Celebrating International Day for Women in Maritime

View of Holland America Line employees.

In recognition of International Day for Women in Maritime, celebrated every year on May 18, we want to introduce you to some of our incredible Holland America Line team members who inspire those around them every day.

Meet My, Director of Interior Design

When you hop aboard a Holland America Line cruise ship, you’re likely taking in all the sights, including the beautiful and unique décor you’ll discover inside. A lot of heart goes into the interior design of our ships. My knows this firsthand. As the Director of Interior Design, it’s her passion to create beautiful designs that delight our guests, and it shows. She was recently recognized with one of Hospitality Design magazine’s “Women in Design Awards.”

View of Holland America Line's Director of Interior Design.

When My and her team are creating designs, there are multiple elements she takes into consideration beyond the overall look and cost to bring it to life. She’s focused on ensuring products meet Holland America Line’s standards of design, International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations, durability and sustainability. The latter is especially important to My and her team.

“We partner together to think outside the box to create materials that are made of recycled content and can also be recycled as part of its lifecycle,” she said. “We’re working on a circular ecosystem to specify designs that have a sustainable strategy from beginning to end. I’m proud that my team and I are working very hard to pioneer this vision. We take action to do everything in our control to design in ways that are better for our planet.”

My has contributed to the Holland America Line experience for 23 years. She started as an interior design intern, then served as a consultant and later became the director leading all of our interior design efforts. She’s grateful to be part of our company’s story, working alongside the incredible people that make us who we are.

“Holland America Line has a special place in my heart. I love the people – onboard and ashore – who have dedicated time and talent to make this company thrive. There is so much dedication and loyalty to this company, and it starts with the people that work here.”

View of Holland America Line doctor on deck.

Meet Dr. Giola, Senior Doctor

While nobody hopes to see the doctor during an epic vacation, Dr. Giola is standing by if you need extra care. She joined the Holland America Line family in 2020, and her passion for the seas runs deep within her family. “My ancestral lineage of sailors instilled in me a powerful wanderlust and a lifelong love for the ocean,” she said.

After graduation, she traveled the world searching for career opportunities that would fulfill her dream of caring for others while sailing the seas.

She finds it especially rewarding when she and her team are able to help someone recover quickly so they can get back to making the most of their cruise vacation. She also loves meeting people from places all around the world.

“Interacting with our guests is very rewarding. Their diverse life experiences offer fascinating insights and stories, and Holland America Line has the friendliest team members. Working alongside such a diverse and friendly team is a privilege. It provides a rich cultural exchange and a strong sense of community.”

For Dr. Giola, serving as the senior doctor onboard isn’t just an honor – it’s a calling. By serving others with care and kindness, she hopes to create a ripple effect.

“My hope is to not only provide excellent care but also inspire a sense of compassion and a willingness to serve in others.”

View of deck cadet on bridge of Holland America Line ship.

Meet Jelliene, Deck Cadet

Every great adventure begins with the first step. Jelliene has dreamt of navigating the seas for as long as she can remember. Now she’s turning that dream into reality. She recently signed up for a cadetship (or internship) with Holland America Line, learning how ships are navigated, how safety is prioritized, and meeting all the people involved in turning a cruise into an epic journey.

“The opportunity to learn from experienced officers and gain the knowledge and skills in a maritime environment is fulfilling, as is the chance to witness breathtaking sunrises and sunsets over the open ocean,” she said. “Going to different places makes each day unique and memorable.”

Though Jelliene is enjoying every learning opportunity through her cadetship, she has her sights set on her next goal: becoming a third officer. Continuing to learn from and support the crew in navigating the seas is a never-ending adventure that also presents the chance to work in a diverse environment and meet people from different places and cultures.

Jelliene credits her family and fellow crew members for inspiring her to be her best and share what she learns with others, especially those interested in pursuing careers as a seafarer. She strives to inspire others by leading by example, promoting diversity, and overcoming challenges in the pursuit of achieving her goals.

Meet Tiffany, Senior Director of Fleet Applications and Service Delivery

Tiffany has been a member of the Holland America Line family for more than 18 years. She has supported our crew in multiple roles, first joining as an intern and then later as a call center agent, supervisor and tech leader. The main driver behind her career journey has been her love for travel. “Travel was always a big part of my life growing up – and I knew I wanted to be in that industry – but I never would have guessed at that time that I would get into tech. Once I started learning how technology could help both guests and team members, it sparked my interest and made me want to be part of those solutions.”

View of IT Executive with Holland America Line.

Tiffany’s team supports shipboard applications and IT operations. Her favorite part of the job is the time she spends with our people – onboard and ashore – and the opportunity to inspire others to achieve their goals, especially women who want to pursue a career in technology.

“I try to serve as an example for others so they see it is possible to achieve your professional and personal goals, and you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. I also started my first official session with the Mentorship Matters program at Holland America Line, which has been a great opportunity to connect with someone in another department to share our experiences and advice.”

View of Holland America Line Cruise & Travel Director.

Meet Erin, Cruise & Travel Director

Erin has always loved working with people. Ask and she’ll tell you it’s the best part of her job. “The people we meet – from guests to team members – allows us to make connections around the world, learn about cultures and foster relationships.”

She loves the opportunity to positively impact others, opening their eyes to new ideas and experiences. “Travel is transformative and changes us in so many ways.”

Erin began working for Holland America Line in 2017 and served in multiple roles before becoming a Cruise & Travel Director in 2022. Prior to joining the Holland America Line family, she completed a year of service with AmeriCorps and worked for community organizations. She decided to pursue a career in the cruise industry because it was a dream she had when she was younger. Erin was fascinated by the idea of traveling the world with a crew that works together to help guests embark on incredible journeys.

“I was attracted to the idea of many pieces working together towards a single goal. I’m so grateful to not only be here, but to also achieve my goal of being a Cruise & Travel Director. It’s an amazing opportunity to care for our guests and crew and to see new places around the world.”

Erin is committed to inspiring others every day by being true to herself and encouraging others to let their true selves shine.

Special thanks to My, Jelliene, Erin, Tiffany and Dr. Giola for sharing your stories with us. We’re grateful for all those who share their talents and love for cruise travel at Holland America Line, and we thank you for inspiring so many from sea to sea.


Join the Discussion

One Comment

  1. Barb Nixon May 26, 2024 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    I met Erin on our Auckland to Vancouver cruise last year. She always took the time to chat with many folks especially before shows in the Main Stage. We always enjoyed her conversations with us and we were so happy that she brought back the port talks.

Leave A Comment

Sign up for special offers and announcements