Holland America, Seabourn Named Most Ethical Cruise Lines

Screenshot 2015-03-13 04.21.19The Ethisphere Institute is charged with defining ethical standards for business’ around the world and recognizing the organizations that represent the best.  Honoring those with superior standards, Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical Companies® recognition program includes top shelf brands like Ford Motor Company, Google, Starbucks and Pepsi.  In the world of cruise travel, just two companies were named among the World’s Most Ethical: Holland America Line and sister line Seabourn.  The win as most ethical cruise lines is no surprise to us and translates to good reason for sailing with either line.

For the fourth consecutive year, Holland America Line and Seabourn have been singled out among all other cruise lines as top ethical organizations.  Largely due to implementing and promoting the highest standards and practices both internally and in the community.  The Holland America /Seabourn win reflects a great amount of effort.

“Holland America Line and Seabourn both work diligently to fulfill our own ethics goals, and we are proud to be listed once again among the World’s Most Ethical Companies,” said Kelly Clark, chief ethics officer and senior vice president, safety, environmental and regulatory services.

Indeed, a total of 132 world class organizations representing more than 50 different industries were honored recently at the Ethisphere Institute’s annual Gala Dinner March 9 in New York City.

How This Translates To Your Cruise Vacation
Messina - 125Not long ago, we sailed with Seabourn for the first Seabourn Food & Wine Cruise, a marvelous experience detailed in a number of posts here on our blog and in an article for Porthole Cruise Magazine.  The food and wine content, layered on top of what Seabourn does on each and every sailing made for our best cruise experience of 2014 and one of the best ever in my lifetime. In addition to culinary excellence and interesting destinations though, what happened on the ship, with the crew and the way Seabourn does business was simply amazing.

In The Seabourn Family, I wrote:

The crew as a whole is a family of sorts and that makes sense. They work, eat and sleep together on a four months on, two months off schedule that demands a certain amount of cohesion just to operate. We see that too on other cruise lines; it’s the nature of the beast.

That schedule of allowing ample time at home with family speaks directly to Seabourn’s high ethical standards and is just one part of a comprehensive program that selects the right candidates for crew members and trains them well in advance of coming in contact with Seabourn Guests.

Also noted:

Where Seabourn excels, passes other cruise lines by and/or blows them away is that passengers too, from the moment they step foot on a Seabourn vessel are also considered part of the family…and that’s not “family” in quotes but family in their hearts.

This is serious business for Seabourn and something they work at every single minute of every single day, every step of the way.  See Looking Deeper, We Find Gold On Seabourn for more on this topic.

IMG_4994We see similar efforts on Holland America Line too, with professional “this is my craft, not just a job” crew members in all areas of the operation.  On Holland America’s Dancing With The Stars: At Sea Champion’s Cruise last year, we saw similar commitment to that effort and ensuring its success.  In Seven Interesting Facts About Holland America Line, written during that event, we highlighted a number of nicely-executed and thoughtful initiatives that support the Holland America ethics score and underscore their commitment to excellence.   All the dining room menus for the voyage in your stateroom on the first day, a daily Catholic mass and an intense culinary focus among other factors add to unique features that directly affect guests.

“The World’s Most Ethical Companies embrace the correlation between ethical business practice and improved company performance,” said Ethisphere’s Chief Executive Officer, Timothy Erblich.

That correlation translates to something else of interest to cruise travelers: Both lines have new, thoughtfully-designed ships coming out in the near future.

In 2016, Holland America Line will launch a new class of cruise ship as new ms Koningsdam is launched.  As the first ship in the Pinnacle class, the 2,650-guest Koningsdam’s design will focus on fluid curves and graceful lines, light-filled spaces and the natural flow of public areas.  Stop right there and we think of Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam, arguably one of the prettiest ships in the fleet and perhaps an inspiration for new Pinnacle class.

Koningsdam Float Out

See more on Koningsdam

The Seabourn fleet is growing too, with two new ships coming out in the next few years. Recently becoming a bit more real, the 40-ton big sisters to 32-ton Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Sojourn and Seabourn Quest were named Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation. Fans of the ultra luxury cruise line are excited for the new ships to debut, with many planning to be on inaugural voyages. They like the Seabourn experience that includes an uber-personal level of attention to details, making Seabourn their top small ship choice.

Seabourn Encore

See Seabourn Doubles Order For New Luxury Cruise Ships for more.


About the Ethisphere Institute
The Ethisphere® Institute is the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices that fuel corporate character, marketplace trust and business success. Ethisphere has deep expertise in measuring and defining core ethics standards using data-driven insights that help companies enhance corporate character. Ethisphere honors superior achievement through its World’s Most Ethical Companies® recognition program, provides a community of industry experts with the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA) and showcases trends and best practices in ethics with the publication of Ethisphere Magazine and The World’s Most Ethical Companies Executive Briefing. Ethisphere is also the leading provider of independent verification of corporate ethics and compliance programs. More information about Ethisphere can be found at: http://ethisphere.com.

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Holland America Line and Seabourn are proud members of the World’s Leading Cruise Lines, an exclusive alliance we heartily support that offers everything from fun to luxury and includes Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises,  Cunard Line and Costa Cruises . Together, the World’s Leading Cruise Lines offer a variety of exciting and enriching cruise holidays to the world’s most desirable destinations. 


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Chris is not a paid spokesperson or brand ambassador. Not compensated by cruise lines, what you read here are his observations, thoughts and interpretations, biased only by a positive outlook and appreciation for what cruise vacations have to offer travelers.