Volunteers knit over 600 blankets for Project Linus charity while circumnavigating the world
Holland America Line’s 2023 Grand World Voyage concluded on Friday at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 128 days after it departed from the port Jan. 3, 2023. This is the first Grand World Voyage the cruise line has operated since 2020 and the 59th since its first world cruise departed aboard Statendam Jan. 7, 1958.
During Zuiderdam’s journey around the world, the ship visited 57 ports in 30 countries on four continents and cruised 35,651 nautical miles (39,875 land miles). Highlights included funds raised for Bernhard Nordkamp Centre in Namibia, Africa; blankets knitted by guests for Project Linus; and celebrating the company’s 150th Anniversary in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, with Holland America Line President Gus Antorcha.
“Like our guests, we have been eagerly anticipating the return of our Grand World Voyage, and the 2023 world cruise was an exceptional journey for not only the places we visited, but the memories made along the way,” said Antorcha. “A world cruise is more than just a travel experience; it’s building a community of friends and family. And our guests generously gave their time and funds for some worthy causes during the journey, for which I extend gratitude on behalf of everyone at Holland America Line.”
Guests Raise Funds and Knit for a Cause
Zuiderdam guests raised $10,000 for The Bernhard Nordkamp Centre in Namibia, which was presented to the organisation during the ship’s call at Walvis Bay. The BNC services approximately 150 kids in grades one through seven who come in after their school day to receive support, food, additional education and positive social interaction.
Continuing a tradition that began more than a decade ago on the Grand World Voyage, guests made 618 blankets for Project Linus throughout the sailing. Nearly 75 blanketeers and 20 non-knitting volunteers participated in the Project Linus endeavor this year. With yarn brought on by guests, donated prior to departure and funds given by Holland America Line, guests of all knitting and crocheting abilities made blankets for children in the United States who are ill, traumatised or otherwise in need.
Organized this year by guests Gail and Marty Gottlieb, the couple drove a U-Haul truck to Port Everglades for the start of the Grand World Voyage with one-million yards of yarn in over 40 different colors, along with hooks, needles and ball winders. The blankets will be picked up by the local South Florida chapter of Project Linus at the port.
Themed Events and Culinary Delights
During the voyage, guests dressed to the nines for events that featured a Grand Masquerade, Derby Night, Casino Royale, Mardi Gras Night of Music and “Once Upon a Time.” More than a dozen casual, themed evenings around Lido pool included a glamp out, Burgers and Beer, Grand Fair, surprise party with the ship’s team members, Biergarten Festival, “Let Them Eat Cake” and “An Evening in France.”
2023 Grand World Voyage Highlights and Fun Facts:
- Zuiderdam visited imaginary Null Island (0°N/S & 0°E/W) where the equator crosses the Prime Meridian and visitors became an Emerald Shellback, the rarest shellback (a sailor who has crossed the equator) designation.
- On April 18, Antorcha visited the ship in Amsterdam during an overnight call to celebrate the company’s 150th Anniversary.
- Guests indulged in 31,248 bottles of wine and champagne.
- 200,606 lbs. of fresh vegetables and 173,903 lbs. of fresh fruit were consumed.
- 40,905 fresh eggs were scrambled, poached and used as ingredients.
- Guests drank 133,293 soft drinks.
- The ship served nearly 200,000 lbs. of meat (beef, pork, lamb, poultry, veal).
- Guests enjoyed 56,306 lbs. of seafood.
- 7,793 tea bags were used to brew a cuppa, as well as 3,277 bags of coffee.
- More than $200,000 in foreign currencies were exchanged.
Future Holland America Line Grand Voyages:
- 2023 Grand South America and Antarctic Voyage — 73 days. Departs Oct. 7, 2023, roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale aboard Zaandam.
- 2023 Grand Africa Voyage — 73 days. Departs Oct. 10, 2023, roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale aboard Zuiderdam.
- 2024 Grand World Voyage — 128 days. Departs Jan. 3, 2024, roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale aboard Zuiderdam.
- 2024 Grand Australia and New Zealand Voyage — 94 days. Departs Jan. 3, 2024, roundtrip from San Diego aboard Volendam
- 2025 Grand World Voyage — 124 days. Departs Jan. 4, 2025, roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale aboard Zuiderdam.
- 2025 Grand Voyage: Pole to Pole — 133 days. Departs Jan. 25, 2025, roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale aboard Volendam.
Bookings for the 2025 Pole to Pole and Grand World Voyage officially open May 24, 2023. Travelers interested making a deposited Future Cruise Request to get priority booking confirmation prior to May 24 can call Holland America Line’s World Cruise Reservations Desk or a travel advisor.
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