To commemorate the milestone, three guests cut a ribbon to open embarkation during an official ceremony in the terminal. Captain Wouter van Hoogdalem then placed the final piece of a puzzle with the word ‘Westerdam’ on it to signify the completion of return to service for the cruise line.

On the significance of the day’s events, Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line, said: “Today is an emotional day that’s been more than a year in the making, and Westerdam is the final puzzle piece to make our fleet of ships in service complete. Every ribbon cutting has brought us one step closer to today, and everyone in the Holland America family worked with passion and determination to achieve this milestone. We are excited to welcome guests and overwhelmed with what today means for our company.”

Captain Wouter van Hoogdalem place the final puzzle piece to signify Holland America’s full return to service

Following its season in Alaska, Westerdam will embark on a 36-day ‘South Pacific Crossing’ repositioning from Seattle to Sydney, Australia. Along the way, it will make 17 calls at various islands and tropical locations before offering a season of roundtrip itineraries from Sydney to the north and south islands of New Zealand, along with southern Australia. In December 2022, the ship will sail along the east coast of the continent, up to Singapore via the Great Barrier Reef. Then in early 2023, Westerdam will offer cruises to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, China and the Philippines before crossing back to North America for another season in Alaska.

Since Holland America Line restarted cruising in July 2021, Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Noordam, Oosterdam, Rotterdam, Zaandam and Zuiderdam have returned to service with cruises in Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe, Mexico, California Coast and South Pacific. Volendam is currently under charter by the government of the Netherlands to accommodate Ukrainian families and will sail Mediterranean voyages from Italy starting in September.

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