April 18, 2013 Sea Day
On this day we celebrated the 140th Anniversary of Holland America Line. It started with a dream of connecting Rotterdam to the world; a dream that came true shortly after the company was founded in 1873 in Rotterdam. The small cargo and passenger company was originally known as “Nederlandsch-Amerikaansche Stoomvaart Maatschappij” or Netherlands-American Steamship Company. The very first voyage was a 14 day and six hour journey from Rotterdam to Plymouth, New York. Twenty-three years later the line became officially known as Holland America Line and headquarters were opened in Hoboken, N.J. in 1900. From the 1880’s to the 1920’s nearly one million immigrants traveled with Holland America Line as steerage passengers. In 1910, the first vacation cruise on the ms Statendam, which sailed to the Holy Lands, followed thirteen years later with cruises on the Veendam II to the Caribbean. The first Grand World Voyage was in 1958. The fleet today has 15 ships with a 16th on the way.
Travel Guide, Barbara, presented Things to Do and See in Fortaleza, Brazil. Howard Walker lectured on The 21st Century World Order: Rise of China, India and Regional Powers where he focused on China today. He discussed how the one child rule has changed the demographics of population and the effects of that. He discussed the rise in wages and how that affects the rest of the world. China has been growing quickly but they have many growing pains and speed bumps ahead to deal with.
The afternoon featured a Tea Dansant or Tea Dance to celebrate the 140th Anniversary of the Holland America Line. Champagne, tea and an assortment of delicious cookies and pastries were served in the Queen’s Lounge as the orchestra played dance music. We did not dance! The pastry department had created a large cake out of plywood on the stage and covered it with chocolate. It was a festive occasion.
We had dinner with friends Jan and Jan, and David and Ron in the Canaletto restaurant. The evening’s entertainment was a variety show featuring Anne Rayner and Declan Zapala who had each performed in the last few days.