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Welcome to the Fleet, Rotterdam!

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.

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.

Rotterdam’s Captain Timmers addresses the audience.

Giuseppe Bono, CEO, Fincantieri

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.

Two dancers mesmerized the audience with a dazzling performance.

A cellist beautifully closed the ceremony.

A cellist beautifully closed the ceremony.

About Rotterdam
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.

  • Mary Myers

    I can’t wait. I am booked to be on the Transatlantic voyage.

  • Margot Villanova

    Can’t wait to meet her in person!

  • sandra hutchins

    Hi Julie
    Please answer my question. How is this magnificent ship, going to leave Amsterdam on Oct 20th, when she is no longer listed, by the port. She has been removed from all the European ports, that she was due to visit.
    We are booked on this cruise, so we dearly want it to happen. We only want to know the facts.

  • larry c dotson

    After suffering through the new “Cancel Culture” (cancelled cruises that is), we will be boarding the Nieuw Amsterdam for Alaska and are looking forward to our first sailing on the new Rotterdam as it makes its Oct. transatlantic.
    HAL “make my day”. Please…………..

  • Herlene Delott

    Where is the port in Amsterdam where the Rotterdam will sail from on Oct20, 2021?

  • Peter and Sylvia Huijgen

    We are looking forward to sailing on the new Rotterdam.

  • sandra hutchins

    I hope too, that the Rotterdam will have passengers for the TA. What are our chances?
    Please tell us, before final payment.


  • Zeke

    Booked on the TransAtlantic-can’t wait to be on board!

  • Terri Saye

    I am scheduled for Norway Sept 2022

  • Julie

    Hi Sandra, at this time Rotterdam is sailing. They might have removed it from the website if it is at capacity and no longer being sold. If this changes, we will alert guests ASAP. Apologies for the delay.

  • Dave Gromala

    Can’t wait for the Transatlantic Sailing on October 20. Hey, Holland America — here’s a suggestion! Since the ship is patiently waiting for Embarkation Day, why not provide shuttles from Schiphol to the pier and allow passengers to check-in and board ONE OR TWO NIGHTS EARLY AND REMAIN ON-BOARD?? Advantages? They get a COVID-test before flying, get off the plane, you COVID-test them at the pier, and they remain safe (away from transmission in Amsterdam) for 24-48 hours before sailing. As a bonus, the crew gets to “practice” working with actual passengers before departure. Yes, it sounds weird — but think of how many potential COVID cases we might eliminate before sailing.

  • Heinz Toroxel

    Sorry we had to cancel the TA trip but we will be on board for the Holiday trip from Fort Lauderdale in December. We will than take the TA voyage to Amsterdam in April 2022 – can’t wait.

  • Robert

    We too are booked. We booked in january when the vaccines were rolling out and, of course before Delta. Excited at the prospect of being on the maiden voyage, concerned that it will be canceled and hoping for the best.

  • Julie

    Please call reservations, as they will have the port details for you.

  • James E Harris

    My wife, two cousins from NC and me are booked for December 1 from Fort Lauderdale for 11 nights to the Caribbean. I have been on 4 prior HAL cruises (Nieuw Amsterdam 2 [1959, 1966]), Westerdam (2012) and Oosterdam (2016). The latter two being Transatlantic westbound. The first was TA eastbound. The 2nd Nieuw Amsterdam was from NYC to Caribbean (Christmas/New Year’s). I am so excited to be able to cruise again and on the new ROTTERDAM.

  • John Doswell

    We are booked on the Rotterdam TA, arriving Amsterdam from the UK. The Netherlands has the UK as Very High Risk and just moved the USA to the same category.
    What is Holland America recommending for travellers?
    Get to Amsterdam early and quarantine (10 days but can test out at day 5)?
    Get to Amsterdam on the day of the cruise? Would we be eligible for the 12 hour exemption by NL government for “public transport”?
    Can HA assist with airport transfers (not showing as available on the website)?

  • Julie

    Hi John, please call reservation to get the most accurate informatin on your cruise. I apologize we don’t have more details on the blog.

  • JoAnn

    I am so excited to be going on another Holland Cruise especially with the new Rotterdam Ship. We will be leaving for the Caribbean on Nov 9 for 11 days…Can’t wait!!

  • ronald j sanders

    Just cant wait to get on the new ship rotterdam
    Holland did the right thing no un vaccinated traveler’s . They are moving our schedule working hard not to disappoint.
    This is our 4th cruise they will not disappoint.
    I hope they are giving us what we pay for.
    As far as im concerned holland is the best cruise line out there

  • ronald j sanders

    Just cant wait to get on the new ship Rotterdam
    Holland did the right thing no un vaccinated traveler’s . They are moving our schedule working hard not to disappoint.
    This is our 4th cruise they will not disappoint.
    I hope they are giving us what we pay for.
    As far as I’m concerned holland is the best cruise line out there
    We will be leaving January 2nd 2022 to the Bahamas.

  • Tresca Grannum

    We have been sailing on the Rotterdam for the past five days in the Caribbean. Our last stop will be High Moon Cat on our sixth day. The ship is simply beautiful in all of its striking decor!

    The crew is beyond fabulous and helpful. We have had an awesome Customer Service Rep, Isobel. with such kind and professional service has made our experience wonderful!

    The care of our Cabin Attendants are superb! Silo and Arta on the 5th floor are always so attentive to our needs, well beyond my highest expectations.

    The Lido Dining crew has always taken great care of us, thank you.

    Finally, Darian our photographer is such a caring and sensitive professional. Her gentle care in making our experiences so special, highlighted our Rotterdam journey!

    Thank you so much for our first experience on HAL Ms Rotterdam! We can’t wait for our next cruise again!

  • Carla Powers

    So excited, my very first cruise and it will be on Holland America’s new Rotterdam on Oct. 30, 2022. Interesting fact: my great aunt sailed (emigrated)on the 4th Rotterdam in 1912 from Holland to New York!
    I am Dutch born and raised, now a naturalized American citizen and so happy to finally be able to cruise on your beautiful ship!

  • Nancy Williams

    Have the testing requirements for Covid been lifted for the Rotterdam for sailings in September?

  • Julie

    They have not. We still require testing.

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