The UK Port of Dover held a festive welcome event to mark the inaugural visit of Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam, with water cannons, dancers and music, and local delicacies served to guests.
The ship will no longer be a stranger to the port, since she is scheduled to homeport in Dover in 2025.
The white cliffs of Dover were the backdrop to the arrival of Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam, a Pinnacle-class ship that made her maiden call to the port, located 75 miles south of London. Celebratory events on September 8, 2023, included entertainment and food at the port’s cruise terminal.
The event preceded the 2,666-guest ship’s future home-porting at Dover, which will begin in April of 2025, a move that is seen as Holland America Line’s commitment to cruisers in the UK who prefer to sail roundtrip from a domestic port. The line is one of nine brands owned by Carnival Corporation.
Nieuw Statendam called at the port as part of her 11-day sailing from Copenhagen to Rome. Other calls are being made to Oporto and Lisbon, Portugal; and Cadiz and Barcelona, Spain. The ship had departed from Copenhagen on September 6.
“It’s been a special morning celebrating Nieuw Statendam’s inaugural call to Dover as we become her UK homeport with ten calls in one season for 2025. Nearly 30 years since we first welcomed the previous Statendam to the Port, it’s fantastic to see our partnership with Holland America Line reach a new level as we become their UK cruise destination of choice,” said Christian Pryce, Chief Commercial Officer at the Port of Dover.
“With the dramatic and unrivalled views of the White Cliffs and Dover Castle, inspiring local culture and heritage, plus a vibrant new waterfront surrounding the cruise terminals, Dover provides the perfect welcome to the Garden of England for hundreds of thousands of cruise passengers each year,” Pryce added.
Once home-ported in Dover in 2025, Nieuw Statendam will sail 14- to 42-day voyages to the Canary Islands, British Isles, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Iberia, and the Eastern Mediterranean.
These include “Wild British Isles” and “Arctic Circle Crossing” cruises, both 14 days, and “Canary & British Isles: Morocco, Portugal & Belfast” and “British Isles & Arctic Circle: Belfast & Edinburgh” sailings, both 28 days, for example.
“Adding Dover as a homeport is ideal for our British guests who can conveniently embark in England and explore several regions around Europe on a variety of itineraries,” said Karen Farndell, Director of UK Sales and Marketing at Holland America Line.
“Beyond Dover, our 10 homeports span Europe, and in 2025, we’re offering the most diverse range of itineraries that include everything from weeklong holidays to the Med to month-long explorations up to the Arctic,” Farndell added.
Dover is considered a premier hub port for cruise lines in the southeast of England. As one of the busiest cruise ports in Britain, it welcomes more than 20 individual cruise lines and 200,000 cruise guests annually. The port can accommodate up to three cruise ships simultaneously and recently opened a new marina.
The port has experienced a busy 2023 season, and ships yet to call through the fall include Costa Cruises’ Costa Favalosa, Seabourn’s Seabourn Ovation, AIDA Cruises’ AIDAluna and AIDAdiva, and Viking’s Viking Venus.
Nieuw Statendam’s big welcome was the second cruise ship celebration the Port of Dover held this summer. In late July, it rolled out the red carpet for Princess Cruises’ Coral Princess, which was making a debut at the port, too. Coral Princess visited Dover as she began her 55-night world cruise, and port officials welcomed the ship and her guests with special entertainment and lively fanfare.
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