Holland America Line Wins Eight Porthole Readers’ Choice Awards

Seattle, WA, November 12, 2008 – Holland America Line has won eight Readers’ Choice Awards from Porthole Cruise Magazine for 2008, including Most Eco-Friendly Cruise Line, Best Private Island for Half Moon Cay, the line’s exclusive Bahamian port call, and Best Alaska Itineraries.

Holland America Line also won in the following categories:

  • Best Canada/New England Itineraries
  • Best South America Itineraries
  • Best Overall Facilities for Physically Challenged Passengers
  • Best Medical Facilities
  • Best Computer Facilities

“Holland America Line is honored to receive these awards from the informed readers of Porthole Cruise Magazine,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “We are especially proud of being named the most eco-friendly cruise line. Holland America Line leads the cruise industry in our commitment to protecting the environment with cutting-edge programs and partnerships with governments and regulatory agencies to test new technologies.”

“Porthole Cruise Magazine continues to be one of the most highly respected travel publications geared to the cruise and destination traveler,” said Bill Panoff, publisher and editor-in-chief of the magazine. “Our readers appreciate the quality and cruise experience that premium line Holland America Line consistently delivers.”

Top Awards for Environment and Private Island
Holland America Line won the Most Eco-Friendly Cruise Line award for a commitment to responsible environmental practices through a comprehensive, fleet-wide program and innovations. The program emphasizes waste reduction and recycling, use of cleaner-burning propulsion technology and cutting-edge technologies such as shore power and an emissions reducing test project on ms Zaandam. Holland America Line’s ships currently meet or exceed all provisions of the international regulations governing the environmental management of marine operations.

In 2008, Half Moon Cay received its eighth Best Private Island acknowledgement from Porthole readers. Here guests can enjoy the extensive activities and facilities offered in the 50-acre resort portion of 2,400-acre Little San Salvador Island in the Bahamas. The island’s offerings provide a full beachside water park for children, private beach cabanas, exclusive over-water bungalow and an array of shore excursions that include horseback riding by land and sea, personal watercraft adventures and an opportunity to swim with stingrays.

Itineraries and Public Facilities Shine, Too
Known for its longer, port-intensive cruise itineraries, Holland America Line picked up three awards for best itineraries in Alaska, Canada/New England, and South America. In Alaska, the line operates three major cruising itineraries – Glacier Bay Inside Passage Cruises, Glacier Discovery, and Alaskan Explorer Cruise – that showcase the highlights of Alaska with distinctive options to suit the various wishes of Alaskan-bound travelers.

The line’s Canada/New England cruises from May through Oct. showcase the area’s historic seaports, international cities, and natural sights such as Saguenay Fjord and Acadia National Park. The line’s new Signature class ship, ms Eurodam, introduced New York to Quebec itineraries in fall 2008. South America itineraries feature extensive exploration from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Valparaiso, Chile, with some heading as far south as Antarctica.

According to Meadows, the nod for Best Computer Facilities comes from the line’s decision to install the Explorations Café, sponsored by the New York Times, on its ships. The coffeehouse environment combines a library, music lounge and Internet center with an espresso bar.

Completing the awards, Holland America Line received recognition for its accessibility and medical facilities. Holland America Line ships accommodate guests with a variety of special needs including those requiring wheelchairs, scooters or service animals; those who have sight or hearing impairments; and those using oxygen.

And each Holland America Line ship has a medical center carrying much of the standard equipment found in North American hospital emergency departments. While not a full-service hospital, the onboard medical center accommodates most emergencies and routine medical procedures and is staffed by 2-4 registered nurses, a crew physician and the ship’s doctor – all certified in advanced cardiac life support.