Holland America Line Enables Free WhatsApp Access for Crew

Dec 23, 2019

Holland America Line has provided free WhatsApp access for its crew members on all 14 cruise ship in the fleet. This comes just in time for the holidays so the crew can connect with family and friends back home from the comfort of the ship. All the crew throughout the HAL fleet can now chat on WhatsApp at no cost.

Following this great news for the crew Holland America Line also launched Crew Self-Service (CSS), which gives crew members free access to their personal employment information.

“Our crew members are at the heart of our operation, and we know how important it is for them to be able to communicate with their loved ones from anywhere in the world, especially over the holidays,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “We’re always looking for ways to ensure our crew know how much we value and appreciate them, and we’re happy to be able to offer WhatsApp along with other new applications like CSS to make communications easier and more efficient for them.”

The response from crew members has been overwhelmingly positive with comments like, “This program is helping me save money and making it easy to say hi to my family. Many thanks to our company for this,” and “I’m so happy about this, it’s the perfect service to keep me connected to my family.”

Through CSS shipboard employees can access their contract details, see port details, rotation schedules, and more. An announcements board within CSS enables Holland America Line to communicate directly with all officers and crew electronically even if they don’t have a Holland America Line email address.

In recent years more cruise lines started to offer free internet services for the crew. Disney Cruise Line has released the free texting package for their crew members on 31 October 2019. The free service is available fleet-wide including Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Fantasy, and Disney Dream. Crew members with iOS and Android mobile devices can send and receive unlimited texting and use WhatsApp free of charge.

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line also offers free internet access for the Crew each day from 9 am to 5 pm. The internet onboard Viking Ocean cruise ships is also free of charge for the crew. The German Cruise line AIDA Cruises provides 500 megabytes a month of free internet per crew when the ship is in port. And the new cruise line Virgin Voyages has also announced that the onboard internet will be free of charge for the crew members when their first cruise ship Scarlet Lady will set sail in 2020.

We do hope other cruise lines will join this positive trend and provide internet services free of charge for their hard-working crew members.