While most cruise lines have relationships with philanthropic organizations, Holland America's On Deck for the Cure program incorporates passenger involvement. For that reason this effort has always been out of the ordinary.
Passengers onboard any ship in Holland America's fleet can participate by donating $15 to the Holland America Line Foundation. They're then required to cover a five kilometer walk onboard (generally that's about 12 times around the promenade deck). They're each presented with an On Deck for the Cure wristband -- pink, the organization's signature color -- and a T-shirt. A pink lemonade reception follows the walk.
The Holland America Line Foundation donates 75 percent of the $15 per passenger contribution to Komen for the Cure. On Deck for the Cure is operated in conjunction with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization (same folks host the annual Race for the Cure events, held across the U.S.).
Susan G. Komen for the Cure, an international organization, was founded in 1982 in memory of Ms. Komen, who died from breast cancer. The organization supports breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment programs.
Windstar, Holland America's sister cruise line, will join in beginning this month; passengers will be invited to participate in an onboard fitness event (a walk or calisthenics class, depending on the ship); a $20 per person donation is requested.
The program's first year on Holland America will conclude April 1 and it is estimated that 500 walks will have taken place. Stein Kruse, HAL's president, estimates that the total funds raised should top $350,000.
--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor