Elegant event celebrated Holland America Line's rich Dutch history
steps from where the company was founded more than 143 years ago
Seattle, Wash., May 23, 2016 — In
a ceremony rich with history and meaning, Holland America Line held a
Dedication Ceremony for ms Koningsdam May 20 in Rotterdam, the
Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands officially blessed the bell and
named Koningsdam on board the ship in front of invited
dignitaries, cruise guests, travel partners and media.
celebration began with Her Majesty Queen Máxima performing the ceremonial
honors of blessing the ship's bell in the Lido pool area by pouring a glass of
champagne over the bell. The blessing of the bell is a hallowed Holland America
Line tradition when welcoming a new ship to the fleet. Her Majesty also
was the first to sign Koningsdam's commemorative wall that
will become a permanent installation on the ship.
the ship was officially christened during a ceremony in the World Stage theater
when Her Majesty Queen Máxima pulled a rope to trigger the traditional
champagne bottle break on Koningsdam's hull.
"It's an honor to have Her Majesty Queen Máxima as the
godmother to Koningsdam, and May 20 was a truly special day with
Her Majesty delivering the ceremonial traditions of welcoming our newest ship
to the fleet," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "As our company was founded in Rotterdam more than 143
years ago, it was fitting to return to our roots for Koningsdam's royal
a traditional part of dedicating a new ship for the line is the appointment of
Mariner Ambassadors to represent the important role of loyal repeat guests in
the company's ongoing success. Serving as Koningsdam's Mariner
Ambassadors were Enrique "Rick" Encarnacion and Ernest Schenk. Both
dedicated Mariners, the pair have sailed more than 1,650 days each on Holland
America Line cruises. Schenk first sailed with the line on a trans-Atlantic
cruise aboard ss Ryndam. Encarnacion first sailed with Holland
America Line in 1997 aboard an ms Statendam Panama Canal
Following the ceremony, a gala luncheon was held onboard in
addition to shipwide celebrations throughout the day. In the evening the ship
set sail for Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and fireworks lit up the sky as Koningsdam passed
Hoek van Holland.
Thousands of Dutch residents came out throughout the day to join
in Holland America Line's special events.
its inaugural season in Europe, Koningsdam sails in the
Mediterranean and then repositions from Civitavecchia, Italy (the port for
Rome), to its summer homeport of Amsterdam. The ship will go on to sail
roundtrip Amsterdam itineraries to Norway, the Baltic and Iceland.
its Europe season, Koningsdam will homeport at Port Everglades
in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The ship will sail one cruise to the Bahamas and
then a series of Caribbean voyages from November 2016 through March 2017.
For more information about Holland America Line and Koningsdam,
consult a travel professional, call 1-877-SAIL HAL (877-724-5425)
or visit hollandamerica.com.
Editor's note: Photos are available at https://www.cruiseimagelibrary.com/c/2yrziqd5.