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‘On Deck for a Cause’ Supports World Cancer Day

As a part of its ongoing cancer research fundraising and awareness program, Holland America Line will hold On Deck for a Cause events this week across its fleet of 15 ships in support of World Cancer Day.

From Australia and Antarctica to the Indian Ocean and Caribbean, guests and crew around the world gathered on deck to make the walk amid glaciers, palm trees and the Panama Canal.

If you haven’t cruise with Holland America Line in a while, the new On Deck for a Cause program invites guests to participate in a noncompetitive 5k fundraising walk on every sailing of the line’s ships, with proceeds distributed among the American Cancer Society, Canadian Cancer Society, Cancer Council Australia, Cancer Research UK, Deutsche Krebshilfe (German Cancer Aid) and KWF Kankerbestrijding (Dutch Cancer Society). These walks take place on more than 500 cruises each year.


Since fully launching across the line’s 15 ships in mid-2013, On Deck for a Cause fundraising events have raised more than $200,000 with 200 walks and more than 10,000 participants. Holland America Line began its onboard fundraising walks in 2006 with On Deck for a Cure which raised more than $3 million to fund breast cancer research, education and treatment.


With On Deck for a Cause, guests of all ages are invited to donate $20 to the Holland America Line Foundation, and a minimum of 80 percent ($16) is distributed to the organizations. The remaining 20 percent covers program and administrative expenses. On a day at sea, participants join in a 5k walk around the ship’s decks. Guests may walk less or not at all, as they prefer. Participants also receive an On Deck for a Cause T-shirt, wristband and a reception following the walk. Depending on the ship, the distance to reach 5k ranges from nine to 12 laps.

Did you joined in on the On Deck for a Cause walk on your cruise? Tell us about it in the comments below!

  • Anne Milewski

    My husband and I participated in this event on our recent Alaska cruise on the ms Statendam! What a great way to donate, help fight cancer and get a healthy fun 5k walk in! Thanks Holland America for creating this event! We enjoyed it very much and the delicous pink lemonade and treats afterward!

  • Linda Rodgers

    I’ve just wrapped up a Panama Canal cruise with Holland America and wanted to express my appreciation to them for hosting a fundraiser, “On Deck for a Cause!” It’s a wonderful initiative that unites passengers and raises funds for cancer organizations worldwide – including the Canadian Cancer Society (where I work)! I was thrilled to participate in the 5k walk on our last day at sea, to be a part of this initiative and to meet people from around the world affected by cancer who each want to support research in pursuit of a cure.

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