Sunday, June 29, 2008

Eurodam, The Inaugural: Arrival In Rotterdam

To say the people of Holland take a great deal of pride in their country and its history is an understatement. They are hugely proud—as they should be—of the accomplishments of their countrymen. At no time was this more evident than early this morning when scores of Dutch citizens awoke early and made their way to the banks of the Nieuw Maas River as Eurodam made her way for the first time to her dock in Rotterdam.

Met in the city by waving, enthusiastic crowds, Eurodam was saluted by a fireboat before settling into her berth adjacent to the historic Holland America Line headquarters, While she makes her home here for the next few days, thousands of visitors will come aboard to tour the ship, and some will sail this evening with us on a special one-night black tie dinner/dance cruise.

It was quite a splendid arrival, demonstrating how Holland America Line, while no longer headquartered in Rotterdam, nevertheless reflects the true heritage of Dutch seafarers and explorers. On board Eurodam we are surrounded by traditional Dutch art, from antique furnishings and ship models to more contemporary pieces and even a nod to American baseball—a replica of the World Series trophy is displayed in the Sports Bar where guests can kick back in baseball glove shaped chairs.

Self-guided art tours are offered on all Holland America Line ships, with iPods available to use free of charge on board. I’m off to get the Eurodam narrative loaded on my iPod and begin my tour right now.

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