Ramping Up to Rotterdam: February Edition

Did you tune in to Holland America Line Brand Ambassador Seth Wayne’s “Ramping Up to Rotterdam” update last week on our Facebook page? Once again he spoke with Stan Kuppens, new builds projects, hotel, who offered insight into where the ship is at in the building process. Here are some photos shared by Stan and Seth, plus a few more to show you the progress of the ship in several areas.

The hero photo shows the starboard side of the ship, which is the non-dock side. On the dock side, we have the hustle and bustle of cranes and containers. This side is more peaceful. Sometimes there may be barges arriving with items. As you can see, everything is painted in our colors, however over time the colors will fade so the ship will get a final coat of paint in drydock. At the bottom of the ship we have shell doors that we use for tender operations. They are on both sides of the ship, and on the water side we place a pontoon for a supply barge so we are loading the ship from both sides.

“It is going to be another beautiful vessel for Holland America Line. We are going to do everything we can do deliver the ship in the best possible way.” — Stan Kuppens

Throughout the ship we are at 85% of installed cabling. That is 2.7 million meters of cable! If you put the cables in one long rope and started in Seattle, you could now reach the city of Minneapolis. By the end, you could reach the east coast.

When asked about changes from previous Pinnacle Class ships to Rotterdam, Stan said that from Koningsdam to Nieuw Statendam there were 500 improvements in the Hotel Department. These were all made from Nieuw Statendam to Rotterdam plus additional improvements, and when Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam go into drydock, all of Rotterdam’s improvements will be incorporated.


RODM Bridge

The gray tube hanging down is air supply and exhaust, because the official ship duct system isn’t in working order yet. This sucks away any smell from grinding or welding. Basically, it’s a ventilation system. We need to make sure every space has sufficient ventilation.

RODM Bridge

By sea trials, all of the technology will be installed on the bridge. Some screens are already there and being connected. The people on the bridge you see are from the company Wärtsilä and they are responsible for making sure that the systems talk to each other so when you move the handle forward, the ship actually moves forward. The equipment needs to give orders to the system to make sure the automation is completely set.

Rotterdam's engine control room.

Rotterdam’s engine control room.

Installing staterooms is like the game Tetris. The staterooms are being built in two locations: on the ship and off the ship. On the ship, they receive a complete package (walls, etc.) and then they put it together on the ship. We also have a warehouse in the yard. They build the entire stateroom as a whole in the warehouse, then it is placed on board and aligned exactly with where it needs to go. The bathroom units are delivered to the yard, already a fixed unit, and placed inside the stateroom, then placed on board. A stateroom consists of walls only, and all of the components are hanging on the walls of the ship (vanity, closet doors, bed backboard, etc.). Electrics are built into the walls before it is installed. The ceiling is separate and it is not part of the boxed package.

Rotterdam stateroom

Prior to final delivery, we do six inspections per stateroom, — and we have more than 1,900 staterooms including crew! We need to make sure all of the connections (air conditioning, light fixtures) are properly put together.

Stan was asked if the bridge and engine room are first to be complete? The answer is yes, at end of April for sea trials everything has to work. We don’t need all of the floor panels to be in place or the ceiling, but the operational part of the ship needs to function. Rotterdam needs to be able to accelerate, and we have to steer and stop the ship.

The lower levels of the ship are being completed in that priority. People on sea trials need to be able to eat, shower, have hot water, drinkable water, air conditioning to an extent, and the speaker system needs to function so we can make announcements. Crew moves on board in July, so crew cabins are completed first. Preliminary inspections (step four of the six-step process) are starting to be completed.

Rotterdam stern

The ship's Atrium from Deck 1.

The ship’s Atrium from Deck 1.

The Lido Pool area as seen from Tamarind.

The Lido Pool area as seen from Tamarind.

Rotterdam aft

The first Holland America Line crew members have arrived at the yard. The rest of the team is still working at home. We will progress into moving more team members to the yard so we can build up the team in March, including the arrival of our very own Stan at the yard!


Join the Discussion


  1. Hedley Finger July 24, 2022 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    As Covid is airborne, how is the ventilation system organised. Hotels in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, are installing individual air-conditioning in each room, drawing in fresh air from outside, and only recirculating air within the room, i.e. not from the corridors. The corridors have a separate system and are at negative pressure so corridor air is not drawn into a room when an occupant opens the door. Can you please describe how negative and positive pressure is being used on the ship, and how the recirculation and fresh air are handled.

  2. Wolfgang Rüdiger Mueller April 7, 2021 at 11:44 am - Reply

    Ich habe die Jungfernfahrt gebucht, genauso wie bereits vorher auf der Nieuw Statendam. Hoffe auf gleiche schöne Erlebnisse. Gruss aus Bremen

  3. Dan McAvoy March 22, 2021 at 9:42 am - Reply

    We very much enjoy the walking deck usually, deck 5. Will the new Rotterdam Ship continue with the walking deck? On a long cruise people need to be mobile!!
    Also love the entertainment, The Halcats are always a big hit!!

  4. ROBIN BERRY March 21, 2021 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    I cannot receive vaccines, will I be allowed to travel on the ship?

  5. Molly March 7, 2021 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    Hoping that one of the improvements will be a proper teak walkaround deck with the wood lounge chairs that neither the Koningsdam or Nieuw Statendam have. One of the best things about HAL is/was the wide teak promenade decks, now sadly lacking and sorely missed on this new “pinnacle” class of ship.

  6. Robert Sloots March 6, 2021 at 9:54 am - Reply

    Indien er een mededeling komt, is die alleen buiten de hutten te horen. Is het ook mogelijk dat de mededelingen in de hutten te horen zijn? Ik moet anders steeds de hut-deur open doen om te horen wat er gezegd wordt.

    If there is an announcement, it can only be heard outside the cabins. Is it also possible that the announcements can be heard in the cabins? Otherwise, I have to keep opening the cabin-door to hear what’s being said.

  7. Lisa March 3, 2021 at 8:35 am - Reply

    More Improvements than Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam..Rotterdam will be definitely WORTH

  8. Albert Comeau March 2, 2021 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    Has HAL made a final decision on whether the Casino will be smoking or non-smoking?

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