A service dog was awarded a cruise line’s highest status after spending more than 700 days on cruise ships.
Joska the service dog reached elite status with Holland America Line after crossing the 700 day mark on the cruise line’s recent 150th anniversary sailing on Rotterdam. Joska is now a Platinum Medallion, the highest past-guest award on Holland America Line for cruising days.
Joska, a 10-year-old black Labrador retriever, is the ultimate globetrotter and spends most of her days cruising on Holland America Line with her owners, Cornelia “Connie” and Cornelis Marinussen, who previously received their Platinum Medallions.
A special ceremony for Joska was held on board Rotterdam October 26 to mark the milestone. Holland America Line President Gus Antorcha and Rotterdam’s Captain Werner Timmers presented Joska with her Platinum Medallion, 5-Star Mariner status (highest level) in the cruise line’s loyalty program and a selection of dog-friendly, Holland America Line-branded gifts.
“Joska is the first service animal to achieve this lofty status and we wanted to honor her with an event that shows her how special she is to everyone in our company,” said Antorcha. “Registered service animals are always welcome aboard Holland America Line ships, and Joska has become a member of our family. She not only brightens the spirits of everyone on board, but she also allows Connie to do what she loves most, which is to cruise and explore the world.”
The Dutch couple have been cruising with Holland America Line since 2013 and have taken nearly 60 cruises. From Alaska, Hawaii and Canada to Europe, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean, Joska has sailed on more than 50 Holland America Line cruises since joining the Marinussen family in 2014 to assist Cornelia, who is legally blind, and is among the most traveled dogs in the world.