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Blankets knitted by world cruises for Project Linus on display on the lido deck.

Holland America Line World Cruisers Knit Blankets for Children in Need

More than 500 blankets made onboard using over one-million yards of yarn for Project Linus

With 128 days at their fingertips, guests on Holland America Line's 2024 Grand World Voyage aboard Zuiderdam used their time and their talents again this year to support Project Linus, a not-for-profit organization that provides handmade blankets to children in the U.S. who are seriously ill, traumatized or otherwise in need. Throughout the world cruise — which departed Fort Lauderdale Jan. 3 and will conclude back in Florida on May 11 — approximately 150 guests participated in the project, knitting more than 500 blankets utilizing over one-million yards of yarn.

Project Linus at Sea has been going on for more than 20 years on Holland America Line's Grand World Voyages and is led by guests. Holland America Line supports the guest volunteers by contributing materials and helping secure space on board where they knit and crochet the blankets.

“This is such a welcome tradition on the Grand World Voyage,” said Henk Mensink, Zuiderdam’s general manager. “Guests love it as an extra sea day activity, and we’re all glad to be doing good for some children in need.”

Grand World Voyage guests Gail and Marty Gottlieb, who led the project on board for the fifth year, helped to source the one-million yards of yarn directly from manufacturers, with funding from other guests and Holland America Line. Before embarking in January, they sorted through it all in their garage and then rented a trailer truck to haul the supplies to Fort Lauderdale. Once on board, guests jumped at the opportunity to get involved in giving back on the world cruise. 

“This is a great cause and unfortunately, the need is still there. There is a lot of camaraderie among guests making blankets for the children and we are glad to have another successful effort,” said Marty Gottlieb.

Five Fun Facts on Project Linus at Sea:

• Project Linus was named after the adorable security blanket-toting character from the Peanuts comic strip.  

• Guests on Holland America world cruises have been making blankets for Project Linus for over 20 years.

• On average it takes 20-25 hours to complete one blanket and light & bright colors or patterns are the most popular among guests.

• Guests used more than one-million yards of yarn in more than 40 colors to complete the blankets.

• On the 2020 Grand World Voyage guests completed 500 blankets; in 2023 guests completed 618 blankets and in 2024, guests completed 500 blankets. 

Pictures of the display on Lido Deck of Project Linus blankets made during the 2024 Grand World Voyage. (Source: Marty Gottlieb)

Blankets knitted by world cruises for Project Linus on display.