Holland America Line guests on Koningsdam’s Christening cruise were treated to once-in-a-lifetime events and surprises — from the Dedication Ceremony featuring the ship’s royal Godmother Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands to extravagant dinners and special keepsakes.
On the last night of the cruise, guests were treated to a night at the world-famous Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Rijksmuseum is the most-visited national museum in the Netherlands, and a partner of Holland America Line. Through the collaboration, the “Rijksmuseum at Sea” created by Rijksstudio will be installed throughout the fleet over the next several years. Holland America Line also is a new sponsor of the museum.
Founded in The Hague, the Netherlands, in 1800, the museum offers a representation of Dutch art and history, as well as European and Asian art from the Middle Ages to today. Rijksmuseum moved to Amsterdam in 1808 and was first located in the Royal Palace; it moved to its current location in 1885.
Today the museum hosts nearly 2.5 million visitors a year, but on this special night it was open exclusively for guests of Koningsdam. Our guests were able to enjoy a night of exceptional art and wrap up what had been a memorable cruise with an unforgettable event.
Guests arrived via motorcoaches and were greeted by Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford before entering Rijksmuseum’s impressive and spacious atrium. Local sensation Tiny Little Bigband provided music.
Waiters served celebratory drinks including Prosecco, wine and beer. Tables displayed sweet treats by famous Amsterdam-based patisserie Holtkamp, including Macaroons; a dark chocolate mousse with caramel fudge, sweet pecan nuts, oreo crumble and anise cress from Koppert (another Holland America Line partner); a white brownie trifle with mascarpone cream, marinated cherries and pistachio crumble; butter cake and brownies; and of course a popular Dutch treat — mini syrup waffles!
The decorations were superb with elegant furniture painted and upholstered in beautiful blue hues, while the buffets and tables were decorated with fresh Dutch floral arrangements, inspired by the flowers of Rijksmuseum’s garden.
Guests had the option of enjoying a guided tour, a multimedia tour with headsets or wandering the museum on their own. In the auditorium, guests could enjoy 30-minute lectures focusing on the highlights of the museum’s history and vast art collection.
More than 30 galleries in Rijksmuseum highlight the Dutch Golden Age, showcasing works by Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Johannes, Vermeer and Rembrandt. A model of the William Rex by Adriaen de Vriend and Cornelis Moesman is the centerpiece of one of these galleries and an impressive stren carving from the Royal Charles, the English flagship, adorns the wall.
Cuypers Library, the Netherland’s largest and oldest art historical library, was open featuring an endless array of books and a charming spiral staircase.
Galleries are dedicated to Delftware, hand-painted blue-and-white pottery named after the Dutch city Delft where it was made, including the iconic flower pyramids and plates.
The Grand Hall on the second level of the museum was open as a reception area with refreshments, drawing guests toward the Gallery of Honor, an extended corridor featuring masterpieces by 17th century artists. Of course, the real highlight of the Gallery of Honor and its focal point is the Night Watch Gallery that lies at its end.
The Night Watch Gallery was specially designed to showcase Rembrandt’s Night Watch. The famous portrait features the civic guard and is regarded by many as the turning point of the artist’s career.
It was an incredible event that topped off an incredible cruise. Were you onboard for Koningsdam’s Christening Cruise? Tell us what you enjoyed most about the Rijksmuseum event in the comments below!