To celebrate 150 years of Holland America, the cruise lines flagship vessel Rotterdam arrived in its namesakes city, kicking off a series of celebrations to mark the milestone.

Guests in attendance included Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, descendants of Holland America Line’s original founders and of course Holland America President Gus Antorcha.

The festivities include the presenting of a commemorative 150th Anniversary bell to be displayed at Hotel New York. Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet honoured the cruise lines tradition and poured champagne over the new bell.

Another illustrious gesture involved the cruise line working with the postal office of the Netherlands to design a 150th anniversary gold-foil stamp, that will now serve as a collectable and can be purchase in the Netherlands.

To cap off the events, the city’s Erasmus Bridge came to life with a special light display, leaving the city in celebration of the 150 year mark.

Mr Antorcha said: “The celebration of 150 years is about more than our history, it’s about how we are building on the legacy of a great brand to make it relevant for the next 150 years.

“From those first early days, we built our reputation on the care we provided to every person who stepped on board. And through the decades, whether that person was an immigrant, a titan of industry, a soldier or a vacationer, each of them was treated as though they were a guest in our own home. It is still a hallmark of our brand.”

Mr Antorcha sees the milestone as not just a moment to look back, but to look forward as well.

“The fabric of history is woven from the threads of millions of stories, and at the heart of each of those stories is a person.

“I am certain that there are many chapters still to be written. And I hope that decades from now, those who come after us will gather on this very spot at Hotel New York to share them.”

“To the builders, architects, visionaries and explorers who have brought us to today. To our generations of crew who have seen our guests from shore to shore. And most importantly, to all of the passengers and guests who have trusted us along the way. Cheers to 150 years and many more to come.”