April 18, 2023 marks the 150th anniversary of Holland America Line - making it one of the longest-operating travel companies in the world and certainly the longest operating major cruise line. To commemorate the milestone, the cruise line is planning special events and activities, including two commemorative transatlantic crossings. While the celebration is mostly centered around their origins as a steamship company with transatlantic voyages, we think it's pretty cool that a company with this much heritage is sailing our Pacific waters as strong as ever.
Without a doubt, the touches that came from their century and a half of hospitality experience have made this line one of our favorites to sail with. While some cruises are just about the destination, on each of our Holland America Line cruises we recognize that there's a distinct culture and pride that is refreshing in an industry.
During the October and April 150th Anniversary Transatlantic crossings, Holland America Line is planning memorable experiences that will weave the company's history into the menus, activities, entertainment, special guest speakers and more.
"A milestone like a 150th Anniversary doesn't come around often for most companies, and our celebrations will bring to life our century-and-a-half of amazing history," said Gus Antorcha, Holland America Line's president. "Holland America Line has touched the lives of millions of people throughout the years — whether by bringing them to a new life in America or providing a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. We have some really special experiences planned over the next several months to honor our heritage."
150th Anniversary Commemorative Celebrations:
Oct. 15 crossing, 15 nights:
Rotterdam VII will depart Rotterdam, the Netherlands, exactly 150 years to the date of the departure of Rotterdam I's maiden voyage, which took place before the company was incorporated. The crossing will recreate Holland America Line's first sailing, leaving from Rotterdam and visiting Plymouth, England, and Le Havre (Paris), France, before crossing the Atlantic Ocean to New York City for a rare overnight call; then it sails on to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
April 4 crossing, 16 nights:
Departing Fort Lauderdale, Rotterdam heads to New York City for an overnight call; it will then spend eight leisurely days at sea crossing the Atlantic Ocean, calling at Plymouth and Dover (London), England, before arriving April 18 — Holland America Line's 150th anniversary — at Rotterdam for an overnight full of festivities.
During the crossings, guests will be treated to a host of experiences, including commemorative historic menus and cocktails offering a taste of the brand's history, live music with special performances by guest artists, presentations reliving the history and roots of Holland America Line, and an Olympic-style event with classic cruise sporting activities and games.
New York City Anniversary Event:
Holland America Line will kick off its 150th anniversary year with a special ceremony aboard Rotterdam when the ship overnights at New York City Oct. 26, 2022, including a memorable stage performance to mark the historic night.
When Rotterdam arrives at Rotterdam in the Netherlands April 18, 2023, the ship will receive a grand welcome on its 150th birthday in the city of the company's founding. During the overnight call, guests and city of Rotterdam will help mark this historic milestone at an evening event on board.
Additional Special Anniversary Themed Cruises:
The anniversary year will include specially marketed cruises that help relive Holland America Line's history of exploration through unique ports visited. The cruise dates will be announced in the coming months and will include special programming for each voyage.
Limited-edition, specially designed 150th Anniversary retail items will be available in the shipboard shops.