As Holland America Line prepares for its 150th anniversary in 2023, the cruise line is kicking off a year of celebrations with a special transatlantic crossing this month.
The voyage aboard the Rotterdam, departing from Rotterdam on 15 October 2022 to New York City, will retrace Holland America Line’s first cruise back in 1872 aboard Rotterdam I. Guests will see the brand’s history come alive through onboard enrichment programming, memorable culinary experiences, exclusive entertainment and commemorative keepsakes.
“Holland America Line has evolved from a shipping company to a brand synonymous with exceptional cruise vacations, and this anniversary crossing is a tribute to the voyage millions of immigrants took to the New World,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. “We have guests who are sailing in October because their grandparents immigrated to the United States on a Holland America Line ship or because they’ve been fans for years, and we’ve filled the voyage with special moments that will create wonderful memories for everyone on board.”
Exclusive Lincoln Center piece composed for anniversary
A highlight of the crossing will be a performance of a musical piece by Emmy Award-winning producer and Emmy-nominated composer Steven Schoenberg, written exclusively for Holland America Line’s anniversary. It will accompany a special short film about the cruise line’s journey. The composition will be performed by a 25-piece ensemble of former Holland America Line’s Lincoln Center Stage musicians.
During the sailing, guests will also be entertained by Dutch sensation Tiny Little Big Band, bringing their unique sound of jazz and soul with a hint of swing, along with the ship’s Music Walk entertainment featuring BB King’s Blues Club, Billboard Onboard, Lincoln Center Stage and Rolling Stone Rock Room.
Culinary delights an ode to Dutch heritage
Every evening in the main dining room, menus will showcase Holland America Line’s 150-year history with a classic entrée reminiscent of a dish served as early as the 1920s. Guests can choose from selections including royal rib of beef a la Medicis, Holland duckling port wine sauce and arctic char a la Normande.
A special 150th Gala Menu one evening in the dining room will be a memorable collection of dishes, with every option – from appetisers to desserts – from a previous Holland America Line voyage. The menu is designed to evoke a feeling of days gone by and features a keepsake cover that guests can take home.
At least once during the voyage, as a pop-up experience in Tamarind, guests can indulge in a Rijsttafel – a Dutch word that translates to ‘rice table’ – with side dishes served in small portions, accompanied by rice prepared in several different ways. The Dutch adapted the Indonesian tradition so they could enjoy a wide array of dishes at a single sitting with an abundance of flavours and textures.
The toasting continues with a ‘Throwback Happy Hour’ that will roll back time and feature drinks priced to when the brand began, as low as 25 cents. Guests who want to learn about wine can join Holland America Line vice-president of dining and beverage operations Anthony Stice for wine tastings and surprises around the ship.
Additional culinary delights in honour of Holland America Line’s 150th anniversary include a special Dutch high tea, Dutch station in Lido Market that features traditional sweet and savory items, one Dutch-themed lunch with classic Dutch items and one Indonesian-themed lunch, both in Lido Market.
Bring home a memento
Holland America Line will be presenting all guests with an exclusive 150th anniversary Royal Goedewaagen tile, and limited-edition, specially designed 150th anniversary retail items will be available in the shipboard shops.
For travellers looking to continue the celebration, many of the same special culinary and enrichment programs will be offered on another 150th anniversary transatlantic voyage departing from New York on 6 April 2023 and ending in Rotterdam on 18 April, the cruise line’s 150th birthday.
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