Celebrating International Women’s Day from Sea to Shore

View of Holland America Line employees making heart shapes with their hands in honor of International Women's Day.

It’s International Women’s Day, and we’re especially grateful for the incredible women across our team – at sea and ashore – who share their talent and expertise with us. It’s in that spirit we’re highlighting some of the women making waves in support of the Holland America Line cruise experience.

View of Holland America Line crew member aboard cruise ship.

Maria, First Officer

Maria’s office has one heck of a view – literally. You’ll find her on the bridge helping to navigate the cruise ship from sea to sea. She joined Holland America Line in 2015 and hasn’t looked back. “Working for Holland America Line is a rewarding experience due to the company’s commitment to providing exceptional cruise experiences and the chance to pursue my personal growth in my career.”

She also loves another perk. “One of the biggest draws of a seafarer’s job is the opportunity to travel the world and see new places. You will go to sleep in one city and wake up in another. This can be a great way to engage and experience different cultures. The people you meet during your travels is one of the biggest perks of cruise life.” For Maria, International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the strength and determination of each and every woman around the globe while reflecting on the progress and opportunities around gender equality. A source of inspiration for Maria is her mom, whose strength as a single parent inspired her. “She motivates me to grow without any barriers and always told me, “When you’re tired, learn to rest – not quit.”

Liane, Third Engineer

When there’s a challenge, Liane is quick to lean in and help overcome it. She joined the Holland America Line family in 2022 and loves collaborating with her team on all things engineering. “I love working at Holland America Line, and I love that they are promoting gender equality, which helps women enjoy the same opportunities as men. I enjoy the challenge of solving complex problems and accomplishing it together as a team.”

Portrait of Holland America Line crew member with dark background behind her.

The work environment is really important to Liane as is having work-life balance. “Working in an environment where you can freely share your ideas is a great feeling. When you feel like your superior hears and sees you, you feel valued. I also love to travel while working!” Liane’s source of strength and inspiration includes her mom and others who have empowered women to find their voice and make things better for future generations. “Thank you for your non-ending efforts, for not giving up and for clearing paths for the younger generation’s future.”

View of Holland America Line chef sharing thumbs up at restaurant opening on cruise ship.

Ming, Fleet Executive Chef

When it comes to showcasing the talent of our culinary team and elevating the dining experience through rich and savory flavors, you’ll often find Ming at the center of it. The meals the culinary crew produces are tasty works of art, and Ming puts heart and soul into their creations. Having joined Holland America Line in 2014 as chef de cuisine, she later took a step forward as an executive sous chef.

Most recently, she became one of our fleet executive chefs and led the opening of Morimoto By Sea, working closely with Chef Morimoto, ambassador for our Global Fresh Fish Program. “I love working at Holland America Line, not just because of the travel and how it helps me explore diverse cultures and cuisine, but also because the company offers career paths to support growth.” A source of inspiration for Ming has been her grandma, and she carries her work ethic and strength in all she does. “Leading by example, training my team and bringing the best out of them through courage and support is how I work to inspire others.” Ming makes her dreams come true every day by following her passion, and for her, that’s partly what International Women’s Day represents – the opportunity to do what you love.

Kathleen, Vice President of Technology

For Kathleen, cruising isn’t just about having an exceptional and unforgettable vacation – it’s a way of life. After more than 30 years in service and hospitality industries, she joined the Holland America Line family in 2022, and she feels right at home. “Cruising has been a long-time passion of mine as it was always an escape for my family vacations!” Kathleen’s other passion is helping guests and employees connect through technology.

View of Holland America Line vice president of technology in front of gray background.

“I enjoy everything about the work we do, especially having the privilege to partner and collaborate with a dedicated team of IT professionals.” One of the endeavors the team worked on recently was completing the installation of SpaceX’s Starlink high-speed internet across Holland America Line’s fleet. Connectivity significantly improved with each Starlink installation, which is particularly noticeable in historically spotty service areas where weather, topography or port interference can impact bandwidth and quality. Had she not pursued her dream of working in technology 20 years ago, she may have missed the opportunity to work with her incredible team on innovative projects like this one. And though she noticed more women entering the technology space when she made that career change, she didn’t see as many women pursuing executive roles.

“I’m proof, as are women on my team and across industries, that you can accomplish your goals and thrive while doing so.” It’s in that spirit that she celebrates women around the globe on this International Women’s Day. “It doesn’t matter what career you’re in or what your goals are. You and the work you do matter in making a difference in this world. To all the women at Holland America Line, you are incredibly talented and gifted, and I am so honored to work alongside you. And to all the women around the world, whether you’re at sea or ashore, thank you for your perseverance, hard work and contributions. Today is an opportunity to celebrate not only those who came before us in helping to pave the way for future generations but to also reflect on and appreciate the way everyone can help pave the way for generations to come. Together, we can empower women to go wherever their dreams take them so they can turn those dreams into reality.”

Special thanks to Maria, Liane, Ming and Kathleen for sharing your stories with us. We’re grateful for all of the incredible women at Holland America Line and beyond who share their talent, spirit and expertise with the world.


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