Holland America Line has held a coin laying ceremony for its new cruise ship Nieuw Statendam, the name of which combines the Dutch word for “new” with the iconic “Statendam,” to celebrate the company’s past, present and future.
The coin laying ceremony was held at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy. Anne Marie Bartels, a member of Holland America Line’s esteemed President’s Club, served as the ship’s Madrina and participated in the festivities.
Bartels has cruised with Holland America Line 79 times, spending more than 2,500 days aboard with the line. She has what Holland America calls elite President’s Club status, guaranteeing her certain privileges and perks when aboard a Holland America Line ship.
She first cruised with HAL when she was 21, aboard SS Nieuw Amsterdam, Holland America’s last ocean liner to operate regular trans-Atlantic crossings.
The Dutch guilder welded to the ship’s forward mast is from 1898, the same year Holland America’s first Statendam ship was launched.
The coin, a Dutch guilder, that she helped weld to the forward mast of Nieuw Statendam is from 1898, the year Holland America Line’s first Statendam came into service. This Nieuw Statendam is the sixth ship in Holland America’s more than 130-year history to carry the name Statendam.
Holland America is often considered to be Europe’s equivalent to Britain’s Cunard Line, and like Cunard, HAL has a strong sense of identity rooted in its long history as a passenger shipping company. Both brands are now owned by Carnival Corporation.
“The coin ceremony is one of the most time-honored traditions in the building of a ship, and having Anne Marie, one of our most valued guests, serve as Madrina makes the celebration all the more special,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line.
“Nieuw Statendam reflects the next generation in our brand evolution while maintaining the classic hallmarks we are known for. By placing an authentic Dutch guilder in the hull from the year our first ship named Statendam came into service is a meaningful way to build that bridge from our past to our future.”
Nieuw Statendam is the second Pinnacle Class ship for Holland America Line, joining Koningsdam, which launched in April 2016 from the same shipyard in Marghera. A third Pinnacle Class ship will set sail for the cruise line in 2021.
All three 99,500-ton cruise ships will be similar, but not quite identical. Nieuw Statendam will have exclusive public spaces and its own style created by leading hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany and designer and architect Bjorn Storbraaten.
The ship will carry 2,660 guests and feature all of the hallmarks of Pinnacle-class design: grand light-filled spaces; visual drama; and sumptuous interiors inspired by the fluid curves of musical instruments.
Nieuw Statendam will now be floated out and moved to an outfitting pier ahead of her scheduled delivery later next year. She is intended for deployment in the Caribbean, sailing roundtrip out of Fort Lauderdale.