Saturday April 18th marks the end of my second term in command of the Eurodam, and the time has come once again for me to pass on the baton, so to speak.
Compared to my first term, with all the excitement of the delivery and start-up of the ship and inaugurals, this term has been remarkably uneventful, but nevertheless very successful.
Since I arrived back on board shortly after New Year’s we have sailed weekly Saturday eastern Caribbean cruises with the only break in the routine being a few amended itineraries due to the ship being chartered. The Eurodam has one week left in the Caribbean before heading over to Europe on April 25th where she will spend the entire summer cruising the Baltic.
I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome on board and introduce to you Eurodam’s next master — Captain Darin Bowland. Captain Bowland was previously on the Zuiderdam and Westerdam. He started his seafaring career as a naval cadet with the Royal Canadian Navy. He joined the cruise industry in 1995 as second officer and came to Holland America Line in 2007. When not at sea Captain Bowland lives in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada, at his seaside home with his wife and two children.
Since there are some technical and operational differences between Vista-class and Signature-class ships, Darin joined in St. Thomas for a brief familiarization overlap. On Saturday after our return to Port Everglades I will hand over the ship to him. Here we are on the starboard bridge wing discussing the ins and outs of the Eurodam (I’m the one in the captain’s uniform).
I say goodbye until June to the Eurodam and her crew. I am off to home on Long Island where no doubt there is work waiting for me — albeit of a different kind!
Captain Jeroen van Donselaar is master of ms Eurodam — until tomorrow.