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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.

96 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.

  • Meena

    Dear Mr Antorcha
    Congratulations on you appointment with HAL. I note that the South American and Antarctic cruise has been cancelled up to the end of December 2020. I am booked to travel in January 2021 on the South America and Antarctica Chile to Argentina. I am concerned that Covid 19 is still pandemic and I would like to know if this cruise is going ahead.
    Thank you

  • Araceli Bazan

    HOLA estamos esperando el REINTEGRO , pasaron 10 meses y todavía no nos devolvieron nada, somos pasajeros del Westerdam que bajamos en Camboya, POR FAVOR MANDAMOS TODOS LOS COMPROBANTES, DIJERON QUE MANDABAN EL TOTAL DE LO RECLAMADO EN 60 DIAS Y TODAVIA NO RECIBIMOS NADA.
    AGRADECERÍAMOS QUE CONTESTEN PORQUE NADIE NOS RESPONDE . gracias

  • Alan Rosenberg

    Belated congratulations, Mr. Antorcha. We are 3-star Mariners. We are greatly looking forward to resuming our cruises with HAL, the only line we sail. In fact, we’re booked for 2 weeks on the Nieuw Amsterdam in February, 2022. Question: When HAL cruises resume, do you anticipate the possibility of requiring vaccination certificates (or other evidence of same) before allowing passengers on board? We hope the answer is yes. We want to know we’ll be safe on board. Anti-vaxxers are certainly free to do as they wish – but we feel they shouldn’t be allowed to infect those passengers who have taken appropriate precautions. We know it’s a tough question – but we’d be interested to hear what HAL’s plans might be. Many thanks.

  • Joseph Spillane

    I too would like to see r/t ftl med.

  • charles mitchell

    Mr. Antorcha,

    I would also like to see an annual round trip cruise Ft Lauderdale-Europe and return. Many of us loyal long term HAL cruisers enjoy the extended cruises without the dreaded transatlantic air. See if you can come up with a new improved Atlantic Adventurer and if it cost more than before so be it. Yes we will complain a bit but also we will pay it! I think you will be surprised at the cheers if this cruise makes a come back. Thanks kindly for your consideration.

    Chuck Mitchell (4, soon to be 5 star mariner)

  • Donna

    Ahoy Mr. Antorcha:

    We congratulate you on your new position, and wish you much success.

    We’ve become HAL loyalists because of HAL’s unique and exciting itineraries, typically different from similar sister ship brands, as well as the competition.

    We look forward to cruising again with HAL, and hope not to be disappointed with where HAL can take us.

    Warm Regards

  • Juan carlos

    Estimado seguimos esperando nuestro REINTEGRO DE GASTOS que uds SE COMPROMETIERON EN ACREDITAR Y VA HACER UN AÑO Y NO TENEMOS NUESTRO DINERO, somos pasajeros de holland american Westerdam que bajo en Cambodia, POR FAVOR CONTESTEN Y BASTA DE ENGAÑOS!!!

  • Julie

    Please email socialmedia@hollandamerica.com with your booking number and details.

  • Rhoda

    Wow! Finally I got a blog from where I be able to in fact get helpful information regarding my study and knowledge.

  • Joy and Robert Rentz

    Hi Gus,
    We congratulate you on your new and interesting adventure. We are forever loyal to Holland America even though we may cheat once in years. We are ready and waiting for our 128 Day Grand World Cruise 2022, and we are looking at some other 30 days’ cruise, but with COVID19 ever so present still, we have not decided on anyone yet, but soon. We love cruising and we love Holland America, so welcome aboard.
    Sure we will see you on one of your/our ships.
    Joy

  • Caroline Butler

    Dear Mr. Antorcha,
    May I suggest that Holland America consider a Grand Voyage to Australia and New Zealand, round trip to/from San Diego? HAL currently offers a South Pacific & Australia Circumnavigation Collector cruise from San Diego that can be combined with the New Zealand Holiday cruise (both on the Noordam) that finishes in Sydney. Unless one chooses to remain “down under” for several months, there is no transpacific cruise that returns to the U.S. My husband and I are at an age (along with many other cruisers) where the flights to/from the U.S. and Australia/New Zealand (particularly from the East Coast) are long and uncomfortable. A round trip Grand Voyage to these countries from the U.S. would be a welcome addition to HAL’s itinerary. Thank you for your consideration.
    Sincerely, Caroline Butler

  • Wayne Sanders

    We realize that COVID has disrupted many of your plans.. and many of your guests.. but your communication also needs to be clearer . Today via Facebook I was informed my booking on Rotterdamn was canceled. I Checked your webdsite no mention… Then I checked cruise news and they verified.. This is not a way to run a major corporation. Your communication on my last 4 cruises cancellations have not been the best… Wayne Sanders

  • Julie

    Wayne, we apologize and understand your frustration and disappointment. We will pass this along to the appropriate team for review. We appreciate all feedback.

  • Nancy Sleeper

    Dear Mr Antorcha,
    I am a 4 star Mariner, on my way to a 5 star. Have spent thousands.
    As of today, June 30, 2021 I am no longer welcome on any HA ship.
    I live in Tampa, and it appears you are ignoring our new laws stating FL residents shall not be discriminated against because of this unapproved vaccine. I don’t need it and I don’t want it.
    Are you challenging the State of FL to impose massive fines for not complying with our laws while using our Ports?
    Please respond.
    I am disappointed in HA and very sad that your discriminating policy has ruined the vacation plans of thousands of loyal cruisers.

  • Adam

    I notice his brief stay at SeaWorld was not mentioned. Congrats on better employment.

  • Michael Poole

    We are booked on the Eurodam 17 Oct – 14 Nov 2021. We are desperately trying to find out if we will be allowed to sail (we are Canadians). I know that the ban is to be lifted ‘early November’, but will that allow us to disembark in Fort Lauderdale on the 14th November (we are flying straight back to Canada)?

    We still have flights and hotel booked.

    When will we have a definitive answer?

  • Michael Poole

    I am wondering why my post of this morning has been removed?

  • Michael Poole

    I left two posts on the 27th September 2021 – both have been removed. They were very important and a reply was requested. We are due to fly on the 15th October. PLEASE respond.

  • Julie

    Hi Michael, apologies for the delay in approving your posts. We don’t delete, but all need to be approved. Please see my reply on it.

  • Julie

    Hi Michael, honestly that all depends on the U.S. government. We will alert our guests as soon as we know.

  • Julie

    Apologies, they were not removed. Delayed in approval.

  • Aldine Pollock

    I am very upset to learn that my 1 year old granddaughter can not come on the cruise because she is not vaccinated. It is not possible to vaccinate anyone under 5 years old in the US. Is it it possible to get an exemption to this rule? Other cruise lines in your organization allow children under 5 on their trips! I would appreciate a response to this issue- as we are scheduled to set sail on December 23rd from San Diego.

  • Julie

    I apologize that your granddaughter is unable to cruise. Our policy at this time is that all guests must have the vaccine >> https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/worry-free-promise/travel-well.html.

  • Aldine Pollock

    Is there any way our 1 year old granddaughter could get an exemption? We could test her every day and not allow her to go off the boat and bring back COVID like any of the crew or passengers who would be much more of a COVID risk! I look forward to hearing from you! You may also call me 707 442-1514. Thank you!

  • Julie

    I have sent along all of your note to the appropriate executive for review and hopefully someone will reach out.

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