Her Royal Highness Princess Maxima of the Netherlands will name Holland America Line's new Signature-class ship, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, in a ceremony in Venice, Italy on July 4, 2010. The 2,106-guest ship is the fourth to carry that name for the line and is being built by Italian shipyard Fincantieri-Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A. in Marghera, Italy. The naming ceremony will feature gala festivities in Venice, where an audience of special guests will witness an extravaganza of entertainment, the blessing of Nieuw Amsterdam and the traditional breaking of a champagne bottle across the ship's bow as the finale.
"The Dutch Royal Family is continuing a long and proud tradition of naming Holland America Line ships that started more than 80 years ago, and we are truly honored that Princess Maxima will name Nieuw Amsterdam," said Stein Kruse, president and chief executive officer of Holland America Line. "The naming ceremony will mark a signature moment in our company's 137-year history as Princess Maxima becomes godmother of Nieuw Amsterdam, which, with her sister-ship Eurodam, will share the distinction as the largest passenger ships ever to fly the Dutch flag."
Nieuw Amsterdam IV will be the 11th Holland America Line vessel launched by a member of the Dutch Royal Family. Previous ship dedications include ss Statendam III in 1929 by Prince Hendrik and ss Nieuw Amsterdam II in 1937 by Queen Wilhelmina. Then-Crown Princess Beatrix christened ss Statendam IV in 1957 as well as the ms Prinses Margriet in 1964. The ss Rotterdam V was launched in 1958 by Queen Juliana. Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet dedicated ms Prinsendam II in 1973, ms Nieuw Amsterdam III in 1983, ms Rotterdam VI in 1997, and ms Oosterdam in 2003. Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands served as ms Eurodam's godmother in 2008.
Princess Maxima was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, May 17, 1971, as Maxima Zorreguieta. She was engaged to His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange, March 30, 2001 and on Feb. 2, 2002, Maxima wed Prince Willem-Alexander, who is Her Majesty Queen Beatrix's eldest child and first in line of succession to the throne. Upon her marriage, Maxima received the title Princess of the Netherlands.
Nieuw Amsterdam Defines 'Premium'
The second in the Signature-class series of vessels, Nieuw Amsterdam's décor features stylized design elements from its namesake New York City, luxurious appointments and amenities as well as all the hallmarks of the Holland America brand. Following its naming in Venice, Nieuw Amsterdam will sail several 12-day Mediterranean cruises, then embarks on an autumn trans-Atlantic crossing to the Caribbean, and will sail 7-day eastern and western island itineraries from Nov 2010 through March 2011. For more information on Nieuw Amsterdam, visit HollandAmerica.com.