Holland America Line have chosen the captain who will be taking responsibility of the upcoming cruise ship the ms Koningsdam.
Captain Emiel de Vries will command the new ship once it makes its debut in April 2016. Having been with the company since 1997, de Vries rose through the ranks from fourth officer to captain and has been master of ms Amsterdam, ms Eurodam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Rotterdam and ms Zuiderdam.
De Vries currently lives near Venice, Italy, to be close to the Fincantieri shipyard where ms Koningsdam is being built. He has been involved with the newbuild project since 2014 and participated in the functional design of the navigation bridge — his “office” when he is onboard.
“With his knowledge, experience and dedication, Captain de Vries is the perfect choice to be at the helm when we introduce Koningsdam to the world,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Captain de Vries’ leadership and graciousness with both guests and crew will contribute greatly to the success of our new ship.”
Hailing from the Netherlands, de Vries grew up just east of Amsterdam. He graduated from the Hogere Zeevaart School in Amsterdam, one of the oldest nautical schools in the world, with degrees in navigation and engineering. De Vries was introduced to Holland America Line in 1995 when he interned as a cadet on the former ms Noordam, and since joining the company, he has sailed on every class of Holland America Line’s ships.
“It is an honor to be named the first captain of the new Koningsdam, and I know bringing out the ship will be one of the highlights of my career,” said de Vries. “Being at the shipyard has enabled me to gain detailed insight into many areas of the ship, and I look forward to welcoming the first guests on board during the inaugural season.”
When not in Italy at the shipyard, de Vries lives in Barrie, Ontario, Canada, with his wife, Susan, and their daughter.
When the 99,500 gross ton Koningsdam sets sail on its Premier Voyage April 8, 2016, the vessel will debut several innovative concepts and new public venues while still featuring popular amenities guests associate with Holland America Line.