Holland America Line’s New ms Eurodam Blends Traditional Dutch Art and New Works

Seattle, June 26, 2008 – From the Dutch Golden Age to dramatic sculpture, the new ms Eurodam will showcase a stunning range of artistic works. The 2,104-guest liner – Holland America Line’s first Signature-class ship – honors the traditional Dutch art and artifacts integral to the Holland America brand while extending the theme with contemporary works.

“Working with VFD Architects of the Netherlands and Yran & Storbraaten Architects of Norway, we’ve installed a truly impressive array of works ranging from glass creations and oil paintings to digital collages and unique chandelier sculptures,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “Some pieces provide a glimpse into the Dutch Golden Age, while others feature contemporary messages designed to intrigue and involve our guests.”

To assist Eurodam guests in viewing the entire collection, a self-guided, narrated iPod virtual tour is offered, with iPods available for use free of charge on the ship. But even prospective guests can enjoy the art and listen to interviews with the artists, as a free download will be available on Holland America’s website and on iTunes.

With one more passenger deck than Holland America’s Vista-class ships, the 11-deck Eurodam will be Holland America’s largest ship with more public areas, restaurants and staircases to showcase the new art. Included in the new collection is a variation on a fleet favorite, the Lido pool sculpture.

“We took a different tack from our traditional Lido sculpture,” said Meadows. “Made of lightweight stone, the elegant structure functions as both a sculpture and an eight-foot high waterfall which guests can walk through as they enter or leave the pool. The word “water” is subtly engraved in the stone in 100 languages from around the world ” awaiting discovery by our guests.” The water sculpture is found at the end of the swimming pool on the Lido Deck.

The Dutch Golden Age

The Eurodam showcases the Dutch Golden Age in several public areas of the ship. Highlighting the ship’s mid-staircase is the painting, “The Nightwatch, Two Minutes Later,” by Dutch artists Aldert Mantje and Jan Maris. The painting, part of The New Nightwatch project in 2006 to honor Rembrandt van Rijn, at first appears like Rembrandt’s original, until one notices slight changes in the figures’ positions. It is accompanied by a selection of additional Rembrandt interpretations, his finest self-portraits and sketches showing his development as an artist.

Another inspired homage is the 17th century Old Masters Collage by father and son artists Peter and Sven de Ru. Installed in the Pinnacle Grill, the piece lifts the best and most famous details of 17th century Old Master paintings and recombines them into a creative digital collage.

History buffs will revel in the 17th century sea maps located at the aft staircase. Drawn by Dutchman Johannes Vingboons between 1640 and 1670, the maps show the trading routes of the Dutch East India Company’s ships around the world – remarkably accurate considering he never left the Netherlands. Additionally, several of Vingboons’ landscape drawings provide a glimpse of life in the 17th century and sailing ship adventures, including Havana Bay in 1665.

At the entrance to the Rembrandt Dining Room is a fascinating showcase containing broken ceramic plates, Delftware and Chinese spoons from a Chinese ship that sank 300 years ago near Indonesia, then a Dutch colony. These relics were culled from the 70,000 pieces recovered from the shipwreck.

Additional contemporary artists depicting Dutch heritage are Jan van ‘t Hoff, who paints still life in the centuries-old tradition, and Charles Bell, whose paintings are intense with monumental dimensions depicting fruit and flowers in casual broad strokes and vibrant colors on large canvases. Also featured are Stephen Card, a British artist whose paintings richly detail past Holland America cruise ships, and Dutch painter Bas Sebus, whose work – a blend of the real and surreal – is in high demand by private collectors.

Not all of the Eurodam’s spectacular art is at eye level. Adorning the central Atrium is a chandelier-inspired sculpture – an artistic cluster of transparent flowers descending from the ceiling. The white mother-of-pearl colored flowers will be lit up in different shades that change throughout the day with brighter colors during the day and warmer colors through the evening. The Atrium piece is designed by VFD/ Vincent Jansen and executed by the Dutch company, Transtech, who has a second abstract ceiling sculpture featured in the main Dining Room.

On the Lido Deck more art abounds, pieces that complement the large waterfall sculpture by the swimming pool. In Canaletto, the new casual Italian restaurant, two glass sculptures mark the entrance. Created by British artist Galia Amsel, the swooping shapes emphasize movement, rhythm and tension.

Glass panels, on the walls in the Italian-themed Canaletto restaurant feature gold leaf and painted script from the Scandinavian team of Birgitta Ahlin and Sirkka Lehtonen. Also showcased on the Lido Deck are framed prints by Seet van Hout; two bronze torsos by Dutch sculptor Eppe de Haan, each balancing on a cube that is his artistic signature; and a bronze sculpture by French artist Arman Pierre, who was a founding member of the Nouveaux Réalistes in 1960.

Under the Magrodome on the Lido Deck stands “Wantennas” by Austrian Katrin Maurer – a pair of sculptures constructed of glass elements, sandblasted with individual colors and augmented with her original poetry.

Located in the Crow’s Nest on Deck 11 of the Eurodam, fittingly installed at the entrance to the Explorations Café powered by The New York Times, is a keyboard-head sculpture by Rick van Rijswick. Also in the Crow’s Nest are sculptures by Hanneke Fokkelman, sea-creature-like glass balls which appear to be illuminated from the inside, an effect created by cutting, sandblasting and reheating the glass.

Several decks below, in the Neptune Lounge, two paper sculptures by Mark Jamieson are featured, along with two mechanical sculptures by Keith Newstead; both artists are British.

The Eurodam art collection isn’t strictly European. In a nod to the United States, the Sports Bar features a tribute to American baseball with photographs of Joe DiMaggio’s professional career and his marriage to Marilyn Monroe. Enormous baseball gloves serve as chairs and an exact replica of the World Series trophy, also called the “commissioners trophy,” is displayed.

Asian art is also featured onboard. Tamarind, the 144-seat pan-Asian restaurant on Deck 10 – a new alternative dining option offered to Holland America guests – offers ocean views outside, but the eye is drawn to the Asian antiques inside. At Tamarind’s entrance, a pair of lion dogs stands guard, along with a sculpture of Buddha surrounded by disciples seated in the “calling the earth to witness” and “subduing Mara” posture. In the Silk Den are framed antique pipes from the Bayon period of the 12th to early 19th centuries.

Complementing its new facilities, the Signature-class Eurodam continues several much-admired Holland America Line features, including outside-view glass elevators at midship; the Explorations Café (an Internet café powered by The New York Times); the Pinnacle Grill and Pinnacle Bar; the innovative Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine Magazine, where culinary experts provide cooking demonstrations and intimate classes in a state-of-the-art onboard show kitchens; an expanded Greenhouse Spa and Salon with thermal suites, hydro-pool and the largest gymnasium ever built for Holland America Line; and a youth facility that includes the teens-only Loft.

The Eurodam debuts this summer with European inaugural festivities, including a July 1st naming ceremony in Rotterdam with Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, followed by a Maiden Voyage in the Baltic region. The ship will offer its first trans-Atlantic cruise and sail Canada/New England in the fall, followed by Caribbean itineraries for the remainder of 2008.