This Cruise Line Has Been Named the Home of Pickleball
Pickleball is becoming an increasingly popular sport and courts are more prominent than ever before in leisure spaces around the country. Encouraging players of all ages to pick up a paddle, even sporting legends like LeBron James and Tom Brady have invested in the game, recently buying their own teams. Given such a rise in interested and almost five million players in the U.S. alone, it’s no surprise that the sport has taken to the seas, with Holland America Line being named the Official Cruise Line of the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA).
Incorporating elements from other racket sports like tennis, ping pong, and badminton, the family-friendly game can be played in singles or doubles and uses paddles or rackets to hit a plastic ball over a net. Each ship in the Holland America Line will have its own dedicated pickleball courts by Feb. 2023, allowing beginners alike to try their hand at the fastest-growing sport, and seasoned players to hone in on their skills on a court that mirrors those in a professional pickleball setting.
Top-deck views will inspire gameplay, and guests will be able to enjoy complimentary beginner lessons offered by shipboard instructors who will teach guests the rules and basics of playing pickleball, from where the “kitchen” is and what it means to hit a “dink” shot. Lessons will begin in Feb. 2023 and will be rolled out fleet-wide by Apr. 2023.
“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, in a press release. “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.”
In addition to the introduction of on-board lessons, “How to Play Pickleball” tutorial videos will be featured on in-stateroom TV programming. Guests will also be able to purchase branded pickleball starter kits in the shipboard retail shops starting in 2023.