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Holland America Line’s Rotterdam departs on historic 150th anniversary crossing

Boudewijn Siemons, chief operating officer, Cruise Port Rotterdam.

Ship departs the Netherlands on replica maiden voyage 150 years to the day.

SEATTLE, WASH. – Holland America Line’s Rotterdam VII departed the city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on its historic 150th Anniversary Transatlantic Crossing. The 15-day journey recreates Holland America Line’s maiden voyage of Rotterdam I that departed the city 150 years ago today. The crossing follows the path of that first sailing to New York, with calls at Le Havre, France, and Plymouth, England.

Holland America Line invited fans to come to Cruise Port Rotterdam and Wilhelminapier for a festive shoreside sailaway party, recreating a departure from centuries past when ships were sent off with fanfare. Fireboat’s spraying water and a flotilla from a local yacht club came to see Rotterdam off, while revelers were given souvenir handkerchiefs to wave.

“Today is historic for our brand as we depart 150 years to the day that Holland America Line’s very first ship began its journey to New York,” said Holland America Line President Gus Antorcha. “In that time, we’ve carried immigrants and cruising vacationers, soldiers and refugees and earned a reputation for extraordinary care and welcoming all those guests as if into our own homes. As we sail into our next 150 years, that environment of service will be our hallmark as we create exceptional experiences for guests around the world.”

Antorcha joined dignitaries from the city and port in a special sendoff ceremony that honored the shared history. During the crossing, guests will journey through Holland America Line’s history with memorable onboard enrichment programming, culinary recreations of dishes from a bygone era and exclusive entertainment. The festivities continue during an overnight call at New York Oct. 26 with a specially commissioned performance on the World Stage by past and present Lincoln Center Stage performers.

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