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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Here are some more FUN FACTS about the Netherlands:
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!