Tag Archives: Vanuatu

A group from Fanning Island's Latta Moreaai Kindergarten School pose with HR Manager Christopher Houghton and HR Clerk Hempry Hartono.
A group from Fanning Island's Latta Moreaai Kindergarten School pose with HR Manager Christopher Houghton and HR Clerk Hempry Hartono.

Holland America Line ships sail to all seven continents and explore the world’s oceans. During our global adventures we visit hundreds of ports and our guests are warmly welcomed into those communities. So it is with great pride that whenever necessary we help those communities when in need.

Holland America Line recently participated in some great acts of giving around the world, providing supplies and monetary relief to communities in need.

Aid Delivered to the Island of Vanuatu

In April during a scheduled call at Port Villa, Vanuatu, in the South Pacific, Oosterdam delivered much-needed supplies to the island, which was ravaged by Cyclone Pam in March.

Not only did Oosterdam collect donations and supplies from guests and crew, it also carried essential goods on behalf of Save the Pacific Foundation. The organization had supplies to be delivered and needed a way to get them to Vanuatu from Sydney, so they coordinated the relief effort with Carnival Australia and Holland America Line. Oosterdam was making a scheduled call — the only ship calling at Vanuatu departing from Sydney in the next two months — and agreed to carry the supplies to the island.

Oosterdam delivered several palates to aid the people of Vanuatu.

Oosterdam delivered several palates to aid the people of Vanuatu.

Included in the eight pallets from Save the Pacific Foundation were medical supplies, clothing, bed linens, shelter tarps and tents, gumboots, work tools for rebuilding and food such as whole milk powder, rice and cans of basic items.

The ship also collected monetary donations and goods from guests and crew who wanted to help, and delivered additional pallets that included canned goods, insect repellent and personal hygiene items.

Earthquake Relief Efforts in Nepal

Last month Carnival Corporation teamed with several of its global cruise brands to pledge $200,000 to relief efforts in Nepal in the wake of April’s devastating earthquake. Carnival Corporation worked through Mercy Corps, the Disaster Emergency Committee and Save the Children to support on the ground teams distributing emergency supplies and aiding rebuilding efforts targeting the most affected families in Kathmandu and surrounding areas.

Carnival Corporation’s support will help the three organizations provide access to shelter supplies, food, water and hygiene supplies, support the operations of the Nepal Red Cross and ultimately assist families in rebuilding their lives after initial life-saving needs are met.

P & O Cruises UK and Cunard Line provided a significant portion of the donation out of the companies’ offices in the United Kingdom. Likewise, Carnival Cruise Line, Seabourn and Holland America Line combined to donate the majority of the funds in North America in coordination with Carnival Foundation, the company’s philanthropic organization.

Amsterdam Raises Money for Children in Myanmar

During Amsterdam’s 2015 Grand World Voyage, guests participated in a silent auction to raise money for the Smile Education and Development Foundation (SEDF) in Myanmar. SEDF benefits many organizations to help children at risk.

Organized by Culinary Arts Center Host Samantha Seyfert, the silent auction featured donated items from all departments, including a Grand World Voyage navigational map hand-signed by Captain Jonathan Mercer and the ship’s officers. The auction also featured dozens of hand-knit items donated by guests participating in the Sit & Knit gatherings, watercolor paintings donated by guests in the watercolor class, and items from the arts and crafts class.

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Children at the Rattana Metta Foundation performed during one of SEDF’s workshops while ms Amsterdam was in port March 11.

March 10 Amsterdam called at Yangon (formerly Rangoon) for two nights and SEDF representatives came on board for lunch and a tour of the ship. Samantha presented SEDF Director Virginia Henderson with $7,000 raised from the auction. Children at the Rattana Metta Foundation performed during one of SEDF’s workshops while ms Amsterdam was still alongside March 11.

Statendam Makes a Big Donation to the Kids of Fanning Island

On April 25, ms Statendam called at remote Fanning Island in the South Pacific Republic of Kiribati. Crew members delivered 45 boxes of school supplies, clothes and sporting equipment to the Fanning Island school committee. Over the past 18 months, Statendam has visited the island several times to bring a total of 200 boxes of much-needed supplies donated by guests and crew.

Kindergarten School Teacher Owati Kettrii oversees the children while Human Resources Manager Christopher Houghton gives them each a Statendam blow-up toy.

Kindergarten School Teacher Owati Kettrii oversees the children while Human Resources Manager Christopher Houghton gives them each a Statendam blow-up toy.

As the needs arise, Holland America Line will continue to help our global friends whenever possible.

The South Pacific is made up of lush paradisiacal islands and clear blue water, like the Blue Lagoon on Vanuatu.
The South Pacific is made up of lush paradisiacal islands and clear blue water, like the Blue Lagoon on Vanuatu.

Imagine calling at lush, tropical islands, isolated beaches and bustling fruit markets as you cruise across the Pacific Ocean. Bloggers Adam Hammond Marta Balcewicz of the website Portsie recently cruised from Sydney, Australia, to Vancouver, Canada, and chronicled their journey.
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Portsie was created by self proclaimed "tea-drinking book-worm adventurers who are convinced there is something decidedly romantic and great about traveling to places (or nowhere in particular) by sea. They have read turn-of-the-century novels featuring trans-Atlantic crossings and are jealous of their protagonists."


Alaska's breathtaking scenery captured by fan Darryl R.
Alaska's breathtaking scenery captured by fan Darryl R.

From a sunset in the Med and the fjords of Norway to the glaciers of Alaska and lush landscapes of the South Pacific, the world is full of beautiful scenery.
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8
Feb 2013

Journalist Ruth Taber was on board Oosterdam and sent in blog posts during her cruise. Enjoy!

Friday – February 1, 2013 – onboard the Oosterdam – tendered off Mystery Island, Vanuatu.

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Yesterday’s excursion to Ekasup Cultural Village (near Port Vila) was superb. 500 villagers here continuing a traditional lifestyle going back hundreds of years. Their tribal chief represents the law, weddings are arranged and wealth is signified by the number of pigs owned. Our guide (his name is Sifo – and if anyone had trouble spelling he suggested we remember him as C4) took us through village customs, cooking, hunting, fishing (women’s work!), medicine from local plants and leaves. And more! A ginger leaf pit served as a storage place for their dried bananas; grated with a shell, the banana juice was drained and the pulp dried – and stored up to a year or more in the ginger leaf pit.

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31
Jan 2013

Journalist Ruth Taber is on board Oosterdam and sending in blog posts during her cruise. Enjoy!

Monday morning – January 28, 2013 – on board the Oosterdam – more than half way on our voyage from Sydney to New Caledonia.

We’ve “enjoyed” a tropical storm that worked its way down Australia – spreading rain and wind into the South Pacific. Some unhappy campers using the ship’s complimentary seasick medications but we’re fine. Very high ocean swells have subsided; our captain’s soothing messages assuring us of fair weather ahead sounds good. Non-stop activities on board (if that’s your pleasure) fill the hours. We met some lovely bridge players yesterday and have scheduled a return game today. Big selection of movies for the cabin’s DVD player, covered pool (who cares about the weather) and an interesting lecture about the upcoming islands on our itinerary were more than enough for one day!

And the food? Superb – two outstanding dinners so far – and hats off to the pastry chefs. Last night’s swai (fish described as trout-like) was light and moist; the warm espresso-date pudding cake for dessert was a sure winner. We ate with a couple from Oregon and I was impressed with the attention given to her special dietary needs. On a gluten-free diet – she’s handed the next day’s menu after dinner and checks out her choices. Open dining is not a problem – the computer finds her table and her food arrives exactly as requested. Best of all – she said it’s been delicious – even the gluten-free bread baked for her.

We’ve been invited to a brunch today – hosted by the Captain and the Hotel Director – report to follow!

Tuesday – January 29, 2013 – onboard the Oosterdam – docked in Luganville, Vanuatu (pronounced Van-ah-wah-too).

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22
Jan 2013

Guest Sharon Johnson and her husband were on Volendam for the trans-Pacific voyage to Sydney and the circumnavigation of Australia for 55 days. Enjoy this post and photos from their call at Port Vila, Vanuatu.

We sailed into Port Vila very early in the morning. It was only an overnight sail from Fiji, but we lost a day due to the crossing of the International Dateline. We took a tour to “Ekasup Cultural Village” which has won several awards (Vanuatu’s “Best Tourist Attraction”) for their presentation of Melanesian customs. Melanesia means black islands. We drove out of Port Vila, crossed a river and rode along a very good paved road past houses before turning down a road to the Ekasup Village. We were greeted by our guide who lead us along a path to the village. Before we arrived at the village, warriors silently appeared out of the jungle to challenge us — we were in their territory. And until about the 1860′s it would have been cannibal territory. – Sharon and Al Johnson

Catamarans and sailboats at Port Vila as seen from the Volendam.

Catamarans and sailboats at Port Vila as seen from the Volendam.

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11
Jan 2013

Vantage: Vanuatu

Submitted by: Wendy

If you’ve been following my blog, you will know that we had a bit of a diversion and a change in the order of our ports en route to our first port of call, Port Vila on the island of Efate which is one of Vanuatu’s 83 islands. Three days after sailing from Sydney, we disembarked on this special island.

Beyond the containers taxis line the access roda.

We were greeted by the usual cacophony of eager taxi drivers, whose minivans and occasional sedans were lined up on the access road just above the port and on the road leading to the port, where the colours of the port market displayed their own cacophony. Without doubt you will find the aggressive taxi drivers to be intimidating and perhaps a bit difficult to understand and you may be a bit uncertain about their rundown vehicles, but hey, mate — go with the flow — this is part of leaving your cruise ship cocoon behind for a few hours and ‘going island,’ but do remember to stand your ground and negotiate (or wait til afternoon, when both the taxis and the market prices do get cheaper).

If I can compare our welcome with the last time we were here (about 18 months ago), our welcome yesterday was even more enthusiastic because earlier in the week, three cruise ships cancelled their port calls because of Cyclone Freda.

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Volendam off-loaded donations in Port Vila, Vanuatu, during our last call there in January. Seven boxes of clothes donated by crew and books from the crew library went to a local school and a number of cambros used for storing food and drinks were donated to the local Red Cross with the hope that they may be able to use it in eventual times of need.



Hanna Eklof is Volendam’s human resources manager.