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From the Desk of Prinsendam Captain Jeroen Schuchmann

As you may know, the beloved Prinsendam will soon bid a final farewell as she leaves the Holland America Line fleet July 1, 2019, after 17 years. As our most intimate ship, she’s long been a guest favorite known for offering unique cruising experiences. But she isn’t leaving without saying goodbye. There are still upcoming itineraries available, and you’re invited to join us on board one last time.

Prinsendam will explore the Amazon roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale in November, then offer two Caribbean cruises through the holidays. Once again, she will sail our in-depth 80-Day Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage, and her last circumnavigation will certainly be among her most memorable. Following that journey, the ship then makes way to Europe where she will spend her last few months in the Holland America Line family. The diverse collection of voyages is homage to the itineraries the ship has offered while serving in our fleet: the Mediterranean, Iberian Peninsula, British Isles and Norway, making her final farewell on a 14-day expedition to the North Cape.

I’ve had the good fortune to command Prinsendam for the past few years, and I’ve always appreciated her size. It has allowed us to explore the world’s remote corners in style while creating a strong sense of camaraderie among her guests. It also enables our staff and crew to delight guests with the award-winning service and amenities that are hallmarks of Holland America Line.

I do hope you will join us in celebrating Prinsendam on one of her final Holland America Line sailings. I look forward to welcoming you on board to celebrate this special ship.

Warmest Regards,
Captain Jeroen Schuchmann

30 Comments
  • Arleen Hinds

    I sailed on the inaugural voyage of the Prinsendam and out of the 40 cruises I have taken it remains the most memorable.

  • Mary Myers

    Sailed on the Prinsendam in June 2016 on the Norway north cape voyage. Loved it! I am booked for the same trip in June 2019. Prinsendam’s last trip.

  • Jacqueline Rich

    As a 4 star mariner I have about 299 days on board HAL and, I think, close to 100 are on the Prinsendam, our favourite ship, because we preferred 30 day or longer voyages. When my husband became ill we had to cancel the Brazil trip which was 45 days in 2016. When he died in 2017, I booked that cruise and loved every second. I took him with me in memories of our favourite ship. It is special. The service has changed, there used to be a cruise director that had activities every sea day, awarded points for games and exchanged the points for HAL products – sweat shirts, mugs, etc. That has disapeared from all your ships. It was a benefit on the long voyages and passengers mixed and met much more than they do now. At least Prinsendam is smaller, better chance to meet like minded people. I did. It helped to talk to someone as I travelled this voyage alone.

  • Bob Thoms

    I’ve been sailing with HAL since 2011, and discovered Prinsendam on a cruise in the Mediterranean. It was “love at first sight”!! I will be taking my fourth cruise aboard her in March 2019, hoping to add more fond memories on this wonderful ship. Thank you HAL for creating that “intimate and down home” atmosphere that only the Prinsendam can create. She will be sorely missed!!
    I sincerely hope that this sale doesn’t make HAL “just another cruise line”

  • Jane

    My sister and I first enjoyed MS Prinsendam in the fall of 2009 when we sailed from Piraeus, Greece for a Mediterranean Cruise and then a trans-Atlantic, ending in Ft. Lauderdale. We loved the ship! We will be saying our farewell to her on our December 2018 Christmas/New Year cruise. I have loved every HAL cruise I’ve been fortunate enough to take, but none of the other ships has Prinsendam’s intimate charm.

  • Hue Rim

    My husband and I sailed on Prinsendam earlier this year, 68 days S America, Antarctica, and Amazon. Fantastic crews on board, and fantastic itinerary! Glad that we had chance to experience the ship!!!

  • E-Aalders

    We sailed several times with Holland American Line but the Prinsendam was by far the best.She is elegant,has a nice shape,the other ships dont have.

  • Brian & Lesley Crews

    As 4 star Mariners we are sad like many others to see the Prinsendam retired. We were booked on it for November 2019 but this has obviously been changed.
    The laudits from the Captain emphasize the other blog comments. It is disappointing that there have been no comments from HAL management explaining why there is no like replacement for the Prinsendam.
    Maybe Holland America will become just like any other cruise line as another comment stated.

  • Chris Barrett

    We are 3 star Mariners who have so enjoyed memorable voyages with you on several of your beautiful ships, but our voyage on MS Prinsendam in 2016 to the high Arctic, Svarlbaard, the polar ice cap, was extra special. Prinsendam is the epitome of a classic and elegant smaller ship. We were hoping to sail on her again but that is not to be. Fond memories of her will stay with us.

  • Robert Wagner

    After having sailing on all HAL s different ships the Prinsendam was our favorite
    Why is she being taken out of service ?

  • Jane Gifford

    Sorry to see the Prisendam retired. Sailed a round trip British Isles from Amsterdam in 2015. Loved the small ship feel. The larger ships just don’t compare!

  • michael gallagher

    We leave in a few weeks for our personal good-bye to Prinsendam. Burned into our memory was the observation by one of her captains that she looked like a ship, not a box with propellers. A grand voyage aboard he around S. America is a memory of a lifetime. She will be missed.

  • Tony Haas

    Prisendam last month was my 1st HAL cruise.loved it more than any other cruise I have taken so I booked 2 more HAL cruises.
    On the Neiu Statendam as we speak
    I don’t understand why the hot tubs are so small 🙁 and when I finally get a chance to get in one they shut them down. On RCL 2 weeks ago bubbling away at 1am
    And why is the Neiu Statendam pool 7ft deep? No diving of course so what’s the point of having a drowning pool

  • Mike Massey

    Mariner 4 Star-Sailed on the Prinsendam – Amsterdam to Iceland last August— fantastic cruise. Booked Lisbon to Rome April, 2019–great ship and crew sorry to see her retired.

  • Sandy Shultheis

    My husband and I are heartbroken at the sale of the beloved Prinsendam. (We are sure that we are not alone in our feelings.) We have sailed on her more than any other HAL ship, or any other ship period.
    We spent 88 days cruising from Amsterdam to Ft. Lauderdale visiting the Mediterranean, overnight at the Great Pyramids, overnight in Israel/Jerusalem. When we came back to our home on the Prinsendam, we were greeted with a Welcome Home sign and appetizers.
    We have cruised from Ft. Lauderdale around South America and Antarctica back to Ft. Lauderdale. We flew to Machu Picchu, Iguazu Falls, and Patagonian Plains and, again, we were warmly welcomed each time we returned to the elegant Prinsendam. We spent a holiday cruise on her. We cruised from Ft. Lauderdale to Dover England so we wouldn’t have to fly.
    Walking onto the beautiful Prinsendam is like coming home. We always saw friendly crew that we have seen before. It was so easy and comfortable to walk around the 800-passenger ship.
    We have had such wonderful cruises on her that we have left the beautiful ship in tears and will certainly cry again when we say goodbye on July 1 after sailing with her on her last four weeks as a HAL ship.
    Sandy & Dave Shultheis
    5-Star Mariners & soon-to-be Platinum Medallion Holders

  • Roxanne

    The Prinsendam is our favorite cruise ship of all time. It is the size, the staff, and the passengers, not to mention the walk in closet!! Our son was 2yrs when we did the first cruise on her in Europe in 2004. He was treated like a rock star. It was so great that we came back 2yrs later and brought friends and family. We convinced others later to try cruising. The husband didn’t think he would like it. Luckily, their first cruise was on the Prinsendam. Now they cruise often. They will be on her farewell journey. Wish we are that lucky. Will be interested in who buys her. Hopefully, they won’t change too much and we will look to sail on her again!!

  • Susan O'Rourke

    I don’t remember where we cruised to on our first trip on the Prinsendam, but it was shortly after HAL had acquired her from Seabourn. We loved it especially the “smoking room” complete with comfortable leather chairs like and old comfortable London club. That space became the library. When the SARS epidemic hit the far east (in 2006?) she was moved to San Francisco for Alaska cruises, which we jumped on! The Prinsendam was able to go into places the other ships were too large for. What an experience! A friend and I took the Black Sea cruise out of Athens, and we are taking her farewell voyage. I hope HAL is able to get another smaller ship with such interesting itineraries – there is certainly a demand for that!

  • Mary Myers

    Posted last October saying I would be on Prinsendam’s last cruise. I’m so sad it will be gone. I will look for others who have said they will be on the same cruise. Was on the 20 day cruise of Norway and the north cape in June of 2016.

  • Sharon and Alan Johnson

    My husband and I also heartbroken that our beloved Prinsendam was sold to Phoenix Reisen, a German Cruise Company. We first sailed on the Prinsendam in 2011 on half of the GV around South America. It was love at first sight. In 2014 we did the complete GV around SA. After that voyage we have sailed on the Prinsendam each of the past five years. And what special years they were. Highlights have been the many small ports that the Prinsendam is able to tender or dock at such as Limerick Ireland, Aalborg Denmark (where the Prinsendam was the biggest building in town), sailing through the Norwegian fjords from Tromso to Narvik (due the Prinsendam’s ability to lower her mast), the Kiel Canal, Riga Latvia, up the Seine to Rouen and up the Garrone to downtown Bordeaux. Having been on HAL’s biggest ship, I agree with Captain Jereon about the Prinsendam’s comradery among the passengers and the personal attention of the Crew. When boarding the Prinsendam, it feels like coming home. We didn’t have that feeling on the Konigsdam. My husband and I just completed the BEST cruise we have ever taken on Holland America, the Prinsendam’s, the last Grand Voyage around SA. The Captain Jeroen and the Hotel Manager Rene made sure we had a unforgettable cruise. The major highlight has to be our visit to South Georgia Island where Shackleton is buried. And the weather made sure that it was a day we would never forget! Now we are booked for the last two months of the Prinsendam and will be flying to England to join the ship and her wonderful crew in Dover. We just know that these last two months will be memorable. We are aware that Holland America has no intention to build a replacement for the Prinsendam. But we hope that management will find a similar size ship to replace her. What we would definitely miss by sailing on Seaborne or any other small ship other companies is the wonderful Indonesian and Prinsendam Crew. Also, we enjoy the cliental that cruises on HAL ships and the friendship of the wonderful HAL officers. When the Prinsendam has left the fleet, we will have sailed more than 450 days on the Prinsendam. Having looked at all the HAL itineraries for the rest of 2019 and 2020, there is no HAL ship that sails to such unique ports of call. So please reconsider not replacing the Prinsendam!

  • Sandra Zimmermann

    Adding to the sad chorus, the Prinsendam is decidedly my favorite ship of all times. Having cruised her inaugural season (2003) through the Panama Canal from San Francisco to Boston and her Holy Lands tour in 2011, we had to join her for her last Hurrah with HAL. In a few days we’ll board in Cittavechia for an adventure ending in Dover. We’ve cruised many other times with HAL, as well as with many other cruise lines. But hands down, no trip has been as memorable as our time on the Prinsendam.

  • Z & A

    Our ages are 50 and 44 (respectively) and we are 14 days short of becoming 4 Star Mariners. We were fortunate enough to have spent just under 35 days on the Prinsendam. Having cruised on HAL, RCL, Princess, without a doubt HAL is our most favorite Cruiseline and Prinsendam is our most favorite ship. We have very fond memories of this ship. We met individuals and couples that had made sailing the Prinsendam an annual tradition. We are truly heartbroken to see this ship sold. We never thought that we would become so attached to a Cruiseship. We hope that HAL brings back a ship consistent (size, capacity, voyages, guest culture etc) with the Prinsendam. Truly heartbroken. Truly sad.

  • Pamela J Clancy

    How timely to see this article that the MS Prinsendam (II) will be retiring. Just this year I (2019) began researching the sinking of the MS Prinsendam (I) in 1980.
    My grandmother, Genevieve Denny, survived that sinking. She was in a lifeboat in the Bay of Alaska for 10 hours waiting to be rescued by airlift into a helicopter then on to a ship, then to Valdez, Alaska. I have her original, typed testimony to that horrible event. All her personal items and jewelry are now at the bottom the Gulf of Alaska but God preserved her life! This rescue was a miracle thanks to the US Coast Guard. Amen to you folks who coordinated this rescue in the wee hours of the morning in early October of 1980.

  • Ron and Andrea

    We would like to add our names to the list of people who are sad to see this ship leave the Holland-America Cruise Line. We have sailed with HAL for over 20 years and are 4-star mariners with over 30 cruises. It is very sad to see Holland America change their thinking in terms of cruising. We used to have many interesting lectures and interesting people giving those lectures. We are ordinary people who appreciate the extras, which have sadly disappeared over the years. We are saying a fond farewell to the Prinsendam on the second to last sailing, June 3, 2019. We have sailed on her 3 other times–the Eastern Med., the West Coast of Europe from Amsterdam to Barcelona, and the British Isles. So, we again are doing the British Isles but different ports. Looking forward to meeting other like minded cruisers as we say farewell to the lovely Prinsendam.

  • Donald livingston

    What a sad day when she leaves the fleet when our granddaughter (Marisa) graduated in 2011 we took her on the Princendam leaving from Tilsbury Docks in England through the Med so losing her has a special meaning to my wife and granddaughter Bon Voyage old friend

  • Larry Brown

    What more can I say but “Why? Why?” sell such a memorable ship as the Prinsendam? Our Amazon Explorer cruise, June 2011, is one we always review with friends we invite to Holland America cruises. Prinsendam is the Queen of the fleet. Why sell your magnificent ship? We need an explanation.

  • Gabriella Klein

    To all of you who are booked on the final sailing, to the North Cape, I look forward to meeting you. This will be my first cruise on Prisendam and HAL. I have wanted to do a cruise on Prisendam for some time, having read so many glorious reviews about her – and anyway I do like smaller ships. I happened upon a notice somewhere that Prinsendam would be leaving HAL on July 1st, then discovered her final itinerary is Norway to the North Cape, with so many interesting ports of call. So, hey presto, I booked without any hesitation. Now, all your heartfelt comments convince me I am in for a very pleasant surprise. I am sure we will have a wonderful cruise. Not long now.

  • Captain Tom Panko

    We have sailed on the MS-Prinsendam 3 times and all were fabulous times! Now she joins the old Rotterdam in leaving HAL Sad times! Our most favorite of Cruises and people were on those two Ships, especially the crew pool forward and below decks on the MS-Rotterdam (shhh-I’ll never tell). We hope that HAL will bring forward another Ship of her size and design. Just the thought of sailing on a ship that holds 3,000 plus passengers is enough to make ones head droop knowing that the days of “cruising” are quickly becoming the days of ‘cramped amusement park sailing’. We are so glad and fortunate to know that HAL has defied the growing trend of floating amusement parks. I have and always have been fond of the seagoing life and commend HAL for continuing that tradition. P.S. Bring back the Engine Room and Bridge tours!

  • David Steward

    Prinsendam is only HAL ship we sailed on for past few years. Most of the others are now far too big. Very sorry we will not have another chance!

  • Sarah Fowler

    My first cruise was 2 weeks to North Cape and back on Prinsendam’s older sister, The Royal Viking Sea in the late 1970s. It seems fitting, then, that my second North Cape cruise is on the former Royal Viking Sky. It closes a circle for me. We can’t wait to board Prinsendam on June 17.

  • Brigitta Ludgate

    My heart is sad but at the same time I am glad that the Prinsendam was sold to a German organisation. Phoenix Reisen will take tender care of her. I have traveled on almost all of the cruises that HAL offered on the Prinsendam. Just took her last Celtic cruise. As always it was a most beautiful one. There were tears whenever the conversation came up about the Prinsendam leaving HAL. But maybe I can take a cruise on her through Phoenix Reisen. Would love to see how she looks now. I wish her happy sailings.

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