Holland America Line’s 150th Anniversary Celebrations Filled with Historic Events in Founding City of Rotterdam April 18, 2023
Bell dedication by Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet, celebration at Hotel New York and events on entire fleet mark the day
Seattle, Wash., April 6, 2023 —From a ceremony at an historic landmark with a special gift to shipboard gala celebrations and a toast around the world, Holland America Line is getting ready to celebrate a day 150 years in the making. The premium cruise line’s sesquicentennial birthday is April 18, 2023, and on that date, Rotterdam VII will arrive at its namesake city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, to revel with local dignitaries, port officials and guests. Zuiderdam will be at Amsterdam, the Netherlands, that day and host an evening gala party on board for Grand World Voyage guests.
Holland America Line President Gus Antorcha will lead the celebrations. Also scheduled to attend the events are Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, Rotterdam’s godmother; Ahmed Aboutaleb, mayor of Rotterdam; and descendants from two families of Holland America Line’s original founders.
“Holland America Line is a company that takes deep pride in our heritage and respects the role we played in history, so our 150th anniversary events honor our tradition while recognizing the brand we are today,” said Antorcha. “All of the festivities we have planned carry special meaning, and we’re excited to celebrate with so many individuals who have been a part of our story throughout the years, alongside our guests, team members and the people of the Netherlands.”
Upon Rotterdam’s arrival at Rotterdam April 18, the 150th Anniversary celebrations begin at Hotel New York, home to Holland America Line’s historic headquarters. The cruise line will present a commemorative 150th Anniversary bell — in the style of a traditional ship bell — to be permanently displayed at the hotel. At the event, Princess Margriet will follow Holland America Line’s ritual of blessing the bell before it is donated to Hotel New York.
In addition, an original share of the first Holland America Line stock shares will be presented to be kept as part of a special collection in the city of Rotterdam archives. At the ceremony, PostNL, the postal office of the Netherlands, also will unveil a 24-carat collectable 150th anniversary gold-foil stamp to commemorate the special milestone. Available for purchase throughout the Netherlands, only a limited edition of just 1,000 will be produced.
Following a Gala Dinner on board Rotterdam and Zuiderdam, the celebrations move to the Lido pool area with live music and a toast to the special day. Anniversary-themed parties also will be held on the nine other ships in Holland America Line’s fleet.
Anniversary Transatlantic an Ode to Dutch Heritage
During the 150th Anniversary Transatlantic Crossing aboard Rotterdam that departs New York City April 7 and arrives at Rotterdam April 18, guests will be treated to a host of touches to mark the company’s birthday. Special programming will include cuisine from previous Holland America Line voyages dating back to the 1920s, a “Throwback Happy Hour” that rolls back time with drinks priced as low as 75 cents, Dutch High Tea, a Rijsttafel pop-up in Tamarind, anniversary-themed trivia and presentations by Bill Miller, maritime historian and Holland America Line authority, that relived the history and roots of the company.