Captain Edward Van Zaane (left) and Sue and Leo Falkensammer (right)
Leo and Kathy Falkensammer, co-owners of Las Vegas–based Prestige Travel/American Express, served as mariner ambassadors during the inaugural festivities for Holland America Line’s (HAL) Nieuw Amsterdam.
The blessing of the ship’s bell is a HAL tradition when welcoming a new ship to the fleet. The mariner ambassadors joined captain Edward Van Zaane in pouring champagne over the bell while reciting a classic maritime benediction: “We bless the bell of Nieuw Amsterdam as an extension of this vessel. We wish upon Nieuw Amsterdam fair winds and a following sea. We wish safety for her operation, wisdom for her officers, good health for her crew and comfort for her guests.”
The Falkensammers were selected as mariner ambassadors for the Nieuw Amsterdam to honor the important role of travel sellers in the company’s ongoing success. Also loyal mariners, the Falkensammers have sailed more than 200 days on HAL cruises.
“HAL recognizes the vital partnership between travel sellers and our business, as well as the Falkensammers’ on-going commitment to kindling and growing our relationships with loyal repeat guests,” said Richard D. Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for HAL.