My Best Friend’s Favorite Sport Teams Up With Cruise Line

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Holland America has announced a partnership with the Professional Pickleball Association.

One of my best friends has been after me for years to learn to play pickleball, currently called the fastest growing sport in the U.S. 

But I was always cruising or too busy and never had time. Now I have no more excuses! 

Holland America Line Has Exclusive Partnership with Professional Pickleball Association

Holland America has announced its new partnership with what is deemed the fastest growing sport in the U.S. This exclusive partnership between Holland America and the Professional Pickleball Association takes the sport of pickleball out to sea. Holland America is now the Official Cruise Line for the PPA. 

All ships in the Holland America Line fleet feature full-size courts with amazing top-deck views and will be refurbished by February 2023. This includes the addition of new PPA Tour partner logos.

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Free Pickleball Lessons 

Beginning in February and rolling out fleet-wide by April 2023, complimentary beginner lessons will be offered by shipboard instructors. Guests will learn the rules and basics of playing the sport, including terms like, where the “kitchen” is and what it means to hit a “dink” shot.

Holland America pickleball court.
I spotted this unused pickleball court a couple of years ago.

“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.”

Pickleball Tutorials on Your Stateroom TV

Along with the addition of new or refreshed courts, guests can watch “How to Play Pickleball” tutorial videos on in-stateroom TV programming. For total newbies, they’ll be able to purchase branded starter kits in the shipboard retail shops in 2023.

“Pickleball has become immensely popular among travel and leisure business categories, because it is uniquely accessible, compatible with a variety of brands, and transcends a wide spectrum of age groups and lifestyles,” said Connor Pardoe, commissioner and CEO of the PPA Tour. “Holland America Line has embraced and committed to pickleball in a very exciting way and will bring engaging, 360-degree collaborations between its cruise line and the sport we all love.”

Holland America Gets Land-Based Branding

In addition to shipboard pickleball, Holland America Line will be featured on branded signage at land-based PPA tournaments across the U.S., on PPA merchandise and tour promotional materials.

Holland America Line shares a deeper connection with PPA beyond the game — pickleball was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island in Washington state, a short ferry ride from Seattle where Holland America Line headquarters.

As my friends have told me:

“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.”

Now I have no excuse not to learn to play pickleball! Thanks a lot, Holland America!

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