Holland America Line launched three new commuter “ships” Monday, Jan. 9, that will run on the Sound Transit Light Rail System in Seattle. The trains, which are wrapped to resemble Holland America Line’s newest ship, ms Koningsdam, will cruise the tracks through April 2017, when the summer cruise season to Alaska begins from the Port of Seattle.
A special ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the University of Washington Station, with Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford and Honorary “Captain” Miles Lamb, an 11-year-old cancer survivor and patient of Seattle Children’s Hospital — a local nonprofit partner of the cruise line. During the ceremony Holland America Line presented a $5,000 check to Strong Against Cancer, an effort to gain funding for a cancer immunotherapy treatment being developed at Seattle Children’s Hospital with support from volunteer team captain Russell Wilson.
“As Seattle’s Hometown Cruise Line, we’re always looking for creative ways to increase awareness that we’re headquartered here. We sail from Seattle to Alaska all summer long, and we are a big contributor and supporter of the local community,” said Ashford. “Millions of people ride Seattle’s light rail each year, and we're excited to have these eye-catching trains sailing around the city and spreading the word in a fun and engaging way.
“Miles is a wonderful young man and a great honorary ‘captain’ for Holland America Line’s first-ever rail ‘ships,’” added Ashford. “This event also gave us a great opportunity to continue our support of Seattle Children’s Hospital and Strong Against Cancer to treat cancer among children.”
As Seattle’s Hometown Cruise Line, Holland America Line contributes $389 million to the city’s economy and $547 million across Washington state. The company employs 1,170 people at its headquarters in Seattle and works with more than 600 local vendors. The cruise line operates an extensive corporate social responsibility program benefiting the local community and Washington state, including partnering with Seattle Children’s Hospital, Northwest Harvest and the Seattle Mariners Major League Baseball team. During the 2017 Alaska cruise season, more than 101,000 guests will sail on Holland America Line ships from Seattle.