Stein Kruse – Holland America Line
I just returned from my brief trip to Seattle this morning. I attended a GAMP/Gonzaga Business School Forum speaker event at the World Trade Center. Stein Kruse, CEO and President of Holland America Line, gave a phenomenal talk about the history and culture of the cruise line/tourist emporium. Holland America, which has been around for over 130 years, has a history of excellence and tradition that touches every continent around the globe.
Holland America, which owns and operates 13 vessels (several more have been ordered recently) sail to over 280 ports of call. Stein Kruse’s talk was centered around the history of the business, as well as outlining the mission and culture of the Seattle based firm. Holland America has received several awards for its program of excellence as well as its groundbreaking advancements in the areas of environmental protection and ethical corporate conduct.
Mr. Kruse made a convincing case for Holland America Line’s policy of excellence, in both corporate conduct and innovation. Ever since, Stein Kruse took over at the helm of the company in late 2003, he has fostered an environment that favors innovation and change, making Holland America Lines one of the most consistently ranked top cruise-liners. He has also, in corporation with his management team, developed the current mission, which is symbolic of the culture at Holland America.
“Through Excellence, we create once in a lifetime experiences every time.”
Mr. Kruse also addressed some of the difficulties he believes the cruise-industry will be facing, as the market continues to mature and ports of call begin to reach their capacities. He talked about the growth that the cruise-industry has been experiencing and is expected to experience in key markets. He noted that the American market is beginning to show signs of becoming a mature market, while at the same time the European market is promising tremendous growth potential.
Overall, the talk was a great opportunity to learn more about Holland America Line and the challenges and opportunities the company is facing. I enjoyed meeting Stein Kruse and appreciated the chance to talk with him personally for a few minutes after his presentation.