As the ms Zaandam sailed into Nagasaki, Japan for the first time on April 7th, we had no idea what a warm welcome we would receive from the Port!
A flag show featuring the Dutch flag was performed and a plaque exchange ceremony was held along the pier. Flowers were presented to Officers by members of the performing group, which were graciously accepted with brilliant smiles.
The exchange ceremonies are meant to celebrate the inaugural visit of a vessel to a port city, and this ceremony was a wonderful reminder of the gratitude felt by the communities when Holland America Line ships visit them. The sincere feeling of welcome that was created by this ceremony created a lasting positive impact for all who witnessed it.
Brandi E. Johnson is Zaandam’s human resources manager.