Our pal in Rotterdam, Ben van Zeijl, sent us these photos of the retired Rotterdam V, which is being converted to a quayside hotel in downtown Rotterdam. Here’s Ben’s update:
She’s not open for the public, but hopefully she will open before summer. It’s like on ongoing saga. The ship’s restoration and rebuilding to her new role was and is a huge operation. The ship has suffered quite a lot when she was laid up at Freeport, Bahamas, after the bankruptcy of Premier Cruises.
She’s not capable of sailing anymore. Under Premier her boilers were quite misused. When sold by Holland America Line, she was capable of doing up to 26 knots. After two years at Premier, she could hardly do 18-19 knots. And her lay-up did her no good, either.
They will have as much of her interiors intact as when the ship was built in 1959, even restoring her back to her newbuild state. All the on-board art has been restored or replaced with replicas based on the originals. When Rotterdam opens it will even be possible to get married on board.
This daylight picture shows Rotterdam V at her definitive berth position 8 meters from the pier attached to two free-moving mooring pools. Seeing her from shore it looks as if she just arrived or is preparing to depart. In the coming days her gangways will be placed and they will be replicas of the old HAL gangways used by the line in the trans-Atlantic period.