Senior Staff Officers Bring More Than 80 Years of Experience to Rotterdam

Holland America Line has a history that spans nearly 150 years, and with that comes a depth of talented crew who will be aboard Rotterdam when the ship is delivered in July. The cruise line has appointed Staff Captain Kevin Beirnaert, Hotel Director Wessel van Oorschot, Chief Engineer Peter Massolt, Staff Chief Engineer Wim Akkerman and Environmental Officer Michael Brown to lead Rotterdam’s shipboard teams.

Holland America Line previously announced that Captain Werner Timmers will be at the helm of Rotterdam. The 99,500-ton ship currently is under construction at Fincantieri’s shipyard at Marghera, Italy.

Kevin Beirnaert_Staff Captain 250Meet Staff Captain Kevin Beirnaert
Kevin Beirnaert joined Holland America Line in 2006 and worked on Rotterdam, Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam, where he recently filled in as captain.

Hailing from Gent, Belgium, Beirnaert studied at the Hogere Zeevaart school in Antwerp, Belgium, where he graduated with a degree in masters nautical science. As a cadet and junior officer, he started his career with freight carrier Ecuadorian Line and on dredging ships in Dubai, U.A.E., on the Palm Jumeirah project before joining Holland America Line. He resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Fun Fact: If he weren’t at sea, he’d be a police officer in Belgium.

WESSEL VAN OORSCHOT 250Meet Hotel Director Wessel van Oorschot
Since joining Holland America Line in 2005, Wessel van Oorschot has worked his way through the ranks of the food and beverage department from assistant maître d’ to hotel director. Van Oorschot studied hospitality management at Hotelschool Ter Duinen in Belgium and Baronie College in the Netherlands and started his career at Holland America Line as an intern. Rotterdam will be the fourth new ship he has launched with the company, having previously introduced Nieuw Statendam, Koningsdam and Nieuw Amsterdam.

When not on board, van Oorschot lives in the Philippines with his wife, who is a shipboard doctor with Holland America Line.

Fun Fact: His song request at Billboard Onboard would be “Piano Man” by Billy Joel.

Peter MassoltMeet Chief Engineer Peter Massolt
A Dutch native from Drachten in the province of Friesland, Peter Massolt has worked a total of 19 years with Holland America Line, from 1980-87 and then again from 2008 onwards. During his time with the company, he has worked on ss and ms Rotterdam, Ryndam, Prinsendam, Statendam, Veendam, Volendam, Noordam, Nieuw Amsterdam and Nieuw Statendam.

Massolt holds a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering from the Maritime Institute Willem Barentsz. In his free time, he enjoys restoring Land Rovers, camping and aerobatic flying. He speaks Dutch, English, German and Frisian.

Fun Fact: If he had to swap roles with someone on board, he’d be a Cruise & Travel Director because he is an advocate for learning culture and enjoys the port talks.

Meet Staff Chief Engineer Wim Akkerman
Wim Akkerman joined Holland America Line in 1994 following an apprenticeship on cargo reefer vessels. Raised in the small village of Nederhorst den Berg, the Netherlands, Akkerman went to the Zeevaart maritime college and became a maritime officer, but he chose a technical route.

Fun Fact: His favorite Holland America Line specialty restaurant is Canaletto.

Michael A. Brown Meet Environmental Officer Michael Brown
A native of Panama where he still resides, Michael Brown joined Holland America Line in 2016. Previously he was a marine engineer in the cruise industry.

Brown graduated from the Universidad Marítima Internacional de Panamá with a bachelor’s degree in nautical marine engineering. When not working, he enjoys being with friends and watching movies.

Fun Fact: His ideal shore excursions involve nature, hiking and kayaking.


Join the Discussion


  1. Jim Harris October 16, 2021 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    I have been watching the progress of Rotterdam VII since February 2021. My wife and I plus two cousins will be joining you on December 1, 2021 for 11 nights. I have been a HAL fan since 1959 (Nieuw Amsterdam, pre WEWII version). Anticaption mounts daily.


  2. Katrina Hay October 8, 2021 at 8:51 am - Reply

    Welcome back…Warren & I are looking forward to our first Holiday Cruise over Christmas & New Year…cant wait to meet you and see this wonderful new ship…

  3. Ruth Batts June 10, 2021 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    Will be sailings with you over the holidays and then the TA

  4. Ruth Batts June 10, 2021 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    Looking forward to sailing with you over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

  5. Linda Coughenower March 22, 2021 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    Nov/Dec 2021 cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Buena vista. Hope to see at least 1 of the giant ice bergs around Cape Horn area. (up close but not Titanic close?)
    See you soon. Also please arrange calm seas around Cape Horn don’t need a Shackleford trip.?

  6. Joe Wakeman March 10, 2021 at 8:31 am - Reply

    WONDERFUL new “format”, and onboard info, as I look forward to boarding, our “newest” ROTTERDAM.

  7. Joan Baker February 25, 2021 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    I hope you have the excellent Dr. Arnold Teodoro as the head doctor, he is the best and my husband can attest to the fact. He did a great job of putting my husband’s shoulders back in their joints.

  8. Mary Birch February 10, 2021 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    Awesome looking group. Thanks.

  9. Isabel Vierk February 9, 2021 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    Congratulations to all!
    Hope to meet you soon aboard the new Rotterdam

  10. Michele February 9, 2021 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    Looking forward to three weeks on this ship in December.

  11. Cynthia Blomquist February 9, 2021 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    Scheduled for 8/22/21 cruise from Amsterdam on this beautiful ship.

    Please Please. Let’s pray all is well and we can make it❤️?

  12. Linda Myers-Treat February 9, 2021 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    Great to be introduced to you.
    Looking forward to seeing you, & the new ship 8/29/21. Please just take us almost anywhere!! ?

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