Port of Halifax, Holland America celebrate longstanding relationship

An aerial view of a container port located at the South End of the Halifax waterfront.  Taken from an altitude of 800'.

The Port of Halifax (HPA) has announced it will host a shoreside ceremony, to celebrate the longstanding relationship with Holland America Line.

The event will honour Holland America Line’s 150th anniversary as well as 30 years of cruise ship calls in the Port of Halifax on 28 August 2023.

The Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre will play ceremonial drumming at the welcoming ceremony, while the 78th Highlanders will give a goodbye performance.

Following a blessing by Mi’kmaw Elder Charlotte Bernard, a ceremony will be held in front of the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 where Halifax Port Authority President and CEO Captain Allan Grey will present a commemorative plaque to Captain Bart Vaartjes of the Holland America Line Zuiderdam.

Sam Austin, Deputy Mayor of Halifax, Marie Chapman, CEO of the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, and officials from Discover Halifax, Tourism Nova Scotia, Parks Canada, and the Halifax Citadel Society are also scheduled to be in attendance.

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Captain Allan Gray, President and CEO of the Halifax Port Authority, said: “Holland America Line has played an important role in the development of Halifax as a premiere cruise destination over the past three decades.

“We are proud to celebrate this milestone with Holland America Line and look forward to building our partnership for many years to come.”

Gus Antorcha, President of the Holland America Line, stated: “As we celebrate our 150th anniversary, we’re pleased to mark the occasion with our friends at the Port of Halifax, with whom we share a rich history. When Pier 21 began operations in 1928, Holland America Line’s ship Nieuw Amsterdam I was the first to arrive with passengers.

“Since then, Halifax has played a role in the success of Holland America Line, serving as a gateway to Canada and beyond for countless travelers. We are honored to present the Port of Halifax with a plaque that is a statement of how much we value a partnership that we have enjoyed for decades.”

In February 2023, the two port authorities of Hamburg and Halifax signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up a joint maritime innovation network platform during the GreenTech for Ports and Terminals Conference 2023.

Four months later, the Port of Halifax welcomed its fifth MSC Service with the arrival of the MSC Elma to PSA Halifax Atlantic Hub.

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