HAL Set to Kick Off Its150th Anniversary Celebrations and Cruises

As Holland America Line (HAL) prepares for its 150th Anniversary in 2023, the brand is kicking off a year of celebrations with a special transatlantic crossing. Departing October 15, 2022, from the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, to New York City aboard Rotterdam, the voyage retraces HAL’s first cruise back in 1872 aboard Rotterdam I.

“Holland America Line has evolved from a shipping company to a brand synonymous with exceptional cruise vacations, and this anniversary crossing is a tribute to the voyage millions of immigrants took to the New World,” said Gus Antorcha, HAL president. “We have guests who are sailing in October because their grandparents immigrated to the United States on a Holland America Line ship or because they’ve been fans for years, and we’ve filled the voyage with special moments that will create wonderful memories for everyone on board.”

A highlight of the crossing will be a performance of a musical piece by producer and composer Steven Schoenberg, written exclusively to accompany a short film about the cruise line’s journey. The composition will be performed by a 25-piece ensemble of former HAL’s Lincoln Center Stage musicians. The piece will debut on board October 26 in New York on World Stage. Guests also will be entertained by Dutch sensation Tiny Little Big Band, along with the ship’s Music Walk entertainment featuring BB King’s Blues Club, Billboard Onboard, Lincoln Center Stage and Rolling Stone Rock Room.

Every evening in the Main Dining Room, menus will showcase HAL’s 150-year history with a Classic Entrée reminiscent of a dish served as early as the 1920s. A 150th Gala Menu one evening in the Dining Room will feature a collection of dishes from a previous HAL voyage, besides a keepsake cover that guests can take home.

At least once during the voyage as a pop-up experience in Tamarind, guests can indulge in a rijsttafel—a Dutch word that translates to “rice table”—with side dishes served in small portions, accompanied by rice prepared in several ways. The Dutch adapted the Indonesian tradition so they could enjoy a range of dishes at a single sitting with an abundance of flavors and textures.

The toasting continues with a “Throwback Happy Hour” featuring drinks priced to when the brand began, as low as 25 cents. Guests can also join Anthony Stice, HAL’s VP of dining and beverage operations, for wine tastings and surprises around the ship.

Additional experiences include a Dutch High Tea; Dutch station in Lido Market featuring traditional sweet and savory items; and one Dutch-themed lunch with classic Dutch items, besides an Indonesian-themed lunch, both in Lido Market.

Presentations reliving the history and roots of the company will be offered by maritime historian Bill Miller, while Dr. Jennifer Foray, professor of history at Purdue University, will deliver lectures on Dutch history. Guests can participate in anniversary-themed trivia, classic cruise sporting activities and games.

HAL will present all guests with an exclusive 150th Anniversary Royal Goedewaagen tile. Limited-edition 150th anniversary merchandise will also be available in the shops onboard.

Many of the same culinary and enrichment programs will be offered on another 150th Anniversary Transatlantic departing April 6, 2023, from New York, ending at Rotterdam April 18, the cruise line’s 150th birthday.

For more information, visit hollandamerica.com.

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