CONTACT: Rose Abello
PHONE: 800-637-5029
FAX: 206-262-5934


Seattle, April 13, 2009 – Holland America Line topped a milestone with its renowned HAL Academy Training Curriculum: travel sellers successfully completed more than 12,000 courses.

The premium cruise line also recently added two advanced courses that cover creating a marketing plan and developing groups to its curriculum. Created by travel industry training expert Dr. Marc Mancini, HAL Academy includes six core courses with 20 lessons and the two new advanced courses with 10 lessons.

“Especially now it’s important to hone your industry and sales knowledge to take every advantage you can to build business,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “HAL Academy is recognized across the industry as one of the top training programs for travel sellers. And it’s easy and free.”

HAL Academy graduate Lisa Taylor, travel consultant, Travel Professionals International in Paradise, Newfoundland, Canada, said, “I found the HAL academy very useful. It was well-paced and interesting, and the marketing tips and strategies were relevant and applicable to sales in general.”

HAL Academy offers an in-depth educational program designed to provide travel agents with the necessary tools and sales techniques to achieve greater sales success. The program certifies those who pass as Five-Star Agents, able to utilize this status and their new knowledge to become much more effective in selling cruises. Utilizing video and the latest interactive technology, the complimentary program is conducted completely on-line at the student’s own pace.

Subjects covered in the program include an introduction to premium cruising, a sales primer, identifying Holland America Line and cruise prospects, an overview of destinations and an overview of available sales support. Two advanced strategy courses focus on building groups and writing a marketing plan.

Graduates receive a signed certificate with their name on it and a $50 shipboard credit for any time a graduate sails on a Travel Agent Appreciation fare. Graduates also are eligible for up to 15 Cruise Lines International Association continuing education credits, 8 continuing education unites from The Travel Institute (formerly ICTA) or 12 Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors education credits for Canadian graduates.

The online training program is now available to travel professionals in the training section at Agents can login to TAHQ with a POLAR Online login. A HAL Academy user name is required to access the exams.

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About Holland America Line [a division of Carnival Corporation and plc (NYSE: CCL and CUK)]

Holland America Line’s fleet of 14 ships offers nearly 500 cruises to 320 ports in more than 100 countries, territories or dependencies. Two- to 108-day itineraries visit all seven continents, and highlights include Antarctica, South America, Australia/New Zealand and Asia voyages; a Grand World Voyage; and popular sailings to ports in the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, Canada/New England, Europe and Panama Canal. A 15th ship, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, is scheduled to join the fleet in July 2010.

Fleetwide, the company features Signature of Excellence enhancements, a commitment totaling more than $525 million, that showcase the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine — a state-of-the-art onboard show kitchen where more than 60 celebrated guest chefs and culinary experts provide cooking demonstrations and classes — Explorations Café powered by The New York Times, teens-only activity areas and all new stateroom amenities highlighted by flat-panel TVs and plush Euro-top Mariner’s Dream Beds.

World’s Leading Cruise Lines

The highest-rated premium cruise line in the world, Holland America Line is a member of the exclusive World’s Leading Cruise Lines alliance, which also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Seabourn Cruise Line and Costa Cruises. Sharing a passion to please each guest and a commitment to quality and value, these lines appeal to a wide range of lifestyles and budgets. The World’s Leading Cruise Lines offer exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world’s most desirable destinations.