Holland America Line's Nieuw Statendam departed Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Nov. 21 on its first cruise since the industrywide pause last year.
The ship marks the fifth Holland America Line vessel to re-enter service, joining Rotterdam, Koningsdam, Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam.
To commemorate the occasion, Holland America Line held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the terminal to open embarkation, and team members greeted guests with flag-waving fanfare as they boarded the ship.
Nieuw Statendam set sail on a seven-day western Caribbean itinerary that will visit Nassau, Bahamas; Ocho Rios and Port Royal, Jamaica; and Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line's private island in the Bahamas.
"Today is another milestone in our return to service, with Nieuw Statendam starting operation just in time for Thanksgiving, and we have a lot to be thankful for this year that we're getting back in the water," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "Today is a great day for Holland America Line, and our team members can't wait to welcome guests on board."
Nieuw Statendam will spend from November through April in the Caribbean on cruises ranging from seven to 11 days, all roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades.
Guests looking for a longer getaway can embark on a Collectors' Voyage — combined back-to-back itineraries that offer an in-depth exploration covering more than one part of the region.
Every Caribbean cruise includes a call at Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line's award-winning private Bahamian island.
Holland America Line has been homeporting from Port Everglades since the 1990s.
Operationally, each ship visit contributes $364,000 directly to the local economy in provisioning (fuel, food, flowers, piano tuning, supplies, etc.), port taxes and spending.
Holland America Line works with nearly 100 South Florida vendors who supply the company and its ships with goods and services.
Throughout the years, Holland America Line has been actively involved with more than 30 nonprofit organizations in South Florida through giving, shipboard lunches and cruise donations, including Seafarers' House, Henderson Behavioral Health, Coast Guard Women's Leadership Initiative, Symphony of the Americas, The Opera Society and more.