Holland America Line took delivery of Rotterdam today, July 30, 2021, officially making it the 11th ship in the fleet. A handover ceremony took place at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy the evening of July 29.
The ceremony was attended by the ship’s master, Captain Werner Timmers, and Cyril Tatar, Holland America Group’s vice president of newbuilding services. Giuseppe Bono, CEO, Fincantieri, and several other executives also attended. Video congratulations were extended by Jan Swartz, president of Holland America Group, and Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line.
The changing of the flag marks a special moment. The ship now flies the Dutch and brand flags.
Rotterdam’s Captain Timmers addresses the audience.
Giuseppe Bono, CEO, Fincantieri.
“Rotterdam looks stunning and will certainly live up to bearing such an iconic name as the new flagship of our fleet, carrying on a tradition of excellence that our guests have loved for nearly 150 years,” said Antorcha. “Thank you to our partners at Fincantieri and our own team members who worked tirelessly to deliver the ship on schedule during what has been the most challenging of times, and also deliver a ship that looks beautiful, is immaculately finished and will be an incredible addition to our brand. We cannot wait to welcome guests on board later this fall.”
Upon delivery, Rotterdam will remain in non-guest operations until its transatlantic crossing Oct. 20, 2021, from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where it will then begin its maiden season in the Caribbean. Naming details have not been finalized and will be announced at a later date.
Two dancers mesmerized the audience with a dazzling performance.
A cellist beautifully closed the ceremony.
The third vessel in the Pinnacle Class series and the seventh ship to bear the name for Holland America Line, Rotterdam will carry 2,668 guests and feature highly successful amenities and innovations introduced with her sister ships. Throughout the ship, Rotterdam will showcase Holland America Line hallmarks that drive one of the highest guest repeat rates in the industry: exquisite cuisine guided by seven of the world’s leading chefs; gracious, award-winning service; and superbly appointed staterooms and suites, including family and single accommodations.
Rotterdam delivers the best live music at sea with an exclusive collection of world-class performances nightly at Rolling Stone Rock Room with classic rock hits; Lincoln Center Stage, offering chamber music; Billboard Onboard, where live musicians entertain the crowd with chart-topping hits; and the popular B.B. King’s Blues Club, bringing the best of Memphis music to sea. With the 270-degree LED projection at World Stage, Rotterdam will immerse guests in panoramic visual and sound effects.
In addition to the impressive Dining Room, guests will delight in specialty restaurants Rudi’s Sel de Mer, a French seafood brasserie; Tamarind, exploring traditions of Southeast Asia, China and Japan; Nami Sushi with tasty sushi and Asian spirits; Pinnacle Grill, the ultimate steakhouse at sea; Canaletto with family-style Italian dining; and Club Orange exclusively for guests in the Club Orange program.
Additional culinary venues include Grand Dutch Café featuring traditional Dutch coffee and treats and European beer; Dive-In, serving up gourmet burgers and fries poolside; New York Deli and Pizza, offering made-to-order sandwiches and pies; and Lido Market, with themed serving stations that revolutionize the buffet experience.
The History of the Name Rotterdam
Holland America Line’s first ship was Rotterdam, which sailed its maiden voyage from the Netherlands to New York on Oct. 15, 1872, and led to the founding of the company on April 18, 1873. Rotterdam II was built in 1878 for British Ship Owners Co. and purchased by Holland America Line in 1886. Rotterdam III came along in 1897 and was with the company until 1906. The fourth Rotterdam joined the fleet in 1908 and also served as a troop carrier when World War I ended. Following the war it made regular cruises from New York to the Mediterranean.
Rotterdam V, also known as “The Grande Dame,” set sail in 1959 and began sailing transatlantic crossings with two classes of service. It later converted to a one-class ship in 1969. She sailed with Holland America Line for 38 years until 1997, including several Grand World Voyages, and currently is a hotel and museum in the city of Rotterdam. Rotterdam VI, the most recent to cruise for Holland America Line, was introduced in 1997 as the first ship in the R Class.
Rotterdam VII is the 17th ship constructed for the brand by Italian shipyard Fincantieri.