According to the cruise line’s official blog, the ceremony was held on Thursday at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy, with Mai Elmar, Executive Director of Cruise Port Rotterdam in the Netherlands, serving as ‘madrina’, the godmother of the ship.
Assembled guests, including Antonio Quintano, director of the Fincantieri Marghera Shipyard; Cyril Tatar, Holland America Group’s vice president of newbuilding services; and Nico Bleichrodt, vice president, international sales, for Holland America Line, observed social distancing as water was let into the construction dry dock for the first time.
During the ceremony, Dutch coins minted in 1872 to honor Holland America Line’s first Rotterdam were welded to the outside deck of the ship to bring good fortune, followed by a blessing by the shipyard chaplain.
“We are pleased to honor the coin ceremony tradition and celebrate this milestone that signals less than a year until Rotterdam’s delivery,” said Gus Antorcha, President of Holland America Line. “With a name like Rotterdam, there is no other person more ideal than Mai Elmar to serve as the ship’s madrina.”
“Mai’s name is synonymous with the cruise industry in the port city of Rotterdam and she has been a tremendous champion of our brand for decades. We’re thrilled to have her take on this special role,” he added.
On October 7th, Rotterdam’s drydock will be filled with water and the ship will be floated out to begin the next stage of construction at an outfitting pier. She is scheduled to be delivered on July 30th, 2021.
The 99,500-gross ton vessel will be the third cruise ship in Holland America’s Pinnacle class, carrying 2,668 guests, and featuring all the amenities and innovations introduced with her sister ships, including the 270-degree surround screen World Stage, Rudi’s Sel de Mer and Grand Dutch Café.
Rotterdam will also offer an exclusive collection of world-class performances each night — from Lincoln Center Stage and B.B. King’s Blues Club to Rolling Stone Rock Room and Billboard Onboard.
When it comes to dining, there will be exquisite cuisine guided by eight of the world’s leading chefs; gracious, award-winning service; and superbly appointed staterooms and suites, including family and single accommodations.
She is the seventh ship to bear the name ‘Rotterdam’ for Holland America Line and the 17th ship constructed for the brand by Italian shipyard Fincantieri, which most recently built Nieuw Statendam.
Following Rotterdam’s Premiere Voyage departing August 1st, 2021, the ship will spend its inaugural summer season in northern Europe. Naming details have not been finalized and will be announced at a later date.