SEATTLE, March 12 — Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands will name Holland America Line’s new Signature-class ship, ms Eurodam, in a ceremony in Rotterdam on July 1, 2008. The 2,104-guest ship is being built by Italian shipyard Fincantieri-Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A. in Marghera, Italy.
“The upcoming naming ceremony of ms Eurodam will be a very special moment in our company’s proud 135-year history,” said Stein Kruse, president and chief executive officer, Holland America Line. “We are truly honored that Queen Beatrix will name our new ship. This special dedication will take place steps from our historic headquarters as well as our current European head office. Like her mother did 50 years ago for the beloved ms Rotterdam V, Queen Beatrix will be the Godmother and name the largest passenger ship ever to fly the Dutch flag.”
Holland America Line has a long and proud relationship with the Dutch Royal Family when it comes to naming its ships. Nine vessels have been launched by members of the Royal Family, including the Statendam III in 1929 by Prince Hendrik; Nieuw Amsterdam in 1937 by Queen Wilhelmina; Statendam IV in 1957 and Prinses Margriet in 1964 by then Princess Beatrix; Rotterdam V in 1958 by Queen Juliana; and Prinsendam in 1973, Nieuw Amsterdam in 1983, Rotterdam VI in 1997 and Oosterdam in 2003 by Princess Margriet.
The naming ceremony on July 1 will include festivities along Wilhelminakade, Rotterdam’s cruise ship terminal area, in front of the former headquarters of Holland America Line, which is now Hotel New York. The company was founded in 1873 in Rotterdam. An expected audience of several thousand — including national dignitaries, special guests and the company’s top-selling travel agents — will witness an extravaganza of entertainment, the blessing of Eurodam, and the finale of the traditional breaking of a champagne bottle across the ship’s bow.
Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard became Queen of the Netherlands on April 30, 1980, assuming the duties from her mother, Queen Juliana, who abdicated in favor of her daughter on her 71st birthday. The Queen is head of state and represents the Netherlands at home and abroad, serving as president of the Council of State, the government’s main advisory body, meeting regularly with ministers, and signing acts of Parliament and Royal decrees. She makes several state visits to other countries each year and regularly receives other Heads of State and Government dignitaries visiting the Netherlands.
The 70-year-old queen received her degree in European and International Law in 1961 and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Leiden in recognition of her efforts to focus attention on democracy and freedom and the responsibilities that come with it. Queen Beatrix was married to Prince Claus van Amsberg for 36 and a half years before his passing in 2002, and has three sons and seven grandchildren. A patron of the arts, the Queen enjoys sculpting and is especially proud to award the annual Royal Grant for Painting. She also participates in horseback riding, sailing, skiing and playing tennis.
ms Eurodam Advances Premium Offerings
An enlarged and enhanced vessel developed from Holland America Line’s successful and popular Vista-class ships, the first Signature-class vessel, Eurodam will feature several alternative dining venues, including a stunning pan-Asian restaurant with panoramic Ocean views. The popular Explorations Cafe — powered by The New York Times — will be integrated into the traditional Crow’s Nest. Other additions include an Explorer’s Lounge Bar, a new specialty restaurant adjacent to the Lido offering traditional Italian food, a new atrium bar area, and an enhanced and reconfigured show lounge with theater-style seating.
Staterooms and suites on Eurodam will introduce an inspired and a distinctly different decor and will include new exclusive, spa-themed and scalloped verandah categories. Staterooms also will feature Signature of Excellence premium amenities: plush Euro-top Mariner’s Dream beds, deluxe waffle/terry cloth robes, Egyptian cotton towels, flat panel televisions, DVD players, make-up mirrors with halo lighting, massage shower heads, professional grade hair dryers, fresh flowers and complimentary fruit baskets.
Following its maiden voyage to the Baltic and inaugural Europe season, the ship will sail its first trans-Atlantic cruise, followed by a series of Canada/New England sailings in the fall before deploying on Caribbean itineraries for the remainder of 2008. For more information, consult a travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit www.hollandamerica.com.