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Holland America Line

Championing The
Narrative Core Of A Brand


The Ask

When people travel they write a story twice: first while having the experience and a second time when reflecting on it. For over 150 years, Holland America Line has helped people create new stories of new experiences. Over the Holland America Line has turned to Faculty to help tell the story of their brand and to preserve the legacy in multiple formats and on multiple platforms. And, occasionally, they have relied on us to know their story almost better than they do. We have helped launch culinary partnerships, created menus for brand new bars, turned their history into a stage show, and even helped launch their ships. We have been honored to be stewards of their brand and communicate their value through story.


We started where we so often start: research. We scoured the brand’s archives, traveled to their hometown of Rotterdam, interviewed retired captains, current team members, city officials, port agents, and passengers, to learn what the brand has meant to them. We read postcards sent during WWII from Holland America Line ships and scanned thousands of photos from Christmas Celebrations in the 1980s to transatlantic passenger manifests from the 1890s. We needed to understand what others have seen in this brand for the past century and a half. This filtered into every aspect of our work that followed.



Origin Story - We traveled all around the world to capture the story of the 150 year history of Holland America Line and turn it into a live stage presentation on board their fleet.


Culinary Council - Holland America’s commitment to excellence and storytelling extends to their culinary offerings. To help launch their culinary council we traveled to 6 cities around the world to produce 6 high quality documentaries about every single chef who was joining the council. 


Half Moon Bar - When Holland America Line was launching a new bar on their newest ship they turned to Faculty to craft a menu that told the story of their history through drinks. Each drink represents a different era of the brand story while the menu features in depth storytelling for guests that want to learn more.

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Waterlijn Gin - Dutch Gin is a tradition unto itself. And when Holland America Lijn asked us to brand their house gin we looked to the brand history, yet again. We chose a design that referenced the look of delft ceramics, while imbedding a single pop of orange to the label. A nod to the fact that every crew member on board a ship wears an orange button as a nod to the Dutch House of Orange.

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Dedications - When Holland America Line launched their two newest ships they turned to Faculty to help create the storytelling behind the event. For the Nieuw Statendam we created a stage show with Oprah Winfrey, and for the Rotterdam VII, Princess Juliana joined us as we told some of the most incredible stories from the previous Rotterdams to usher in the new ship.


How do you quantify the results of a multi-year relationship? Yes, there have been awards. There have been accolades and press clippings. There have been parties and celebrations. There have been highs and lows and we have seen the world and helped others see the world anew. But the best result was when we overheard someone standing at the bar that we designed on a ship that we launched tell someone “I just saw Origin Story in the theater, and let me tell you, I have never been prouder that I spent my money on this cruise line.”


Great stories create value. They let us know that we are not alone. They show us that there is

meaning to be made and new stories to tell. That is all we ever hope for.

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© FacultyNY LLC 2024

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