As a part of its ongoing cancer research fundraising and awareness program, Holland America Line will hold On Deck for a Cause events this week across its fleet of 15 ships in support of World Cancer Day. From Australia and Antarctica to the Indian Ocean and Caribbean, guests and crew around the world will gather on deck to make the walk amid glaciers, palm trees and the Panama Canal.

On Deck for a Cause invites guests to participate in a noncompetitive 5k fundraising walk on every sailing of the line’s ships, with proceeds distributed among the American Cancer Society, Canadian Cancer Society, Cancer Council Australia, Cancer Research UK, Deutsche Krebshilfe (German Cancer Aid) and KWF Kankerbestrijding (Dutch Cancer Society). These walks take place on more than 500 cruises each year.

“Although we support the fight against cancer year-round with our On Deck for a Cause program, World Cancer Day is a time to reflect on the potential we have to impact future treatment and prevention,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. “Cancer is a disease that affects every region in the world, and we’re proud to support top organizations in those countries where many of our guests come from.”

Since fully launching across the line’s 15 ships in mid-2013, On Deck for a Cause fundraising events have raised more than $200,000 with 200 walks and more than 10,000 participants. Holland America Line began its onboard fundraising walks in 2006 with On Deck for a Cure which raised more than $3 million to fund breast cancer research, education and treatment.

With On Deck for a Cause, guests of all ages are invited to donate $20 to the Holland America Line Foundation, and a minimum of 80 percent ($16) is distributed to the organizations. The remaining 20 percent covers program and administrative expenses. On a day at sea, participants join in a 5k walk around the ship’s decks. Guests may walk less or not at all, as they prefer. Participants also receive an On Deck for a Cause T-shirt, wristband and a reception following the walk. Depending on the ship, the distance to reach 5k ranges from nine to 12 laps.

Holland America Line and its corporate foundation’s charitable giving programs include cash sponsorships, in-kind donations, shipboard events, free- and reduced-fare cruise donations for nonprofit fundraising events, donations of usable shipboard items around the world, employee volunteerism and other philanthropic activities.