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Fincantieri's Marghera holds launch ceremony for HAL's Nieuw Statendam

Placing the lucky coins - The ship's madrina, Anne Marie Bartels, with Holland America Group's Keith Taylor, left, and Fincantieri's Antonio Quintano Placing the lucky coins - The ship's madrina, Anne Marie Bartels, with Holland America Group's Keith Taylor, left, and Fincantieri's Antonio Quintano (Photo: Fincantieri)

Holland America Line's Nieuw Statendam, the sister of 2016's Koningsdam, was launched today with a bottle smash and coin ceremony at Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard.

During the festivities a drydock gate was opened briefly and water touched Nieuw Statendam’s hull for the first time, a tradition during the coin ceremony. On Dec. 21 the ship will be fully floated out and move to an outfitting pier, leading up to its autumn 2018 delivery.

Serving as madrina (godmother) for the ceremony was Anne Marie Bartels, who first sailed with HAL on Nieuw Amsterdam from Rotterdam to New York when she was 21. She has since been on 79 HAL cruises, including 12 'grand voyages.' Bartels has more than 2,500 cruising days with the line, which gives her elite President’s Club status for travelers with more than 2,500 days on board.

The Dutch guilder used in the ceremony are from 1898, the year HAL's first Statendam came into service.

Other attendees included Holland America Group's Keith Taylor, EVP fleet operations, and Cyril Tatar, VP newbuilding services, along with shipyard director Antonio Quintano.

The new vessel, the 16th built by Fincantieri for HAL and the second Pinnacle-class ship after Koningsdam, measures 99,500gt and stretches nearly 300 meters/984 feet. Nieuw Statendam has capacity for 2,660 passengers.

As with Koningsdam, the interior designers are Adam D. Tihany and Bjørn Storbraaten, with music as an inspirational element for many of the public areas.

Fincantieri has built 80 cruise ships since 1990, 57 of those since 2002, while other 34 are currently being designed or built in the group’s yards.

Posted 06 December 2017

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Anne Kalosh

US editor of Seatrade Cruise Review and Seatrade Cruise News

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