Holland America Line Celebrates 150th Anniversary

Holland America Line’s Rotterdam ship arrived at the Port of Rotterdam just in time for the brand’s 150th Anniversary! Rotterdam‘s arrival on the date of the HAL’s Anniversary allowed the brand to kick off the celebration with special guests like royalty, local dignitaries, port officials, and guests who commemorated the special day.

“The celebration of 150 years is about more than our history, it’s about how we are building on the legacy of a great brand to make it relevant for the next 150 years,” said Holland America Line President Gus Antorcha. “From those first early days, we built our reputation on the care we provided to every person who stepped on board. And through the decades, whether that person was an immigrant, a titan of industry, a soldier or a vacationer, each of them was treated as though they were a guest in our own home. It is still a hallmark of our brand.”

Antorcha was joined by Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, and descendants of Holland America Line’s founders for a celebration at Hotel New York, home to Holland America Line’s original headquarters from 1901 to 1977. Holland America Line team members and more than 60 of the line’s top Mariners, guests who have sailed at least 1,400 days on the line’s ships, were also in attendance.

“The fabric of history is woven from the threads of millions of stories, and at the heart of each of those stories is a person,” Antorcha continued. “I am certain that there are many chapters still to be written. And I hope that decades from now, those who come after us will gather on this very spot at Hotel New York to share them.”



  • Holland America Line presented a 150th-anniversary bell to be displayed at Hotel New York, inside a room that once collected luggage for immigrants in the early 1900s.
  • Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet poured champagne over the bell, which is a Holland America Line tradition usually reserved for a new ship launch.
  • Holland America Line worked closely with PostNL, the postal office of the Netherlands, to design a collectible 150th Anniversary gold-foil stamp featuring an illustration of Rotterdam VII and Rotterdam I.
  • One of the brand’s founding families presented an original company share that will be kept as part of a special collection in the Rotterdam City Archives.
  • Guests enjoyed a Gala dinner aboard Rotterdam VII and then joined Antorcha at a party around the Lido Pool to cheers to the brand’s 150th Anniversary.
  • The additional nine ships in Holland America Line’s fleet also held anniversary parties on board for guests.

“To the builders, architects, visionaries and explorers who have brought us to today. To our generations of crew who have seen our guests from shore to shore. And most importantly, to all of the passengers and guests who have trusted us along the way. Cheers to 150 years and many more to come,” toasted Antorcha


Julie Bouchner is the Digital & Social Media Manager for Porthole Cruise and Travel. She has a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Syracuse University. When she is not writing, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family, baking, and playing with her Siberian Husky named Ellie.