Fresh Fruit and Produce from Nieuw Amsterdam Donated to Feeding South Florida

Fresh Fruit and Produce from Nieuw Amsterdam Donated to Feeding South Florida

With Nieuw Amsterdam’s recently canceled cruise that was to depart from Fort Lauderdale, Holland America Line donated as much of the fresh fruit and produce on board to Feeding South Florida so it wouldn’t go to waste. Feeding South Florida is the largest food bank serving Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties, distributing more than 50 million pounds (42 million meals) of food annually to over 700,000 individuals – 240,190 of whom are children and 110,000 are older adults.

The ship donated 11 pallets of fruits and vegetables, and one of our vendor partners — Freedom Fresh — picked up the food from the ship and delivered it to Feeding South Florida. The ship’s Food and Beverage Director Ron van Vliet and Executive Chef Sinu Pillai, along with Holland America Line’s Vice President of Hotel and Food & Beverage Frits Van der Werff, selected all of the produce and got it all loaded onto the truck for delivery.

Removing the palettes from the ship to load onto the truck.

Removing the palettes from the ship to load onto the truck.

Feeding South Florida received a wide selection of inventory that had just been loaded for the cruise and would have gone unused. The organization accepted an abundance of vegetables including zucchini, tomatoes, lettuce, bell peppers, mushrooms, squash, kale, carrots, eggplant, cucumber and more! Fruits included starfruit, mango, dragon fruit, grapes, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, bananas, kiwis, strawberries and avocado. Fresh herbs and spices also were delivered, including sage, tarragon, dill, thyme, rosemary and basil.

Loading the pallets onto the Freedom Fresh truck for delivery to Feeding South Florida.

Loading the pallets onto the Freedom Fresh truck for delivery to Feeding South Florida.

While we never want to disappoint our guests and impact their vacation plans in this way, we’re happy that all of this food will go to such a worthy organization and provide food to those in need this holiday season.


Join the Discussion


  1. Kathleen Alter December 17, 2019 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    Thank you! Something good resulting from our disappointment.

  2. Deborah Steinke December 17, 2019 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    Awesome. We enjoyed our cruises. Happy Holidays

  3. Eric Ginnegar December 17, 2019 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    This has been an eventful week for Holland America ships.

    On Tuesday, the Zuiderdam had computer problems. The debark for contractors was done manually. This was not fixed by embarkation, so that too was done manually by checking off names on a roster as guests came aboard.

    Then, on Saturday the Nieuw Amsterdam had a thruster problem and returned to PEV. We helped debark about half the guests Sunday afternoon. Some went to the Konningsdam, some the Nieuw Statendam and others went on their way to other destinations. Monday Morning we debarked the rest of the guests. I noticed, as I was on the gangway, as the guests left, the complimented the crew and many said they would be back. They seemed to have a great time on board Sunday night. Very few were upset, most were in a great mood as they left.

    I mention this because the Holland America staff and crew, on both ships responded wonderfully to the situations. They handled both situations professionally, competantly and made the guests special in light of the difficulties happening. I was truly impressed with the HAL staff and crew.

  4. Rebecca Haney December 17, 2019 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    What a wonderful caring thing to do. We are loyal 4star Mariners. Love that ship.
    A real case of making lemonade out of lemons event.

  5. Claire walsh December 17, 2019 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    That is one of the reasons I ALWAYS cruise Holland America. A corporation that always cares

  6. Claire walsh December 17, 2019 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    This is the reason I ALWAYS cruise HAL. A corporation that cares

  7. Reinaldo Iglesias jr December 17, 2019 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    Thanks for doing such beuatiful Donation and setting and great example for others in this cruise industry to follow.

  8. Martin Wallace December 17, 2019 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    Glad to see you putting Ron to work. He is an awesome guy , met him years ago on the Eurodam and last month on the Nieuw Amsterdam. He is a great ambassador fo your company.

  9. Priscilla Eldredge December 18, 2019 at 8:50 am - Reply

    Love HAL and here is another big reason, very thoughtful to donate all this food.
    Looks like they handled this difficult situation with lots of consideration.

  10. PAUL ROWDEN December 18, 2019 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    HAL = Holland America LEADS .. this is fantastic example and indicates the commitment the Company and Staff have towards communities that have needs .. where ever anyone is in the world, there will always be communities in need … a great example to the cruise industry HAL Well Done…

  11. Melinda Roehl December 18, 2019 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    We would expect nothing less than what HAL was able to do for all! The crew is awesome as usual. We are 4 star HAL for a reason! Looking forward to our next trip!

  12. Nigel Jacobs December 18, 2019 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    What a wonderful gesture to the folfs of South Florida

  13. Maureen Lorimer December 18, 2019 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    What a highly commendable action and will be welcomed especially at this time of year so close to Christmas.

  14. Leslie Pellegrini December 18, 2019 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    We were on this ship when this happened! The professionalism, and warmth of the crew and the staff was absolutely incredible. A big shout out to Rebecca, our cruise director! She was a woman of grace, and kindness under a very stressful situation. Just first class in every way!
    We will always cruise with Holland! The service staff are absolutely exceptional in every way!

  15. Catherine Hartmann December 18, 2019 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    Kudos to HAL, you are the best. You definitely are helping those in need, especially during the holiday season.

  16. johannes de Moor December 18, 2019 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    It is wonderful to see that the spirit of Christmas is alive and well in Large companies like HAL.You have made a big difference for many poor people this Christmas . i have cruised with Hal for 15 years now and I will return for many more in the future .Thank you for this florida food bank . Merry Christmas to all involved in this wonderful act of kindness.

  17. Alex Godinez December 18, 2019 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    Classy company with great people ..

  18. Kathy Duncan December 19, 2019 at 1:32 am - Reply

    Great job! Love HAL and their practices!

  19. Roger Raducha December 19, 2019 at 10:09 am - Reply

    I agree with all the comments above. This cruiseline always goes above and beyond!
    The only cruiseline for me. Go HAL!

  20. Erina Reeves December 19, 2019 at 11:20 am - Reply

    Admiring HAL for doing this..! My last 4 cruises have been with HAL and I’m honored to give my cruise business to a company who cares..???

  21. Barbara Farley December 19, 2019 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    We were on the Nieuw Amsterdam last week. It is a beautiful ship and so tastefully decorated for the holidays. The staff are incredible. HAL has handled their challenges that occurred in a professional manner.

  22. Gordon Mayes December 19, 2019 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    To donate the food to needed organizations is a wonderful gesture. This was my first time cruising with HAL. Unfortunately challenges do happen that can not be resolved qiuckly. I do want to say that the crew and staff are the best I have ever seen anywhere. They are fantastic.

    I hope to cruise with you in April.

  23. Clare Bolsby December 21, 2019 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    I wish more people would care about food and how to help others. Happy holidays to all!

  24. Marcia L Balonis December 22, 2019 at 10:23 am - Reply

    Way to go! Congratulation to HAL for this great move! I’ll be with you again in May and I love to see the company making this choice.

  25. Christopher Paine December 23, 2019 at 8:51 am - Reply

    We have sailed with Holland America for many years. We receive and expect only the best service from them. This is an example of their thoughtfulness. We have been on several of their excursions where part of the fee is donated to schools, etc where we are visiting. Great company. Our next cruise in Mar. To Africa with them.

  26. Terri Collins December 23, 2019 at 11:15 pm - Reply

    Truly, the staff was “grace under fire” during the cancellation. Special thank you to Anna of guest services who late Sunday night assisted us with compassion after a long and unpredictable day Bravo Holland America!

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