Holland America Line continues Dutch royal godmother tradition

Princess Margriet of the Netherlands will be godmother to the Rotterdam, making the ship Holland America Line’s 13th to be named by a Dutch royal.

HAL’s president, Gus Antorcha, said the naming would take place in the ship’s namesake city in the Netherlands next year, with no firm date set.

It will be the fourth HAL ship launched by Princess Margriet, who named the Prinsendam in 1972, the Nieuw Amsterdam III in 1983, the Rotterdam VI in 1997 and the Oosterdam in 2003.

“We are deeply grateful that Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet will once again act as godmother to a Holland America Line ship, carrying on a long tradition with the royal family that continues to honor our Dutch roots,” said Antorcha said in a statement. 

HAL’s connection to the House of Orange goes back to Prince Hendrik launching the Statendam III in 1929. Since then, members of the Dutch royal family have launched 11 Holland America Line vessels. 

Other Dutch royal family godmothers include Queen Maxima, who named the Koningsdam in 2016 and the Nieuw Amsterdam in 2010; Queen Beatrix, who served as the Eurodam’s godmother in 2008; Queen Juliana, who launched the Rotterdam V in 1958; Princess Beatrix, who named the Statendam IV in 1957; and Queen Wilhelmina, who launched the Nieuw Amsterdam II in 1937.

The Rotterdam’s maiden cruise departs Oct. 20 from Amsterdam on a 14-day transatlantic sailing to Fort Lauderdale. During its inaugural Caribbean season from November to April, the Rotterdam will sail five- to 11-day itineraries that span the southern, western, eastern and tropical regions, all roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. 

In mid-April, the ship will return to Europe to spend its first summer in Norway, the Baltic, British Isles and Iceland, sailing roundtrip from Amsterdam.

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