The generosity of Holland America Line cruisers has enabled the line to make a major donation to a Ukrainian relief fund through a humanitarian aid group. The fundraising program, called On Deck For a Cause, began in March 2022 onboard the cruise line’s 11 ships.
Cruisers Step Up For Holland America Fundraiser
Holland America Line has presented a check for $450,000 to Direct Relief, a global aid organization that provides lifesaving medical resources to Ukrainians.
During the past 10 months, guests aboard all of the line’s ships were invited to donate $25 to join a 5K walk during their cruise, and those contributions were set aside for Ukrainian aid.
Holland America Line President Gus Antorcha said, ”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. We knew our guests were generous, but their support has well exceeded our expectations, with donations totaling $450,000.”
The check presentation to Direct Relief officials was held on January 31 at the Port of San Diego, which is the Koningsdam’s homeport this winter.
California-based Direct Relief is active in 90 countries and helps to equip doctors and nurses with various medical resources. It has so far provided more than 1,000 tons of medical aid sought by the Ukrainian Health Ministry.
Direct Relief President and CEO Thomas Tighe said, ”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. Their support will further help us in providing lifesaving medications to Ukraine, ranging from cancer therapies to treatments for chronic health conditions.”
Port of San Diego Chairman Rafael Castellanos said, ”We’re proud that so many guests who choose the Port of San Diego were part of this fundraising effort. Californians alone account for close to 15% of Holland America Line’s guest population, and the money raised is providing timely relief for the crisis in Ukraine.”
Not the First for the Carnival-Owned Cruise Line
It wasn’t the first time Holland America Line stepped up to help Ukrainians. In spring 2022, it chartered the Volendam to house some 1,200 Ukrainian refugees for several months at the port of Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Holland America, a Carnival Corp. brand, launched its On Deck For a Cause fundraiser at the same time that Micky Arison, chairman of the board at Carnival Corp., announced a pledge of $3 million to organizations providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine. The donations were made by the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation.
Additional Carnival brands made donations, as well. Carnival Cruise Line gave $50,000 to World Central Kitchen, which provides meals to displaced families in Ukraine and neighboring countries, while Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises donated medical supplies.
Other cruise line companies have offered assistance, too. Norwegian Cruise Line, for example, has donated $100,000 to the Save the Children’s Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund.