Cruise line Holland America is teaming up with the Professional Pickleball Association to offer cruisers pickleball courts, complimentary lessons, and tutorials fleetwide.
On December 14, 2022, Holland America Line announced that the cruise line has been named the Official Cruise Line of the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) and is committed to expanding its pickleball experience at sea for guests.
Pickleball on board Holland America ships
Cruising pickleball fans already know that Holland America features pickleball courts on all ships. But all those courts are about to undergo a refresher—including new PPA Tour partner logos—by February 2023.
Beginning in February and rolling out fleet-wide by April 2023, HAL will offer complimentary beginner lessons from onboard pickleball instructors.
Even if you’ve never played the game (which is now the fastest-growing sport in the United States), instructors will get you up to speed with the rules and basics, including where the “kitchen” is and what it means to hit a “dink” shot.
“How to Play Pickleball” tutorial videos will be featured on in-room TVs, and guests will be able to purchase branded pickleball starter kits in HAL ships’ retail shops beginning in 2023.
“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, VP of marketing for Holland America.
“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,” continued Cole.
Related: Celebrity Cruises Adding Pickleball to Nine Ships
What is the Professional Pickleball Association?
Founded in 2018, the Professional Pickleball Association is the professional tour for the sport of pickleball, organizing events and rankings for the top male and female pickleball players worldwide.
The PPA awards nearly $3 million in annual prize money, offering equal play and pay. The association held more than 20 events in 2022 at world-class facilities including the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Cincinnati, Riviera Country Club in California, and the Darling Tennis Center and Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
Holland America’s partnership with the PPA
Holland America Line shares a deep connection with the sport of pickleball and the PPA beyond the new partnership. Pickleball was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island in Washington State, just a short ferry ride from Holland America’s headquarters in Seattle.
“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,” Pardoe continued.
In addition to the shipboard pickleball partnership, Holland America will be also featured on branded signage and merchandise at land-based PPA tournaments across the United States.
“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.”
Resources for your next Holland America cruise
- Holland America Fitness Classes (With Menu and Prices)
- Holland America Line Introduces Heritage Cruises
- Holland America Spa and Salon Services (With Menu and Prices)
Have you played pickleball on a Holland America cruise ship? Are you excited about HAL’s partnership with the PPA? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Friday 27th of January 2023
Hi, will the pickleball courts be enclosed so as to stop the out shots from wandering too far?
Sunday 29th of January 2023
Hi Joe, to my knowledge, all of the pickleball courts on HAL ships are already enclosed with netting for safety reasons (and to stop shots from wandering too far as you mentioned). I know that the photos I included with the post don't clearly show the netting, but I went back to the original high-res pictures and zoomed in - it's there :) Hope this answers your question!