Holland America Line’s newest flagship Rotterdam was christened in a ceremony in Rotterdam, Netherlands earlier today.
Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands served as godmother, officially naming and blessing the vessel. Upon arrival, Princess Margriet was welcomed at the gangway with a floral bouquet.
During the celebration, Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald, Holland America Group President Jan Swartz, Rotterdam Captain Werner Timmers, Lord Mayor of Rotterdam Ahmed Aboutaleb, and Mariner Ambassadors David and Gisela Gere joined Princess Margriet to officially welcome Rotterdam to the fleet.
“Our heritage is rooted here in the Netherlands, and we are deeply honored to have Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet as godmother of her fifth Holland America Line ship,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line.
“When Rotterdam was delivered in 2021 we postponed its naming ceremony so we could hold it in Rotterdam, because there’s no better place to name a ship than in the city it was named after.”
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Following the ceremony, a gala luncheon was held onboard for invited guests. In the evening, a gala dinner was put on, with the opportunity for guests to pour champagne over the ship’s bell. The blessing of the bell is a Holland America tradition when welcoming a new vessel to the fleet.
The Geres were selected as Mariner Ambassadors for Rotterdam to honor the cruise line’s appreciation of it’s long-time cruise guests. Since first sailing in 1988 aboard Rotterdam V, the Geres have sailed nearly 2,500 days on Holland America, including several sailings on Rotterdam VI.
This newest Rotterdam is the seventh ship to bear the Rotterdam name in the cruise line’s history. Her special seven-day “Rotterdam Naming Celebration” cruise departed May 29 and sails roundtrip from Amsterdam. Port calls will include Kristiansand, Stavanger, and Flåm, Norway, with scenic cruising in Sognefjord.
Following this voyage, the ship will homeport in Amsterdam and spend the season operating seven and 14-night Norway voyages, as well as explorations to Scandinavia, Iceland, and the Northern Isles.