Holland America gives new ship royal christening in the Netherlands

The newest Holland America Line cruise ship, Rotterdam, has been christened in her namesake city by Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands.

HRH Princess Margriet, Rotterdam’s godmother, named the ship in front of invited dignitaries and guests in the Port of Rotterdam on Monday.

She was joined onboard the ship by Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald, Holland America Group President Jan Swartz, President of Holland America Line Gus Antorcha, and various local dignitaries.

Rotterdam is the sixth cruise ship to carry the name for Holland America Line

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Rotterdam is the fifth cruise ship to be named by Princess Margriet, and the sixth ship to carry the name for Holland America Line. The first was SS Rotterdam, which was rigged for steam and sail and launched in 1872.

“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.

The ship was delivered to Holland America Line in July last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic remained a major concern and prevented large gatherings and social events throughout much of Europe, including the Netherlands.

“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,” said Antorcha.

“After a challenging couple of years, we are excited to celebrate this memorable moment in our company’s history,” he added.

The newest ship in the Holland America Line fleet was previously meant to be named Ryndam, but following the sale of the 1997-built Rotterdam, she was renamed so that the flagship of the fleet would continue to carry the historic name.

Rotterdam is the 11th ship for Holland America Line and the third Pinnacle-class cruise ship, with a very similar design to Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam.

She’s 99,863-gross tons, carriers 2,650 passengers and features 7 restaurants, 14 bars and cafes, and four lounges, including the World Stage theater, Crow’s Nest lounge, Lincoln Center Stage and Billboard Onboard.

She has also a casino, Rolling Stone Rock Room, an extensive Club HAL kids club and three pools and four whirlpools.

Her delivery comes just two weeks ahead of Holland America Line’s return to full service following the pandemic, which hit the cruise industry particularly hard and forced all major cruise lines worldwide to suspend services through much of 2020 and the first half of 2021.

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