Holland America Line hosted a special ceremony in Venice on July 4th to officially name its new vessel Nieuw Amsterdam.

Princess Maxima of the Netherlands inaugurated the operator's 15th ship in front of an audience that included dignitaries, cruise passengers and media representatives.

Following the ceremony, Nieuw Amsterdam embarked on her maiden voyage, a round-trip from Venice to nearby Mediterranean ports.

The 2,106-passenger ship will operate a series of 12-day cruises in the region before heading to the Caribbean for a series of seven-day itineraries starting in the autumn.

Stein Kruse, president and chief executive of Holland America Line, said: "We are exceptionally honoured to have Her Royal Highness Princess Maxima as the godmother of this beautiful ship and to continue a long and proud tradition of having members of the Dutch royal family name our ships.

"The second Signature-class ship in our fleet is elegant and the largest passenger ship to sail under the Dutch flag."

It was recently revealed that the ocean liner will feature a selection of art onboard that has been chosen to celebrate the Dutch heritage of New York City.