Thousands of fans worldwide joined in to watch the ceremony online live from Fort Lauderdale
SEATTLE, Feb. 4, 2019 /CNW/ -- In an event rich with inspiration and tradition, Holland America Line held a dedication ceremony for Nieuw Statendam Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Oprah Winfrey — philanthropist, film star, TV icon, founder and editorial director of O, The Oprah Magazine — officially named the ship in a ceremony on board in the ship's World Stage.
During the daytime celebration, Winfrey was joined by Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line; Stein Kruse, Holland America Group and Carnival UK chief executive officer; and Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation.
"We are deeply honored to have Oprah Winfrey serve as the godmother of our newest ship in a celebration of our shared belief that travel has the power to open minds, build connections and inspire shared humanity across cultures and people," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "Oprah's magnetic energy and astounding ability to inspire others is admired around the world, and today was the perfect culmination of a memorable few days together on Nieuw Statendam and our ongoing partnership with O, The Oprah Magazine."
Nieuw Statendam's dedication ceremony followed the three-day Girls' Getaway cruise to the Caribbean that celebrated the power of female relationships. Gayle King, editor-at-large of O, The Oprah Magazine and Winfrey's best friend, joined her on the cruise, along with several other senior editors from the magazine.
During the ceremony, Ashford highlighted the connection between Nieuw Statendam, the legacy of the ship's name and the stories of life-changing travel experiences for the officers and crew, travel professionals and guests, saying: "Nieuw Statendam represents our highest aspirations for connection and understanding in our world. She is a vessel for exploration and adventure across countries, languages, cultures and peoples, and — we hope — a source of joy for our guests for many years to come."
Winfrey reflected on the Girls' Getaway cruise that had just concluded, saying "It's been an incredible experience to see people from across the world come together with one mind and celebrate themselves, honor themselves and honor each other. Everybody gathered, made friends and connected to people they didn't know because they felt like they had met themselves on some level. I have never seen anything like it." She then officially dedicated the ship as its godmother with the traditional statement, "I name this ship Nieuw Statendam. May God bless her and all who sail on her." The ceremony concluded when Winfrey triggered the release of the traditional bottle of Champagne that broke against the ship's bow.
Following the ceremony, a Gala Dinner was held on board. During the evening celebration, guests were invited to participate in a maritime tradition of pouring Champagne over the ship's bell as a blessing. This ceremony was a recreation of the bell ceremony on Holland America Line's s.s. Statendam IV on January 23, 1957, when a then-18-year-old Dutch Crown Princess Beatrix poured Champagne over the bell to officially dedicate that new ship as it sailed in the North Sea. Nieuw Statendam is the sixth ship in the company's history to bear the name.
About Nieuw Statendam
Nieuw Statendam was delivered from Fincantieri's Marghera, Italy, shipyard Nov. 30, 2018, and currently is sailing its inaugural season from Ft. Lauderdale to the Caribbean through April 2019. Following a transatlantic crossing, the ship will spend the summer exploring Norway, the Baltic and Iceland on cruises sailing roundtrip from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Come fall, the ship will make its way to the Mediterranean and offer a series of cruises roundtrip from Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy.
The new 2,666-guest ship has an ambiance that balances fresh, contemporary styling in perfect harmony with the line's renowned classic elegance. At the helm of the design and interiors are internationally acclaimed hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany and Bjørn Storbraaten, one of the world's leading architects working in the cruise industry.
Nieuw Statendam offers an abundance of unforgettable dining options. Award-winning cuisine is served in the stunning Dining Room; and an array of specialty restaurants feature exclusive experiences such as steak and seafood at Pinnacle Grill, authentic Italian cuisine in Canaletto, the culinary traditions of Southeast Asia at Tamarind and Nami Sushi, and a contemporary twist on French seafood classics in Rudi's Sel de Mer.
The innovative Music Walk on Nieuw Statendam showcases a variety of live musical experiences and genres unlike any other at sea, including Rolling Stone Rock Room, Lincoln Center Stage, Billboard Onboard and B.B. King's Blues Club.
About Holland America Line [a division of Carnival Corporation and plc (NYSE: CCL and CUK)]
Holland America Line's fleet of 15 ships offers more than 500 cruises to more than 400 ports in 98 countries, territories or dependencies around the world. From shorter getaways to 128-day itineraries, the company's cruises visit all seven continents, with highlights including Antarctica explorations, South America circumnavigations, EXC In-Depth Voyages, Cuba cruises and exotic Australia & New Zealand and Asia voyages; two annual Grand Voyages; and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, Canada & New England, Europe and the Panama Canal. The line welcomed Nieuw Statendam in December 2018. A third Pinnacle-class ship will be delivered in 2021.
The company's brand evolution in recent years secured its position as the leader in premium cruising. Fleetwide, the ships feature innovative initiatives and a diverse range of enriching experiences focused on destination immersion and personalized travel. Guests can expand their knowledge through exclusive partnerships with O, The Oprah Magazine and America's Test Kitchen, and at unique BBC Earth live music and on-screen experiences. Outstanding entertainment fills each evening at venues including Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King's Blues Club, Rolling Stone Rock Room and Billboard Onboard. The dining experience can be savored at a variety of restaurants with menus that feature selections from Holland America Line's esteemed Culinary Council, comprising world-famous chefs who design dishes exclusively for guests.
SOURCE Holland America Line