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Holland America Line and Microsoft Introduce Onboard Digital Workshops


Guests learn digital photography and video editing, blogging, and Web skills while cruising.

SEATTLE — June 2008 — Guests on Holland America Line ships will be able to “show and tell” their vacation memories when the companies launch Holland America Line Digital Workshop powered by Microsoft Windows on the ms Amsterdam and the ms Oosterdam, followed by the ms Westerdam in June and the line’s new Signature-class, 2,104-passenger ship, the ms Eurodam, in July, expanding fleetwide within 18 months. Free workshops led by Microsoft-trained “techsperts” will show even the most novice camera or computer user how to take better vacation photos, make movies, edit pictures and create scrapbooks using a variety of Microsoft Windows and Windows Live services. Guests will learn how to share all their digital memories through e-mail, blogging and social networking — so friends and family can see where they’ve been cruising even before they return home.

“Holland America Line is constantly looking for ways to enhance our enrichment offerings to our guests,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “It was a natural fit to team up with the world’s software leader to provide this interactive ‘edutainment.’ Not only will guests have fun learning how to document and share their memories, they’ll take home new knowledge and confidence in technology.”

“We are excited to be working with the Holland America Line, the highest-rated premium cruise line in the world, to provide this innovative and immersive program,” said Debbie Anderson, director of Windows Consumer Marketing, Microsoft Corp. “With the Holland America Digital Workshop, cruise guests will be able to use Microsoft Windows and Windows Live to share their experiences with friends and family in a relaxed setting as they sail to exotic destinations around the world. It’s thrilling to see that even in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Windows can help people make memories and stay in touch in fun new ways.”

The program, which is complimentary and has its own dedicated space on each ship, kicks off with a 50-minute session. Called “Just Shoot Me,” the session provides tips and tricks on how to take the best pictures, and introduces passengers to onboard editing and movie-making resources available on the cruise, including Windows Live Photo Gallery and Windows Movie Maker.

The “Just Shoot Me” session will be followed by jargon-free interactive sessions, also 50 minutes in length, designed for smaller groups to try out the technologies themselves in a hands-on environment. These workshops include the following:

• On the download. How to move images between a digital camera and a Windows-based personal computer, with basic instruction.

• Put your best face forward. How to crop and color-correct digital photos and easily create panoramic pictures by stitching photos together using Windows Live Photo Gallery.

• Your “home away from home” movie. How to add music, special effects and titles to your videos and publish to a DVD using Windows Movie Maker.

• Show and tell. How to create and upload photos to a personal Web page, invite friends to view the Web page, and e-mail photos using a variety of Windows Live services.

• Your 15 minutes of fame. How to turn your vacation journal into a blog by creating a basic Web page and blog entries using Windows Live Spaces and Windows Live Writer.

• A click ahead. How to design a photo card and a basic scrapbook, as well as how to order notepads, stickers, posters and other photo-related items from the Internet using Windows Live Photo Gallery.

The digital workshop showcases state-of-the-art technology provided and maintained by Microsoft — including Windows Vista-certified computers, servers, printers, scanners and a wireless network. The workshops will also feature flat-screen TVs for easy viewing of videos and “techspert” demonstrations.

Guests can choose to attend all or just some of the workshops, each which will be offered at various times and days throughout each cruise. Multiple workshops will be held every day. In addition, one-on-one coaching, called “Techspert Time,” will also be available for over 20 hours each week.


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