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A right royal christening - Dutch style!

Author: James Gambling

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Updated on:

We celebrate the naming of Holland America Line's new ship Rotterdam - with royal approval!

Holland America Line have celebrated the naming of their new flagship Rotterdam with a royal ceremony in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

The event was attended by the ship's godmother, Princess Margriet of The Netherlands amongst other dignitaries including Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald, Holland America Group President Jan Swartz and the ship's master, Captain Werner Timmers. Also attending was World of Cruising's CEO Chris Pitchford and wife Alison.

Chris said "I was lucky enough to be invited to the naming ceremony of Holland America Line’s new flagship Rotterdam Vll in the city of Rotterdam yesterday. It is the first time I’ve attended this type of event and I found the occasion – and the maritime traditions - deeply moving.

In line with Holland America Line’s Dutch origins and to acknowledge the brand’s 150 year anniversary in 2023, the ship was named by HRH Princess Margriet of the Netherlands in a ceremony that was full of emotion, including speeches by 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, who joined Princess Margriet on stage.

The invited guests (a mix of media, local VIP’s, travel partners and of course Rotterdam’s cruise guests), who were seated in the ship’s stunning World Stage show lounge, were all close to tears (as I was) when ship tailor Arnel Sotto from the Philippines spoke about how his father was a tailor on Rotterdam V. In 1995 he convinced Arnel to head to sea aboard the ship, and 27 years later he is still on board, although his father sadly passed away last year.

Arnel’s story emphasised the deep connections that staff onboard have with the ships – for him Holland America Line is more than a company, it’s a family.

After enjoying 24-hours of superb Holland America Line hospitality on a beautiful ship, Ali and I really felt part of that family".

Rotterdam will now be based in Amsterdam from where she will cruise to Norway, Scandinavia, Iceland and around the British Isles on 7 and 14 day cruises. The third Pinnacle Class ship, Rotterdam will carry 2,668 guests in luxury surroundings and retains many of the public areas familiar to Holland America Line guests.

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