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Ocean Liner History and Stories from the Sea, Past and Present. With an In Depth focus on Holland America Line

2022 May 30; ms Rotterdam (VII) named in Rotterdam.

The ms Rotterdam (VII) was named yesterday in the Netherlands. The below Press Release was issued and I added some photos taken during the event in Rotterdam.

Holland America Line’s Holds Naming Ceremony for Rotterdam with Godmother Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands

Ship christened in namesake city in a ceremony steeped with tradition

SEATTLE, May 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Holland America Line’s flagship Rotterdam received the royal treatment in a ceremony rich with Dutch heritage May 30, 2022, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands served as godmother and officially named the ship in front of invited dignitaries and guests.

Rotterdam was named by Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands in Rotterdam, Monday, May 30, 2022.

   Holland America Line’s Flagship Rotterdam Named in Rotterdam, Netherlands, by Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet.

Upon arrival, Princess Margriet was welcomed at the gangway with a traditional floral bouquet presented by seven-year-old Nora van Dijk, daughter of Nathalie van Dijk, who has been with Holland America Line for 15 years, most recently as a business development representative in sales in the Rotterdam office. During the daytime naming celebration, Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald, Holland America Group President Jan Swartz, Rotterdam Captain Werner Timmers, Lord Mayor of Rotterdam Ahmed Aboutaleb and Mariner Ambassadors David and Gisela Gere joined Princess Margriet to officially welcome Rotterdam to the fleet.

Her Royal Highness Prinses Margriet of the Netherlands receives a bouquet of flowers from Nora van Dijk.

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

Following the ceremony, a gala luncheon was held onboard for invited guests. The festivities continued into the evening with a gala dinner and the opportunity for guests to pour champagne over the ship’s bell. The blessing of the ship’s bell is a Holland America Line tradition when welcoming a new ship to the fleet. 

Captain Werner Timmers, Her Royal Highness Prinses Margriet of the Netherlands, Mrs. Jan Schwartz, President of the Holland America Group. (Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Lines)

Rotterdam’s naming ceremony also was attended by Stein Kruse, senior advisor to the chairman and CEO, Carnival Corporation; Keith Taylor executive vice president, fleet operations Holland America Group; Randy Weisenburger, board member, Carnival Corporation; Nico Bleichrodt, vice president, international sales, Holland America Line and Seabourn; Jaap Smit, commissioner to the King; and Boudewijn Siemons, COO, Port Of Rotterdam and Chairman of the Cruise Policy Board. Antorcha was unable to attend the ceremony.

The Geres were selected as Mariner Ambassadors for Rotterdam to honor Holland America Line’s appreciation of its loyal guests who are long-time cruisers. Since first sailing in 1988 aboard Rotterdam V, the Geres have sailed nearly 2,500 days on Holland America Line, including several cruises on Rotterdam VI.

The bottle smashing against the hull after having been remotely released from inside the Mainstage.

A History of Royal Namings 
Holland America Line’s connection to The House of Orange goes back nearly a century to Prince Hendrik launching Statendam III in 1929. Since then, members of the Dutch Royal Family have launched 11 more Holland America Line vessels throughout the years, including Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet who named Prinsendam (1972), Nieuw Amsterdam II (1983), Rotterdam VI (1997) and Oosterdam (2003).

Additional members of the Dutch Royal Family who are godmothers include Queen Máxima, who named Koningsdam in 2016 and Nieuw Amsterdam in 2010. Then-Queen Beatrix served as Eurodam’s godmother in 2008. Rotterdam V was launched in 1958 by Queen Juliana. Then-Princess Beatrix named Statendam IV in 1957 and Prinses Margriet in 1960. Nieuw Amsterdam II was launched by Queen Wilhelmina in 1937.

Blessing of the Bell ceremony: From left to right: Andrew Donald Chairman and CEO Carnival Corporation, Mrs. Jan Schwartz, President of the HAL Group, Captain Werner Timmers, Mrs. Gere and Mr. Gere

About Rotterdam 
The third vessel in the Pinnacle Class series and the seventh ship to bear the name for Holland America Line, Rotterdam carries 2,668 guests and features highly successful amenities and innovations introduced with her sister ships. Throughout the ship, Rotterdam showcases Holland America Line hallmarks that drive one of the highest guest repeat rates in the industry: exquisite cuisine guided by seven of the world’s leading chefs; gracious, award-winning service; and superbly appointed staterooms and suites, including family and single accommodations.

Rotterdam delivers the best live music at sea with an exclusive collection of world-class performances nightly at Rolling Stone Rock Room with classic rock hits; Lincoln Center Stage, offering chamber music; Billboard Onboard, where live musicians entertain the crowd with chart-topping hits; and the popular B.B. King’s Blues Club, bringing the best of Memphis music to sea. With the 270-degree LED projection at World Stage, Rotterdam immerses guests in panoramic visual and sound effects.

In addition to the impressive Dining Room, guests can delight in specialty restaurants Rudi’s Sel de Mer, a French seafood brasserie; Tamarind, exploring traditions of Southeast Asia, China and Japan; Nami Sushi with tasty sushi and Asian spirits; Pinnacle Grill, the ultimate steakhouse at sea; Canaletto with family-style Italian dining; and Club Orange exclusively for guests in the Club Orange program.

Rotterdam to Explore Northern Europe and the Caribbean 
Rotterdam’s special seven-day “Rotterdam Naming Celebration” cruise departed May 29 and sails roundtrip from Amsterdam, Netherlands, also visiting Kristiansand, Stavanger and Flåm, Norway, with scenic cruising in Sognefjord.

Following the cruise, the ship will homeport out of Amsterdam and spend the season on seven- and 14-day Norway cruises, as well as explorations to Scandinavia, Iceland and the Northern Isles.

On Oct. 15, 1872, Rotterdam I — the first Holland America Line ship — embarked on its maiden voyage from Rotterdam to New York. Exactly 150 years later on Oct. 15, 2022, Rotterdam VII will depart Rotterdam once again as Holland America Line recreates this historic 150th Anniversary crossing with calls at Plymouth, England; New York and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The ship will then spend the season in the Caribbean sailing tropical itineraries roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale.

Find Holland America Line on TwitterFacebook and the Holland America Blog.  Access all social media outlets via the home page at hollandamerica.com.

About Holland America Line [a division of Carnival Corporation and plc (NYSE:  CCL and CUK)] 
Holland America Line has been exploring the world since 1873 and was the first cruise line to offer adventures to Alaska and the Yukon nearly 75 years ago. Its fleet of premium ships visits nearly 400 ports in 114 countries around the world, offering an ideal mid-sized ship experience. A third Pinnacle-class ship, Rotterdam, joined the fleet in July 2021.

Arrival in Rotterdam during the early morning.


  1. Tallulah Bryant

    May 31, 2022 at 11:08 pm

    Not sure that Albert actually wrote this but I’m sure all the history came from him. When will you or he be back sailing on Holland America ships?

  2. Thank you for this informative note, keeping us in the loop! I wish Rotterdam VII safe sailing and Holland America Line a prosperous re-start after these difficult two years.

    The Best to you all!

    Almuth Ewing

  3. Jaap Lievisse Adriaanse

    June 1, 2022 at 5:59 am

    We sailed on this beautiful ship in may , just too bad out of Amsterdam. Mr. Antorcha keeps pointing to the historical ties to Rotterdam but in 2022 and 2023 season all, except one, cruises are out of Amsterdam. Missed chance ! People in Rotterdam are always on the quay and the riverbanks when a HAL ship arrives or leaves. In Amsterdam, you hardly see anyone.

  4. I’m happy that this ship is not named Ryndam but Rotterdam VII and that the ceremony took place in the beautiful city of Rotterdam by Her Royal Highness Prinses Margriet of the Netherlands and not a celebrity from the United States of America as there always should be a ship with the name of Rotterdam. In most local Dutch newspapers I have not found an article about the ceremony, so thank you captain Albert for your contribution despite that the Rotterdam VII will have it’s home port Amsterdam and only visiting Rotterdam now and then. The next visit will be at Saturday October 15, 2022 in Rotterdam.

  5. Roger D Tollerud

    June 1, 2022 at 6:45 pm

    Welcome back Captain A. Hope to hear from you more often in the near future.
    Roger Tollerud
    Layton, Utah USA

  6. GERDINA OLSON nee Snoek

    July 17, 2022 at 11:23 pm

    I am so thrilled to be sailing on the Rotterdam out of Rotterdam on Oct 15, the city of my birth!! And on such a historic occasion,150 years ago HAL did this first trip. It’s going to be a great cruise !!

  7. Captain, we miss you! Are you coming back?

    • Captain Albert

      October 16, 2022 at 3:07 pm

      thank you for asking.

      The company is looking into how they can re-integrate the support program I provided to the captains, and thus to the whole ship before Covid. No we we just we have to wait until a new program has been approved. But I am still part of the company and currently working hard on the the 150 year book for 2023.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  8. elizabeth schmieder

    October 26, 2022 at 5:42 pm

    We miss you Captain Albert and can’t wait to hear what is next for you!!

  9. We missed having you aboard on the 150th Anniversary crossing, but it was good to see you got screen credits in the EXC presentation on HAL history. Hope to learn you are back soon, and look forward to your future posts.

  10. Albert vande Steeg

    September 5, 2023 at 11:47 pm

    Do you have a photo of ssVeendam II? I would like to use it on the cover of my book, as I was on her in 1948 as an immigrant.

    • Captain Albert

      September 6, 2023 at 2:53 pm

      Thank you for your comment,

      I think I can help you.

      I will contact you via my hobby email Captalbert1 @aol.com

      best regards

      Capt. Albert

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