People Making Waves caught up with Lori Patterson, BDM in Eastern Ontario for Holland America to share company news, agent offerings & more
By: Ilona Kauremszky
What’s new and exciting at Holland America and Seabourn?
Lots happening. On the Holland America front we’re celebrating 145 years. It takes a lot of substance to have that longevity in the marketplace. We have a lot to celebrate and have changed the brand. We have a new president who has brought a new perspective to the brand with partnerships and on board customer engagement. Some of our latest partnerships have been with Oprah magazine, BillBoard Onboard which are dueling pianos, the BB King Blues Club for our new Music Walk, and the Lincoln Center Stage. Although its chamber music they cover tunes from Michael Buble to Mozart. BBC Earth does evening entertainment through the Frozen Planet series. We front their movie experience with the Lincoln Center Stage. There is not a dry eye in the house. It is magnificent.
On the culinary side which is what we’re really known for we have a new affiliation with America’s Test Kitchen and have food demonstrations and classes. It’s fun, informative and educational.
For the Seabourn which is very expedition driven in a luxury style we launched Ovation in May and Encore in 2016. These ships are perfection at sea. Our guest to staff ratio is 1:1 so there is nothing they will not do for you. There is an open bar throughout the ship, fine wines paired with every meal, and no tipping. We also have two new ships on the books in 2021 and 2023 so you’ll start to see more press on them.
What bells and whistles can we expect from the Nieuw Statendam and the Pinnacle Class Ships this December?
The Nieuw Statendam is the second Pinnacle Class ship to its sister ship the Koningsdam. Because of the size of these ships even though we’re still in the midsize category they are the largest ships we have in our fleet. We have new dining and entertainment venues. We also have accommodation for single travellers and accommodations for families with our family state rooms. Oprah is also going to be the godmother and we couldn’t be more thrilled at that.
Where will the Nieuw Statendam sail to?
She will start her North American debut in the Caribbean for the winter but will be going over to Europe for summer 2019.
How is Holland America supporting the agent community and what tools are available to them?
This is something we take very much to heart. We have redesigned our travel agent portal www.GoHal.com. Find images, videos, events, and flyers, everything is there for them. The best is the new online course, a module program where agents can become HAL Academy graduates. The free specialist course takes up to an hour at the most. And of course, they have us — the BDMs across Canada. Agents can contact their local BDM. Give us a call. We can help them. Our sales number is 1-800-544-0443.
What’s one quirk travel agents don’t know about you?
I dislike flying. If I could cruise anywhere I would.
What are one of your pet peeves?
Not enough people have cruised because of a preconceived idea of what cruising is. Travel agents and our partners have such difficult jobs to get away from this noise. How guests will feel and be connected once they get off a ship there’s nothing like it.