Self-guided Apple iPod art tours now available free via iTunes Store

Holland America Line’s iPod-based shipboard art tours are now available as free downloads from iTunes. Each 30- to 40-minute tour showcases the art, antiques and collectables for one of the line’s 13 premier five-star ships.

In 2006, Holland America Line pioneered its self-guided tours of each of the shipboard art collections — together valued at tens of millions of dollars — the first time a cruise line offered museum-quality self-guided tours to its guests. Recognizing the interest the tours might have to art aficionados as well as onboard cruise guests, Holland America now offers the art tours on iTunes as free podcasts another industry first.

Narrated by well-known radio hosts Paul Lasley and Elizabeth Harryman, the presentation highlights a selection of the on-board collection, and includes interviews with artists, background music and photo images displayed on the iPod screen.

“The podcasts of our self-guided art tours offers guests — and potential guests — a deeper appreciation of the extensive collections we present on board our five-star ships,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs, Holland America Line, in the press release. “We’re very proud of our art and archive. These tours showcase of our collection of livable art that gives the viewer a taste of the onboard collections.”

To download the podcasts, from the iTunes home page, search Holland America Line. Appearing to the right side will be a small gray arrow. Click the arrow, then click the “Get Episode” button by the selected ship tour.

Each tour begins with a welcome message from Holland America Line President and CEO Stein Kruse and includes comments from ship architect/designer Frans Dingemans, as well as others associated with the line’s art program. Susanna Holt — whose lifelike bronze animal sculptures grace the pool areas on every ship — and Stephen Card — whose classic maritime paintings of Holland America ships can be found in the main stairwells on every ship — are among the artists who provide insight into their artistic inspiration.

The sheer scope of the shipboard art and antiques distinguishes these tours from most landside museum visits. On the ms Westerdam alone, the pieces range from a huge Indian silver-overlaid wood palace doorway at the entrance to the dining room that measures 92 inches by 69 inches to two jewel-encrusted ostrich eggs. The most valuable piece is a painting of the Port of Rotterdam, and the oldest is a collection of 5,000-year-old pre-Columbian carved limestone figures from Ecuador.

Direct link via iTunes Store: Holland America Line – Holland America Line Self-Guided Art Tours – Holland America Line Self-Guided Art Tours.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dave” for the heads up.]


  1. as our simpletons proved above, even the tasteless can be mac users. for the rest of us, this is absolutely amazing how deep the penetration of the iPod is in our society. the only fear of this trend is the iPod being relegated as a commodity. but is that truly a bad thing? it has proven to be an invaluable tool in education in multiple facets – truly amazing.

    now we await the iPhone to revolutionize our computing experience going forward.

  2. Okay, stupid comments aside, this is a pretty great idea. Hopefully we’ll start seeing stuff like this for great museums/sites all around the world. Imagine getting a guided tour of the Taj Mahal or Louvre on your iPod.

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