Art on Holland America Line's ms Nieuw Amsterdam Celebrates New York's Dutch Heritage

Jun 24, 2010, 16:16 ET from Holland America Line

SEATTLE, June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The art and antiques on the 2,160-guest ms Nieuw Amsterdam — Holland America Line's newest Signature-class ship — celebrate the unique heritage of the Dutch in New York, or New Amsterdam, as it was named by explorer Henry Hudson in the 17th century. 

Continuing the tradition of the rest of the fleet, Nieuw Amsterdam features art and antiques from traditional Dutch masters and works by renowned contemporary artists. Holland America Line worked with VFD Architects of the Netherlands and Yran & Storbraaten architects of Norway to create a collection to complement the ship's interior design.

"At a cost of more than $3 million, we've installed an array of works ranging from glass creations and oil paintings to detailed collages and unique hanging sculptures," said Richard D. Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs.  "Some pieces celebrate the Dutch Golden Age, while others, such as the spectacular centerpiece in the Atrium, express a contemporary curiosity."

For guests who wish to view the entire collection, a complimentary self-guided iPod art tour is available at the information desk. The iPod art tour will also be available to download at no charge on Holland America Line's website and on iTunes in early July.

Included in the new collection is a variation on a fleet favorite — the Lido Pool sculpture. Designed by Bjorn Storbraaten, the piece is made of lightweight stone and functions as both a sculpture and an eight-foot-high waterfall that guests can walk through as they enter or leave the pool. Like its sister-sculpture aboard ms Eurodam, the word water is subtly engraved in the stone in 100 languages.

Nieuw Amsterdam showcases its Dutch connection to New York throughout the ship. A focal point on every Holland America Line vessel is the Atrium chandelier. Adorning the ceiling of Nieuw Amsterdam is a piece by husband and wife Italian artists Gilbert LeBigre and Corinne Roger. Famed for their theatrical stage sets and sculptural works, they created an eye-catching abstract sculpture of the New York skyline made from clear translucent blocks that hangs upside-down.

As he has done for the entire Holland America Line fleet, Stephen J. Card, a British artist regarded as one of the finest marine painters working today, created paintings of ships that bear the Nieuw Amsterdam name, both past and present.

Displayed in the mid-ship staircase are four paintings by Dutch artist Vincent Jansen that include symbols and elements related to the history and founding of New York by the Dutch.

Just outside the Pinnacle Grill is a contemporary sculpture by Dutch ceramic artist Paula Bastiaansen.  Known throughout the world for its technical excellence and exquisite beauty, her art features porcelain worked into paper-thin, transparent shapes that seem to defy gravity.

In the aft staircase and lower Dining Room are a series of paintings by Wessel Huisman, who draws inspiration from old photographs of New York.

In the forward staircase are works by Peruvian artist Marcelo Wong, whose whimsical figures draw their inspiration from the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Although he usually works in stone, the pieces were created in resin to reduce their weight.

The wall opposite the Explorer's Lounge is decorated with a mural by Dutchman Harold Vlugt. This nearly 20-foot-long painting on aluminum depicts the modern skyline of New York with elements from past centuries. All of the buildings are made from small cardboard pictures.

On display in the Piano Bar is the work of famed photographer Ron Galella who worked in New York during the 1960s and '70s and captured a series of iconic memories of that cultural period. Also in the area of the Piano Bar is a contemporary ceramic sculpture by Belgian artist Daisy Boman titled "We Will Find a Way," as well as a wooden camera made by Italian artist Livio De Marchi.

In Club HAL, Nieuw Amsterdam's teens-only area, the New York theme continues with elements reflecting street life — complete with a hotdog stand and an actual New York Checker Cab.

Near the Casino is a large 18th-century metal trionfi, or barbecue, with elaborate metalwork covering its surface.

More New York–themed art can be found in the Lido Restaurant and Crow's Nest. Artists Birgitta Ahlin and Sirkka Lehtonen — who created glass panels for Eurodam — also produced work for Nieuw Amsterdam, and sculptor Rick van Rijswick created a piece out of stylized computer keys. There also are some large glass sculptures by Scandinavian artists Ole Lislerud and Lars Widenfalk. 

Tamarind, the alternative pan-Asian restaurant, features an antique Asian chest with detailed craftsmanship and vintage slippers with extremely fine embroidery.

Elsewhere on the ship are contemporary works by celebrated artists such as Andy Warhol, Richard Estes and Roy Lichtenstein, whose pieces symbolizes the artistic vibrancy of New York in the 1960s, '70s and '80s.

Built at Fincantieri's Marghera yard near Venice, Italy, Nieuw Amsterdam will be named by Her Royal Highness Princess Maxima of the Netherlands and then sail its maiden voyage on July 4, 2010. After a series of 12-day Mediterranean sailings, the ship embarks on a fall trans-Atlantic crossing to the Caribbean to sail seven-day eastern and western itineraries from November 2010 through March 2011.

For more information and cruise fares, contact a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit

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About Holland America Line [a division of Carnival Corporation and plc (NYSE:  CCL and CUK)]  

Holland America Line's fleet of 14 ships offers nearly 500 cruises to 320 ports in more than 100 countries, territories or dependencies.  Two- to 108-day itineraries visit all seven continents, and highlights include Antarctica, South America, Australia/New Zealand and Asia voyages; a Grand World Voyage; and popular sailings to ports in the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, Canada/New England, Europe and Panama Canal.  A 15th ship, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, is scheduled to join the fleet on July 4, 2010.

Fleetwide, the company features Signature of Excellence enhancements, a commitment totaling more than $525 million, that showcase the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine — a state-of-the-art onboard show kitchen where more than 60 celebrated guest chefs and culinary experts provide cooking demonstrations and classes — Explorations Cafe powered by The New York Times, teens-only activity areas and all new stateroom amenities highlighted by flat-panel TVs and plush Euro-top Mariner's Dream Beds.  

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Sally Andrews






SOURCE Holland America Line