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January 22, 2009

Holland America Line Committed to Culinary Excellence

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New Culinary Training Program Opens at Line?s Training Center in Manila

Seattle, January 19, 2009 ? Holland America Line has opened a new Culinary Training Program, designed in cooperation with the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), at its training center in Manila, the Philippines, to train shipboard culinary staff for its expanding fleet of premium cruise ships. Trainees will live at the facility while completing a three-week immersion culinary course.

?Holland America Line is renowned for its culinary expertise and extraordinary food presentations in the dining rooms and many specialty restaurants,? said Richard D. Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. ?Our new culinary training program in Manila will ensure that our culinary and beverage staff continues to raise the bar as we provide outstanding meals and service to our guests.?

The curriculum was designed by the CIA under the direction of a Holland America Line Culinary Operations team lead by Steve Kirsch, director of culinary operations, and Rudi Sodamin, master chef. CIA Master Chef Almir Da Fonseca launched the initial training course in Manila this past fall. ?Those attending the school will receive culinary training as well as specific coursework that covers our upscale Pinnacle Grill restaurants, main dining rooms, renowned Lido Restaurants, specialty lounges and the Tamarind and Canaletto restaurants found currently on our new Signature-class ship, ms Eurodam,? said Meadows. ?The CIA curriculum is thorough and means that graduates will arrive on the ships with even greater culinary skills.?

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The residential training center located on a hill overlooking Manila also functions as a school for front desk personnel and beverage staff, and has space to conduct leadership and other training classes for crew and officers. A former hotel manager aboard the line?s ships, Brian McNeil serves as director of training at the facility and manages all training programs. Holland America Line corporate trainers facilitate the three-week culinary classes comprised of 20 candidates.

?The residential facility gives us the ability to fully immerse students in their coursework,? Meadows continued. ?We were able to design the training areas to give the students a realistic experience that replicates many of the conditions they will encounter when they are assigned to our ships.?

Holland America Line operates a similar residential program in Indonesia at the ms Nieuw Jakarta facility where dining room waiters, housekeeping stewards, clerks and other staff receive training.

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 2010.

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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.

Worlds 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.

Posted by Denise at January 22, 2009 11:45 AM
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