SEATTLE – Holland America Line is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its evolution from a traditional trans-Atlantic crossing company to one dedicated to premium vacation cruising with a “Memorable Crossings” story writing contest. The line is looking for moving and memorable tales that center around a Holland America Line trans-Atlantic crossing.
Entrants are encouraged to submit first-hand accounts or stories told to them by family members or friends who have sailed an unforgettable Holland America trans-Atlantic voyage. Whether adventurous, heart-warming or humorous, the entrant whose story earns the most accolades for its emotional impact, originality and creativity will win a cruise for two on the 2011 nine-day “Classic Crossings” aboard ms Rotterdam.
“Holland America Line has a deep history that goes back generations, and we receive many poignant letters about making this epic journey — whether it was to immigrate to the United States or taken simply for pleasure,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “This isn’t a writing contest, but more a compelling story-telling contest. We want to hear the incredible and moving stories about a route that defined our line for decades, and there’s no better way to celebrate such a pivotal transition period in our company’s rich history.”
One entrant from North America will win a stateroom on the July 12 trans-Atlantic departure that sails to Rotterdam from New York with a call at Cobh (Cork), Ireland, a time-honored stop on crossings of the past. This sailing follows a nine-day voyage that departs Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on July 3, 2011 and calls at the traditional crossing departure port of Southampton, England, before heading across the Atlantic to New York.
The contest runs through March 15, 2011. A panel of judges appointed by Holland America Line, including President and CEO Stein Kruse, will select the winner, who will be announced by April 11, 2011.
During the crossings, Holland America Line will offer numerous opportunities and activities to celebrate the line’s 138-year heritage including a bon voyage sail away party, captain’s gala party, guest lecturers and chefs and a special commemorative gift. For novices and enthusiasts, Bridge and dance instructors as well as hosts will be onboard. In addition, guests can discover more about the company’s history by visiting the Crow’s Nest, which will be set up as a “Museum at Sea” during both crossings, and attending a lecture by renowned maritime historians.
Special guests on these sailings include Bill Miller, considered an international authority on the subject of ocean liners and cruise ships; Maritime artist Captain Stephen J. Card, the official chronicler of the Holland America fleet; and Royal Designer of Industry Stephen Payne, OBE, vice president chief naval architect for Carnival Corporate Shipbuilding, who will share his nautical knowledge on the July 12 voyage. The celebrated Pasadena Roof Orchestra is scheduled to provide the authentic, big-band dancing sounds of yesteryear for both itineraries. Popular Dutch singing sensation “Frank in Person” plans to dazzle guests with his Frank Sinatra looks, singing style and repertoire from Rotterdam to New York.
Guests looking to sharpen their skills in the line’s Culinary Arts Center will have the opportunity to learn from master chefs on both cruises. Dutch Chef Cas Spijkers is scheduled to sail on the July 3 crossing. The author of 10 cookbooks and culinary educator has prepared lavish dinners for the Dutch Royal Family, starred in his own television series, “Cooking with the Stars,” and was named as the Netherlands’ “Masterchef of the Century” in 1991. Daniel Orr, chef and owner of FARMbloomington, is scheduled to sail on the July 12 departure. Orr draws from a lifelong curiosity about individual ingredients combined with extensive training in the art of finding food’s true essence and flavor.
To enter the contest and access the complete official rules and details, visit http://www.hollandamerica.com/transatlanticwritingcontest. No purchase is necessary. The contest is open only to legal residents of the fifty United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are age 18 or older as of the date of entry. The contest is void where prohibited.