Ramping Up to Rotterdam: January Update

Did you tune in to Holland America Line Brand Ambassador Seth Wayne’s “Ramping Up to Rotterdam” update this 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. The yard was back in full swing on Jan. 11 after Three Kings Day. Stan shared the great news that Fincantieri has given the green light for sea trials, and the yard in 100% confident that Rotterdam will be delivered on time.

The Atrium sculpture is now built. This beautiful piece brings together three decks as it hangs down the midship atrium by Guest Services. Holland America Line wanted a new structure for the ship, and Architectural Designer Adam Tihany came up with the design. It starts on Deck 1 and will be secured two decks above. The photo was taken in the factory where it was made, and they wanted to assemble it one time to make sure everything is accurate, all the parts are there and it’s complete. Then they took it down and shipped it to the yard flat. The base of the sculpture is already prepared on board, and the entire structure will be assembled on board in March.

Artium art

RODM atrium

“The details are exquisite and it’s reinforced and ready for the sea,” said Stan. “Once on board, the column in the middle will be in the same color as the sculpture. The message of the piece is more from the theme of music, and this is a combination movement, dance, the dress of a tango dancer … those kind of movements.”


In the above Atrium photo, you can see that more scaffolding is being removed to make way for items in ceiling. The air conditioning, cabling, ducting and drainage are now complete. Therefore, scaffolding is being removed and they are starting to work in other areas. Additionally, actual spaces are getting lined out in metal frames. You no longer see steel decks, and two layers of cement have been laid: a rough layer and very fine layer. Framing is starting now, then wall panels, then padding and carpet.

Dining Room
In this photo of the Dining Room, it is taken standing close to the maître d’ podium on Deck 2 facing aft. Scaffolding is starting to be removed and the ceiling is nearly done, but panels aren’t closed yet. Here you can see how they are fixing the tables to the floor. This is done for safety and security and is especially important when the seas are a bit rough. The floor needs to have plates welded to the steel deck to hold the base of the table. You can see how we need to calculate exactly where the tables will be placed. Then, the floor will be poured around the steel plates.

Interesting Fact: If table is connected to the deck it might experience more vibration. But on a ship, there is almost no motion with the tables. This is because they are held up by flexiboards. They make it so no vibration is transferred from the deck and table post to the tabletop.

For Rotterdam’s Dining Room, the idea was to make it different from sister ships Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam. As you can see, Rotterdam has a new color palate of gold and blue. Stan said: “Comments from guests on the other Pinnacle Class ships was that the Dining Room was too yellow. So we changed the walls and brought the Dutch tradition back with new Deflt Blue plates as the side plate. We then took the same blue color as the plate and brought it into lighting and décor. Instead of yellowish tone on the wall, we went lighter so it’s nice and bright. With lighting, when you shine light through blue then things look pale. We were afraid food on the plates would look pale, so we changed the lighting inside chandeliers and it only shines through the white crystal balls, not the blue ones. Now, the food on the plate won’t look pale!”

RODM dining room

What’s next for Rotterdam? On Feb. 15 we will have the first Holland America Line officers going to the yard. We have been holding that off, but it’s time. First to go will be the staff captain, chief engineer and staff chief engineer, and we’ll be revealing those appointments soon. The hotel team will arrive first week of April.

Join us again in February for the next Ramping Up to Rotterdam update!


Join the Discussion


  1. Han Wessels February 14, 2021 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    Wat een enthousiasme voor dit nieuwe schip, daar heb je behoefte aan in deze barre tijden en kan je je verheugen op een toekomstige trip met hopelijk ook als vertrek- en aankomsthaven Rotterdam.

  2. paul gruendler February 12, 2021 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    can’t wait to sail 2/22

  3. Susan Schuyler February 12, 2021 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    My sail with you will be January 15, 2022 with my son, Glenn and his 3 sons. With great joy, we look forward to this wonderful, new ship. We feel honored to sail with it’s maiden voyage. It is an awesome ship!!!! Many times I’ve sailed on the Rotterdam – now to be put to rest. The colors you’ve selected are bright, airy and cheerful. Thank you, designers and construction workers for your fine accomplishment!!! Susan S.

  4. Mary Kay Spinda February 5, 2021 at 6:44 am - Reply

    Looks beautiful so looking forward to our cruise August 1.

  5. Gordon Matthews January 31, 2021 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    The dining room looks beautiful. Can’t wait to see the entire finished product. Miss you desperately.

  6. Helen January 31, 2021 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    What a beautiful look to this new ship! I enjoyed viewing the construction progress. I love the new dining room with its blue Dutch influence. The Atrium sculpture is vey impressive! Waiting for the world to heal so we can get back to cruising to see the world on your Dam ships.

  7. Janice Wege January 30, 2021 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    Looking forward to sailing on her in October!!

  8. Louis Wassenaar January 30, 2021 at 10:57 am - Reply

    This ship is beginning to look great. The dinning room looks bright and airy. Love the colours. I think the sculpture would be greatly enhanced if it rotated slowly. We would like to see a photo of the outside of the ship as it is being built. Seth’s background photo of the shipyard is covered by the two video links.

  9. Lisa January 29, 2021 at 7:59 am - Reply

    Every little detail is so fascinating and serve a purpose..Looking forward to next update and sailing
    on Rotterdam!

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