San Juan cruise port sees record daily arrivals

The cruise port of San Juan reached a record high of 17,847 passenger arrivals on Feb. 25, who arrived on six cruise ships.

The new figure topped the previous records of 15,776 passengers set on Dec. 31; 16,712 on Jan. 8; and 16,395 on Feb. 4.

“The arrival of more than 17,000 passengers in a single day represents an economic impact of approximately $2 million to the economy of Puerto Rico,” said Luis Munez Martinez, deputy director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC).

Recent improvements at the cruise port aided in the passenger and cruise call increase, including Pier 1, which made possible the arrival of the Disney cruises, and the expansion of Pier 3, which favored the arrival of Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas, according to Colberg Ingrid Rodriguez, executive director of the Port Authority.

The ships that called on Feb. 25 included the Quantum of the Seas, Disney Fantasy, MSC Divina, Carnival Glory and Holland America’s Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam.

Cruise ships calling on Feb. 26 and Feb. 27 include the Oceania Riviera, Carnival Liberty and Silversea’s Silver Cloud, making a total of 21 cruise ships that have called in San Juan since Feb. 21, including 11 ships that called between Feb. 21 and Feb. 25.

Holland America Line: New flagship will be called MS Koningsdam

New ship of Holland America Line is called MS Koningsdam

Holland America Line is to name of their new flagship known to be put into service in February 2016: MS Koningsdam. The name underscores the company’s long tradition and the deep roots of the shipping company in the Netherlands.Simultaneously, a new era is ushered in the 141-year history with this strong name.

Designed for 2,650 passengers cruise ship establishes a new class of Holland America Line, the Pinnacle class, and is an evolution in design and equipment.Currently, the new ship in the Italian Fincantieri shipyard is under construction.

The new name is Holland America Line’s existing since 1883 tradition about ending their ship name with the syllable “dam”. The word “Koning”, in German “King”, underlines the importance of the new cruiser and at the same time honoring the Dutch King Willem-Alexander, the first king in the Netherlands for over 100 years.

“By choosing the name Koningsdam we bow to our Dutch roots and indicate at the same time entering into a new era of the company” , said Stein Kruse, CEO of Holland America Group. “This new ship is the trend for our fleet, so it was the task of finding a name that expresses exactly the same and represents our timeless traditions. “

Photo: Holland America Line

Dutch roots

Holland America Line has enjoyed a long history with the Netherlands, because the shipping company was founded in 1873 as the Dutch-America Steamship Company, with headquarters in Rotterdam. The original building still stands today as Hotel New York on Wilhelmina Pier. All 15 ships of the company flying the Dutch flag and bring almost a million passengers each year to more than 400 ports around the world.

To date, much of the staff, especially captains and officers of Dutch origin. In addition, most of the ships of Holland America Line were baptised members of the Dutch royal family in the past 75 years, most recently in 2010, the MS Nieuw Amsterdam by Queen Máxima, Princess of the Netherlands. The MS Eurodam was baptized in 2008 by the then reigning Queen Beatrix.

New design for new ship class

The MS Koningsdam is expected to be commissioned in February 2016. At 99,500 gross tonnage and a passenger capacity of 2,650 people and 1,025 crew members it is the largest ship, the Holland America Line was ever built. Innovative concepts of space aboard the MS Koningsdam preserve the classic charm of Holland America Line ships and go at the same time breaking new ground in design and equipment.

For the fresh look aboard the world-renowned hotel and restaurant designer Adam D. Tihany provides. Together with the renowned ship architects Storbraaten Bjorn, who also created the MS Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam MS, is responsible for the design and the interior.

The keel of the new ship was laid in late August.