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Oprah Cruise to Alaska - Part 1

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In spite of the glaciers and icefields, the deliciously crisp 52-degree air in the midst of July and the super chill atmosphere aboard Holland America’s ms Eurodam, the O, The Oprah Magazine Adventure of Your Life July launch cruise to Alaska – with a special two-day appearance by the Divine Miss O herself – was the warmest (and fuzziest) cruise ever.


Oprah Cruise to Alaska - Part 1

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In spite of the glaciers and icefields, the deliciously crisp 52-degree air in the midst of July and the super chill atmosphere aboard Holland America’s ms Eurodam, the O, The Oprah Magazine Adventure of Your Life July launch cruise to Alaska – with a special two-day appearance by the Divine Miss O herself – was the warmest (and fuzziest) cruise ever.



“The energy on the ship was amazing,” said Cary Kelly, a brain cancer survivor from Hastings on Hudson, NY. “It didn’t matter who was famous and who wasn’t, everyone was experiencing something amazing.”



Special programming for these cruises – a behind-the-scenes look at The Making of O, The Oprah Magazine; O’s Reading Room; Let’s Eat!; and Love That! style presentation, among others – was followed by Q and A sessions, but the questions took the shape of testimonials, and they were all relating to the transformative power engendered by Oprah.



‘Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life’*



“Oprah embodies what it means to be fully human – wise, joyful, growth-oriented, present, led by intention,” said Emily Trask, a higher education administrator from San Diego, Calif., experiencing her first cruise and first trip to Alaska. “She has inspired me to become a wisdom seeker throughout my life, so much so that I majored in philosophy and later wrote my dissertation about self-authorship.”



“I rarely tell anyone about what I went through health-wise but it has made me a very hard person to get to know,” said Kelly. “Now opening up and really letting myself be me as they talked about on the ship has already helped me feel more alive.”



Fielding the personal and heartfelt comments were a number of special guests: Oprah bestie Gayle King, editor-at-large for O, The Oprah Magazine and co-anchor of “CBS This Morning”; the magazine’s editor-in-chief Lucy Kaylin; the magazine’s creative director, style guru Adam Glassman; Elettra Wiedemann, author and founder of the Impatient Foodie blog and new cookbook of the same name (and the daughter of Isabella Rossellini and granddaughter of Ingrid Bergman); and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout, whose most recent book, Anything Is Possible, not only articulated the theme of the cruise but was also the subject of two book discussions.



In a word, Oprah relates.



“Anything a girl has gone through, she has gone through it,” said Rhonda Ruben, a nurse, zumba and aerobics instructor and motivational speaker from Beaumont, Texas. Ruben received the cruise as a birthday gift from her children and called it the best cruise and birthday celebration of her life.



“Gayle King asked me why I went on this cruise,” said Ruben, who met King while she mingled and posed for pictures with guests during ms Eurodam’s Anchors Aweigh cocktail party. “I told her I wanted to come and see Oprah. I’ve been following her all these years.”



In fact, Ruben has been an Oprah fan since Winfrey’s show debuted in 1986.


“Oprah is a down-to-earth lady and easy to follow,” she said.


“The Oprah Winfrey Show” was so important to Trask that she often says Oprah raised her.



“She resonated with me in a deep way from an early age,” said Trask, who admits she “channels her inner Oprah” for all big decisions. “I didn’t know anyone in my everyday life so open, vibrant, curious about life and passionate about making meaning.”



Oprah had such an impact that Trask played the show’s Quincy Jones-scored theme music at her wedding reception and named one of the head reception tables after Oprah.



For Kelly, who shared the adventure with Trask, Oprah was like a lifeline. Diagnosed with brain cancer at age 24, Kelly focused her “me time” on watching episodes of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” as she recovered from two surgeries.



“I literally had to learn how to communicate again,” said Kelly of her ordeal. “Oprah helped me get through it.”



In fact, friends and family not to disturb Kelly from four to five o’clock in the afternoon while the show was airing.



“Now I love watching ‘SuperSoul Sunday’ and reading O Magazine,” said Kelly. “I feel like there are always nuggets of inspiration that help me grow as a person or give me ideas to really keep pushing through challenges.”


‘Travel expands you – and I’m not talking about the buffet’*



About 2,000 passengers were on board this first Adventure of Your Life cruise. While sailing from the wildlife hotspot of Juneau to the scenic splendor of Glacier Bay to the ancient lands of Sitka, all had a chance to attend “A Special Conversation with Oprah” in two full-house mainstage presentations.



With warmth, humor and purpose, Winfrey discussed her journey to success and self-proclaimed Year of Adventure as well as her hopes that this cruise would be the start of something meaningful for everyone on board.



“We are in the business of trying to expand the way people see themselves and their lives, and that’s what travel does,” said Winfrey. “I want this to be more than just a trip. I want it to be the start of something big that started with this adventure of a lifetime that fuels and feeds in a way that is grand and deep and wide.”



Kelly said Oprah’s talk really resonated with her but she also appreciated meeting Gayle King.



In fact, she and Trask were able to talk with King and both were struck by her openness, warmth, curiosity and delight in everything and everybody.



“She was that way with everyone she met!,” Trask said, adding she still hopes to meet Oprah one day.



In the meantime, both are taking Oprah’s words to heart: “Sit and feast on your life.”



And there’s perhaps no better place to accomplish this than on a cruise ship headed for adventure.



Plan Your Trip



Holland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine’s exclusive partnership unites the soul-stirring power of travel with O Magazine’s deep commitment to connection and personal growth.



The July launch cruise was the first of five Adventure of Your Life cruises. Special programming, Oprah’s SuperSoul 100 members and special guests from the magazine (with guests being announced closer to their departure dates) will be featured on each of the four additional cruises:



  • November 29, 2017 – 11-day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on ms Koningsdam.
  • March 3, 2018 – 7-day Tropical Caribbean roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on ms Nieuw Amsterdam.
  • August 11, 2018 – 7-day Alaska roundtrip from Seattle on ms Eurodam.
  • October 28, 2018 – 7-day Eastern Caribbean roundtrip Fort Lauderdale on ms Nieuw Amsterdam.



In addition to these cruises, more than 300 Holland America Line cruises sailing from North America from August 2017 through 2018 will offer a variety of engaging activities developed with the magazine’s editors and designed to nourish body and soul:


  • Just Breathe, offering meaningful meditation and movement.
  • O’s Reading Room, allowing guests to discover new authors and stories.
  • Love That!, delivering a workshop on style advice and the essential pieces every woman needs for travel.
  • Let’s Eat!, providing tips on indulging in good food without guilt and learning a lifetime of healthy habits.



For more information, visit www.hollandamerica.com.


*Quotes from Oprah Winfrey’s “A Conversation with Oprah” aboard Holland America Line’s July 15 Eurodam cruise to Alaska.


Kathy Witt


October 6, 2017



PHOTOS – Part 1


Global media leader, philanthropist, producer, actress and star of Holland America Line’s O, The Oprah Magazine Adventure of Your Life cruise: Oprah Winfrey.

Photo: Holland America Line


Holland America Line’s first Signature-class cruise ship, ms Eurodam, recently received many updates, including new lounge, dining and entertainment venues, and completely refreshed suites.

Photo: Holland America Line


Rhonda Ruben poses with a picture of Oprah Winfrey for Holland America Line’s O, The Oprah Magazine Adventure of Your Life cruise to Alaska on July 15.

Photo: Courtesy of Rhonda Ruben


Friends Emily Trask and Cary Kelly meet Gayle King during Eurodam’s Anchors Aweigh cocktail party.

Photo: Courtesy of Emily Trask


<AGtrends2>In partnership with Chico’s, O, The Oprah Magazine creative director and style guru Adam Glassman hosted a style presentation aboard Holland America’s Eurodam that revealed his tips, tricks and secrets for essential wardrobe pieces.

Photo: Kathy Witt

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