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Four Ships to Leave the Holland America Line Fleet in 2020

Holland America Line announced that Amsterdam, Maasdam, Rotterdam and Veendam will be leaving the fleet and transferring to undisclosed buyers. The ships have been sold in pairs, with the S-Class Maasdam and Veendam transferring to one company in August 2020, while the R-Class Amsterdam and Rotterdam will move to another company in fall 2020.

Holland America Line will cancel cruises for the four ships’ deployments, with some select itineraries being assumed by other ships in the fleet. The 2021 Grand World Voyage aboard Amsterdam will be postponed until 2022 and will now sail aboard Zaandam. The Grand Africa Voyage departing Oct. 10, 2021, aboard Rotterdam will also sail aboard Zaandam on the same dates.

“It’s always difficult to see any ship leave the fleet, especially those that have a long and storied history with our company,” said Stein Kruse, chief executive officer of Holland America Group and Carnival UK. “However, Holland America Line has a bright future ahead that includes recent Pinnacle-Class additions, with a third sister ship next year that will continue to maintain our overall capacity in the marketplace.”

“I recognize and appreciate the deep affection our guests have toward our company and the ships in our fleet,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. “While streamlined, our diverse fleet continues to offer exceptional options for cruisers looking for a mid-sized ship experience to destinations all around the world. I look forward to carrying on those beloved shipboard offerings while cultivating new ideas to bring to our guests.”

Maasdam joined the fleet in 1993 as the second of four S-Class ships. Carrying 1,258 guests, it is the fourth Holland America Line ship to bear the Maasdam name. Most recently, the 55,575-ton ship sailed longer South Pacific and Alaska voyages. Veendam, the final S-Class ship, was delivered in 1996. The fourth Holland America Line ship to bear the name Veendam, the 57,092-ton vessel carries 1,350 guests.

The first ship in the R Class, 61,849-ton Rotterdam was introduced in 1997. Carrying 1,404 guests, it is the sixth Holland America Line ship to be named Rotterdam. Amsterdam joined the fleet in 2000 as the final of four R-Class ships. Carrying 1,380 guests, it is the third Holland America Line ship to be named Amsterdam. Most recently, the 62,735-ton ship operated the line’s Grand World Voyage.

Guests with bookings on future sailings of these ships will be notified that these cruises will be cancelled or changed. Along with their travel advisors, guests will receive information if the cruise will operate with a different ship or information and special offers on how to book another Holland America Line cruise when operations resume. Guests who prefer a refund will be accommodated.

Cancelled cruises will include scheduled Canada/New England and Grand Voyages on Amsterdam; Mexico, South Pacific, Australia and Asia itineraries on Maasdam; Caribbean, Europe, Panama Canal, South America and Hawaii sailings on Rotterdam; and Caribbean and Europe itineraries on Veendam.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam joined the fleet in 2000 as the final of four R-Class ships. Carrying 1,380 guests, it is the third Holland America Line ship to be named Amsterdam. Most recently, the 62,735-ton ship operated the line’s Grand World Voyage, additional Grand Voyages and Canada/New England itineraries.

Maasdam

Maasdam joined the fleet in 1993 as the second of four S-Class ships. Carrying 1,258 guests, it is the fourth Holland America Line ship to bear the Maasdam name. Most recently, the 55,575-ton ship operated the line’s EXC In-Depth Voyages.

rotterdam

The first ship in the R Class, Rotterdam was introduced in 1997. Carrying 1,404 guests, it is the sixth Holland America Line ship to be named Rotterdam. The 61,849-ton ship has been sailing Panama Canal, Caribbean, Norway, Baltic and British Isles itineraries.

Exterior Veendam leaving San DiegoVeendam - Holland America Line

Veendam, the final S-Class ship, was delivered in 1996. The fourth Holland America Line ship to bear the name Veendam, the vessel carries 1,350 guests. The 57,092-ton ship operated the line’s Caribbean and longer European itineraries, including British Isles, Baltic, Norway and Mediterranean.

159 Comments
  • Stephen A

    Fond memories as our only first cruises (3) were on these ships, 2 on Rotterdam and one on Amsterdam. The lasting impression was a relaxing atmosphere and very professional crew with a comforting focus on safety. I found this post while looking to book a cruise and am sad to see the emphasis on larger ships. We avoid them like many others posting here and seem to be trending towards Oceana, Princess now. Hope HAL can provide more information about their value proposition so we can choose wisely. The Vpvalues seem good, but if it isnt a relaxing experience due to megaship in port. crowds, etc. we may avoid. Note we are retired in our 50s with many travel years planned

  • Julie

    Hi Stephan, thank you for your feedback. While our largest ships carry just over 2,600, that’s still mid-sized compared to many of today’s larger ships. And we strive to maintain an intimate experience on all of our ships. If you do prefer smaller, our smallest, Zaandam and Volendam carry just 1,432. And we have several other ships in-between. We hope you’ll continue to enjoy cruising with us for many years to come.

  • Peter

    Sad to see that most of the R-class ships as well as the Maasdam have been sold. This leaves only the Zaandam as the last remaining of the HAL ships we have sailed on. At least we will have fond memories of cruising with HAL and reaching 4-star status.

  • Joan

    We are saddened to hear about the sale of these four ships. Cruising has become our favorite pastime and we have sailed on each of these vessels. I hope Holland America will continue to offer cruises on mid-size ships as we prefer to sail on ships carrying fewer than 2000 passengers.

  • Rosemary

    The Amsterdam was the ship we sailed on to Alaska. First cruise was a 7 day cruise and the second cruise was 14 days. We really enjoyed the smaller ship which carried fewer people. We were sorry to see her go. We are scheduled for a September 2021 cruise on the Oosterdam, hoping it will not be cancelled.

  • Blithe Jensen

    Just found your blog. I don’t do social media, so miss out on some things. Like so many others, the smaller ships are what kept me sailing with HAL. I started with HAL in 1992, and am close to being 5*, having only sailed with them. In January 2018 I booked a cruise on the Konningsdam because it was going to Guadeloupe and I needed yarn. Got my yarn, but really disliked almost everything about the ship. Only 2 positives were the Grand Dutch Cafe and the dedicated shore excursion space. Promenade was a joke with almost no space to get a view, and movies watched from a deck chair with the pool violently sloshing behind was a ridiculous experience. (I could add a lot more, but won’t). Loved the Amsterdam, but also liked the others that were sold. Only ones left I would voluntarily go on are Zaandam and Volendam.
    Was last on the Volendam in September of 2019 with my granddaughter (19). My 31 year-old travel companion of 22 years, a small pink teddy bear named Bearly, went missing from the Lido deck around midnight when we stopped to fill our ice water bottles. He’d worn an i.d. pouch around his waist since a cruise in 1999 so I was confident he’d be returned. Today marks 21 months he’s been gone, and we still want him to come home.
    I’ve said for years that bigger isn’t better, it’s just bigger. If HAL can’t understand that and acquire/build some smaller ships I’m seriously considering moving to Crystal. It sounds like they offer much of what HAL had back in the 90’s. So sorry to see HAL ships looking like Carnival clones instead of the elegant, tasteful ships of the past.

  • Tony

    I find it disappointing that HAL removed all the old mostly very negative comments. Interesting though that the new comments are also equally if not even more negative. With some very unhappy Mariners and reviews of the new “mid sized” pinnacle class ships. A ship that can hold 3000 plus passengers in not a mid sized ship.
    It was stated by HAL that when HAL came under the Carnival umbrella and introduced the “S” & “R” class ships they were built of a size to not compete with the “large ships of Carnival”.
    At that time the “large ships of Carnival” were around 70000gwt and carried about 2500 passengers. If those ships were considered large how can a ship that is around 99000gwt and can carry over 3000 passengers be considered mid sized?
    I have said this to HAL directly, however they do not care and are not listening to their customers. It is safe to say from all these similar postings we are far from alone in these thoughts.
    We and your core mariners like the smaller ships, great ports with unusual itineraries and no huge crowds. Oh and don’t forget proper promenade decks with the lounge chairs!
    I’ll close with a quote from Fred Olsen the current owners of Borealis and Bolette, the former Rotterdam & Amsterdam. “Whoever said bigger is better? Not us”
    “Whilst the cruise industry has gone for bigger ships brimming with more and more people, we’ve always believed smaller is better.
    Because smaller ships bring big benefits.
    They mean we can treat passengers as guests.
    They can dock at smaller ports, much closer to the parts of our planet we’re most passionate about showing.
    They mean we can avoid overcrowding, both abroad and ashore, so our guests can disembark easily and enjoy the freedom to see, explore and experience.
    They mean we can offer warmer, more personal levels of service.
    It would be easy to scale up, cram in and cut corners, but we never will.
    Because to us, the size we are is the size we should be.”
    HAL time to take note if you wish to avoid going out of business.

  • Julie

    Hi Tony, please note that we have not removed any negative comments. We appreciate all feedback, good and bad. We appreciate your thoughts on the sizing of the Holland America Line ships.

  • Geoff kennett

    I’m sorry to see the Maasdam go. It was “ my” ship. So much so I am almost up to level 2 all on the same ship. The big ships look like a block of flats placed on a boat. Give me small boats every time. I will miss you Maasdam go safe

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