SEATTLE, WA – During the Champions Cruise aboard ms Nieuw Amsterdam, Holland America Line crowned guest Katrina Pedersen of Sunnyvale, California, the line’s final “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” Champion. Pedersen, who represented ms Maasdam, triumphed over 14 other guest competitors to claim the title and take home Holland America Line’s coveted “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” Mirrorball Trophy.
A Brigham Young University student who dances almost daily, Pedersen performed in the ship’s main show lounge in three elimination routines before making it to the finals, where she executed a tango and waltz with shipboard dancing partner Ben Henley in front of a judging panel that included “Dancing with the Stars” professional dancer Kym Johnson, television personality Carson Kressley and actress Florence Hendersen. “Dancing with the Stars” professional dancer Tony Dovolani co-hosted the finale with Holland America Line Dancing with the Stars host Jason Venner.
“The Champions Cruise is the culmination of a year of fun and exciting guest competitions across the fleet, and we congratulate all the dancers who worked so hard to compete and entertain their fellow cruisers,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Special congratulations to Katrina for earning the Mirrorball Trophy and impressing everyone on board with her winning performances.”
Before Pedersen was named champion in the final round, three elimination rounds were held during the cruise to reduce the 15 competitors down to three finalists. Elise Jensen of Mangerton, New South Wales, Australia, representing ms Volendam, and Stephan Reynolds of Atlanta, Georgia, representing ms Noordam, also advanced from the early rounds to dance in the finals.
The 15 Champions Cruise competitors represented each of the ships in the Holland America Line fleet (including the former ms Ryndam and ms Statendam) and are from their respective ship’s “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” dance competitions that were held on board every cruise throughout the past year.
Joining the Champions Cruise to perform in a special production show were ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” professional dancers and show champions Kym Johnson and Tony Dovolani. Celebrities who joined the pros to perform were America’s favorite TV mom, Florence Hendersen, and television personality Carson Kressley.
Additional events on the cruise included a special fashion show featuring the glamorous show costumes, a chance to meet the dance pros and celebrities, and a question-and-answer session.
The Jan. 10 Champions Cruise visited the eastern Caribbean, sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with calls at Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Half Moon Cay, the line’s award-winning private island in the Bahamas.
Holland America Line’s partnership with “Dancing with the Stars” culminates with this Champions Cruise following a successful three-year collaboration.