Case Study - Satellite Broadband

Computer Upgrade for Holland America Cruise Line

In 2009, F1 Consultancy secured a new and exciting IT consultancy contract for the provision of IT services and support in all of Holland America Cruise Line’s ships across the world.


For more than 136 years, Holland America Cruise Line has been a recognised leader in cruising, taking its guests to exotic destinations around the world. Today, Holland America Line’s fleet of 14 elegant, mid-sized ships offers nearly 500 sailings a year visiting all seven continents.

To retain its leading edge in a competitive marketplace and to continue to provide an outstanding service to customers, Holland America Line’s fleet must continue to showcase current technology. Therefore, an upgrade program for its onboard Digital Workshops was required. Equally important to Holland America was identifying a support partner able to assist its onboard ‘Techsperts’ as and when required, plus an ability to respond to tight deadlines in numerous
geographic locations

The Challenges

  • Upgrading the computer systems of each ship, with the absolute minimum disturbance to Holland America’s staff and guests.
  • Supplying support to Holland America’s ‘Techsperts’, no matter where they were on the globe.


Onboard the ships, Holland America, in collaboration with Microsoft, offer guests an opportunity for personal enrichment and hands-on learning within a Digital Workshop. The aim of the Digital Workshop is to enable guests to ‘show and tell’ their vacation memories by learning how to share all their digital memories through email, blogging and social networking

The rapid growth in communication technology and the increasing desire for access to these technologies has meant that the Digital Workshop has grown in popularity with passengers. Furthermore, Microsoft was keen to educate and reach a target audience, namely the affluent empty-nester sector.

F1 Consultancy’s mission was to upgrade all the computers within the onboard Digital Workshops to the latest version of Microsoft’s Operation System (Windows 7). Delivery of the upgrades had to be scheduled with the arrival into port of each of Holland America Cruise Line’s ships.

F1 Consultancy planned the project so that all ships were upgraded as quickly as possible for maximum impact and to cause the least disruption to Holland America’s guests. Further ongoing support would continue to be required by Holland America across the globe. The upgrade program was designed to enhance and develop the Digital Workshops, thereby driving sales for Holland America Cruise Lines, as well as delivering great PR for Microsoft.

The Solution

Being able to offer a fresh and pragmatic approach was a key factor in Holland America’s decision to appoint F1 Consultancy, as well as an ability to respond to tight project deadlines in numerous geographic locations.

Equally important to Holland America was that F1 Consultancy was able to supply ongoing assistance to its own in-house IT experts, also known as Holland America’s ‘Techsperts’, wherever they were. With support centres on both sides of the Atlantic, F1 Consultancy was perfectly placed to meet this requirement.

Due to the nature of the cruise ship industry all work needed to be carried out as quickly as possible with minimum disruption to Holland America staff and guests. Consequently, short-term and long-term goals were established as part of F1 Consultancy’s project management process.

Following the research phase of the project we developed an integrated strategy to meet Holland America’s immediate requirements, and to allow for future deployment of IT products, services and support. Our initial solution needed to allow for up to 20 guests per session per ship.

Over a number of months, a coordinated upgrade program was undertaken at various locations across the globe. A team of F1 Consultancy Technicians visited each ship, whilst in port, upgrading the computers within the Digital Workshop to the latest version of Microsoft’s Operation System (Windows 7). F1 Consultancy used a number of processes to carry out the work including; project management, IT consultancy, database development and Helpdesk services.

From Antarctica to the Mediterranean F1 Consultancy continue to play a pivotal role in ensuring Holland America Cruise Line’s ‘Techsperts’ and their IT inventory are fully supported, whatever time zone they may be in. Currently, we are planning the creation of automated scripts which will allow the ‘Techsperts’ to remotely upgrade the latest installation(s) on their laptops.

Importantly, F1 Consultancy helped Holland America and Microsoft to furnish customers with an engaging Digital Workshop designed to increase sales figures and raise brand awareness. In addition, the new systems in place improved overall efficiency, enhanced and simplified the user experience, and supported Holland America’s brand as cruise line leaders.

How We Helped

  • Upgraded each ship’s computers to the latest version of Microsoft Windows whilst in port, to
  • Supplied ongoing assistance to Holland America’s ‘Techsperts’, no matter where they were in the world
  • Carried out all work with a minimum disruption to staff and guests.