Holland America Becomes First Cruise Line to Receive International Seafood Certifications

Holland America has become the first global cruise line to receive international seafood certifications.

Holland America Line's Nieuw Statendam Resumes Cruising

Holland America has become the first global cruise line to receive both Marine Stewardship Council and Aquaculture Stewardship Council certifications. The two organizations serve as the most credible standards worldwide for certified seafood.

The certifications take Holland America’s Global Fresh Fish Program to the next level, underscoring the line’s commitment to serving passengers high-quality seafood that is sourced sustainably when wild-caught and raised responsibly when farmed.

“Our guests care about the quality and sustainability of the fresh fish we serve, and so do we,” said Gus Antorcha, president, Holland America Line. “These certifications build on our commitment of bringing regionally inspired fresh seafood dishes from port to plate in 48 hours. We’re proud to partner with two organizations that share our dedication to protecting the vitality of the oceans we sail.”

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Stewardship Councils

Marine Stewardship Council’s focus is on sustainable wild-caught seafood, while Aquaculture Stewardship Council works with responsibly farmed seafood. Both organizations are seeking to minimize environmental impacts.

Aligning with both ecolabels signifies Holland America’s commitment to programs that recognize and reward sustainable fishing practices, protect the ocean environment, and transform the seafood market toward greater sustainability.

“Consumer interest in sustainable fish options is growing and, by achieving this commitment, Holland America Line is helping to support our goal of ensuring responsibly farmed seafood supplies for future generations,” said Chris Ninnes, CEO of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council.

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Onboard Dining

All 11 ships in the Holland America fleet are Chain of Custody certified to serve Marine Stewardship Council and Aquaculture Stewardship Council certified and labeled seafood, with the full rollout starting across five Holland America ships in May 2024 at the beginning of the Europe and Canada/New England season.

They include Volendam in the Canada/New England region and Rotterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Zuiderdam, and Oosterdam in Europe. Holland America’s six ships in Alaska serve 100 percent sustainable seafood under its Responsible Fisheries Management certification.

Guests will be able to enjoy a variety of certified seafood dishes in the main dining room as well as in the buffet and specialty restaurants. Certified seafood from nine regions worldwide will be incorporated into Holland America’s seafood offerings: Asia, Australia, Canada/New England, Mexico, the Mediterranean, northern Europe, the Caribbean, and Hawaii.

Onboard menus will indicate the type of certification with a symbol marked next to the dish: the Marine Stewardship Council blue fish, Aquaculture Stewardship Council sea green, and Responsible Fisheries Management logos. Not all seafood species aboard Holland America’s ships are currently certified, but the line is working towards 100 percent accreditation of species that are eligible to meet the organizations’ standards.

Examples of seafood that will fall under the Marine Stewardship Council and Aquaculture Stewardship Council certification umbrella on HAL voyages include Asian Barramundi, Tasmania Atlantic Salmon, Canadian and New England Haddock, Hawaiian Swordfish, Mediterranean Sardine, Mexican Tuna, Northern European Dover Sole, and South American Chilean Seabass, among others.

Holland America Line's Nieuw Statendam Resumes Cruising

Global Fresh Fish Program

The new certifications are the latest achievements for Holland America’s Global Fresh Fish Program. The initiative engages a global network of 60 ports to source and serve 80 types of fresh fish — from port to plate in less than 48 hours — in all restaurants on board. Guests can find fresh fish and ingredients native to various regions where the ships sail through destination-inspired menus and local specialties that tell the story of each itinerary through food.

The Marine Stewardship Council and Aquaculture Stewardship Council certifications fall on the heels of Holland America becoming the first cruise line to serve 100 percent fresh, certified, sustainable, and traceable wild Alaska seafood on board its six ships in Alaska through the Responsible Fisheries Management certification.


Do you enjoy lots of seafood while on a cruise? Do you think all cruise lines should aim for accreditation from these types of stewardship councils? Drop us an anchor below and let us know your thoughts!

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Sarah has been writing about the cruise industry since 2015, and in that time has taken a dozen cruises and counting. Her favorite onboard activities include trying the casual dining options, spending time in the spa’s thermal suite, and attending the love & marriage show. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @IAmSarahJaneB.
Sarah Bretz, Contributor
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