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.

“We are planning a very special celebration in our founding city,” said Stein Kruse, president and chief executive officer, Holland America Line.  “For us, it’s a homecoming and we expect tens of thousands Holland America Line supporters to be on hand as we proudly welcome Eurodam into service.“

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.  Kruse is scheduled to sail aboard the prelude cruise.  Guests booked on the prelude cruise will have an opportunity to attend the naming ceremonies as a pre-cruise excursion.

The 10-day round-trip maiden voyage departs from Copenhagen, Denmark, July 5 and calls at Oslo, Ålesund, 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.