Holland America Line has finished refitting all its vessels with shore power connectivity, making a momentous step toward better sustainability and improving emissions and noise reduction while in ports of call that can provide electrical connections to a ship. This is just one more of the cruise line’s fleet-wide, environmentally-conscious efforts toward more conscientious cruising.

Finishing an upgrade and enhancement program that began in 2006, Holland America Line has now completed shore power installation on Volendam, making the cruise line’s entire fleet of 11 ships shore power-capable.

The installation was completed in Vancouver, British Columbia, and the ship’s first full day of shore power use was Wednesday, September 27, 2023 while the vessel was turning around from its last cruise of the Alaska season.

The 61,214-gross-ton Volendam is Holland America Line’s oldest vessel, having been constructed in 1999. The conversion of the ship to accept shore power demonstrates the adaptability of the fleet, and how even older ships can be upgraded with new environmentally-friendly options.

“At Holland America Line, our legacy of exceptional on-board care extends to caring for the planet, and having our entire fleet capable of shore power connection is a tremendous milestone in our sustainability efforts,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line.

Holland America Cruise Ships (Photo Credit: The Bold Bureau / Shutterstock)

The first Holland America Line ships converted to shore power were the Vista-class ships in 2006 – Zuiderdam, Oosterdam, Westerdam, and Noordam. Meanwhile, the Pinnacle-class ships – Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam and Rotterdam – were all built with shore power systems already fully installed in 2016, 2018, and 2021, respectively.

Similarly, the Signature-class vessels – Eurodam (2008) and Nieuw Amsterdam (2010) – were built with partial shore power capabilities, and have now been fully upgraded to accept shore power connectivity.

With all Holland America Line ships now shore-power-capable, the cruise line joins other illustrious lines in offering the environmentally-friendly option while docked. This follows Cunard Line’s complete fleet conversion, which was finished in mid-August.

While all of Holland America Line’s ships can now connect to shore power, that doesn’t mean they will always be able to do so. Not every cruise port offers the connectivity, either overall or at the berths used by Holland America Line.

At the moment, a total of 18 ports of call included on the cruise line’s itineraries offer shore power options, including the US ports of Juneau, Alaska; New York City, New York; San Francisco and San Diego, California; and Seattle, Washington.

AIDA Cruises Shore Power (Photo Courtesy: AIDA Cruises)

Worldwide, Holland America ships can use shore power when visiting or homeported at Halifax, Montreal, and Vancouver, Canada; Bergen, Ålesund, and Kristiansand, Norway; Kiel, Germany; and Shanghai and Xiamen, China. Rotterdam, Netherlands is also upgrading facilities for shore power, which is expected to be available in 2024.

“We have committed to reducing our carbon emission intensity 20% by 2030 from our 2019 baseline, and we’re on our way to reaching that goal through a variety of initiatives that include shore power,” said Antorcha. “We look forward to more global ports embracing shore power capability in the future and are ready to work with them to connect.”

Shore power isn’t the only sustainability step that Holland America Line has taken in recent years.

The line was one of the first to eliminate single-use plastics onboard its vessels, including items such as straws, ketchup packets, and stir sticks. Where available, such items have been replaced with reusable items, such as recyclable glass and aluminum bottles and biodegradable straws.

“We’ve made our packaging changes in a thoughtful manner to ensure that we can both reduce our footprint and also maintain our outstanding guest experience,” said Antorcha.

The cruise line has also installed biodigesters to help minimize food waste and protect marine environments, and is working to install food waste dehydrators fleet-wide by the end of 2023 as another way to minimize organic waste by as much as 90%.

Sister company Carnival Cruise Line deployed more than 200 biodigesters fleet-wide in 2022, and other cruise lines are taking similar initiatives to reduce waste, improve efficiency, reduce emissions, and otherwise ensure sustainable and responsible cruising for years to come.

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