Holland America Line ‘On Deck for a Cause’ walks around the world raise huge amounts at sea $450,000 for Aid to Ukrainians

Holland America passengers today took part in a fundraising campaign on six different continents, culminating in a generous donation to Ukrainian aid.
A check for $450,000 raised by the Holland America Line On Deck for a Cause campaign was presented to the global humanitarian organization Direct Relief at the Port of San Diego.

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

“Our guests and team members, who love to explore the world, wanted to do something that would make a significant difference for families in a part of the world that desperately needs humanitarian assistance,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. “We knew our guests were generous, but their support far exceeded our expectations, with donations totaling $450,000.”

Direct Relief is a California-based charity that works in every US state and territory and in more than 90 countries around the world to expand access to medicine and health care by equipping doctors and nurses with life-saving medical resources. It has already provided more than 1,000 tons of medical aid requested by the Ukrainian Ministry of Health.

“We are grateful to Holland America Line and its guests for this tremendous fundraising effort where people took time out of their vacations to make a difference,” said Thomas Tighe, President and Chief Executive Officer of Direct Relief. “Their support will further help us deliver life-saving medicines to Ukraine, ranging from cancer therapies to treating chronic health conditions.”

The check presentation took place at the Port of San Diego. San Diego is the home port of the Koningsdam in winter, with more than 62,000 guests boarding several Holland America Line ships in the port during the 2022/23 season.

“We are proud that so many guests who choose the Port of San Diego have been a part of this fundraising effort,” said Port of San Diego Chairman Rafael Castellanos. “Californians alone make up close to 15% of Holland America Line’s guest population, and the money raised provides timely relief for the crisis in Ukraine.”

Fundraising began in March and coincided with a $3 million pledge to charities helping Ukrainian refugees from the family foundation of Carnival Corporation parent company chairman Mickey Arison and his wife, Madeline. From April to September 2022, the Dutch government and the city of Rotterdam chartered Holland America Line’s Volendam as part of their larger effort to accommodate 50,000 Ukrainians who have fled the war in their homeland.

About Direct Relief
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. For more information, visit https://www.DirectRelief.org.