August 28, 2018
(3:57 p.m. EDT) -- The second cruise ship in Holland America Line's Pinnacle Class, Nieuw Statendam returned to the Fincantieri Shipyard in Marghera, Italy on August 22 after successfully completing its sea trials. Sea trials are a routine testing phase in which a cruise ship sails on open water to test its mechanics and systems before welcoming passengers.
Nieuw Statendam -- slated to debut in December 2018 -- departed the shipyard on August 10 and spent two days at sea before docking in Trieste for standard maintenance. It completed its second set of sea trials between August 18 and 22.
"The sea trials are a highly anticipated milestone for any new-build because it takes us one step closer to delivery, and we're thrilled that Nieuw Statendam gave a strong performance out in open water," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line, in a news release.
"There's a lot of buzz surrounding Nieuw Statendam and the innovations we're introducing onboard. The ship is going to have an exciting debut in early December."
Similar to sister ship Koningsdam, the 2,666-passenger Nieuw Statendam will feature spaces like Billboard Onboard and Dinner at the Culinary Arts Center, though the line promises "exclusive public spaces and its own style."
For its inaugural season, the ship will sail the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale before relocating to Northern Europe, Iceland and the Mediterranean during summer 2019.
Cruise Critic will be reporting live from onboard Nieuw Statendam when the ship debuts during the first week of December.
Fun fact: Holland America's first ship to be called Statendam sailed in 1898, and Nieuw Statendam will be the sixth ship in the company's history to carry the name.
--By Brittany Chrusciel