Grand Opening of Rudi’s Sel de Mer Restaurant on Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam Marked with Celebratory Ribbon Cutting


Cruise industry’s first French-inspired, seafood brasserie specialty restaurant officially opens its doors on new ship to fanfare


Seattle, Wash., Dec. 12, 2018 — Following the official handover of Nieuw Statendam on Nov. 29, 2018, Holland America Line celebrated the opening of Rudi’s Sel de Mer on board Nieuw Statendam with a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony. Rudi Sodamin, Holland America Line’s world-renowned Master Chef and the venue’s namesake, performed the honor of officially opening the venue and welcoming its first guests, an exclusive list that included Carnival Corporation Chairman Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald, Chief Executive Officer of Holland America Group and Carnival UK Stein Kruse, Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford and the entire culinary service crew on board the ship. 

The popular Sel de Mer restaurant first launched in 2016 on board Koningsdam and was later introduced as a pop-up restaurant on all Holland America Line ships under the name Rudi’s Sel de Mer. Following a mid-December 2018 dry dock, Koningsdam’s restaurant will then also bear the name Rudi’s Sel de Mer.

“Since opening on Koningsdam, Sel de Mer has garnered both guest and industry acclaim, and we’re excited to introduce the first restaurant to bear Master Chef Rudi Sodamin’s name and commemorate the grand opening as part of the launch celebrations for Nieuw Statendam,” said Ashford. “Congratulations to Rudi and his entire team on creating a culinary and experiential masterpiece for our guests.”

“When developing the concept of Rudi’s Sel de Mer, I aimed to make it one of the finest restaurants at sea that would rival the best French-inspired brasseries in the world, and I am proud of the work that went into making it a success,” said Sodamin. “This ribbon-cutting ceremony to open Rudi’s Sel de Mer on Nieuw Statendam is a very special memory, and it was an honor to celebrate with everyone.  I am very pleased to bring global culinary expertise to the prestigious Holland America Line brand and have my name on the list of chef-branded restaurants in the cruise industry.”

Indulge in the Freshest Seafood at Rudi’s Sel de Mer
Serving a classic selection of French seafood dishes with a contemporary twist, Rudi’s Sel de Mer offers an à la carte menu featuring new items as well as popular dishes beloved by guests. Cruisers can select appetizers including Steak Tartare, Rudi’s Seafood Tower and the classic Fruits de Mer.


For an entrée, guests can dine on Broiled Lobster Tail, Whole Dover Sole Meunière, Clams au Beurre, Duck Cassoulet, Steak Frites, Soufflé au Fromage and the popular Salt Crust Baked Branzino. The menu also features a daily special and delectable side dishes.


No meal at Rudi’s Sel de Mer would be complete without dessert. Choices include Rudi’s Face to Face Chocolate, Crêpes Suzette, Apple Tarte Tatin, Profiteroles with Hot Chocolate Sauce, Artisanal French Cheese Plate and Rudi’s famed Soufflé – a version of the Salzburger Nockerl of his home country, Austria. 


Master Chef of the High Seas
An internationally respected food authority, Rudi Sodamin is the most highly decorated chef working on the world’s oceans today and is considered among the hospitality industry’s most innovative chefs. As Holland America Line’s culinary consultant, he is the chairman and driving force behind the line’s Culinary Council, a game-changing collaboration of seven world-class chefs guiding the culinary offerings on board and sharing their specialty menu items in all dining venues. He has earned numerous awards for his creative approach and is credited with innovations that continue to improve the standards industry-wide and led the development of fine dining at Holland America Line.  Sodamin has authored 13 cookbooks and is a member of the prestigious Academy Culinaire de France, the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France and an honoree member of the noble Club des Chefs des Chefs, whose members cook for presidents, kings and prime ministers. 


Chef Rudi is also known as a culinary pop-artist and has created Food Faces art for the exclusive show plates in Rudi’s Sel de Mer. Made by Bernardaud, the leading French manufacturer of Limoges porcelain, each plate charger features a different Food Faces image, creating a table setting unlike any found anywhere in the world.


The art mural in Rudi’s Sel de Mer has been painted by Chef Sodamin’s son, Magnus Sodamin, and is entitled “Luscious Garden.” Magnus is a Miami-based emerging artist. 


Nieuw Statendam set sail on its Premier Voyage Dec. 5 from Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.


For more information, contact a travel advisor, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit


Editor’s note: Photos and video are available at


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About Holland America Line [a division of Carnival Corporation and plc (NYSE:  CCL and CUK)]

Holland America Line’s fleet of 15 ships offers more than 500 cruises to more than 400 ports in 98 countries, territories or dependencies around the world. From shorter getaways to 113-day itineraries, the company’s cruises visit all seven continents, with highlights including Antarctica explorations, South America circumnavigations, EXC In-Depth Voyages, Cuba cruises and exotic Australia & New Zealand and Asia voyages; two annual Grand Voyages; and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, Canada & New England, Europe and the Panama Canal. The line welcomed Nieuw Statendam in December 2018. A third Pinnacle-class ship will be delivered in 2021.

The company's brand evolution in recent years secured its position as the leader in premium cruising. Fleetwide, the ships feature innovative initiatives and a diverse range of enriching experiences focused on destination immersion and personalized travel. Guests can expand their knowledge through exclusive partnerships with O, The Oprah Magazine and America’s Test Kitchen and at unique BBC Earth live music and on-screen experiences. Outstanding entertainment fills each evening at venues including Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King’s Blues Club, Rolling Stone Rock Room and Billboard Onboard. The dining experience can be savored at a variety of restaurants with menus that feature selections from Holland America Line's esteemed Culinary Council, comprising world-famous chefs who design dishes exclusively for guests.