Dutch marines get warm welcome in New York

Dutch marines on Times Square in New York, 3 July 2018
Dutch marines on Times Square in New York, 3 July 2018Photo: Koninklijke Marine / Twitter

The Dutch marine crew of Zr. MS. Holland received a very warm welcome on Times Square in New York on Tuesday, resulting in a photo that looks like it came straight out of a Fred Astaire musical. The Royal Marines posted the photo on Twitter on Tuesday night.

The marines are visiting New York on their way back to the Netherlands after a 3 month long mission in the Caribbean area. They decided to try and get some group photos in uniform on Times Square for the Royal Marines' archive, spokesperson Jan Pullen said to broadcaster NOS. 

The 93 uniformed marines caused quite a stir among the local crowd. They were welcomed as heroes, according to Pullen. They were flooded by passersby wanting to know what brought them to New York, and whether they could take selfies with the Dutch naval officers. 

The constant interest made it difficult to get a group photo, until there was suddenly a chance. "At one point people stood aside, so I called: one, two three, cap in the air! And that's the picture", Pullen said to NOS. In the photo the marines are wearing their tropics uniform, usually meant for areas around the equator. But it came in handy in New York, which is currently in the midst of a heat wave. "It was 37 degrees on Times Square."

The marines are staying in New York until the end of the week. They also have a number of formal obligations during their visit.