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Holland America Line Lightheartedly Marks 148 Years



After the past year we’ve had, isn’t it time to celebrate whatever positivity we can? Holland America Line thinks so.

“As Holland America Line moves closer to the 150th anniversary of our founding in 2023, this past year has taught us the importance of celebrating the smallest of milestones. So, we’re proudly commemorating our 148th Anniversary on April 18, 2021,” the company said in a lighthearted message.

The company is marking the occasion with entertaining photos from its ships, some lighting up with HAL 148 or crew members holding up signs with the numbers.

HAL celebrates 148 years
Holland America Line President Gus Antorcha, center, marks the occasion on the Nieuw Statendam. (Photo via Holland America Line)

Some history: Transportation and shipping were the mainstays of the business in the 19th century, but Holland America Line operated its first vacation cruise way back in 1895! Today, the line operates 10 ships that visit more than 500 ports across all seven continents.

“We can’t wait to get back to cruising and welcome guests on board again,” the company said. “During this year-long pause in cruise operations, we’ve had to rethink how we celebrate our brand and keep on ‘sailing.”

HAL launched virtual voyages on social media to Alaska and Norway, embarked on a virtual Alaska Land+Sea Journey, held two interactive port brackets (think March Madness) and watched Moorea and Venice emerge as victors. The company also hosted live weekly trivia sessions on Facebook, staged wine and whiskey tastings, held concerts with musicians, inaugurated National Food Faces Day and more.

The company’s next big milestone is the introduction of the new Rotterdam in July 2021. Rotterdam, the third Pinnacle Class ship, joins sisters Nieuw Statendam and Koningsdam.

The name has special meaning — Holland America Line’s first ship was Rotterdam, which sailed its maiden voyage from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, to New York City, Oct. 15, 1872. This ship will be the seventh to bear the name.

The ship sets out on sea trials April 23, and from then on it will be a whirlwind of final touches before its July delivery.

Holland America Line made news this week with a new “Have It All” packages that include shore excursions, beverages, specialty dining and Wi-Fi in one base cruise fare.

The Holland America Line anniversary message ended with a traditional nautical wish for good luck: “Here’s to forthcoming fair winds and following seas.”

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