Holland America Line has been exclusively named as the Official Cruise Line of the Professional Pickleball Association, as the sport continues to grow in popularity in the U.S.
All vessels in the cruise line’s fleet feature upper deck pickleball courts, which will be refreshed by February 2023. Starting in February and rolling out fleetwide by April, free beginner lessons will be offered by onboard instructors who will teach guests the rules and basics of 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.”
In addition to the in-person lessons, “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 onboard shops starting next year.
In addition to the offerings on its ships, Holland America will be featured on branded signage at land-based PPA tournaments across the U.S., PPA merchandise, and tour promotional materials.
As an interesting fun fact, 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.”