Holland America Line retraces route first taken 150 years ago
By Katie McGonagle | 27 Oct 2022
Holland America Line has recreated the line’s first voyage from Rotterdam to New York City
Holland America Line has retraced the route of its first ship, Rotterdam I, across the Atlantic Ocean as it marks the company’s 150th anniversary.
The transatlantic sailing departed from the Dutch city of Rotterdam on October 15 for a 15-day cruise calling at Le Havre in France and Plymouth in England.
It follows the journey taken from Rotterdam on October 15, 1872, to Ellis Island in New York by a group of immigrants searching for a new life in America.
The ship, the latest to be named Rotterdam by the line, arrived in New York City on October 26, which Manhattan borough president Mark Levine declared an ‘honorary day’ for Holland America Line in recognition of the company’s contributions to Manhattan over the past century and a half.
An event was held on board for invited guests featuring a performance of an original composition by Emmy Award-winning producer and composer Steven Schoenberg, with a 25-piece ensemble of Lincoln Center Stage musicians.
The line also revealed a project, in partnership with The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, to produce an exhibit highlighting the company’s vital role in transporting 10% of US immigrants from Europe, and a video created by an Ellis Island researcher and shown across the fleet.
Holland America Line president Gus Antorcha said: “We are excited to be celebrating our 150th anniversary in such a vibrant city with our newest ship on a rare overnight call.
“There’s nothing like sailing into New York under the Verrazano Bridge, past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Standing on deck, you can’t help but think back to more than a century ago, feeling the emotion of arriving in America for the first time.
“Recreating our first voyage has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
The transatlantic crossing featured dishes from decades gone by, a Throwback Happy Hour with drinks priced from just 25 cents, a limited-edition beer HAL Pils and themed trivia focusing on the heritage of cruising.
A second celebratory voyage will be offered on April 6, 2023, taking the journey in reverse from New York and arriving in Rotterdam on April 18 for the cruise line’s 150th birthday.
For more information visit hollandamerica.com.