Holland America’s ms Rotterdam sailed last Saturday into the Port of Rotterdam for her milestone 100th call, amid the celebratory sprays of water from welcoming boats that greeted the vessel and its passengers.
Honored guest and godmother of ms Rotterdam, Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, honored ‘her’ ship by attending the shipboard festivities.
The spectacular event included a welcoming concert in Rotterdam's Cruise Port terminal by a local kids' choir ZangExpress, performance by Dutch singer Iris Kroes (winner of “The Voice of Holland”), and special luncheon.
The Port of Rotterdam gave plaques to Her Royal Highness, Stein Kruse - Holland America Chief Executive Officer, and ship’s master Captain Marco Carsjens.
Princess Margriet christened ms Rotterdam on May 11, 1997. The first call of the new ship at the Port of Rotterdam was on June 10, 1998. MS Rotterdam is considered a flagship for the line. She is the 6th vessel to bear that name in HAL history. Rotterdam I made her maiden voyage in 1872, departing from the Port of Rotterdam. This year only, ms Rotterdam will make 21 calls at the port.
HAL president, Orlando Ashford, stated that a 100th port call was a big milestone for any ship, but when the ship was named after the city and the company had roots there dating back more than 142 years, it was "all the more worthy of a celebration”.
MS Rotterdam is currently sailing a series of Baltic and Norway voyages ranging from 7 to 14 days. In August the vessel will sail roundtrip from Rotterdam to Iceland.