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Holland America Line Celebrates All-Things Dutch on King’s Day

Holland is more than our name, it’s a part of who we are and how we show travelers the world. When you are sailing on a Holland America Line ship or throughout Holland, you will see signs of that everywhere, from the Rotterdam History Walk designed for the company’s 140th Anniversary to the Holland America Line Signature Tulip that blooms beautifully in the Netherlands’ world-famous Keukenhof Gardens.

What else about Holland America Line connects us so deeply to our namesake country? Read on to find out…

TODAY IS KING’S DAY

The Dutch have a tradition of holding a national holiday each year on the birthday of their reigning monarch, and today’s is King’s Day in the Netherlands. The day is marked by huge celebrations, including concerts, parties and flea markets in the streets. Locals commonly dye their hair orange or wear orange clothing in honor of the House of Orange-Nassau, which rules over the Netherlands. Since the ascension to the throne last year of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands, Prince of Orange-Nassau, the Dutch celebrate King’s Day on April 27.

King's Day celebrations in Amsterdam are in full swing. Photos courtesy of locals Eric and Peter.

King’s Day celebrations in Amsterdam are in full swing. Photos courtesy of locals Eric and Peter.

To honor this special holiday and celebrate the impending arrival of ms Koningsdam, Holland America Line sent orange tompouce, a typical Dutch treat, to select media in Holland. The sweet treats were welcomed with great enthusiasm.

HAL representative Marieke Kale, left, delivered orange tompouces to TravMagazine where editor Gerrie Brand gladly accepted the treats.

HAL representative Marieke Kale, left, delivered orange tompouces to TravMagazine where editor Gerrie Brand gladly accepted the treats.

A ROYAL CONNECTION

Holland America Line has long been tied to the royal family, with members of the Dutch Royal Family having launched 11 Holland America Line vessels. It started in 1929 with Prince Hendrik naming Statendam III and continued with Queen Wilhelmina naming Nieuw Amsterdam in 1937. Since that time, ships have been named by Princess Beatrix when she was both princess and queen, Queen Juliana, Princess Margriet and Queen Máxima when she was princess, who is godmother to the line’s newest ship, ms Nieuw Amsterdam.

Then-Queen Beatrix named Eurodam in 2008, left, and then-Princess Maxima christened Nieuw Amsterdam in 2010.

Then-Queen Beatrix named Eurodam in 2008, left, and then-Princess Maxima christened Nieuw Amsterdam in 2010.

HOLLAND HOMEPORTS
Holland America Line has three homeports in the country: Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Ijmuiden. With the 2016 debut of ms Koningsdam, the company also will have three ships homeporting in the Netherlands — a first for Holland America Line!

Amsterdam, left, and Rotterdam are two out of the three Dutch homeports.

Amsterdam, left, and Rotterdam are two out of the three Dutch homeports.

EVERYTHING’S COMING UP TULIPS

Did you know that tulips did not originate in Holland? The first tulip bulbs were imported from Turkey to the Netherlands, where they grew extremely well on Dutch soil. Today, when the world thinks of all-things tulips, Holland is the first place that comes to mind. In fact, the tulips are blooming throughout the country right now. Holland America Line’s own Signature Tulip is a delicate white variety with fringe around the edges.

The Holland America Line Signature Tulip.

The Holland America Line Signature Tulip.

These beautiful photos of tulip and hyacinth fields were sent in by locals Peter and Eric, snapped on a bike ride. Did you also know that on average, Dutch people cycle 1.5 miles per day and 600 miles per year. There are designated “fietspaden” or bike paths all over the country.

The tulips and hyacinth are in full bloom in Holland.

The tulips and hyacinths are in full bloom in Holland.

Here are some more FUN FACTS about the Netherlands:

Fun Facts Holland

What’s your favorite thing about Holland? Is it the food, culture, history or perhaps the people? Tell us why you love the Netherlands in the comments below! Happy King’s Day!

2 Comments
  • Marj Gordon

    Happy King’s Day to everyone in Holland!
    Our first visit to Holland was in 2009, arriving in Rotterdam on board ms Rotterdam at the conclusion of an unforgettable trans-Atlantic cruise. And we have returned every year since,
    sailing to many wonderful ports in northern Europe, all from the port of Rotterdam.
    There is something quite wonderful about leaving on a cruise from Rotterdam – – the crowds along the shore, waving as the ship departs, the Rotterdam Sea Shanty Choir entertaining the passengers from shoreside, the “whistle salutes” as our HAL ship passes the old ss Rotterdam V – – it is like a return to the golden age of ocean travel.
    We love staying at the Hotel New York in Rotterdam, with, of course, its HAL history.
    As well as Rotterdam and Amsterdam, we have also spent time in The Hague, our favorite Dutch city, and many of the smaller towns, including Delft, Gouda, and Volendam.
    But best of all is visiting some very special friends, now more like family, who are former HAL staffers who we met on our HAL cruises. They show us Holland from the point of view of Dutch citizens, and Holland is now our favorite foreign country.
    The Dutch people are friendly and hospitable, and we are already looking forward to another visit later this year.
    Tot ziens!

  • jaap

    Had a nice cocktail party yesterday on board the Zuiderdam in honor of Koningsdam. Thanks!

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