Queen Maxima spearheads busy times for Holland America as she names new ship Koningsdam
Busy times for Holland America Line. No sooner was the ink dry on revealing the name their next new ship as Nieuw Statendam than Queen Máxima of the Netherlands was christening their latest addition to the fleet, ms Koningsdam, at a ceremony rich with history in Rotterdam.
During the dedication ceremony at the weekend, Queen Máxima officially blessed the bell and named Koningsdam on board the ship in front of invited dignitaries and guests.
Queen Maxima blesses Koningsdam’s bell watched by Holland America president Orlando Ashford
The celebration began with the Queen performing the ceremonial honours of blessing the ship’s bell in the Lido pool area by dousing it with a glass of champagne. The blessing is a hallowed Holland America tradition when welcoming a new ship to the fleet. The Queen also was the first to sign Koningsdam’s commemorative wall which will become a permanent installation on the ship.
Next, the ship was officially christened during a ceremony in the World Stage theatre when Queen Máxima pulled a rope to trigger the traditional champagne bottle break on Koningsdam’s hull.
Next new ship with be the Nieuw Statendam
Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president, said: “It is an honour to have 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. As our company was founded in Rotterdam more than 143 years ago, it was fitting to return to our roots for Koningsdam’s royal dedication.”
Following the ceremony, a gala luncheon was held on board in addition to shipwide celebrations throughout the day. In the evening the ship set sail for Amsterdam, and fireworks lit up the sky as Koningsdam passed Hoek van Holland. Thousands of Dutch residents turned out throughout the day to join the special events.
During its inaugural season in Europe, Koningsdam sails in the Mediterranean and then repositions from Civitavecchia to its summer home port of Amsterdam. The ship will go on to sail roundtrip Amsterdam itineraries to Norway, the Baltic and Iceland.
Following 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.
Koningsdam’s christening coincided with the announcement that the name of the next Pinnacle Class ship set for delivery in fall 2018 will be Nieuw Statendam.
The sixth ship in HAL’s history to bear the name Statendam will be built at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy, and construction will begin this summer.
Like sister-ship Koningsdam, the 99,500-ton Nieuw Statendam represents a new class of ship for the cruise line. Carrying 2,650 guests, it will feature several of the innovative venues introduced on Koningsdam as well as new concepts that will debut on the newbuild.
Holland America Line: 0843 374 2300 or visit www.hollandamerica.co.uk
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