Seattle, WA, April 3, 2009 â€“ Holland America Line introduces a Wedding Package to the premium cruise lineâ€™s Group Advantage Program (GAP), the most comprehensive group amenities program in the cruise industry. The Wedding GAP Package lets couples create their own special, on-board celebration shared by family and friends after the wedding event.
â€œWeâ€™re seeing a strong interest from groups, many of whom are cruising together for special occasions such as weddings,â€ said Richard D. Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. â€œCouples are interested in the convenience and value of celebrating with their friends and family on a cruise.â€
â€œGroup cruises also are one of the best ways for travel sellers to maximize revenue,â€ added Meadows.
The Wedding GAP Package extends amenities to the wedding couple and wedding group. The wedding couple enjoys a free stateroom upgrade with a minimum of eight staterooms booked and a commemorative wedding cake for up to 16 guests.
The entire group enjoys a Pinnacle Grill lunch, private wine tasting and chocolate-covered strawberries and bottle of Chase Limogere Brut in their staterooms. Groups larger than 16 guests are accommodated for the special wedding cake reception with a nominal charge per additional guest.
Holland America Line offers many ways to cater to group cruises, providing incentive amenities based on GAP points established by the cruise destination, date and length. Travel professionals can then select amenities to customize a groupâ€™s cruising experience. The premium line also offers custom GAP packages tailored for weddings, family reunions and culinary groups.
Onboard wedding services can be arranged and are provided by Holland America Lineâ€™s wedding planners, Royal Ocean Events Inc. Weddings include a personalized ceremony, wedding coordinator services, flowers, cake, champagne, a photo album, recorded music and a photographer. With destination weddings growing at eight percent a year, a five-star wedding aboard a Holland America Line cruise offers value and an opportunity to enhance group business.
â€œA fully planned and coordinated cruise ship wedding is an unforgettable way to celebrate and is an outstanding value,â€ said Chris Scurr, director of marketing, Royal Ocean Events Inc., the North American wedding planners for Holland America Line. â€œThe average price of a North American wedding is US$25,000, plus a honeymoon. A wedding aboard Holland America Line is just 10 to 15 percent of that cost and is much more spectacular.â€
For more details on the new Wedding GAP Package or other GAP programs, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit www.hollandamerica.com.