In celebration of its 150th anniversary — in addition to 25 years of sailing out of Boston — Holland America Line has donated $15,000 to local charities. The company also presented a commemorative plaque to the Massachusetts Port Authority during an official ceremony to mark the occasion.
Two Significant Anniversaries for Holland America Line
In South Boston, Massachusetts, on September 13, 2023, aboard the 61,396-ton Zaandam — while the ship was docked at the Flynn Cruiseport in Boston — Holland America Line celebrated another event for its 150th Anniversary. The cruise line also marked a 25-year partnership with the Massachusetts Port Authority, Massport.
This special event featured a commemorative plaque presentation to Massport and the International Longshoremen’s Association. The cruise line’s president and local officials and guests were also in attendance.
Holland America Line demonstrated its commitment to the local community by donating to three Boston-based organizations during the ceremony: the South Boston Neighborhood House, the Edgerley Family South Boston, and the Labouré Center.
“For more than two decades, Holland America Line has been cruising from Boston to Canada/New England, Europe and even the Caribbean, and we are honored to celebrate not only our 150th Anniversary, but our 25th Anniversary with Massport, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the City of Boston,” said Gus Antorcha, Holland America Line President.
The company can now boast 25 years cruising from Boston. During 2023, more than 44,000 passengers will board or disembark from the cruise line’s vessels in the city, including Zaandam plus the much larger 82,318-ton Zuiderdam. Both ships combined will conduct 17 planned visits to Boston in 2023.
“Boston is a key homeport for our brand, with two ships here for the summer and fall. We’re thrilled to celebrate these milestones today, as well as honor three organizations that make significant contributions to the city and people of Boston,” Antorcha added.
Looking forward to 2024, there will be a notable increase in ship visits as well, with 19 Boston visits currently planned, reflecting a remarkable 15% growth.
Anticipating this “Boston surge,” the cruise line plans to host over 50,000 guests overall, who will all have the opportunity to explore the city through various Holland America Line offerings.
On a side note, on August 28, 2023, Holland America Line also observed its 150th Anniversary in the Port of Halifax in Nova Scotia with music, a ceremony, and commemorative plaques.
Holland America Line’s Impact on the Boston Economy
Holland America Line donated $15,000 in total, or $5,000 each to three charities as part of its Boston celebrations. The South Boston Neighborhood House enhances local family and community life, while the Edgerley Family South Boston Club promotes youth character development and leadership. The Labouré Center provides services to Eastern Massachusetts populations at risk.
Apart from charitable donations, the cruise line also contributes to Boston’s economy. Each ship visit injects over $300,000 into the local economy through provisioning — fuel, food, and supplies — along with other expenditures and port taxes.
Holland America Line’s yearly economic impact on the local Boston community exceeds $22 million. This impact encompasses guest and crew spending as well, along with the aforementioned ship provisioning and tax contributions.
Furthermore, Holland America Line has a history of partnering with local suppliers, like the John Nagle Company for fresh fish and Kirk Hughes for piano tuning, with further supports the local economy and fosters great opportunities for local businesses.
A Year of Anniversary Celebrations
In commemoration of its establishment on April 18, 1873, Holland America Line has been celebrating its 150th anniversary throughout 2023. These festivities include global plaque exchanges, port donations, and events taking place on its fleet of 11 ships.
In addition to the recent 150th-anniversary ceremonies held in Boston and Halifax, the cruise line also marked this significant milestone in its birthplace, Rotterdam, on April 18, 2023.
On the same day (April 18), the firm’s latest cruise ship, the 99,863-ton Rotterdam, arrived in its namesake city in the Netherlands. Simultaneously, Zuiderdam was in Amsterdam, hosting a gala party for Grand World Voyage guests.
All in all, it has clearly been a significant year for Holland America Line, a truly historic cruising company, with great promise for many more years of amazing cruises.