Celebrate Our Heritage Through Dutch Day On Board

Orange image with white text that says Introducing Dutch Day.

What better time to announce the new ways we’re celebrating our Dutch heritage aboard our ships than on King’s Day on April 27, a cherished holiday tradition in The Netherlands honoring the birthday of the reigning Dutch monarch. From concerts to street parties, the people of the Netherlands host big, orange-accented celebrations in honor of the royal House of Orange-Nassau. At Holland America Line, we take great joy in celebrating King’s Day each year, and you’ll discover that same spirit on board through our new and exciting Dutch Day delights. Here’s a sneak peek of the spirited fun you’ll experience at sea on our cruises that sail for seven days or more:

View of stroopwafels with Holland America Line and Daelmans logos above it.

A Sweet Exclusive for Holland America Line Guests

Calling all Stroopwafel lovers! We’re thrilled to announce we’re partnering with Daelmans to bring you a sweet exclusive that will have your taste buds leaping with joy.

Before you lay your head down for sweet dreams after a day of enjoying Dutch Day activities, you can delight in a complimentary authentic Mini Stroopwafel. Trust us when we tell you that although it’s a cookie, it’s not like any other cookie. Every Daelmans Stroopwafel is made of a delicious caramel syrup filling, or “stroop” as we say in Dutch. This sweet filling sits between two thin layers of freshly baked dough. Bourbon Vanilla, Cinnamon and Stroop flavors can be paired with a cold drink, but you’ll relish enhanced flavors when you pair it with a warm beverage. Proost (that’s “Cheers” in Dutch) to this exciting new partnership!

Celebrate Our Dutch Heritage at the Orange Party

From wild orange wigs and giant hats to boas and bow ties, there’s plenty of fun fashion on display at Holland America Line’s iconic Orange Party. Combine that with live entertainment, cocktails and dancing, and you have an incredibly festive event! If you’re new to cruising with Holland America Line, you won’t want to miss the orange bash cherished by guests and crew alike.

Everyone dons their best orange attire, grooves to incredible music and takes memorable photos showcasing their fun fashion choices with orange hues. If you forgot your orange accessories at home, don’t sweat it! Our onboard shops carry trendy accessories for purchase, from orange boas and hats to sunglasses and shimmering jewelry.

Delight in a Dutch Dinner and Fresh-Made Poffertjes

Enjoy an evening of Dutch flavors in the Dining Room, beginning with Green Pea Soup served with pumpernickel bread and bacon. You can also enjoy additional Dutch dishes, like the tastes of Hodge Podge Klapstuk with braised beef brisket, carrots, potatoes, onions and butter gravy. Then dive into Bosche bol, a chocolate cream puff that tastes ahhh-mazing!

Craving a traditional Dutch treat throughout the day? Stop by the Crow’s Nest Café where you can dive into fresh-made Poffertjes. Served with powdered sugar and butter, Poffertjes are like mini pancakes. This is a treat you can enjoy not only on Dutch Day, but every day!

The History of King’s Day

Recognized as a holiday on April 27 in the Netherlands, King’s Day honors the birthday of the reigning Dutch monarch. The original holiday began on August 31, 1885, as Prinsessedag, or Princess’s Day, in honor of the fifth birthday of Princess Wilhelmina. She was crowned as Queen in 1890 under the regency of her mother, Queen Emma, and the first Koninginnedag was celebrated in 1891 in the Netherlands. The date of the holiday then moved to recognize her daughter, Queen Juliana, when she assumed the throne in 1948. King’s Day took on its current name, Koningsdag, on April 27, 2014, after His Majesty King Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands, Prince of Orange-Nassau, ascended to the throne the previous year.

We take great joy in celebrating King’s Day each year, given our roots in the Netherlands and ties to its royal family. In fact, members of the Dutch Royal Family have launched 13 Holland America Line vessels — from Prince Hendrik naming Statendam III in 1929 to Princess Margriet christening Rotterdam in 2022. Most recently, Holland America Line President Gus Antorcha was joined by Princess Margriet for a 150th anniversary celebration at Hotel New York, home to Holland America Line’s original headquarters from 1901 to 1977.

“Proost” to all our friends near and far this King’s Day, including our mascot, Lewie the Lion, who always dons his best orange bow tie and parties from sunrise to sunset in celebration of this special Dutch holiday.

View of Holland America Line's Lewie the Lion mascot plush in front of orange background.

What excites you the most about Dutch Day on board? Share in the comments below.


Join the Discussion


  1. Joyce Klimes May 7, 2024 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    Is this something we have to sign up for or is it for anyone?
    Is there a charge?

    • Julie May 8, 2024 at 2:14 pm - Reply

      Hi Joyce, Dutch Day is for all guests on board. No need to sign up, just enjoy!

  2. Deb Baldwin May 5, 2024 at 7:16 am - Reply

    We are cruising on June 8th, (our 50th Anniversary) on the Volendam to Canada. Wondering if the Orange party is held on a cruising day?


    • Julie May 7, 2024 at 11:21 am - Reply

      Hi Deb, we don’t have a schedule of the Orange Parties, as it’s up to each ship and what fits into their scheduling. However, they are held in the evening after dinner, so you won’t miss it. Have fun!

  3. Susan May 2, 2024 at 10:49 am - Reply

    What time approx. does the orange party start in the evening?

    • Julie May 7, 2024 at 11:21 am - Reply

      Hi Susan, it varies on each ship, as they make their own schedules. But it should be after dinner. Enjoy!

  4. Linda Brett May 1, 2024 at 9:38 am - Reply

    Great article, sounds like a delicious amount of fun! We have never enjoyed any Orange Day activities but we will in July 2024 on Oosterdam!

  5. Bill and Eula Weaver April 28, 2024 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    Count us in for the Orange Party…!

  6. Sandy April 28, 2024 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    Sounds like great fun, can’t wait!

  7. Ernest Robert Plett April 28, 2024 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    Please count us in for this special occasion!

  8. Phil & Rhea Crook April 28, 2024 at 6:24 am - Reply

    Proud of my Dutch Heritage 🇳🇱❣️. Love sailing with Holland America…. Working on our 4 star… almost there!!

  9. Michael Sullivan April 27, 2024 at 10:53 pm - Reply

    Currently on the Rotterdam and had a great time at the orange party. Didn’t receive any Stroopeafel

    • Julie April 30, 2024 at 10:15 am - Reply

      Hi Michael, Ww are working to implement the program fleetwide. We’re glad you enjoyed Dutch Day.

  10. Barbzee April 27, 2024 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    On Eurodam today . We dined on Dutch food but where’s our stroopwaffel??

    • Julie April 30, 2024 at 10:15 am - Reply

      We are working to implement the program fleetwide. We’re glad you enjoyed Dutch Day.

  11. Tina Cline Mullins April 27, 2024 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    Sounds fun!

  12. Margriet Ruurs April 27, 2024 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    A HAL cruise! How could it get any better? By adding stroopwafels and poffertjes! Amazing. Happy Birthday, King Willem Alexander!

  13. Dorie Goudt Hendriks April 27, 2024 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    We are comming 14 may to the Oosterdam and it is out 14e cruise. is it possible to get aLewie the Lion for me?
    I like it very much

    • Julie April 30, 2024 at 10:16 am - Reply

      Hi Dorie, Lewie will be available for sale on your cruise.

  14. Debbie April 27, 2024 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    Orange Party’s are so much fun! And now there is even more to love!

  15. Robert France April 27, 2024 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    We enjoyed our cruise in April of 2023 for the 150th year of HAL cruising on the MS Rotterdam. Orange nite was a blow out. We also made a “In Memoriam” pause over the Titanic with all the officers and many crew mustered out in full regalia. Laid a wreath. Very moving and quite memorable.

  16. William Dumas April 27, 2024 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    Sounds amazing so sorry I couldn’t attend would love to go next year please let me know in advance best wishes to the King and Queen

  17. Ken Phillips April 27, 2024 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    My wife Gail Devries Phillips is half Dutch. We are going to Alaska on June 15 on the Eurodam.

    • Julie April 30, 2024 at 10:16 am - Reply

      We will see you soon, Ken and Gail!

  18. Debra Donald April 27, 2024 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    Wat gezellig! We are looking forward to this Dutch treat!

  19. Clare Stramara April 27, 2024 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    Count me in on all the fun

  20. Richard Edwards April 27, 2024 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    Looking forward to Dutch Day in July!

  21. Joe Stewart April 27, 2024 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    Orange parties are fun but I can never enjoy the food due to gluten in everything, will there be an alternative treat? Just one please :).

    • Julie April 30, 2024 at 10:21 am - Reply

      Hi Joe, thank you for the comment. We do have gluten free food on board, but we will pass along your recommendation for Dutch Day treats that are gluten free.

  22. Judy and Allan Stahle April 27, 2024 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    Good to see you’re promoting this. We always get dressed up and get so many questions about this holiday/party. Lots of fun.

  23. Attila and Jaccie Samu April 27, 2024 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    Seeing people of all places come together to celebrate “Kings Day” , wearing their orange attire and dancing the night away!

  24. Maureen Dwyer April 27, 2024 at 12:45 pm - Reply

    My good friend is from The Netherlands – So I salute Holland America for
    informing me of King’s Day and it’s tradition!!
    Hoping to take a trip soon!

  25. Hunter Eubanks April 27, 2024 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    We will be on a cruise from July 10 – 20, Iceland to Amstersdam. Will Dutch Day with a Dutch dinner be celebrated on our cruise?

    • Julie April 30, 2024 at 10:17 am - Reply

      Hi Hunter. Yes, Dutch Day will be on your cruise. Enjoy!

  26. Dana Hidalgo April 27, 2024 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    We’re booked on the Statendamn in October. Will this still be happening for our Greek cruise???

    • Julie April 30, 2024 at 10:17 am - Reply

      Hi Dana, yes, Dutch Day will be on your cruise! Enjoy!

  27. Robert E Harper April 27, 2024 at 11:45 am - Reply

    I am sailing with Holland America to Alaska on June 1, this is my very first cruise. I’ve heard so many great comments from friends who have sailed on Holland America, and I’m so looking forward to celebrating my 80th birthday on the cruise, with a number of close friends. So excited!

    • Julie April 30, 2024 at 10:20 am - Reply

      Hi Robert, we look forward to celebrating your big birthday with you! We will see you soon.

  28. Linda & John April 27, 2024 at 11:26 am - Reply

    Looking forward to the expanded Orange Day celebrations and trying the Poffertjes, which we recently enjoyed in Holland.

  29. Virginia Hastings April 27, 2024 at 11:16 am - Reply

    How fun seeing orange all over the ship during evening festivities. Even during the day in casual attire. Honestly, where else does one have an opportunity donning bright orange clothing and not having the feeling of others thinking “what were they thinking “.
    The party is lively with guests having a great time.

  30. Kristol E WaLker April 27, 2024 at 11:10 am - Reply

    Sounds like fun! Can’t wait to join in the festivities!

  31. Peggy Krzmarzick April 27, 2024 at 10:50 am - Reply

    We look forward to celebrating Dutch heritage, feasting on cocktails, food and entertainment. Our neighbor is Dutch and says “you’ll love it, have fun in September “

  32. Theodore Steckel April 27, 2024 at 10:36 am - Reply

    Count us in!

  33. Sandy Tross April 27, 2024 at 10:32 am - Reply

    Is this done on every Holland America cruise that leaves from Amsterdam?

    • Julie April 30, 2024 at 10:18 am - Reply

      Hi Sandy, it is done on ALL cruises, no matter the sailing region. Fun for everyone!

  34. Russell April 27, 2024 at 7:55 am - Reply

    Will be onboard Rotterdam in one week.
    Can’t wait to Celebrate Kings Day at sea.
    Hope the Chefs on board make some traditional “Tompouce” for us to try.

  35. Hammer April 27, 2024 at 3:42 am - Reply

    Gaan jullie ook dodenherdenking en bevrijdingsdag vieren

  36. Ingrid Moll April 27, 2024 at 1:21 am - Reply

    What a beautiful (and delicious!) way to commemorate the Dutch origins of the HAL!!
    Really appreciate this gesture!

  37. Fred Belt April 27, 2024 at 12:26 am - Reply

    Volgens mij besteeg onze koning de troon in 2013 en niet vorig jaar!!!!

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