Wednesday, August 11, 2004

LANDLOCKED LORE: Holland America has anted up to sponsor a new exhibit celebrating its Dutch heritage and global achievements, permanently housed at the recently revamped Maritiem Museum Rotterdam. The Netherlands’ exhibit tells all about how Holland America Line (HAL) was founded in 1873 as the Nederlandsch-Amerikaansche stoomvaart Maatschappij (Dutch American Steamship Company). For more than a century, Rotterdam was homeport for HAL, now headquartered in Seattle and owned by Miami-based Carnival Corporation. The exhibition divides into four periods, from the beginnings to the 1901-1945 Emigration Boom with waves of emigrants sailing from Europe to America, the 1946-1978 Good Times / Bad Times era with HAL’s departure from Rotterdam to the U.S., and 1979 to the present, with HAL posting records as a fast-growing premium cruise leader. Last year in Rotterdam, the city and HAL jointly hailed the line’s 130th anniversary when naming the Vista-class Oosterdam with HRH Princess Margriet. The ship was bow-to-bow with the line’s flagship Rotterdam. HAL’s 13 premium ships offer nearly 500 sailings from 15 North American homeports including new departures from Norfolk, Baltimore and Boston.

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