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Crown Cruise Vacations | April 14, 2024

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Holland America Line guests donate $450,000 for aid to Ukrainians

Holland America Line guests donate $450,000 for aid to Ukrainians
Jackie Sheckler Finch

For 10 months, Holland America Line passengers have walked around the world to raise $450,000 to aid Ukrainians through the cruise line’s “On Deck for a Cause” campaign.

A check for $450,000 was presented to the global humanitarian aid organization Direct Relief at Koningsdam’s winter homeport in San Diego.

“Our guests and team members, who love to explore the world, wanted to do something to make a meaningful difference for families in a part of the world that desperately needs humanitarian aid,” Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line, said in a news release.

“We knew our guests were generous, but their support has well exceeded our expectations, with donations totaling $450,000,” Antorcha said.

For 10 months on every cruise in Holland America’s 11-ship fleet, guests could make a $25 donation to participate in a fundraising 5K walk during their sailings, in locales ranging from Alaska to Europe and the Panama Canal to Australia.

“We’re grateful to Holland America Line and its guests for this tremendous fundraising effort in which people took time during their vacations to make a difference,” Thomas Tighe, president and chief executive officer for Direct Relief, said in a news release.

“Their support will further help us in providing lifesaving medications to Ukraine, ranging from cancer therapies to treatments for chronic health conditions,” Tighe said.

Direct Relief is a humanitarian aid organization committed to improving the health and lives of people affected by poverty and emergencies. Direct Relief delivers lifesaving medical resources throughout the U.S. and the world to communities in need – without regard to politics, religion or ability to pay.

The fundraising effort began in March 2022 and coincided with a pledge of $3 million to charities helping Ukrainian refugees from the family of parent company Carnival Corporation’s chairman Mickey Rison and his wife Madeleine.

“We’re proud that so many guests who choose the Port of San Diego were part of this fundraising effort,” Chairman Rafael Castellanos, port of San Diego, said in a news release. “Californians alone count for close to 15 percent of Holland America Line’s guest population, and the money raised is providing timely relief for the crisis in Ukraine.”

From Koningsdam’s winter homeport of San Diego, more than 62,000 guest embarked on several Holland America Line ships during the 2022 season.

From April through September 2022, the Dutch government and City of Rotterdam also chartered the Holland America Line ship Volendam as part of their larger effort to accommodate 50,000 Ukrainians who fled the war in their homeland.

Photos courtesy of Holland America Line

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