Holland America Line will hold the official naming ceremony for it's first Signature-class ship, ms Eurodam, July 1, 2008, in Rotterdam, the city where the 135-year-old Dutch company was founded.
Naming ceremonies will be held near the company's original headquarters, which now operates as the Hotel New York. Numerous events and activities are being planned to showcase the vessel to key stakeholders, including past guests, travel agents, former employees, local dignitaries, media and others. The ship arrives Jun. 29 to begin four days of celebrations and departs Jul. 2 for a three-day prelude cruise with its first guests.
In the days leading up to the naming, the Eurodam will sail from Venice, Italy, to Southampton, England, before arriving in Rotterdam. In both cities, events will be held to showcase the ship, first with Fincantieri Shipyard and Holland America Line celebrating the ship's completion in Venice. In Southampton, travel agents, past guests, media and local dignitaries will visit the ship during luncheons, overnights, and receptions to honor the new vessel.
A day after the naming ceremonies, the Eurodam will embark on a prelude cruise and maiden voyage. The three-day prelude cruise departs July 2 from Rotterdam sailing to Copenhagen, Denmark, and calling at Hamburg, Germany.
The 10-day round-trip maiden voyage departs from Copenhagen, Denmark, July 5 and calls at Oslo, Alesund, Vik, Flam and Stavanger, Norway; Newcastle Upon Tyne, England; and Edinburgh (via South Queensbury) -- the premium line's second highest rated port of call -- and Invergordon, Scotland. Newcastle -- a maiden call
for Holland America Line -- offers 2,000 years of history and a picturesque backdrop with its location on the left bank of the River Tyne. The two cruises can be combined into a 13-day voyage.
With one more deck than Holland America Line's 10-deck Vista-class ships, the Signature-class Eurodam will feature three alternative dining venues, including a new pan-Asian restaurant with panoramic views. The Explorations Cafe -- powered by The New York Times -- will be located on deck 11 on the starboard side of the Crow's Nest. Other additions are an Explorer's Lounge Bar, a new specialty restaurant adjacent to the Lido offering fine Italian food, new atrium bar area, and an enhanced and reconfigured show lounge with theater-style seating.
Following its inaugural Europe season, the ship will sail its first trans-Atlantic cruise, followed by a series of Canada/New England sailings in the fall before deploying on Caribbean itineraries for the remainder of 2008.