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Gus Antorcha Named President of Holland America Line

Holland America Line announced today the appointment of Gustavo (Gus) Antorcha as president of the cruise line. Antorcha joins the company effective immediately from sister brand Carnival Cruise Line, where he has served as chief operating officer.

“We are fortunate to welcome Gus to the Holland America Line team for a new chapter at our brand,” said Stein Kruse, Group CEO, Holland America Group and Carnival UK. “His impressive qualifications, boundless energy and passion for the cruise industry will serve us well as we prepare to resume our global operations in the next several months. These are unprecedented times, and his wisdom and competent judgement will ensure Holland America Line’s long-term success.

“I’ve worked with him often during his time at Carnival Cruise Line and know that he brings extensive experience in many disciplines within the cruise and travel business,” added Kruse. “Gus always demonstrates strategic vision, fiscal awareness and superior leadership with a keen ability to keep his eye on the end result to ensure success.”

Antorcha will lead Holland America Line’s sales and marketing, revenue management, deployment and itinerary planning, public relations, guest services operations and strategic planning. He will report to Kruse.

“When you think of longevity and success among global cruise lines today, Holland America Line is arguably among the top, with a proud history of nearly 150 years,” said Antorcha. “On each ship, the guest experience attracts cruisers back again and again with the best live music at sea, a culinary program that rivals the best land-based restaurants, and engaging talks and activities that seek to deepen each guest’s appreciation of the places they visit.

“I am eager to begin working toward our future with the dedicated and talented people that have been important in establishing the brand’s reputation as the go-to cruise line for cultural immersion,” noted Antorcha. “Likewise, I look forward to collaborating with our travel advisor community to continue supporting them and helping them build their Holland America Line business.”

Most recently, Antorcha was chief operating officer at Carnival Cruise Line where he has worked a combined nine years. He also held positions as executive vice president, guest services, responsible for onboard operations; and senior vice president, guest commerce.

Antorcha first came to Carnival in 2010 from Boston Consulting Group, a global strategy and management consulting firm, where he was a partner and managing director focused on clients in the travel and leisure industries. He graduated magna cum laude with distinction from Duke University and holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

71 Comments
  • Brenda

    We have a cruise booked for December 19 2020 with holland America. We want to know if this cruise will sail going from Argentina ending in Chile. With the covid 19 still so active , will this cruise happen. Thank you

  • Michael La Garde

    Would like to see our new HAL President, Gus Antorcha freshen up our Grand cruise offerings. Grand Pacific cruises have been offered in the past. Could we have a Grand Atlantic cruise R/T Ft Lauderdale or a Grand Mediterranean cruise R/T Ft Lauderdale?
    Wish our new President much success.

  • David schobet

    can not wait to be on the seas

  • CRAIG WERUM

    We want the cruises to start A.S.A.P Seattle will have two times the ships because of Vancouver
    will be closed for next season . So please let us book another year out (2022) to help pay your bills. 7 days out at sea along the coast will be fine . Just get us aboard . Thank you Craig and Bess Werum Four star veterans.

  • Linda

    Welcome aboard Mr.Antorcha,
    The one and only issue that will make or break my decision if to resume cruising with HAL, is if you continue or cancel (as we have heard) the dance host program. For some of us: women solo traveler is of utmost important. No sir, just “any crew member will dance with you” as I was told when talked with HAL customer service in Seattle, will not do it for me.

  • Debbie

    Please bring some of the programs back onto the ships. The last few cruises were boring, fewer shows. No more America’s Test Kitchen. We started going back to other cruise lines that we had left as they had made too many changes. It turns out, there changes as bad as they were – weren’t as boring onboard. But please don’t make it party cruises like on Carnival.

  • Alexander

    Bienvenue/Welcome Mr. Antorcha – President of Holland America Line.
    I believe its great to have someone experienced in the cruise industry take on this new challenge.
    There is a long tradition of excellence , maritime history, and Premium touches onboard the ships of the Line. While I am all for bringing modernisation and innovation to your fleet of vessels, I do wish that Holland America, does not lose sight of what in the past made your cruise line so special and different from other cruise lines that as you must be aware developed a large base of repeat guests and loyal Mariners.

    I am one of them. Alexander 4 Star Mariner Montreal/ Canada

  • SUSAN KOZEL

    Hi, Gus, Justin in resolution management helped me for almost 2 hours today, cleaned up staff mistakes, and I hope our refund will come soon. He did an outstanding job. Can you intervene and make sure we get our over due refund from April 15 soon?

    Sue Kozel, almost Mariner 4

  • SUSAN KOZEL

    Aug. 3
    Carol Kidd, the supervisor of the personal cruise consultant B. BUNTS, will not write me or call me back about our nearly 72 business day period of waiting for a refund for a HAL cancelled cruise.
    What is wrong with your operation? I can’t keep spending 1 hour and forty minutes to try to get reimbursement on the phone. Junior helped in resolutions, but we need the money.

    Ready to file a CV complaint. Can you respond?
    Sue Kozel
    Mariner 3 and former Neptune level

    P.S. it appears you f iui d not publish one if my comments.

  • Julie

    Hi Susan, please email socialmedia@hollandamerica.com with your details. Please note, we do not publish comments with booking numbers due to privacy. You included booking numbers in your comments. However, they are read and passed along.

  • Leonard Corbett

    August 4, 2020

    Dear Mr. Antorcha,

    I wish you great success in your new position.

    I am a 5-Star Mariner who since 1972 has sailed with Holland America 81 times. Since 1997 I have brought many dance groups to enjoy a vacation on a beautiful HAL ship.

    Sadly, my groups have noticed that the previous management at HAL have written off ballroom and Latin dancers, and it appears, some of your senior base, who helped build HAL.

    Of course, many passengers enjoy B B King music, or the Rolling Stone room, but these rooms do not play tradition dance music that older people enjoy.

    In the last few years I have only been able to use the “S” and “R” class of ships where the Ocean bar has a band, but now you are down to, two “R” ships.

    The Signature and Vista class ships you still have, could have a trio or a piano with a synthesizer. These ships already have the dance floors, they have just been covered with carpeting. A few years ago they had great bands in the Crows nest and Ocean bar. (Now they are all covered) This would make the Ocean bar a great dance venue again.

    Cunard, MSC, Crystal and Costa have great dance floors with traditional ballroom/Latin dance music, but all of us love HAL.

    There are still tens of thousands of ballroom dancers still looking for cruise ship dancing.

    I hope you will give my letter your deepest consideration. I hope you will help ballroom dancers!

    Sincerely,
    Leonard Corbett #009936527

  • Debra Rogers

    Mr. Antorcha,
    Congratulations on your new position with HAL.

    My husband and I are committed fans of this line and love the new ships with music walk. We wait all year to dance every night with the BB King Band and Rolling Stone Rock Room Band.

    You have the best crew on the seas. Half Moon Cay is our favorite destination and enjoying a day at sea with a book at the aft pool looking out at the wake is the epitome of a perfect day.

    We have made lifelong friends on our HAL cruises. During our last cruise we enjoyed our 100th sea day with a fantastic tour of the bridge.

    However long it takes to cruise again we will be back.

    Congratulations again.
    Debra and David Rogers

  • Jana Polgar

    Cruise cancellation and FCC

    We are 3 star mariners, cruising predominantly with HA. When we learned that disembarkation port of Vancouver was closed on 13/3/2020 and the Australian government announced closure of the Sydney port on 16/3/2020 I called HA Service Center (on 17/3/2020) seeking advice on transfer to alternate embarkation/disembarkation ports (as per Cruise Contract). Instead, I was offered 2 options: cancel with small refund and remaining money to be deposited in my FCC (with option to redeem at 125% by the end of 2022) or wait until the planned departure 17/4/2020. In that case, if HA cancelled the cruise after this date, no money would be refunded. Alternatively, I could receive a full refund if HA cancellation precedes the embarkation date.

    There was no offer of transfer to alternate embarkation port. We received information that HA cancelled the cruise in Canada on 21/4/2020, a few days after our planned departure from Sydney. After long waiting (20/7/2020) we received the partial refund. However, there is nothing in our FCC account to this date. Later on we also learned that some people travelling with us on the same cruise, who are not mariners received full refund because they did not cancel the cruise on time. This indicates, the HA is changing the rules on the fly without properly informing the guests about the change and completely disregarding our loyalty. In addition, the situation with COVIT-19 developed the way and not being able to redeem FCC we may not be able to travel by the end of 2022. I am very disappointed with HA Service and the way loyal guests are treated.
    Dr. Polgar

  • Barbara Lacher

    Sad to see the smaller ships leave your fleet. We sailed on four of them. Will you still have the Canadian cruises? Wonderful memories of the New England/Canadian trip.

  • Christine Bryan

    My husband and I are 5* Mariners and are anxiously awaiting resuming our HAL cruises. We have had 2 cancelled and still have 3 booked. We are not sure what will happen in Feb. and March with this virus for our cruises then. Our 3rd is on the new Rotterdam late Sept. Really looking forward to that one.

    We are still waiting for a refund for our March 13th cruise. Rec’d FCC for the cancelled one on the Noordam in Sept. Is it because the other is a monetary refund that we have to wait so long?

    Anyway, welcome aboard.

  • Julie

    Hi Christine, please email socialmedia@hollandamerica.com with your booking details. Thank you.

  • Jan

    Van 1967 tot en met 1970 heb ik als bemanningslid mogen werken op verschillende HAL schepen. (Waaronder de SS Nieuw Amsterdam een bijzonder mooi charmant schip). Vanaf het moment dat ik de HAL verliet heb ik altijd de wens gehad om ooit weer eens te gaan varen. In de zomer van 2011 was het zover. Samen met mijn vrouw en kinderen onze eerste gezamenlijke cruise gemaakt op de Noordam. Vanaf dat moment hebben we ieder jaar met of zonder kinderen een of meerder cruises bij de HAL gemaakt. Wij vinden het jammer dat op programmering gebied er de laatste jaren veel bezuinigd is. Wij hopen ook dat er in de toekomst ook aangemeerd gaat worden op kleinere havens, met of zonder tenders. Vooral in de Middellandse zee gebied. Wij hopen zo spoedig mogelijk weer aan boord te mogen gaan van een van de HAL schepen.

    From 1967 to 1970 I was allowed to work as a crew member on various HAL ships. (Including the SS Nieuw Amsterdam, a particularly beautiful charming ship). From the moment I left HAL I have always had the wish to go sailing again. In the summer of 2011 the time had come. Together with my wife and children did we made our first joint cruise on the MS Noordam. From that moment on we have made one or more cruises at the HAL every year with or without children. We think it is a pity that a lot of cutbacks have been made in the field of programming in recent years. We also hope that in the future there will also be mooring at smaller ports, with or without tenders. Especially in the Mediterranean area. We hope to be able to board one of the HAL ships again as soon as possible.

  • Constance A. Lowe

    Congratulations, Mr. Antorcha, and I wish you every success in your new role.

    Every time I have attended a “Meet the Captain” or other feedback session on a HAL ship, I’ve made the point that three things keep drawing me back to Holland America Line: the size of the ships (by which I meant R class and smaller), the classic teak wrap-around promenade decks, and the fabulous staff and crew. There are many other things I love – the food, the lectures, the libraries, and the fascinating ports accessible to the smaller ships, just to start with.

    As a realist (and shareholder) I understand the thinking behind the move in recent years to larger ships. However, since I first sailed with HAL in 1964, you may infer that I have aged into the group that does not walk long distances or stand in line for any length of time without actual pain. My one visit to Koningsdam – and even before that, my one voyage on Oosterdam – convinced me that I do not wish ever to sail on ships that large in future. I also believe that the impact of ships that size on the ports of call is negative for both visitors and port inhabitants. If you have ever been on the dock at St Maarten when 5 jumbo ships were in port, you will know how tedious getting to beaches and “sights” through the crowds can be. Some ports, notably Venice, are already exploring ways to limit the onslaught of visitors.

    I am content to pay the premium cost per day of HAL’s Grand Voyages and other long itineraries to enjoy the more manageable expanses of the R ships. I know there are many fellow passengers who feel as I do. I am concerned, therefore, that there seem to be no new ships on order of a size comparable to the R class. If Viking and Oceania can make newbuilds of around 1200 passengers profitable, I feel certain that HAL can also, at least for the Grands and other long itineraries.

    And THAT, Mr. Antorcha, is my challenge to you. Welcome aboard!

    Best wishes,

    Constance A. Lowe, Ph.D.

  • Jalna Hunt

    We completely agree with everything Constance Lowe has said in her thoughtful message
    of 13 September 20 above. We, too, will never sail on a Pinnacle Class ship, especially after a dismal experience on the Koningsdam, unable to escape from a trashy sound-track piped into every public area on the ship!
    BTW, we are 5-star Mariners, accumulating our cruise days on the delightful SMALLER ships,
    over a period of 16 years.

  • Anton Schigas

    October 16, 2020
    We where booked on the Konigsdam, sailing from Fort Lauderdale March 15 on a 48 day cruise to Vancouver BC. On March 13 we received an email from HAL that the cruise was cancelled and stating we would receive a full refund of the cruise fare plus a FCC in the same amount. It is know 8 month and we have not received our refund, even after numerous phone calls to HAL from myself and our cruise consultant. We are out a substantial amount of money and every time I phone them the excuses change to their advantage. We are 3star mariner and always enjoyed cruising with HAL. However, that may now be in jeopardy.

  • Julie

    Hi Anton, we apologize that you have not yet received your refund. Please email your booking details to socialmedia@hollandamerica.com so we can look into this further.

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