Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest leisure travel company, welcomed Holland America Line’s new ms Koningsdam into its fleet with a dedication ceremony held on May 20 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Honoring the brand’s 143-year history with the Netherlands, Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands christened Koningsdam by triggering a champagne bottle break on the ship’s hull, a long-standing maritime tradition. Her Majesty also participated in the ceremonial blessing of the ship’s bell, and was the first to sign Koningsdam’s commemorative wall, which will become a permanent installation on the ship.
Carnival Corporation now has three of its four new 2016 ship deliveries in service – Koningsdam, AIDA Cruises’ AIDAprima and Carnival Cruise Line’s Vista. The fourth new ship arrives when the Seabourn Encore joins the global fleet in December. Including Seabourn’s new Encore ship, Carnival Corporation has a total of 15 new ships scheduled to be delivered between 2016 and 2020.
The dedication ceremony took place onboard Koningsdam in Rotterdam. Holland America Line, one of 10 brands in the Carnival Corporation family, was founded in 1873 just steps from the site of the recent event. Koningsdam is named to honor King Willem-Alexander, the first king of the Netherlands in a century. “Koning” is Dutch for king, and the naming convention of “dam” on Holland America Line ships dates back to 1883. Her Majesty Queen Máxima serves as godmother for the ship.
The ceremony was part of a special 13-day christening cruise that departed Civitavecchia, Italy, near Rome on May 9. Following the christening voyage, Koningsdam will homeport in Amsterdam for the European summer season and in Fort Lauderdale for winter and spring Caribbean cruises.
“It’s an honor to have Her Majesty Queen Máxima as the godmother to Koningsdam, and May 20 was a truly special day with Her Majesty performing the ceremonial traditions of blessing the bell and the champagne bottle break to officially welcome our newest ship to the fleet,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line.
As the first of a new Pinnacle class of ships for Holland America Line, the stunning 95,000-grt, 2,650-guest capacity Koningsdam becomes the 14th and largest ship in the brand’s fleet. Built at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard, Koningsdam combines classic Holland America Line features with new venues and experiences, including new dining options such as an immersive farm-to-table dinner experience, a 270-degree LED screen to enhance entertainment performances, and beautifully appointed staterooms and suites.
KONINGSDAM’S ENTICING NEW FEATURES
Koningsdam introduces several innovative concepts and enticing offerings, with special attention to new cuisine and entertainment choices.
Exclusive dining options for guests include a French seafood brasserie and an immersive farm-to-table dinner experience in the Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine magazine. Other enticing options include the debut of the Grand Dutch Café, which features traditional Dutch treats and several European beers and a completely redesigned Lido Market. The main dining room with its expansive windows and a towering wine sculpture features classic favorites and five-course dinners in a sophisticated setting. Koningsdam will also feature its highly popular specialty restaurants – the Pinnacle Grill, Canaletto Italian and pan-Asian themed Tamarind.
New onboard entertainment venues also provide guests with a wide range of choices, including B.B. King’s Blues Club in the Queen’s Lounge, bringing the highlights of Memphis music to sea, as well as the Lincoln Center Stage, which offers chamber music nightly. Additionally, the 270-degree LED screens at World Stage enable new concepts for live performances and an immersive, panoramic entertainment experience for guests at sea. Through a partnership with Billboard, Koningsdam also features Billboard Onboard, an interactive experience of 50 years of chart-topping hits, with live musicians performing from a large library of all-time favorites.
Koningsdam also features Holland America Line’s first purpose-built staterooms for solo travelers and families. These are among the design elements that Holland America Line and other brands in the Carnival Corporation family are creating to respond to the changing profile of today’s cruise consumer, who could be traveling alone or as part of a multigenerational family vacation.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON CARNIVAL CORPORATION’S NEWEST SHIP
Koningsdam will initially sail from the port of Amsterdam and visit Norway, Estonia and Iceland. Beginning November 9, Koningsdam will begin its inaugural season in the Caribbean with a four-day cruise to the Bahamas. Departing from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, the ship calls at Nassau, the Bahamas followed by Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s award-winning private island. In early 2017, Koningsdam will offer itineraries that call on a variety of destinations including Turks & Caicos, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and Mexico.
The evolution of Koningsdam was documented in a series of “Countdown to Koningsdam” videos, which offered a behind-the-scenes look at the ship’s design, construction and delivery.
Holland America Line is set to receive its second ship in the Pinnacle class series in November 2018. Koningsdam’s sister ship will be named Nieuw Statendam, the sixth ship in Holland America Line’s history to bear the Statendam name.