New Onboard Show Offers a Look Behind the Scenes on a Holland America Cruise Ship

Cruise ships are often called floating cities, and with good reason. Main functions of a regular town need to be provided for guests and crew while the ship travels the world, and hundreds of team members work together to seamlessly run each vessel.

For the first time ever, Holland America is bringing that story to life with a new on board show called “A City on the Sea.”

holland america ship bridge officers
(Photo courtesy of Holland America Line)

Featured in the ships’ World Stage, the storytelling event lifts the curtain on cruise ship operations through immersive video footage and interviews. Presented with live narration by the ship’s cruise and travel director — who is joined by additional officers like the captain and crew — guests are taken on a journey behind closed doors while also meeting the people who call Holland America’s ships their home away from home.

“‘A City on the Sea’ is a unique interpretation of a behind-the-scenes view by not only showing how our ships operate, but also by sharing some amazing stories of the people who make it happen,” said Michael Smith, senior vice president, guest experience and product development, Holland America Line. “We put a lot of thought into how we can make this show a transformative moment where the complexity of running a floating city becomes a celebration of the human spirit and all that we’re capable of accomplishing.”

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“A City on the Sea” explores areas on board like the engine room to show the marvel of modern engineering, and the laundry to see how thousands of linens are processed daily. Passengers will explore staples of a town like bakeries, restaurants, theaters, grocery stores, and hardware shops, all without leaving the ship.

crew members on holland america line
(Photos courtesy of Holland America Line)

Engineers, medical staff, musicians, and stateroom attendants describe the challenges and opportunities of working on a cruise ship, while one captain talks about how he views himself as the mayor of the “city.”

Guests will meet team members who have a friendship that spans decades and hear from a tailor whose family relationship with Holland America spans generations.

“A City on the Sea” is a daytime presentation that is debuting on the current transatlantic voyage aboard Rotterdam. It will be offered on every voyage across the fleet starting early next year.

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