Holland America Line named Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands as the Godmother for the company’s newest cruise ship, Rotterdam.
Over the years, the Dutch Royal Family has been vitally important to the Seattle, Washington, based cruise line. All in all, the Royals have been involved in launching 13 Holland America Line cruise ships.
For Princess Margriet, it will be the fifth time she has been involved with naming a cruise ship for the cruise line.
Rotterdam’s maiden voyage will set sail on October 20 from the cruise terminal in the center of Amsterdam on a transatlantic journey sailing to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.
The Atlantic Sojourn will revisit WWII history with a French historian; on the way, the vessel will make stops in Zeebrugge, Belgium, Le Havre, France, Weymouth, UK, and Ponta Delgada in the Azores.
She will spend her inaugural season from November to April in the Caribbean, during which the ship will visit every corner of the region.
Itineraries include 10-day cruises to the Southern and Eastern Caribbean, visiting Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao before heading to Amber Cove, Grand Turk, and Half Moon Cay. Other cruises include the Eastern Caribbean visiting Barbados, Martinique, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Thomas, and Half Moon Cay.
From spring 2022, the ship will reposition back to Western Europe. She will sail an itinerary to Norway, the Baltic, British Isles, and Iceland from Amsterdam.
Princess Margriet has been asked once again to christen and become the Godmother to one of Holland America’s ships. The Dutch Royal Family has been an essential part of the Holland America Line history, with 12 ships christened by the royals so far and Rotterdam becoming the 13th.
Prince Hendrik was part of the launch of Statendam III in 1929. Since then, Princess Margriet named Prinsendam (1972), Nieuw Amsterdam III (1983), Rotterdam VI (1997) and Oosterdam (2003).
“We are deeply grateful that Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet will once again act as godmother to a Holland America Line ship, carrying on a long tradition with the Royal Family that continues to honor our Dutch roots,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line.“Rotterdam will be named in Rotterdam next year, celebrating its namesake city and our historic connection with the Netherlands. We look forward to commemorating the occasion where it all started for Holland America Line.”
Other members of the Dutch Royal Family who godmothers to Holland America Line ships include Queen Máxima (Koningsdam in 2016 and Nieuw Amsterdam in 2010), Queen Beatrix served (Eurodam in 2008), Queen Juliana (Rotterdam V in 1958), and Queen Wilhelmina (Nieuw Amsterdam II in 1937).
From SS Rotterdam to New Rotterdam
Holland America’s newest cruise ship and the 7th incarnation of the name will set sail on October 20 from the Dutch capital city of Amsterdam.
The first Rotterdam, built in 1873, was the first-ever ship for what would become the Holland-Amerika Lijn, later changed to Holland America Line. The fifth SS Rotterdam, which sailed for Holland America until 1997, has been converted to a hotel in Rotterdam.
The last Rotterdam sailed for the cruise line until last year when she was sold to Fred Olsen Cruise Line and renamed MS Borealis.
Holland America Line’s newest vessel was built in the Fincantieri Marghera (Venice) shipyard in Italy and completed her sea trials on the evening of May 6, marking the final phase of her build. She was eventually handed over to Holland America Line on July 30, 2021. The new ship has a capacity of 2,668 passengers, 99,500 gross tons, and a length of 297 meters.