ms Westerdam Kicks Off Alaska Cruise Season Today

Holland America Line’s ms Westerdam arrives at the Port of Seattle today, marking the start of the city’s summertime Alaska homeport cruise season. The line added capacity to its roundtrip Seattle routes with an additional ship in 2015: ms Statendam arrives Monday, May 18 and ms Amsterdam arrives Sunday, May 31 to begin their Alaska sailings from Seattle.

In addition to the 47 roundtrip Seattle cruises to Alaska this season, four cruises sailing the Panama Canal or Hawaii/South Pacific will either begin or end at Seattle, including a departure aboard ms Volendam. A three-day Pacific Northwest cruise aboard makes a visit to Seattle in September. All of the options combined make a total of 52 calls by five ships that welcome 82,996 guests to Seattle.

“As a Seattle-based company, we always get excited to welcome our ships back to Seattle to begin the Alaska cruise season,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “We live and work in the Puget Sound area, so we’re extremely proud of the significant contribution we make to the region and to the local and state economies.”

In the coming year, Holland America Line expects to contribute $422 million to the Seattle economy and $577 million across Washington State.  The cruise line employs 1,263 people at its Elliott Avenue headquarters in Seattle.

Provisioning costs each time a ship calls in Seattle average about $275,000 per visit. Holland America Line works with 600 Washington vendors, from food and beverage suppliers to piano tuners, office supply stores and marine suppliers, among many more.

Holland America Line provisions each ship on “turnaround” dates.  Provisioning a ship means bringing aboard all of the supplies and food products needed during a cruise. For example, Westerdam requires over 23,000 eggs and 1,375 gallons of milk each week — all coming from local farmers. In addition, local growers supply 147,550 pounds a week of fresh produce.

Also contributing to Holland America Line’s economic impact is spending by passengers and crew in local shops, restaurants, hotels, museums, attractions and taxis. Other expenditures include maintaining its ships, plus port fees, charges and taxes.

Commitment to the Community

Holland America Line has an extensive Corporate Social Responsibility program benefiting the local community and Washington State, including providing cash and in-kind sponsorships to local non-profit organizations. In the Seattle area, it supports dozens of such organizations such as American Cancer Society, Auction of Washington Wines, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Club, Catholic Seafarers’ Center, Center for Wooden Boats, Northwest Harvest, Pike Place Market Foundation, Seattle Aquarium, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Men’s & Women’s Chorus, Seattle Theatre Group, United Way and the University of Washington. Eighteen of the company’s executives currently serve on 24 boards of directors of local non-profit organizations.

Holland America Line was recently named to the list of top Corporate Philanthropists by the Puget Sound Business Journal. In March 2015, Holland America Line was presented with a Sparkie Award by the United Way of King County, Washington, for its enthusiastic and innovative community work related to the annual United Way fundraising campaign. Holland America Line also was named the 2015 Business of the Year by the Greater Seattle Business Association. In 2014 the company won the “Global Giving” award, one of eight Healthy Community Corporate Champion Awards presented by the Puget Sound Business Journal in partnership with The Seattle Foundation.

Additional Awards & Accolades

In 2014, the company accepted the Marine Environmental Business of the Year by the Port of Seattle. The cruise line was recognized for its efforts to reduce its global environmental footprint through a series of objectives that greatly reduce consumption of fuel and water, engine emissions and generation of solid waste, along with increasing recycling across its fleet of 15 ships.

Holland America Line also received the 2014 “Innovator if the Year” Award from the Tourism Association of the Yukon. The awards allow the industry to recognize people, places, organizations and events that have gone above and beyond to offer superior tourism experiences to travelers in Yukon. Holland America Line features the region on its exciting Land+Sea Journeys that combine an Alaska cruise with an overland tour to Denali and the Yukon. The company has been operating land tours in Alaska for more than 68 years, longer than any other company.

For the fourth consecutive year, Holland America Line was recognized as one of 2015 World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute, the leading business ethics think-tank for promoting the highest of ethical standards. The company secured its spot on the list again by implementing and promoting the highest ethical business standards and practices both internally and in the community.

Holland America Line also has a partnership with Marine Conservation Institute – a globally focused nonprofit organization based in Washington State dedicated to maintaining healthy, living oceans. The program includes guest and staff education, funding for marine conservation biology research, and a sustainable seafood program with environmentally responsible purchasing practice.

For more information about Holland America Line, contact a travel professional, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit

John Shallo
John Shallo
John Shallo is the founder and editor of Cruise Addicts. Since 1999 it has been a leading destination for cruise travelers and self professed Cruise Addicts looking for the latest news, ship reviews and travel tips.

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