2013 and 2014 STATENDAM Cruise Sailings to Fanning Island

Posted Dec 26-2013 and Feb 24-2014, on these days while the Statendam was at Kailua-Kona Hi. before sailing to Fanning Island, Rich Smith the Director of PCM was able to be on the pier to communicate to passengers before they sail to Fanning Island. Over most of each day, a couple dozen passengers visited the area where a table was set up and photo albums were made available to view. Many questions were answered and suggestions made how to help Fanning when they visit there (hopefully). Also, the passengers were told about getting on the island truck tours as the most beneficial and relaxing way to tour the main part of Fanning Island.
At times some of the passengers came to the table to mention they had brought onboard many school supplies and even extra clothing to give to the people of Fanning and would be giving the items to the ship to be delivered or by personally giving to the people while they tour the island.
Many boxes of children’s HIGHLIGHT magazinesboxed-Highlights2opt that were donated by the publishers and the shipping sponsored by a couple friends, were willing accepted to take onboard by a couple traveling on the ship, and helpers George and his wifeHelpers George and wife offered to get them to the island. We have heard that those 2 boxes of magazines were delivered on the Dec 2013 sailing by them and were well received. We also have heard the 4 other boxes on the Feb 2014 sailing seen below arrived too. Here is a reply from the Fanning Island Project Officer on Fanning:

“Thank you so much for your wonderful donation we received during your last port here (Statendam Cruise 28/2/2014) in Fanning Is. My CEO and Mayor have distributed such donations to all schools, clinics and more. Thank you so much again, and hopefully, the Island Council on behalf of its people will receive more donations/aids from your side”.
Kam rabwa ao tekeraoi.
Fanning Island Project Officer

Also, many books that were collected by the various passengers were delivered to the MTSS Secondary school library on the other island across the channel. Here is an email message from one of the school teachers: Haloa,”This morning books from the council arrived to our school, MTSS. The school was proud of it and are now stamped for MTSS library. They would bring joy of reading and most knowledge to students of the Line islands. Gift of donation are God’s gift. Blessed to those who are involving in donation process and mostly those have spent much for HIM for the sake of others.
Thank you for such care. Our prayer will always in words of thankfulness, Thank you”

We are currently ordering about 7-10 more boxes for the April 2014 sailing. About 3 couples on the Feb sailing donated $10 each to sponsor the future boxes and one friend has as well. Many thanks for everyone’s willingness and compassion to help. Below are pictures of the passengers who assisted in getting the magazines and some donated T shirts onto the ship.

If you have an interest to sponsor any of the future copies of HIGHLIGHT magazines that we want to get to the Primary schools on Fanning Island, please contact us here at PCM. Each box of 50 costs only $10 thanks to the publisher donating them and only charging for the shipping. We definitely need anyone’s help to get them in Kona and get them on the April sailing to be delivered to Fanning. Would you be one who can help?

The following is a comment received from one December passenger regarding helping Fanning in other ways. I hope this will inspire and speak to you as you prepare to travel to Fanning Island: “I was on the Statendam, recently met Rich on the pier in Kona. After talking to him, I spent the next two days gathering every usable item that I could to give to these people. I had so much stuff that I had to make two trips ashore. I dedicated my day to going shack to shack donating and teaching them of the items I had. Tide laundry pods, they had no idea how to use, they loved magazines, flashlights, bar soap, one woman asked me for a book, I had one called “Guilty Wives” bought it in the Atlanta Airport! Shampoo, lotion, conditioner, I had to teach them how to use cereal boxes and add milk. Even taught three young kids how to skip on the dusty trails. This was by far the highlight of my cruise. I can go to the beach anytime, can these people get our help anytime???????

Give of yourselves, they are so appreciative. Give any item you don’t need. Go to their homes, ASK if you may come in, I was most welcome. They enjoyed my time, however I had to go seek them out. I found that some just don’t come out to meet the ship. They were really grateful for my visit and my time. Go off the beaten path, it will be the most rewarding experience of your life. Its safe, no worries.

I hope I am fortunate enough to visit again”.

NEWS FLASH: Report from a passenger who visited Fanning on the Sept.2013 Statendam sailing to Fanning Island: For Rich…the islanders supplies were delivered. I think medical supplies and new shoes would be a good idea for the next trip. The children are so happy and carefree. The adults seem content and happy as well. We were proud to meet and visit the island. to see their write up and pictures visit: http://www.mytripjournal.com/travel-756248

Updated 3/5/14:
It is official that the Statendam will now be calling on Fanning Island and not Christmas Island during the April and December 2014, and February 2015 cruises. That is great news that more items the passengers can obtain and process will hopefully be delivered to Fanning Island.
The November 2012 sailing couldn’t deliver to Fanning due to high winds and wave action. Unfortunately the February 2013 Statendam sailing could not deliver to Fanning Island as well and they donated the many supplies to a ministry in San Diego.

For those who are wondering about the reason why the supplies from the previous Statendam cruises did not get offloaded to Fanning due to bad weather, unsafe offloading/loading conditions and having to pay extra if they were to…here is the post that Captain Albert wrote that day explaining the situation.
“In the back of my mind there was of course the plan we had for donations for the island. We had items on board from the beginning of the cruise and the guests had been very active in increasing those donations quite a lot. It is not something that influenced my decision; SAFETY COMES FIRST AND NOTHING ELSE, but I wondered if I could do something. I could not. In order to get the donations ashore, the ship needs to be cleared. Those are the rules. When we clear the ship, the local authority is entitled to the port taxes $ 10,500 in this case. When I am not sending guests ashore due to weather etc. all guests are entitled by law to get their port tax back, as it is not a part of their cruise ticket, but a government added cost. (The only exception is if I would substitute one port for another) Thus that would be another $ 10,500 so we would be facing a total bill of $ 21,000 to get these boxes ashore. That of course is something I cannot do and there is no legal way around it”.

For now, please read up about visiting Fanning and how to help on the upcoming sailing. Visiting the Latest News page will be best to see past writeups and pictures of help to the island.

During the April 2012 Volendam sailing we had a unique opportunity to hear from a lady born on Fanning and raised there till she was 18 years old that I think will help you greatly to hear how life was on Fanning in the 40’s. Click here to see this special video interview.

I am also including on this post, a letter from a special passenger who visited Fanning some time ago on a NCL ship. Hopefully this will give you some information, insight and inspiration about the need to get involved before we won’t be able to again. Your sailing can mean so much.
Please contact me if you have an interest to help take a few very important items to the island for us. I would meet you in Kona before you sail to the Island. Hope to hear from you all! RICH / Director of Pacific CARE Missions

Letter from BELLE:
I found you by reading your response to someone wanting to help, on the FANNING ISLAND website itself. I’m so grateful I found you, an answered prayer really.

In 2008 when I had a ruptured brain aneurism, a miracle happened for me. Not only didn’t I die, but I never suffered any blindness, lose of mobility or speech. Nothing at all. Due to my age and diabetic status, I must be really careful. But I believe I was spared to try to spread the word about the conditions on FANNING, and to try to get help in any way I can. I promised the people of the island, that as long as I was alive, I would never forget them, and I will never stop telling the world about their needs.

A long time ago a letter I put on line begged for someone to step up and do what I could not, namely organize relief for these beautiful people. I got replies from all over the world. Then I heard about the doctors and church members taking help to FANNING. It was so wonderful. Someone had read my letter that REALLY was in a position to help. I never cared who got publicity or the thanks , only that this remote, glorious, PARADISE be SAVED in time.

When I visited FANNING, most of the passengers never left the beach. I went with 3 suitcases of school supplies and balls for the children. Bought it all here in Florida, and took it to Hawaii and then on NCL cruise. People who saw me getting off with all that stuff said “how did you know what to take”. Well, right here in the U.S.A. our teachers often buy supplies for their classroom, out of their salary. This island is at sea level, and every time there is a storm, the little they have is destroyed. I also took large sheets of plastic for the school to try to protect the little they did have.
NCL should have been ashamed to put their name on what had to be the worst so-called SCHOOL I had ever seen. My daughter is a DR. of EDUCATION and FOREIGN LANGUAGE. She works at Queens College in NEW YORK. She travels all over our country setting up programs for Language. She said, in all her trips to even the poorest of schools, nothing came close to NCL primary School on FANNING ISLAND. They have no maps, no posters, no globe, nothing to display on the walls. I cried when I thought how we take everything for granted. The teacher at that time is no longer there, but I have a treasure from her. She removed her own necklace from around her neck and put it on my own. I don’t own another piece that I cherish more, than this simple beautiful gift. We knew we would never meet again, and I hugged this proud, humble lady as close as I could.
I sat in the house of a lady who made her husband go up a tree to cut down a fresh piece of fruit for me. There was a pile in the yard, but she had him go up the tree for me. The floor was dirt with a cot and hammock, very little else. But she gave me, a complete stranger, all she had to offer. We did not speak the same language, but we understood each other. When I was young I was a ballet dancer, and later formed my own children’s theatre. I sang to her two children and gave them a ball of their own.
The people from my cruise, who did not leave the beach, missed the most wonderful experience by not going out among the people. The children and their parents were the real gift the island had to give. It is a paradise, beyond beautiful, but the faces of the people and their generous hearts are beyond words. Not a single day goes by, that I don’t think of them. So far away, in the middle of an ocean. They don’t need us to change them, only to help them with basic human needs. Their little children are in need of decent health care, so that when they get a cut it won’t get infected, which so often happens there.
BLESS ALL WHO REMEMBER FANNING and in even the smallest way, take away the hurt”. Love Belle


DECEMBER 1, 2012 STATENDAM Cruise Sailing to Fanning Island

The Holland America Cruise ship STATENDAM arrived Fanning Island December 5th but the swells and wind prevented safe tendering. The crew and passengers have collected many items to donate. Last contact I had before the ship was to arrive San Diego, the Statendam would be storing the supplies and then try delivering them during the February sailing. Let’s hope the weather will be more favorable for that calling.

OCT. 4, 2012 WESTERDAM 30 DAY Pacific/Tahiti HELP TO FANNING Mission

Due to another succesful mission to help Fanning Island during the May 10, 2012 Volendam sailing to Fanning Island, another opportunity to help Fanning Island during the Oct. 4 sailing on the Westerdam took place. The Pacific Coastal  portion of the cruise was an opportunity to get more information to the passengers before their continuing 30 day cruise, and also bring some supplies on board thanks to a delivery by Alan and Desire Johnson

The ship allowed PCM Director Rich Smith to give an informal presentation before arriving San Diego. There were about 70 people attending who had heard about the presentation at the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet gathering and other word of mouth advertizing. The passengers all seemed to gain so much information from viewing the videos presented and the question and answer periods.  Many of the guests had been asked to help deliver some of the supplies that were brought onboard and they graciously accepted the request. Our hope is that they were able to continue on to Hawaii and obtain more needed supplies and personally be able to deliver them when arriving Fanning Island. Sadly, the Westerdam ship staff did not want to assist the passengers with collecting and offloading their supplies. A disapointing situation with this ship sailing.

At the date of this posting (10/24/12) the passengers have been able to visit Fanning but no information has been received about their success.

The needs on Fanning are so great, and there is only one more HAL Westerdam sailing in April 2013 that plans to call on the island. Thankfully, the Statendam was able to visit Fanning instead of Christmas Island during their future 2 Pacific/Tahiti cruises but the weather and surf conditions did not allow them to go to shore nor offload their supplies. See that post for more information.

For those traveling on future sailings, a list of important needs is currently available on the Wish List page.

Please keep returning to the home page for continuing updates. If you would like to assist please contact rich@pacificcaremissions.org


Another successful visit to Fanning Island (and other pacific islands) was completed after embarkation on the Holland America Volendam cruiseship. The cruise began at Sydney Australia and traveled to 3 islands of New Caledonia, Suva Fiji and Apia Samoa. During those visits, passengers were able to shop for supplies to be donated to Fanning Island.

Over 10 boxes of supplies, mostly clothing, were given to the local council about mid day when most of the passengers were touring the island.

The day visiting Fanning was cool, cloudy, off/on rain showers (some very heavy squalls), to the point the ship stopped tendering about every hour due to visibility being poor (or none at all).

The seas were very rough and those of us who had the early tenders from 8:30am to 10am were successful to get to the island and either shop at the small island craft tables or get on the available small truck tours that go up and back on the island.

About 30 people were able to tour the island on a special walking tour and visit the many sights described on the Pacific CARE Missions webpage. Although the day was very cloudy with heavy intermittent rain showers, the passengers seemed to have a great visit. Many comments, which are always heard from passengers, were that they wished they could have heard more about Fanning before getting on the ship and especially before arriving to the island.

Pacific CARE Missions director Rich Smith gave the Cruise Critic group some information at the Meet and Greet gathering the day after many embarked the ship at Sydney, and also during a ship approved private/public invitationed gathering which was held in the Wajang movie theater a day before arriving Fanning. About 85 people attended that meeting and were then informed about visiting Fanning and highlighted past supply donations on other cruises and cargo vessels.

The passengers seem to have been talking things up well after the special visit to Fanning on this Volendam cruise, and some new developments to try and help the residents there are in the works currently. One development is that about 5 computers have become available to give to Fanning in future callings.

Another special situation the ship allowed was to hear from a lady that was born and raised on Fanning, whos father was Mr. Palmer, the manager of the Copra plantation back in the 40’s and 50’s. She lived there until she was 18 years old (she is now in her 60’s). About 200 people attended the session in the large showroom theater while a picture slide show was running in the background and pictures were discussed during the session.

A Q/A session to highlight her life on Fanning and what she experienced during her visit was so special. Many felt the visit to Fanning, and meeting her and hearing the history along with pictures of the island, made this trip their best one. To see the full interview video click here.

To effectively accomplish the final expenses  needed for these missions, supplies and financial support are still currently accepted. If you desire to help or want more information  please contact Rich:   rich@pacificcaremissions.org  or call (970) 389-0363

Note: funds are still needed to cover the expenses of supplies that were delivered on the March Rotterdam sailing. No salaries or other overhead are paid from donations to PCM. 100% of your tax-deductible donation goes directly to covering the needed supplies that were delivered on this sailing.

To see the current financial needs and what donations have been received to cover expenses visit the DONATE page.


As the current supply missions on various HOLLAND AMERICA CRUISE SHIPS progress, the following information will be updated (in order) as they occur. Also, some pictures may be missing but are being added if they become available. Please keep checking to see any newer posts and updates.



Jan 27, 2012 posting: Information about the Humanitarian effort to help Fanning Island and it’s people was presented before and during this sailing in many ways. The passengers have said the PCM website was one of the main internet sites for getting information about the needs, what to buy and how to tour the island when visiting the island. The information gathered before sailing and during the first 5 days before arriving Hawaii, was very well promoted by the ship, Lisa the travel consultant, and during a private (non solicitation) info presentation by Rich Smith to the Cruise Critic group and others traveling on the cruise.

Like Ruth, seen here the day before sailing with her bags.

She arrived on Amtrac in early afternoon and was met at the station in order to help her with her donated supplies for Fanning. She had the satchal bag loaded with school supplies which included a couple reams of printing paper. So far this is the heaviest bag ever donated…… Would you believe she had the bag attached to her suitcase for traveling? She did! Way to go Ruth and what dedication and giving heart.

During the stays in San Diego, Honolulu, Maui and Hilo allot of supplies were purchased at the various Wal Mart, Costco, ABC, Longs and other department stores.

Honolulu Senator Glen Wakai, director of Reach Out Pacific, donated over 30 boxes which contained new T-shirts, stuffed animals books and toys.

Honolulu’s Central Baptist Church Pastor Dan Douglass dropped off supplies and support from his church.

PCM volunteer Dennis Lomas drove across the big island of Hawaii with a full truckload of boxed supplies. These were the Crock shoes and Health Center supplies donated and described in the pre cruise information.

Some of the things were then given to PCM (for proper and secure storing).

The ship also held a two hour collection event at the Lido Pool area the day before arriving Fanning. Two giant towel bins were used to collect donation items and they were then sorted for better itemizing and inventory.

The event was such a success and many people who may not have donated any supplies felt compelled to help in some other way too.

Once everything was collected by the ship it was then stored in a secure location along with the many items the staff had donated.

At Fanning Island, the supplies were delivered to the island with help of ship crew, locals and passengers.

Dec. 29th: The following picture shows the supplies held in Kailua-Kona and ready for shipping to Fanning Island.

The boxes will be transported to Hilo Jan 12th by our driver volunteer Dennis Lomas. Thanks much again Dennis!

More supplies are also expected to be put on in San Diego by PCM and other passengers. Upon arriving Honolulu, Senator Glen Wakai of Reach Out Pacific is planning on donating about 10 boxes of T-shirts. He is also looking into computers that are much requested from the Island.

In communicating with the island secondary school principal, there is also a need to help them with photo printing and other computer processes. An assessment of their needs seem inevitable during our visit.

Also to be taken and delivered to a worthy party on Fanning is a water filter donated by Jim & Fae Lumsden who visited the island in September on the Westerdam. This filter could be a worthy item to the future of safe drinking water.

Newsflash!!!  Update from the island is that the instalation of the louvered windows and security wire for the new Health Center is nearing completion, FINALLY!

Dec 18th:

One group wanting to help is the Kona Hawaii youth from the Sunday School class at Living Stones Church.

They eagerly became involved in sorting a large amount of Croc like footware that had been donated back in February by a Hawaii Volcano Rotary member. He donated them after a presentation was given to the Rotary group by Rich Smith/Pacific CARE Missions director.

Unfortunately, a few of them had been damaged by rats during their storage but the majority were in great shape.


It was a great time sorting and preparing the shoes for shipping. The many kids mentioned how fun the “workout was”. They truely did have to work fast with the many shoes, extra cleanup due to the debris inside the boxes, and time was clicking away before the main church service ended.

We also found that there were mostly large to extra large sizes. We can only hope there are big sized feet on the local people at Fanning island. We are still seeking many other youth sized type of these shoes that we can then personally give to the school children on the island. There is such an important need for footware to prevent parasites and infections from walking in the dirt and water and the unsanitary conditions that are present there.

The mother of Marley came afterwards to say how influenced her daughter was to be a part of the activity and that she may also be doing some followup presentations in the future to her school after getting more information.

A much appreciated thank you to this group of kids who wanted to help meet the needs of the people on Fanning Island.

Holland America 2012 “S. Pacific” sailings updates

Updated Feb 17, 2012
Aloha to all the Cruise Critic passengers, other passengers and staff of Holland America, who traveled on the 2012 sailings to the pacific region on the WESTERDAM with the intent to help Fanning Island, and also help Christmas Island on the Statendam to donate supplies. At the time (10/6/2012) there were no confirmed arrangements with Holland America’s corporate office, or the ships, allowing items to be delivered to the ship and stored for transport to the Islands. You were allowed however, to check in your items to your room, as your luggage limits and requirements will allow.
Arrangements to drop off your items with the ship when checking in and/or during the cruise is a very difficult arrangement for all involved. Once the ship was underway, we worked hard to coordinate with them (and you) so that Room Stewards and Hotel Staff could become involved to receive, store and deliver everyone’s donated items for the Islands. It was recommended that the passengers hold their donations till shortly before arriving to the Islands and then deliver them to ship staff  (when announcements have been given) or take them  on shore (not large suitcases or boxes please that would hinder tender opperations) to give to the locals personally.

It was very strongly suggested that all the items have an address label on the box or suitcases to a designated receiver on Fanning Island. Otherwise, the island council would obtain the items for their discretion as to what to do with them. The following addresses were ok to ensure the supplies would get to a proper person/location.
For FANNING ISLAND SCHOOL related items address them to:

For CLINIC supplies address them to:
Fanning Island Health Center
C/O Nurse Kantarawa

Presently I have been in communications with HAL and awaiting their response and approvals to allow everyone the same privileges as has happened on previous Rotterdam sailings. I will keep updating and posting here for new developments.
Feel free to call or email me with any questions you might have or if you desire to get any immediate updates when the approvals come to me.
Important recent note from head nurse: Donations are always needed to those remote islands but NEVER DONATE EXPIRED DRUGS, USED DRUGS AND ANY KIND OF MILK.
Because in the Breastfeeding Friendly Hospital Institute Workshop we were taught to encourage the mothers to breastfeed their babies exclusively until they are 6 months old then foods and drinks are introduced and still breast feeding. It has evidence proven that breastfeeding is nutritious, clean, always ready and no cost for the children.

From Fanning Island Mayor (sorry for his language and spelling but I didn’t feel I should correct it):
Our humble request if you possible accept concerning some other need of our people related to their seaweed plantation (their main job for life ) We would like to help them by requesting you if you could provided for them too.
a) Bundles of ropes (size 6mm /5mm ) for seaweed planted
b) Children supplies
c) Pre-school & primary supplies
d) Youth – sport materials e.g. volleyball balls, soccer, basket, table tenis
e) School bus – spare tyres & tube size # 16-7.50LT
f) Office – stationeries’ & photo copy papers. Manual typwriter with replacable ribbons
g) Health centre- any clinical first aid and cleaning materials 

From the secondary School representative:
1, sport equipment; basketball, volleyball and soccer ball
2, reading books relevant to secondary schools level
3, reference books for students reserch.
4, Exercise books (square & lined)
5, pens & pencils
6, Laptop and or desktop computers and printers

Have a wonderful sailing!

Sept 2011 WESTERDAM Cruise Mission Newsletter

The first 4 days of the recent Sept. 24-29th 2011 Pacific Coastal Sailing on the Holland America ms WESTERDAM,  was the begining for some of the passengers sailing to the S. Pacific, and was a great opportunity for information to be passed on to the passengers about how they could help Fanning Island and for the ship to be involved for their first visit to Fanning.
Over 30 Cruise Critic members and other invitees attended a private gathering in the Crows Nest, the day after the 1st Meet and Greet get together, to hear from Rich Smith/ Director of PCM, about helping and visiting Fanning Island. It was also a time for the various attendees to ask questions about the island and how PCM has been involved.The guests that attended were very interested in hearing the information and it made for a way to start the word of mouth networking of information with other future passengers boarding in San Diego.
While in San Diego, a connection was made with Jim & Fae Lumsden who offered their assistance with getting the sponsored security wire for the Fanning Island Health center delivered. They also took a water filter system to the island to show one of the important local residents, and gather information to see if it could be useful there.
The wire, sponsored by partner to PCM John Schell, and  passengers Julia Anderson and Laural Bridge, was purchased in Seattle area and placed onboard  before the ship set sail.

The ship was able to make a sucessful visit to Fanning Island and many items were doanted and the passengers were also able to deliver their donated supplies!!!! More pictures of that to be added soon.