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Holland America President reaffirms AU dedication on first visit Down Under

Highlighting Holland America’s ties to the local market, HAL President Gus Antorcha visited Australia for the first time in his role, meeting with passengers on board Volendam while docked in Sydney on the 94-Day Grand Australia & New Zealand cruise.

Highlighting Holland America’s ties to the local market, HAL President Gus Antorcha visited Australia for the first time in his role, meeting with passengers on board Volendam while docked in Sydney on the 94-Day Grand Australia & New Zealand cruise.

Along with the recent local brand campaign, Mr Antorcha confirmed Holland America’s commitment to the region, saying Australian passengers are a priority with more Aussies travelling with the cruise line within the region and abroad, particularly in Alaska.

“We have seen tremendous growth within this region and we’re seeing more Australians travelling with Holland America Line locally with an increased interest in our local itineraries,” he said.

Interest in Australia from international cruisers

HAL Volendam
MS Volendam at sea.

His visit comes when the cruising industry is booming in Australia, particularly in NSW, contributing AUD$2.75 billion per year, according to CLIA.

Mr Antorcha said HAL’s presence has been instrumental in driving economic growth in the region, bringing two-thirds of its passengers from America, who fly to Australia for their cruises and are known for extended stays and big spending when onshore in Sydney. 

“Australia is one of our key markets, among the top 10 aspirational cruise destinations for our international guests who choose to explore the country,” he said.

 “I am delighted to be visiting Australia to greet our international guests in Sydney, many of whom are visiting the country for the first time.”

HAL Antarctica AdobeStock 399562921
The 2026 Grand World Voyage includes four days in Antarctica. Image: AdobeStock

During his visit, Mr Antorcha also highlighted HAL’s 2025/2026 season, which features new destinations and experiences such as a brand-new 28-day Islands of the South Pacific Legendary Voyage from Sydney to Auckland, stopping at 20 ports across seven countries.

Additionally, the 2026 Grand World Voyage is one of the line’s most ambitious itineraries yet with a 132-day cruise across seven continents, including a four-day Antarctic Experience.

HAL will also continue offering shorter 12- to 16-night trans-Tasman itineraries for local travellers to explore their region.

For more info, head to hollandamerica.com