Pickleball courts, complimentary lessons and tutorials to be featured fleetwide
Seattle, Wash., Dec. 14, 2022 —A leader in cruising is teaming up with the leader of the fastest growing sport in the U.S., thanks to an exciting new partnership. Holland America Line has been exclusively named as the Official Cruise Line of the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) and is committed to expanding its pickleball experience at sea for guests.
All ships in the Holland America Line fleet feature pickleball courts with amazing top-deck views that will be refreshed by February 2023, including adding new PPA Tour partner logos. Beginning in February and rolling out fleet-wide by April 2023, complimentary beginner lessons will be offered by shipboard instructors who will teach guests the rules and basics of playing pickleball, including where the “kitchen” is and what it means to hit a “dink” shot.
“We like to say that travel unites us, but sports do that as well, and Holland America Line is proud to be the first and exclusive cruise line partner of the PPA. We’re excited to offer our guests an elevated pickleball experience as they travel to spectacular and scenic cruise destinations,” said Kacy Cole, vice president of marketing for Holland America Line. “Mirroring its rapid growth as the fastest growing sport in the U.S., pickleball is the most popular sport on our ships. It’s wonderful to see guests bond over their shared love of the game — and the ever-changing scenery makes the perfect pickleball backdrop.”
Along with shipboard activations, “How to Play Pickleball” tutorial videos will be featured on in-stateroom TV programming. Guests will be able to purchase branded pickleball starter kits in the shipboard retail shops starting in 2023.
“Pickleball has become immensely popular among travel and leisure business categories, because it is uniquely accessible, compatible with a variety of brands, and transcends a wide spectrum of age groups and lifestyles,” said Connor Pardoe, commissioner and CEO of the PPA Tour. “Holland America Line has embraced and committed to pickleball in a very exciting way and will bring engaging, 360-degree collaborations between its cruise line and the sport we all love."
In addition to shipboard activations, Holland America Line will be featured on branded signage at land-based PPA tournaments across the U.S., PPA merchandise and tour promotional materials.
Holland America Line shares a deeper connection with PPA beyond the game — pickleball was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island in Washington state, a short ferry ride from Seattle where Holland America Line is headquartered.
“To play pickleball is to make new friends, from around the neighborhood or around the world. This ageless sport welcomes players young and old, fast or slow,” said Theresa Haynie, a founding board member of Seattle Metro Pickleball Association and an International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association instructor. “It’s a fun game to teach and even more fun to learn. Now with pickleball on board ships with this wonderful partnership, cruisers and players have one more adventure to experience and take home with them.”