KONINGSDAM Christened! NIEUW STATENDAM Declared!

Queen Maxima christens the MV KONINGSDAM on a gala day in Rotterdam. Meanwhile, HAL releases the name of the ship’s twin sister, currently under construction in Italy.

Holland America Line

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All photos by and copyright Peter Knego 2016.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

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MV KONINGSDAM berthed at the cruise terminal in Rotterdam.

It was a misty but decidedly upbeat day in Rotterdam, with Her Majesty Queen Maxima serving as the royal godmother to the MV KONINGSDAM, the first ship in Holland America Line’s new Pinnacle series.

After a brief inaugural cruise season in the Mediterranean, the 99,500 gt, 2,650 guest ship made her maiden Dutch arrival the prior afternoon, berthing at Rotterdam’s cruise terminal, which is only steps away from the line’s original headquarters, the Wilhelminakade.

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MV KONINGSDAM backing into port with fireboat spray.
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SS ROTTERDAM salutes the MV KONINGSDAM.

During the arrival process, the KONINGSDAM spun around and backed into port as local craft greeted her. At one point, she exchanged whistle salutes with the historic former Holland America liner ROTTERDAM, now berthed as a convention center, museum and hotel ship in Rotterdam’s Katendrecht district.

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MV KONINGSDAM off the Wilhelminakade, the former Holland America Line headquarters.

The largest ship in the 143-year old company’s history, the KONINGSDAM introduces numerous new dining venues and an innovative Music Walk entertainment venue, the World Stage showroom with a 270-degree video screen as well as a stylish new look, courtesy of designers Adam Tihany and Bjorn Storbratten.

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Queen Maxima and her entourage passing through MV KONINGSDAM’s Music Walk.

The queen made a quick tour of the ship, passing through key public areas, then stopped in the Lido Deck pool area to douse the bell in champagne and give it a ring.

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Queen Maxima christens the KONINGSDAM’s bell.

It was at this time that Holland America Line president Orlando Ashford announced that the KONINGSDAM’s newbuilding sister ship will be called the NIEUW STATENDAM, in a nod to the past five STATENDAMs with the NIEUW prefix to celebrate the future.

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Revelers watch the televised version of the naming ceremony in KONINGSDAM’s Queen’s Lounge.

As the event was televised shoreside and throughout the ship, Queen Maxima next proceeded to the World Stage to perform the christening after speeches from Holland America Line and Princess Cruises CEO Stein Kruse.

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The magnum of champagne in mid-swing. It broke..

While naming the ship, she cut a ribbon that released a magnum of Veuve Clicquot champagne into the ship’s bow as thousands of local Rotterdamers looked on and a tug boat sprayed a plume of water into the air.

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Queen Maxima descends from the MV KONINGSDAM.
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Queen Maxima poses for the press.

When the Queen left the ship, she stopped to bid goodbye to the crowd and then kept waving from inside her car as the ship’s whistle blasted and locals shouted her name.

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A final wave to revelers.

KONINGSDAM sails this evening for Amsterdam, where she will spend two days before departing on a seven night cruise to the Baltic.

Peter Knego

Peter Knego

Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea.  With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications.  Knego also runs the www.midshipcentury.com website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India.  He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."
Peter Knego
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