Holland America Line Boosts Travel Experiences with Interactive Maps, Displays and More


To enhance the experience of Holland America Line’s uniquely curious guests and empower them to customize their journey, we created Explorations Central (EXC), a space that celebrates the power of travel to enrich our lives.

Nominating Company: Publicis Sapient/Second Story, Miami, Florida
Venue: Holland America Line/Explorations Central, Seattle, Washington
Project: Holland America Line/Explorations Central
Category: Hospitality

Knowing that our audience was adventurous, eager to learn, and enthusiastic about participating in their own travel-planning experience, we conceived of a space that would be elegant and informative thereby sparking curiosity and conversation about the ship and its ports of call.

Guests would be free to come and go at any time and would have to seek out Explorations Central specifically. So the experience had to work harder to feel open and welcoming. To maximize the chances for interaction, we designed the experience to facilitate conversations between guests and Holland America Line staff and guides.

Our challenge was to create an inviting, educational and interactive experience that is easy to use for all ages while promoting interaction, exploration, and sharing. We also wanted to empower cruisers to plan excursions.

A leader in the premium cruise industry, Holland America Line caters to a unique kind of traveler—one who’s actively seeking adventure and the enrichment that comes with learning about other cultures.

Holland America Line already serves these guests by offering enlightening and educational shipboard events and entertainment, visits to culturally rich locales, and in-depth guidance for specialists who work as educational tour guides.

But our challenge was to make getting that enrichment even easier and more exciting by creating a truly educational space that was beautiful, appealing, and simple to use for guests around the world.


We completely reimagined the ship’s crow’s nest, designing a suite of four components meant to work together seamlessly to enrich guests’ journeys.

The Service Hub serves as a place for guests to engage with Holland America Line guides about ports and excursions. It features an interactive map table and a digital wall display.

The Exploration Space provides information about destinations in a way that provokes curiosity. It features three interactive tables where individuals and groups can discover more about destinations.

The Digital Vista immerses guests in a sweeping digital presentation of beautiful travel imagery and invites them to contribute a bit about their own travel experiences or aspirations.

The Virtual Bridge offers an exciting peek into the inner workings of the ship and the surrounding environment.

With up to 300 visitors interacting with Explorations Central per day, the experience was considered a total success. And guests reacted positively, saying they found it empowering and easy to use. The program is now expanding across Europe, Asia, Alaska, and the Caribbean. In fact, it’s expanding to every single ship in the Holland America Line

Publicis Sapient / Second Story Team:
Norman Lau: Creative Lead
Matt Arnold: Technical Lead
Martha Almy: Production Lead
Nora Bauman: Senior Content Strategist
David Brewer: Senior Backend Systems Specialist
Chris Carlson: Senior Technologist
Alex Cho: Technology Manager
Don Davies: Senior Technologist
Chris DeWan: Design Director
Jennifer Dolan: Studio Director
Britanny Grace: Junior Producer
Jinha Kim: Designer
Swanny Mouton: Art Director
Brendan O’Hara: Producer
Jeremy Rotsztain: Senior Technologist
Mimi Schuy: Motion Designer
Kyle Shevlin: Technologist
Kelsey Snook: Creative Director
Jordan Tull: Senior Environmental Designer
Additional Supporting Companies:
Architect: YSA Design
Fabricator: TSI Fabrication
AV Integration: Total Marine Solutions

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