Day to Remember for Holland America

One day this week, two couples who hadn't seen each other in too long sat down in a coffee shop to catch up on their lives. It happens that two of the four people have cancer, and coincidentally the day they all met was World Cancer Day.

Holland America took notice…not of the 50-50 cancer ratio, nor even of the two couples meeting for coffee.

Of World Cancer Day.

That was the day the cruise line launched its latest cancer-fighting initiative, entitled On Deck for a Cause.

What it means is that, on every sailing on each of Holland America's 15 ships, passengers will have an opportunity to participate in fundraising 5k walks to support six national cancer organizations, in the U.S., Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia and the United Kingdom.

The program starts later this month.

Such admirable fundraising activities are not new in the cruise world, especially with Holland America, which has a myriad of programs. In this one, passengers will donate $20 and walk (or not) five kilometers around the ship on a sea day picked for the occasion. On most ships, that's 9 to 12 laps. Besides the satisfaction of fighting the dreaded disease (80 per cent of the money raised will be distributed), participants will be given an On Deck for a Cause teeshirt and an invitation to a reception.

There is hardly a person anywhere who hasn't been touched, directly or indirectly, by cancer. That's surely true for the thousands of passengers who board cruise ships every week, and couples who sit down in coffee shops everywhere.

Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam
15 nights
April 30, 2013
Fort Lauderdale (return): Ponta Delgada, Cadiz, Malaga, Cartagena, Barcelona
Inside: $711
Cost per day: $47

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