Holland America Line Marks 150th Anniversary in Rotterdam

Rotterdam

Holland America Line is celebrating its 150th anniversary in Rotterdam, where its ship, the Rotterdam, arrived on April 17, according to a statement. 

The ship arrived on the exact date of the cruise line’s 150th birthday, which kicked off all-day celebrations including royalty, local dignitaries, port officials and guests, according to a press release.

“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 President of Holland America Line, Gus 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. 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.”

Antorcha was joined by Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb and descendants of the cruise line’s original founders at Hotel New York, the headquarters of Holland America Line from 1901 to 1977.

Holland America Line presented a commemorative 150th-anniversary bell to be permanently displayed at Hotel New York while Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet poured champagne over the bell.

Holland America Line also worked with the postal office of the Netherlands to design a 150th Anniversary gold-foil stamp designed by Frank Janse.

In addition, the members of one of the founding families showcased an original company share that will be part of a special collection in the Rotterdam City Archives. Aside from the cruise line’s team members, attendees at the Hotel New York ceremony included over 60 of the line’s top Mariners, guests who have sailed at least 1,400 days on Holland America’s ships.

After a Gala dinner onboard the Rotterdam VII, Antorcha invited guests to a party by the Lido Pool where he toasted Holland America Line’s anniversary.

 “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,” added Antorcha.

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