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Gallery: Westerdam Inaugural
by: Paul Motter

Pictures of the naming ceremony for the new MS Westerdam from Holland America. The Ceremony took place on April 25th, 2004 in Venice, Italy. April 25 is a Venetian Holiday known as Festa del Boccolo, or "Saint Mark's Day". Dutch film and television Actress Renie Soutendijk, the ship's Godmother, cut the ribbon to send the champagne bottle shattering against the hull of the newly named ship.


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The ceremony begins with the arrival of characters in traditional Venetion costumes

more costumes

The Lion, traditional symbol of Venice, leads the procession

Roses were given to all ladies in attendance in keeping with the Festa del Boccolo tradition

The ceremony is about to begin...

Closeup of Costumes

Juggler

acrobat

Godmother Renie Soutendijk and Holland America President Stein Kruse read the dedication

The "Holland America" banner falls away to to reveal the name of the ship

Renie Soutendijk prepares to cut the ribbon that will launch the bottle of champagne

but first a ROSE ascends a rope as a gift to the new ship in the tradition of Festa del Boccolo

the champagne bottle, now loose, begins its fall to the ship

Upon the bottle breaking, confetti fills the air
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