Rebranded as Exploration’s Central, this completely refreshed and redesigned space will feature dedicated EXC Guides that guests can go to for advice on shore excursions in port and culturally-relevant experiences, while an entire EXC Team will be on-hand to provide insight into each destination and port of call that the ship sails to.
Port Maps will be available here, along with guides and insights from Holland America Line’s partnership with AFAR magazine.
One of the most exciting features is are the new EXC Encounters, where local cultural representatives come on board before the ship reaches the next destination to impart knowledge and build excitement prior to arrival. Guests might learn how to play the steel drums from a Trinidadian, make a flower lei with a native Hawaiian or create a sense of balance and serenity every morning in a class led by a master tai chi instructor. EXC Encounters will also include informal small-group gatherings hosted by the EXC Guides. These feature language and cultural etiquette lessons, hands-on discovery of local items and products, participatory programs covering music and dance and storytelling sessions.
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