Something Nieuw

Picture this: Oprah Winfrey is donning pajamas and handing out shots of tequila as passengers taking part in Holland America Line’s Girls’ Getaway cruise go wild with excitement at the sight of the popular talk show host, film star and founder of O, The Oprah Magazine.

In this week’s Travel Courier cover story, assistant editor, Ann Ruppenstein writes that while the prominent Godmother of Nieuw Statendam, who officially named the ship earlier this month, likely won’t be cruising along with clients on upcoming trips, rest assured they will still be entertained.

Along with the Experience World Stage, the ship’s Music Walk features four live music venues including Lincoln Center Stage: chamber music in partnership with the leading centre for the performing arts; Billboard Onboard: chart-topping hits covered by two pianists based on audience requests; B.B. King’s Blues Club, an eight piece band performing music inspired by the scene in Memphis, and Rolling Stone Rock Room, a new classic rock show developed in partnership with Rolling Stone, featuring five musicians playing iconic hits by famous rock stars.

“Music Walk has changed the entire dynamics of how the ship works for us. We’re essentially treating it like we have five entertainment venues,” says Bill Prince, vice president of entertainment & enrichment, noting Rolling Stone Rock Room is now also available on the Koningsdam, the first ship in the Pinnacle Class line.

And Prince continued: “Music Walk has become more of an overall concept. It’s a collection of clubs now, and various combinations of these clubs will start to appear on various ships. Some ships may only have two of them just due to space requirements or logistics… These Pinnacle-Class ships, the Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam have four.”

Describing Music Walk as an enormous operation and undertaking with 20 super high-calibre professional musicians across four different venues onboard, Prince says the team auditions the world for Lincoln Center Stage, and across North America for B.B. King’s Blues Club and Rolling Stone Rock Room.

“The concept has been so popular and people love it so much that we want to get as much of it as we can throughout as much of the fleet as we can so we’re working our way backwards to our older ships to add these clubs over the next couple of years,” he says.

For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier.