Holland America Line has changed the name of its 2021 newbuild from Ryndam to Rotterdam, honouring its former flagship that was one of four ships to leave the fleet this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Rotterdam is a more historically significant name for the new ship. She will be the seventh to carry the name and will be the new flagship of the fleet, continuing a tradition for the 147-year-old company, whose very first ship had the same name.
More recently, SS Rotterdam of 1959 was the fleet flagship when she was launched, and when MS Rotterdam was launched in 1997 she became the flagship as well. MS Rotterdam was sold out of the fleet, along with Amsterdam, Veendam, and Maasdam.
The new Rotterdam will be delivered one year to the date of the name change on July 30th, 2021, pushed back slightly from its original delivery of May 2021.
“The first ship for Holland America Line was the original Rotterdam, the company was headquartered in the city of Rotterdam for many years, and the name has been a hallmark throughout our history since 1872 … so clearly the name is powerful and symbolic,” said Gus Antorcha, Holland America Line’s president.
“With the current Rotterdam leaving the company, we knew we had a unique opportunity to embrace the name as our new flagship and carry on the tradition of having a Rotterdam in our fleet,” he added.
“Seven is a lucky number, and we know she’s going to bring a lot of joy to our guests as she travels across the globe,” he said.
The new Rotterdam cruise ship will be a 99,500-gross ton, 2660-passenger sister ship to Nieuw Amsterdam and Koningsdam, the third ship in the cruise line’s Pinnacle-class.
The Pinnacle-class ships are based on an enhanced Vista-class design (Holland America is owned by Carnival Corporation and the Vista-class is the latest from Carnival Cruise Line).
The main difference between the two classes is the addition of a deck between the Lido and Observation decks. This allows for more spa category staterooms and public areas, such as the specialty restaurant Tamarind and deck side eateries around the pool with its double-storey sliding roof.
Holland America’s long history of Rotterdam ships:
Holland America Line’s first ship was Rotterdam, which sailed its maiden voyage from the Netherlands to New York Oct. 15, 1872, and led to the founding of the company on April 18, 1873.
The second Rotterdam was built in 1878 for British Ship Owners Co. and purchased by Holland America Line in 1886.
The third Rotterdam followed in 1897 and was with the company until 1906.
The fourth Rotterdam joined the fleet in 1908 and also served as a troop carrier when World War I ended. Following the war it made regular cruises from New York to the Mediterranean.
The fifth Rotterdam was the last great ship of state for the Netherlands and set sail in 1959 and began sailing transatlantic crossings with two classes of service. It later converted to a one-class ship in 1969. She sailed with Holland America Line for 38 years until 1997, according to the company, including several Grand World Voyages, and currently is a hotel and museum in the city of Rotterdam.
The sixth Rotterdam, the most recent to cruise for Holland America Line, was introduced in 1997 and the first ship in the R Class.