Holland America Line’s Volendam to Temporarily House Ukrainian Refugees in the Netherlands

Holland America's Volendam
Volendam

Holland America Line announced its Volendam ship will be used to accommodate Ukrainian refugees as part of an agreement by the Netherlands and City of Rotterdam government officials. The ship will dock in Rotterdam for three months to provide a temporary home for approximately 1,500 Ukrainians, part of a larger commitment from the Netherlands to accommodate 50,000 people who fled the war in their homeland.

“We are in a unique position to accommodate the immediate need for food and housing, so we felt it was very important to work with the City of Rotterdam and charter this ship,” said Gus Antorcha, president, Holland America Line. “Our company was founded in Rotterdam around the mission of helping immigrants find a better life. So today we’re proud to be a small part of a similar mission for Ukrainians who have tragically been displaced.”

Under the agreement to charter Volendam, Holland America Line will provide three hot meals per day, private stateroom accommodations, housekeeping services, use of public spaces, fitness facilities, internet access, and other necessities. Volendam will be staffed with approximately 650 crew members.

Read more...

“Our team is ready to welcome our new guests as we would welcome guests into our own home,” said Captain Ryan Whitaker. “It will truly be an honor for us to make Volendam a comfortable and caring environment for these families who have been through so much.”

Volendam was scheduled to return to service on 15MAY with voyages from Rotterdam to Norway, the British Isles and Iceland. To accommodate the three-month commitment, Holland America Line will cancel three of those voyages and resume service on 03JUN instead. According to HAL, guests on cancelled cruises are being notified and will be accommodated on similar itineraries.

“We are very sorry for the inconvenience this will cause to guests booked on the three canceled cruises,” Antorcha said. “We hope they understand the unprecedented nature of this situation and why we felt it was important to work with the government on this initiative in support of these families in need.”

Volendam will be docked at Merwehaven, a cargo port on the north side of the River Maas in Rotterdam. According to HAL, remaining docked will ensure Ukrainian families can transit easily to and from services in Rotterdam.

Additional Support for Victims of Ukraine War

Holland America Group has already been working with its own team members who are Ukrainian with a USD $1 million emergency assistance fund intended to provide direct financial support. Team members from the region also receive counseling assistance, free internet service to communicate with family, and scheduling accommodations such as early disembarkation or an extension to remain on board as needed.

The family foundation of parent company Carnival Corporation’s chairman Micky Arison and wife Madeleine also announced a pledge of USD $3 million to charities helping Ukrainian refugees. In addition, Holland America Line will look to raise awareness and funds through its On Deck for a Cause program, in which guests on every cruise may take part in a non-competitive 5K fundraising walk. The money raised will go to Direct Relief.

“We stand for peace and our hearts go out to everyone whose lives have been upended by the invasion of Ukraine,” said Arnold Donald, president and chief executive officer of Carnival Corporation & plc. “We have crew members from 145 countries and we sail with guests from nations around the globe, so we feel deeply the impact of this humanitarian crisis and we join many others in supporting relief efforts.”

Travellers waiting at the Canada - U.S. Border. Photo courtesy of the Houlton Pioneer Times.
Come Prepared: CBSA Warns Travellers Heading into Long Weekend and Summer Travel Season
The CBSA warns summer travellers Canada's border is now "managed differently, with evolving COVID-19 requirements." Border delays have made headlines in ...
Dominican Republic Beach
The Weather Network Launches Travel Planner Tool with Launch Partners Air Canada and Aeroplan
The planning tool will provide historical weather information initially for 50 cities in 11 countries, and stems from findings that weather ...
Wendy Paradis, President, ACTA.
ACTA Calls for Speakers & Educational Session Proposals for 2022 Industry Summits
ACTA is reaching out to the travel industry for speaker proposals and suggested educational sessions for the 2022 Travel Industry Summits ...
London, UK
Canadians’ Interest in European Travel Up 2000% from 2021: Report
Europe is the second most popular continent for Canadians now, next to North America, RATESDOTCA revealed from analysis of its travel ...
Celebrity has launched the Peacemakers Sunset NFT collection, complementing Robierb’s Peacemakers sculpture featured on its newest ship, Celebrity Beyond.
Celebrity Cruises Launches First NFT Collection as Extension of Art on New Celebrity Beyond
The NFT Collection expands on a sculpture and related, very-first "NFT at Sea." Purchasers of the five NFT pieces at auction ...

Leave a Reply