Video: What is Travel’s Higher Purpose? Orlando Ashford Gives Moving Speech

Video: What is Travel’s Higher Purpose? Orlando Ashford Gives Moving Speech

What is travel’s higher purpose? Why do we do it? Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford addressed these questions and more during his thought-provoking and moving speech at Koningsdam’s dedication ceremony in Rotterdam in April. Holland America Line captured the words on video so everyone could hear his thoughts:

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” — Mark Twain, as quoted by Orlando Ashford

Orlando Ashford speaking to dedication attendees on travel's higher purpose.

Orlando Ashford speaking to dedication attendees on travel’s higher purpose.

“We are many people and many cultures, but we are one world. And I am so proud to be helping Holland America Line contribute in our own small way to creating this one world.” — Orlando Ashford


Why do you travel? What is the most memorable Holland America Line cruise you’ve taken? Tell us below!


Join the Discussion


  1. Patricia B July 28, 2016 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    I want to thank Mr Ashford for this timely speech.

    In the many years we have sailed on HAL we have seen the world through different eyes than we ever would have otherwise.

    To pick a most memorable cruise is as difficult as to pick our next cruise on HAL. A 63 day Pacific Rim on the Amsterdam showed us Asia in depth; several South America cruises gave us a fascinating look at that continent and the Antarctic, too. Every cruise we have taken on HAL has enriched our view of the world.

  2. Linda Hansell August 4, 2016 at 10:29 am - Reply

    Zaandam 2016 to Antarctica

    We are 5 Star Mariners and have “been there done that.” The cruising days to Antarctica were our most memorable sailing days ever. The speakers on board helped make the experience better because we were so well informed. It was wonderful hosting the scientists from Palmet Station and having them describe their experiences living in such a remote part of our world. The colors of the ice were indescribable. The glaciers went on forever. Imagine the joy seeing penguins swim by from our veranda. It was a privilege and an honor to have the opportunity to visit such a place.

  3. Barbara Michaud August 4, 2016 at 10:37 am - Reply

    You people are the best. You make everyone feel important and go out of your way to make everyone feel important. I am always recommending your cruise line telling everyone that they will have a good time and good memories.

  4. Bob Smith August 4, 2016 at 10:37 am - Reply

    Are most memorable cruise was from Montreal to Boston return on our 50th wedding anniversary. What made it so memorable was it combined a river cruise and an ocean cruise. The crew was absolutely fabulous. We will have memories will have for many many years.

  5. Jan Reiter August 4, 2016 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    We have been on numerous cruises; however, our greatest and best cruise on Holland America was in Europe while celebrating our 5oth wedding anniversary and the Captain of the ship renewed our vows AND, we celebrated in a fabulous Suite! We had such a good time!

  6. Rhonda Holt August 4, 2016 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    Well said!

  7. Marcia Pepple August 4, 2016 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    In 2008 my 88 year-old mother, daughter and I flew to Seattle to join our Holland America ship, for a 7 day roundtrip cruise to Alaska. That Spring I had had cancer surgery and realized that if we were going to fulfill Mom’s dream of seeing Alaska, we needed to make some reservations, and soon. We visited Sitka, Ketchikan and Juneau, and had a wonderful time. When Mom got tired, my daughter would take her back to the ship, order her room service, and then join me in town for more shopping! What fun we had, and I know my daughter will always cherish the time she had with her grandmother as they experienced Alaska for the first time.

  8. John McNaughton August 4, 2016 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    My wife and I have enjoyed cruising with Holland Americs in Alaska and in the Mediterranean. On both occasions, we were delighted with our on-board accommodations, the crew and waitstaff, the shore excursions and the overall experience.
    We have recommended HAL to friends and associates and look forward to our next adventure on one of the “Dam” ships !

  9. Lewis Rembold August 4, 2016 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    my wife and I have done 7 with Holland and have loved them all….we enjoyed the Panama Canal a lot….liked Aruba/Curacao, Costa Maya, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and always enjoy stops at Key West….Holland is a wonderful cruise line–our go to line for great times….

  10. Marilyn Gore August 4, 2016 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    As a young teenage girl, my teachers valued travel. We lived in a small rural community, Holland America has helped my husband & I travel to many countries’. We value the quality discussions with fellow travellers on Holland America. As we return from Scotland & Ireland this summer, we reflect on the quality travel experience. We look forward to many more travels on Holland America. We reflect on how we grow & learn with every cruise. Thank-you Holland America, we appreciate to see from a unique lense.

  11. Kathleen Krepps August 5, 2016 at 12:02 am - Reply

    All of our Holland America cruises have been great. The most memorable would have to be our last on Holland to the Panama Canal. It was fantastic from beginning to end – especially the crew. They were the best as always on Holland! Due to travel dates we took our last two grandchildren on a Princess cruise. Fun, but lacking the Holland “exclusive” experience. We’re now looking forward to a transatlantic on the Koningsdam. This should be the best yet!:)

  12. ruth and irving batts August 5, 2016 at 1:21 am - Reply

    I don’t fly anymore. I find i can go anywhere in the world on a cruise ship. A few years back we took the voyage of the vikings. we had an overnight in Amsterdam. I was able to see to see my son, grand and great grandkids with the overnight in Amsterdam. that is what cruising means to me. bring families together and also seeing the world and its people, cultures and customs. HAL allows me to do this.

  13. Amelia Degracia August 17, 2016 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    Our first cruise to Alaska was with Holland America . It was a wonderful experience that, now that we are going on a Mediterranean Cruise we chose HAL. See you next month, HAL!

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