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Discover U

Professional Development at Holland America Line

Discover U

Your career is the best investment you can make. And whether you’re just getting started or you want to take your skills to the next level, you may need some extra tools and resources along the way. That’s why Holland America Line is proud to present HAL University to help meet your goals.

HAL University equips our leaders with the skills necessary to succeed in their roles and to elevate teams to even higher levels of performance. Investments in professional growth can pay huge dividends in the efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity of our entire shipboard operation.

Our mission is to offer learning opportunities to a diverse population of adult learners, enabling each person to obtain practical knowledge and skills at Holland America Line. We want each person to grow and advance in their careers – being the best they can be at what they do.

Our uncompromising commitment to safety and sustainability is reflected in our training and development programs. Shaped in accordance with the International Maritime Organization’s Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping, these programs also address security, health and sanitation, ethics, company policies and procedures, regulatory requirements, and job-specific skills.

As graduates of merchant marine academies, our deck and engine officers are knowledgeable about all aspects of maritime safety and crisis management. They participate in our training programs alongside the rest of our employees in order to stay current with our policies and procedures, which are regularly updated based on enhancements to our vessels and changes in regulatory requirements.

Our training efforts leverage classroom sessions, supervisory guidance, computer-based programming, and toolbox discussions to ensure employees are informed and prepared. This training is augmented by frequent drills that enhance skills and assess readiness.

We operate training centers in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Manila, Philippines, where a majority of our shipboard employees are hired. Courses at these centers simulate cruise ship facilities so employees are job-ready when they report to their first postings.

Our Learning Management System, designed for both shipboard and shoreside employees, is a computer-based training platform that helps ensure training consistency across our large, mobile workforce. Leveraging scenarios, games, and visuals, the system provides nearly 300 standardized training courses in personal and professional development for every employee at every location and skill level.

From their first day on board our ships, officers and crew members are introduced to the Career Roadmap, a performance appraisal and management system that prepares them for success. At the start of each employee’s contract, the onboard human resource manager proposes a customized training and development plan based on the terms of the contract, the employee’s skills and interests, and past performance evaluations. In the following months, the employee receives training, feedback, and coaching to meet career development goals.