Captain Edward G. van Zaane.
Captain Edward G. van Zaane.

Seattle, Wash., — Captain Edward G. van Zaane will be master of Holland America Line’s newest ship, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, currently under construction at Fincantieri shipyard in Italy. The 29-year Holland America Line veteran brought ms Amsterdam into service in 2001 and served at its helm on the line’s Grand World Voyages for nine years.

He recently arrived at the shipyard in Marghera, Italy to oversee the completion of the ship including the arrival and training of crew, testing various ship’s systems and participating in sea trials.

“It’s invaluable to have an experienced seaman leading the introduction of the Nieuw Amsterdam,” said Stein Kruse, president and CEO of Holland America Line. “We are eagerly anticipating the arrival of our newest Signature-class ship and know that Captain van Zaane’s leadership will help ensure a successful launch and inaugural cruise season.”

“It’s a unique experience and the dream of any captain to bring out a new ship,” said van Zaane. “I’ve had the great fortune twice within 10 years, and I’m eagerly looking forward to launching this beautiful new vessel.”

Born in The Hague, Netherlands, van Zaane went to sea in 1977, first sailing on heavy-lift cargo ships and then a deep-sea research vessel before graduating with honors from the Maritime Academy in Den Helder, Netherlands.

He joined Holland America Line in 1981 as fourth officer on ms Statendam IV. Quickly working his way up the ranks, he served on many Holland America ships and was promoted to captain of Rotterdam V in 1994. Since then van Zaane has sailed on numerous grand and world voyages.

When not at sea, he resides in The Hague, Netherlands with his wife, actress and model Apollonia van Ravenstein.

Built at Fincantieri’s Marghera yard near Venice, Italy, the 2,106-guest Nieuw Amsterdam — the 15th ship in Holland America’s fleet — will sail its maiden voyage July 4, 2010. After several 12-day Mediterranean cruises, Nieuw Amsterdam will embark on a fall trans-Atlantic crossing and will then sail seven-day eastern and western Caribbean itineraries from November through March of the next year.

Her Royal Highness Princess Máxima of the Netherlands will serve as the ship’s godmother.

Editor’s note: Images available at

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