The Holland America christening of the line’s new ms Koningsdam in the Netherlands was a meaningful experience in a number of ways of particular interest to cruise travelers. In a previous post here we noted that a number of big ship cruise lines had lost sight of what really matters: the passenger experience. It’s the part of cruise travel that goes beyond the selling points that get us on ships and makes us come back for more…or did. In recent years, to experience an onboard choreography that resonated with us, one that allows travelers to gain full measure from the significant travel advantages possible via cruise travel has been hard to find. As anticipated, Holland America Line is certifiably the first big ship line to figure out how to bring that back.
Christening hoopla aside, rich history respected in detail, Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford brought home a theme we have seen in development over the last few years.
In the shadows of ss Rotterdam, once the best of the Netherlands, now a popular pre- and post-cruise hotel, ms Koningsdam sailed off into a new world of cruise travel created by Holland America Line.
But before it did, Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford tied it all together with clear direction on the very most important part. We had toured Rotterdam from a number of angles and came away with a really meaningful travel experience.
“A city that carries the power of our long history, a history that began with the dream of travel, and the magic it can have on changing our perspectives in fundamental ways.”
“Travel changes us, and how we experience the world, from the inside—out.”
“The American humorist Mark Twain – who would have been about 38 years old when our ships first sailed from Rotterdam – had much to say about the impact travel can have on an individual’s perspectives, on their communities, and on the world. There is a famous quote from him I would like to share because of it is still relevant, even today:
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the Earth all one’s lifetime.
“But what he observed, even nearly 150 years ago, was that an inevitable outcome of travel the power that it has, is that it changes us in positive and important ways.”
“It changes us in ways we don’t even always realize as it’s happening. Because when our perspectives shift, when we can see the world anew, with a broader focus…then our opinions, even sometimes our values, well, they shift too. And as we are fundamentally changed, the ripple effect extends to everyone we touch, and, in turn, everyone they touch.”
“Travel has the potential to change the world.”
“Another wise American author, Ralph Waldo Emerson, once said: A mind once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.
“Just like our earliest travelers were inspired by new beginnings in a new world, our guests today also sail with dreams. Dreams of experiencing new lands, new countries and cultures, and learning about the real people who call those places home.”
“In today’s world, this kind of understanding is more important than ever. Because despite what world events might color our view, when we have met people from other cultures, maybe we’ve walked with them, talked with them, we’ve joined them at the table and shared a meal, we become ambassadors of their cultures and they become ambassadors of ours.”
“Travel really does have the power to change the world.”
“The experiences of our guests and crew and the memories they create with us will be carried with them for the rest of their lives. We know this for sure – I read the letters, real letters from people who share how much their travels have meant to them, sometimes going back generations. “
“During the weeks and sometimes months aboard our ships, guests tell us our officers and crew have become like family. I’ve seen it myself in the times I’ve been on board over the last 18 months, and it’s one of the things that I think, makes Holland America Line so very special. We connect with our guests, and we help make connections with, and across, the world.”
“Over the past 143 years, Holland America Line has touched what is now millions of people. We’ve had the amazing opportunity to provide experiences and perspectives of the world and to make an impact.”
“We are many people, and many cultures, but we are one world. I’m so proud to be helping Holland America Line contribute in our own small way to creating this…one world.”
“Thank you for being a part of it today.”
We’ll be back with solid reasons to choose Holland America Line. That’s next.
Review what we have reported so far, live from The Netherlands:
- On Similar Paths: Rotterdam, Koningsdam and Holland America
- Koningsdam Arrives In Rotterdam [Photos]
- Holland America Christening Highlights Broader Focus
- Holland America Christening Proves: They Get It About Us
Facebook Photo Albums:
Flickr Photo Collections;
- First Impressions: Hotel New York- Rotterdam– wow
- Yacht Club Rotterdam– took us deep into the social climate in Rotterdam, both past and present
- ss Rotterdam– now a hotel, the ss Rotterdam was once the pride of the Holland America Line fleet
- Koningsdam Arrives– the ship came in from the North Sea as locals gathered to welcome ms Koningsdam home
- A Brief Tour Of The Hotel New York– the cheap seats on the tour bus got this rendition
- Hotel New York Tour– with the hotel general manager, we went deep into the history of what was once the headquarters of Holland America Line
- Hotel New York And The History Of Holland America Line– the connection is pretty hard to overlook/miss.
- Koningsdam Christening Tour– What we did on a very full day of christening activities
- Seen At Koningsdam – Celebrities on the scene
- Koningsdam Christening– images from the ceremony
- The Queen Departs- I watched from my balcony as Queen Maxima left the scene, engaged adoring subjects
- Christening Sailaway- Many of those same adoring subjects of Queen Maxima lined the riverbanks as ms Koningsdam headed to the North Sea
- Christening Fireworks- further down the itinerary on that first night’s sailaway, fireworks celebrated the occasion