In an event rich with inspiration and tradition, Holland America Line (HAL) held a dedication ceremony for Nieuw Statendam Feb. 2 at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.
Godmother 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 honoured 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 Ashford. “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.”
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.”
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.