Holland America Line Marks 150th Anniversary in Rotterdam

Holland America Line marks its 150th Anniversary in Rotterdam today with commemorative festivities and citywide fanfare.

Holland America Line Celebrates 150th Anniversary in Rotterdam

Holland America Line Marks 150th Anniversary in Rotterdam with Royalty, Citywide Fanfare and Dual-Ship Events

  • Princess Margriet of the Netherlands joined festivities inside company’s historic headquarters
  • Anniversary parties across the Holland America Line fleet and aboard Rotterdam VII in Rotterdam and Zuiderdam in Amsterdam

Holland America Line’s flagship Rotterdam arrived at the Port of Rotterdam this morning following a 150th Anniversary crossing from Fort Lauderdale. The ship’s arrival on the exact date of Holland America Line’s 150th birthday kicked off all-day celebrations. These celebrations included royalty, local dignitaries, port officials, and guests who commemorated the special day.

Holland America Line President Gus Antorcha joined Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, and descendants of Holland America Line’s original founders for a celebration at Hotel New York. This iconic hotel was home to Holland America Line’s original headquarters from 1901 to 1977.

Holland America Line Marks 150th Anniversary in Rotterdam

“The celebration of 150 years is about more than our history, it’s about how we are building on the legacy of a great brand to make it relevant for the next 150 years,” said Antorcha. “From those first early days, we built our reputation on the care we provided to every person who stepped on board. And through the decades, whether that person was an immigrant, a titan of industry, a soldier or a vacationer, each of them was treated as though they were a guest in our own home. It is still a hallmark of our brand.”

“The fabric of history is woven from the threads of millions of stories, and at the heart of each of those stories is a person,” Antorcha continued. “I am certain that there are many chapters still to be written. And I hope that decades from now, those who come after us will gather on this very spot at Hotel New York to share them.”

Holland America Line’s 150th Anniversary Festivities

From the ship’s arrival through an overnight stay, memorable moments marked the milestone. Inside a room that once collected luggage for immigrants in the early 1900s, Holland America Line presented a commemorative 150th Anniversary bell to be permanently displayed at Hotel New York. Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet poured champagne over the bell, a HAL tradition usually for a new ship launch.

Holland America Line worked closely with PostNL to design a collectable 150th Anniversary gold-foil stamp. The stamp, designed by Frank Janse, features an illustration of two iconic ships from the company’s long history. It features Rotterdam VII, Holland America Line’s newest ship, and Rotterdam I, its first ship. The limited-edition stamp is available for purchase throughout the Netherlands.

Holland America Line Marks 150th Anniversary in Rotterdam

In addition, members of one of Holland America Line’s founding families presented an original company share. It will become a part of a special collection in the Rotterdam City Archives. Attendees at the Hotel New York ceremony included Holland America Line team members and more than 60 of the line’s top Mariners. These guests have sailed at least 1,400 days on the line’s ships.

Following a Gala dinner on board Rotterdam VII, Antorcha invited the ship’s guests to a party around the Lido Pool. Here, he toasted to the line’s anniversary alongside ship’s Captain Bas van Dreumel and Mai Elmar (executive director of Cruise Port Rotterdam and the ship’s madrina).

“To the builders, architects, visionaries and explorers who have brought us to today. To our generations of crew who have seen our guests from shore to shore. And most importantly, to all of the passengers and guests who have trusted us along the way. Cheers to 150 years and many more to come,” toasted Antorcha.

Culminating the evening’s events, the city of Rotterdam’s Erasmus Bridge illuminated with a special light display honoring the 150th Anniversary. Following the lighting, Antorcha joined Zuiderdam’s Grand World Voyage guests to commemorate Holland America Line’s birthday. The additional nine ships in Holland America Line’s fleet also held anniversary parties on board for guests.

SOURCE Holland America Line


Are you happy to hear that Holland America Line marks its 150th Anniversary in Rotterdam today with commemorative festivities? Have you cruised with Holland America Line? Drop us an anchor below to share your experiences sailing with the brand.

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Heidi is a physical therapist by profession, cruise enthusiast at heart, and Princess all the time! She is a self-confessed thrill seeker, obsessive planner, and over-packer. She is always looking for the latest and greatest adventures onboard and ashore, enjoys researching top things to do in ports of call, and loves dressing up for formal nights.
Heidi Bucolo
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