In anticipation of the upcoming float-out of Nieuw Statendam, Holland America Line held the ship’s coin ceremony Wednesday, Dec. 6, at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy. Following Italian shipbuilding tradition, Anne Marie Bartels, a member of Holland America Line’s esteemed President’s Club, served as the ship’s Madrina and participated in the festivities.
During the coin ceremony, observed to bring good fortune, a Dutch guilder was welded to the forward mast of the ship by Bartels; Antonio Quintano, director of the Fincantieri Marghera Shipyard; and Keith Taylor, executive vice president, fleet operations for Holland America Group, followed by speeches and a blessing by the shipyard chaplain. Cyril Tatar, Holland America Group’s vice president of newbuilding services, also was in attendance. The Dutch Guilder brings sentiment and history to the newbuild — it is from 1898, the year Holland America Line’s first Statendam came into service.
“The coin ceremony is one of the most time-honored traditions in the building of a ship, and having Anne Marie, one of our most valued guests, serve as Madrina makes the celebration all the more special,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Nieuw Statendam reflects the next generation in our brand evolution while maintaining the classic hallmarks we are known for. By placing an authentic Dutch guilder in the hull from the year our first ship named Statendam came into service is a meaningful way to build that bridge from our past to our future.”
Bartels first sailed with Holland America Line on the s.s. Nieuw Amsterdam from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, to New York, New York, when she was 21 years old. She has since been on 79 Holland America Line cruises, including 12 Grand Voyages. Bartels has more than 2,500 cruising days with the line, which gives her elite President’s Club status for guests with more than 2,500 days on board.
During the festivities, a drydock gate was opened briefly and water touched Nieuw Statendam’s hull for the first time — as is tradition during the coin ceremony. On Dec. 21, 2017, the ship will be fully floated out and moved to an outfitting pier.
Nieuw Statendam is the second Pinnacle Class ship for Holland America Line, joining ms Koningsdam, which launched in April 2016 from the same shipyard in Marghera. A third Pinnacle Class ship will set sail for the cruise line in 2021.
The 99,500-ton ship will reflect the ongoing evolution of Holland America Line. While much of the ship’s design will be similar to Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam will have exclusive public spaces and its own style created by leading hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany and designer and architect Bjorn Storbraaten. The ship will carry 2,660 guests and feature all of the hallmarks of Pinnacle-class design: grand light-filled spaces; visual drama; and sumptuous interiors inspired by the fluid curves of musical instruments.
Holland America Line’s first ship to be called Statendam sailed in 1898, and this will be the sixth ship in the company’s history to carry the name. In combining the Dutch word for “new” with the classic “Statendam,” Holland America Line is celebrating the company’s past, present and future.