Holland America Line Prepares for Biggest Event in Its History

Holland America Line's 150th-anniversary celebrations will culminate in Rotterdam, the cruise line's official home, later this month.

Holland America Line is all set to celebrate its 150th anniversary with several historical events in its founding city of Rotterdam on April 18, 2023. 

The cruise line’s newest cruise ship, Rotterdam, will arrive on April 18 in its namesake city Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and join local dignitaries, port officials, and guests in marking the milestone.

Meanwhile, another Holland America Line cruise ship, Zuiderdam, will be stationed in Amsterdam to host an evening gala party for Grand World Voyage guests.

A Celebration of Heritage and History

After many months of preparations, and many different events and happenings, Holland America Line will officially celebrate its 150th birthday in the cruise line’s official home, Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The company’s newest cruise ship, Rotterdam, will be front and center of the celebrations on April 18.

Holland America Line President Gus Antorcha will lead the celebrations, which will also be attended by Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, Rotterdam’s godmother; Ahmed Aboutaleb, mayor of Rotterdam; and descendants of two founding families of Holland America Line.

Rotterdam Sea Trials
Photo Courtesy: Holland America Line

Gus Antorcha, Holland America Line President: “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.” 

“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.”

The 150th-anniversary celebrations will begin at the famous Hotel New York, which once was Holland America Line’s headquarters. A ship bell will be gifted to the hotel, symbolizing the company’s maritime history. Following Holland America Line’s custom, Princess Margriet will bless the bell before it is presented to the hotel.

A unique Holland America Line share will also be donated to a collection housed in Rotterdam’s city archives. The Dutch postal service, PostNL, will reveal a limited edition 24-carat gold-foil collectible stamp in honor of the 150th anniversary, with only 1,000 copies available for purchase across the Netherlands.

In Amsterdam, the Holland America Line cruise ship Zuiderdam will host an evening gala party on board for Grand World Voyage guests.

Following a Gala Dinner on board Rotterdam and Zuiderdam, the celebrations will move to the Lido pool area with live music and a toast to the special day. Anniversary-themed parties will also be held on the nine other ships in Holland America Line’s fleet.

Anniversary Transatlantic Crossing Pays Tribute to Dutch Heritage

To honor its 150th anniversary and Dutch roots, Holland America Line has curated a unique experience for guests on the special Anniversary Transatlantic Crossing aboard the Rotterdam.

Departing from New York City on April 7 and arriving in Rotterdam on April 18, the cruise pays tribute to the company’s rich history and heritage.

Guests will be treated to a selection of cuisines from previous Holland America Line voyages dating back to the 1920s, enjoy a “Throwback Happy Hour” with drink prices as low as 75 cents, and a traditional Dutch High Tea will be served.

Classic Rotterdam
Photo Courtesy: Holland America Line

Guests will also be treated to a unique gastronomic experience; a Rijsttafel pop-up will be hosted in the Tamarind restaurant. Rijsttafel, meaning “rice table” in Dutch, is a traditional Indonesian meal with an elaborate spread of Indonesian dishes.

Besides the celebrations in Rotterdam and Amsterdam, and onboard Rotterdam, Holland America Line is celebrating in many more ways, including a unique look back into its history.

The cruise line has digitized passenger list archives detailing guests who sailed with the company between 1900 and 1969. The digitized archives include each guest’s name, port of departure, and departure date. The archives reveal a wealth of information about early Holland America Line guests, including Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill

An Anniversary Sale will also be available on select sailings from summer 2023 to spring 2024. Guests who book eligible sailings can receive up to 45% off cruise fares, up to $150 onboard spending money per person, reduced deposits, and much more.


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