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Holland America Line Names Captain Werner Timmers Master of Rotterdam

Holland America Line has named Werner Timmers, a captain with nearly 40 years sailing for the cruise line, to take the helm of Rotterdam when the ship enters service in July 2021. Captain Timmers joined Holland America Line in 1984 and has worked on all classes of ship within the brand, most recently as master of Koningsdam.

Captain Timmers will head to Rotterdam in the coming months for sea trials and then relocate to the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, where the ship is being built, to oversee the finishing touches before delivery.

“As one of the longest-serving officers in our fleet with a wealth of experience, we are pleased to name Captain Timmers master of Rotterdam,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. “His years of seamanship and hospitality with both guests and crew will continue to create a culture on board that promotes excellence in service and a passion for travel.”

Since first joining Holland America Line in 1984 as an intern, Captain Timmers has worked his way up the ranks to captain, which he achieved in 1996. He has since been master of Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Ryndam, Zaandam and Zuiderdam.

“I am deeply honored to be named the first master of Rotterdam, and I look forward to getting on board for the sea trials and seeing the ship come together during the final stages of construction,” said Captain Timmers. “My long career with Holland America Line has been filled with so many wonderful milestones, and this appointment is a highlight.”

A native Dutchman, Captain Timmers grew up in Roosendaal, the Netherlands. He chose a career at sea in his final year of high school after hearing a seafarer tell tales of adventure during career day. He joined the Nautical Academy in Vlissingen, the Netherlands, and after graduating with a degree in nautical sciences, he obtained a second degree in marine engineering and rejoined Holland America Line as a fourth officer.

When not onboard a ship, Captain Timmers lives with his wife, Sherron, and their two children in Mount Dora, Florida.


What is your favorite port to sail into?
There are a few ports that stand out, mostly because the sail-in is beautiful and you dock in the middle of town: Amsterdam, Vancouver, San Francisco, Venice and Istanbul.

What is your favorite dish on any Holland America Line menu?
It’s a hard choice but the Wasabi Beef in Tamarind. For dessert, the Salzburger Nockerln at Rudi’s Sel de Mer. The David Burke additions in Pinnacle Grill also are fantastic.

If you were a cruise guest, what type of shore excursion would appeal to you?
I am into the history of things, so I would choose any excursion that takes me to an old castle or ruins. In Alaska where nature is rampant, I would go either whale watching in Sitka or see the grizzly bears in Ketchikan.

If you weren’t a captain, what would you be doing?

I originally wanted to become an architect, and good design still fascinates me, so something in that direction, perhaps an industrial designer or builder. Together with my wife Sherron, I designed our log cabin in North Carolina and did most of the finishing work. I enjoy woodworking. The latest addition to my shop is a wood lathe. I do a little baking on occasion, my grandma’s apple pie mainly, and I also play golf badly.

If you could pick five people, living or dead, real or fictional, to join you at the captain’s table for dinner, who would you pick?

The first one is my wife Sherron of course, she is my muse and rock all at the same time.
Sir Frances Drake, fearless entrepreneur of the sea, he seems to have been everywhere we go. Steve Irwin and Jane Goodall, for their passion and defense of the animal kingdom and the environment. And finally, Elon Musk, fearless entrepreneur of today’s world.

  • Agnes Horn

    Congratulations Captain Timmers! We truly enjoyed sailing with you and your crew on Koningsdam’s maiden transatlantic voyage and very much look forward to the 14 day Best of Norway in September 2022!. Agnes & Arthur H., Cumming, Ga.

  • Frances Fitzpatrick

    We live in Hernando Beach, FL but remember you from either Massdam or Ryndam and you living in Mount Dora and will be on Christmas Cruise 2021. Looking forward to seeing you.

    Fran Fitzpatrick

  • Frances Fitzpatrick

    Welcome and remember you and Mt. Dora from Massdam/Ryndam and will see you Christmas 2021.

    Fran Fitzpatrick


    We would love for our 8th HAL cruise to be with Captain Timmers.
    Fair winds and calm seas,
    Lynda Miller

  • Garry (Gerrit) Wit

    I look forward to planning a cruise with my wife on the Rotterdam, April, 2022. Captain Timmers we share the same heritage. I was born in the Netherlands, Middelstum, Prov. Groingen.. I now live in Sanford, FL not far from Mount Dora and my wife and I also designed and have a log home in the mountains of North Carolina, and still keep active constructing rock walls for retention purposes and aesthetics. Oh yes, it was not the Rotterdam, but I did cross the Atlantic 3 times on the Ryndam – once in 1953 and twice in 1955. Hope we have the opportunity to share some of this.

  • charlotte & Ed Lakey

    Congratulation and see you in November 2021.

  • Karel Doruyter

    Since I was born in Rotterdam and my grandfather worked his whole life for HAL, it tickles me to see the newest vessel named Rotterdam. Long may she travel the oceans in this world.


    Best wishes to Captain Timmers. If all goes well, we hope to be able to meet him aboard the Rotterdam when we sail with her to Northern Europe on August 29. We are so very looking forward to this cruise. The new Rotterdam looks like an amazing and beautiful ship.

  • Huseyin - hatice

    Congratulations on your new assignment.
    See you in august 2021 on board Rotterdam

  • John Stier

    We look forward to sailing with you on the Premier Voyage August 1st!
    We met you most recently on the Koningsdam!

  • Margaret Gillen

    Congrats. I look forward to sailing with you and all the good folks at HAL. Have missed this past year of being on the seas. We are practically neighbors as am in DeLand.

  • Claus and Yeda Damerow

    Congratulations Captain Timmers. Well deserved appointment. We traveled twice with you on the EURODAM and KONINGSDAM and look forward to seeing you again soon.

  • Don and Betty Blankman

    Congratulations Capt. Timmers. We look forward to sailing with you on the new MS Rotterdam. I see we are also nearly neighbors, as we have lived the last 20 years in The Villages, Florida. I have always sailed on HAL ships. My betovergroetvader Gerrit Gerritsz. Blankman, Jr. attended de Kweekschool voor de Zeevaart in Amsterdam from 1800 to 1805, when he graduated. He came with his own Schooner to America in 1819 and remained here. Our frequent vacations in NL have served to reacquaint me with the country and its culture, and we cherish the many distant cousins who still live there. Hopefully this nasty Pandemic will soon dissipate and we can begin sailing once again.
    Tot ziens, Don en Betty Blankman

  • Barry Gardner

    Sailed with him on the” last voyage” in March 2020 aboard Konningsdam. He did an excellent job navigating around the ever changing COVID restrictions. It was a great trip.
    Looking forward to sailing with him again on Rotterdam in May 2022.

  • Dawn and Dave smith

    We loved having lunch with you and your wife while on the Konigsdam. You are the most knowledgeable and personable captain ever! Congratulations on your well deserved appointment. We look forward to sailing with you again!!
    Dawn and Dave Smith of Venice, FL

  • Richard Ehlers

    Are there openings on the Rotterdam 1st voyage?

  • Frank & Anna Frowiss

    Captain Timmers

    Our first cruise was on the Rotterdam. It was just such a pleasure. Going though the Panama Canal. My Wife and I will travel with you in your first year as Master of the new Rotterdam.
    Best to you and your Wife.

  • Bruce & Joan Brownlie

    Congratulations on your new appointment. We have travelled on the Konningsdam and look forward to cruising with you when the coast is clear to do so.

  • Terry L Card

    Congratulations Captain Timmers. Well done! We had three voyages with you on the Ryndam, an old ship, with lots of character and coziness. Barb and I remember you presenting us with our Bronze Medallion on that third cruise. Of course, now, reward status is recorded in Stars. Our last cruise with you was in October-November, 2019, on the Koningsdam, just before the onset of COVID-19. Here’s hoping for a future cruise with you on the new Rotterdam.

  • Richard Garber

    Captain Timmers, congratulations on your assignment to the Rotterdam!!
    We really feel special to have a Captain of your caliber directing our cruise this fall to America.
    What a privilege!!
    We hope we have an opportunity to meet.
    Rich & Mary Garber, Mariners.

  • Lois Metts

    Congratulations on the new ship, sure hope to sail with you Real soon. Lois

  • James Jacobs

    Hey Captain, Great to know we have an well seasoned professional at the helm. Looking forward to our trip with you in October 2021. Always looking for a additional bad poker player!

  • Deb Furey

    Congratulations! Looking forward to seeing you in January on that beautiful ship!

  • Sharon Fennessey

    Congratulations, Captain Timmers. We have fond memories of sailing with you on the Eurodam and dining with you. at your table for dinner. We’re looking forward to sailing with you again.

  • Rob Howe

    I was on the original Rotterdam August of 1994 on a 7 day out of Vancouver to Alaska . Look forward to sailing on the new Rotterdam one day soon .

  • Susan Kennedy

    Congratulations! I have sailed with you on Ryndam. Looking forward to seeing you again on the inaugural voyage.

  • Michael Richards

    Congratulations Captain Timmers. We first met on the Ryndam about 8 years ago, and we were very impressed with your leadership, personal involvement with passengers, and “hands on” approach to everything happening on the ship. You’re one of the top Captains in the cruise industry, and Holland America is lucky to have you. H-A made a very wise choice in selecting you to lead the new flagship, and we look forward to sailing with you again.

  • Joan Bruyntjens

    Congratulations, Captain Timmers! Having recently moved from Florida to retirement in North Carolina, we appear to have a few similar likes. We’ll be sailing with you November 10th and can’t wait to be back at sea again with Holland America. Bon voyage!

  • Gordon Dollar

    Congratulations! We’ll join you in Amsterdam, Sept. 19, 2021, God willing!

  • glen olson

    Enjoyed reading your story. It is what makes Holland feel like family. Have sailed with you many times. Hope to see you on the new ship in the future. Glen


    Well done !! Couldn’t have happened to a better Captain ! Can’t wait to set sail with you one again !

    Barb & Jack Gardner, the Ryndam Pigeon People

  • Bradley Streeter

    We sailed Eurodam with Captain Timmers a few years back. Such a fine person, funny and personable. We stopped in Key West, and poked around town for a while. We took the conch tour train back to the ship. Lo and behold, sitting next to us was Captain Timmers, dressed in t-shirt and shorts! He was getting key lime pie for the staff on the bridge! We renewed our vows with Captain Timmers presiding, he was fantastic. Spent 15 minutes or so after the wonderful ceremony chatting it up with us, too. We would like to sail on Rotterdam 2022, and would like to renew our vows again with Captain Timmers presiding. Would anyone know Captain Timmers service schedule for 2022?

  • Frederick Hample

    Congratulations I look forward to a future sail onboard the Rotterdam

  • Duane & April taylor

    Congrats Capt Timmers. looking forward running into you and having a chat on our Dec 1 2021 cruise. We are excited to see the Rotterdam.

  • Wendela Jackson

    Gefeliciteerd Capt. Timmers! Miss working the ships and wish you all the best on board the Rotterdam. Hope to see you on a cruise soon! Stay well!

  • James Moore

    I am quite pleased to become part of the initial months for the Rotterdam VII at sea by being on the maiden trans-Atlantic sojourn in October. Hope to greet you onboard, Captain Timmers as a loyal long-time Holland cruiser.

  • Wil Casanova

    Congratulations Captain Timmers on your new command. We look forward to joining you in August and sailing that new beautiful ship all the way back home to Florida.
    Wil & Cyndi Casanova, Clermont, Fl.

  • Mary Ann Humm

    Congratulations, nice to find out you are almost a neighbor. I sailed on the second Rotterdam and was impressed. It will be nice to see how beautiful the New Rotterdam is. Hope we can all get back to sailing again, soon…Hope they show the trials on T.V. like they did for the
    last new ship.

  • Jan Willem Goudriaan

    Dag Kapitein Timmers,
    Van harte gefeliciteerd met uw benoeming!
    Behouden vaart voor U en uw crew.
    Tot ziens aan boord, oktober 2021 (en oktober 2022!)
    Met vriendelijke groeten,
    Jan Willem Goudriaan

  • Hans

    Gefeliciteerd met uw benoeming, wij hopen u in september te begroeten op de trip naar noord europa en IJsland.


  • Henricus (Han) Verschure

    Hartelijk Gefeliciteerd, Kapitein Timmers. Ik ben al lang vertrouwd met HAL, voer reeds in 1968 met de STATENDAM naar New York, nadien Zuid-Amerika, Noorwegen, … Ik wilde eigenlijk kapitein ter lange omvaart worden, maar werd uiteindelijk architect-stedenbouwkundige en Professor in Leuven, met heel veel internationale projecten wereldwijd.

  • Arlette Stirnimann-Vanlishout

    Gefeliciteerd, kapitein Timmers!
    Na drie geannuleerde cruises sinds mei 2020 (transatlantisch met Veendam, Noorwegen met Rotterdam en New England met Zaandam), hoop ik van harte u te mogen ontmoeten tijdens mijn oversteek van Amsterdam naar Fort Lauderdale eind oktober.
    I miss cruising with HAL so very much…
    Vriendelijke groeten vanuit België!

  • Annie delijster

    Hopen op betere tijden en gaan binnenkort onze reis weer boeken met kapitein timmers

  • Drs. Leon A DeWitte OBE

    Congratulations with skipper and ship
    We in Flushing/ Vlissingen are proud , you are representing the seamen of the Scheldt

  • Aaltje Risseeuw-Buter

    Kapitein Werner Timers ,
    Van harte gefeliciteerd met u benoeming.
    Hoop u binnenkort aan boort te zien.

  • Rombaut Rudy

    Congratulations Capt. Timmers ,keep it safe !

  • K.A.Dunki Jacobs

    Wenst u een plezierige vaart met de nieuwe Rotterdam.

  • MerciaLengers

    Geachte kapitein Timmers, hartelijk gefeliciteerd met uw benoeming tot eerste captain of the Rotterdam! I was a passenger on the Koningsdam and enjoyed that trip onder uw leiding. Ik moet zeggen dat de nieuwe schepen mooi gebouwd zijn, maar ik mis toch de öuderwetse”touch van de H.A.L. Gezien mijn leeftijd is het ouderwetse zoals bij de Prinsendam en de oude Rotterdam voor mij meer herkenbaar als H.A.L. schip. Het is wel wennen aan het Italiaanse klatergoud. Evengoed hoop ik en met mij heel veel medecruisers dat dit schip een lang leven voor de boeg heeft.

  • Dick & Corrie Korevaar

    Gefeliciteerd Captain Timmers. Een goede reis en behouden vaart toegewenst.
    Ik heb ook een vraag: wij hebben U en Uw ouders op een cruise naar St Petersburg meegemaakt op de Eurodam, hoe is het met ze?

  • Fred Versfeld

    Congratulations Captain Timmers. What an honorable task to be able to perform your function as captain on this ship the Rotterdam. Hope to meet you once, on our cruise journeys in the near future. Save voyage.

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