In honor of some of the most memorable ships in Holland America Line’s nearly 150-year history, the cruise line is changing the name of its newbuild from Ryndam to Rotterdam and designating it the new flagship of the fleet. The seventh ship to bear this historic name, Rotterdam will be delivered on July 30, 2021, pushed back slightly from its original delivery of May 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When Rotterdam is delivered from Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy, it will spend the summer sailing Northern Europe and the Baltic on roundtrip cruises from Amsterdam. Guests and travel advisors with clients who were booked on the ship’s “Premiere Voyage” in May and itineraries through July 30 are being contacted with rebooking options.

The History of the Name Rotterdam

Holland America Line’s first ship was Rotterdam, which sailed its maiden voyage from the Netherlands to New York on October 15, 1872 and led to the founding of the company on April 18, 1873. Rotterdam II was built in 1878 for British Ship Owners Co. and purchased by Holland America Line in 1886. Rotterdam III came along 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.  

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Rotterdam V set sail in 1959 and began sailing transatlantic crossings with two classes of service. It later converted to a one-class ship in 1969. It sailed with Holland America Line for 38 years until 1997, including several “Grand World Voyages,” and currently is a hotel and museum in the city of Rotterdam. Rotterdam VI, the most recent to cruise for Holland America Line, was introduced in 1997 and the first ship in the R Class. It was recently sold to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, as reported by our sister publication, Travel Agent.

Inaugural Season to Explore Mediterranean, Baltic and Norway  

Cruising aboard Rotterdam VII begins August 1 with the ship’s seven-day “Premiere Voyage” departing from Trieste, Italy, to Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, with port calls throughout the Adriatic Sea and southern Italy. The ship sails August 8 from Civitavecchia on a 14-day cruise through the western Mediterranean and on to Amsterdam.  

From August 22 through October 10, the ship will sail roundtrip from Amsterdam on three seven-day itineraries to Norway, one 14-day to the Baltic and one 14-day to Norway, Iceland and the British Isles. A trans-Atlantic completes the inaugural Europe season with a 14-day voyage from Amsterdam to Fort Lauderdale, FL.

To accommodate guests booked on cancelled itineraries of Ryndam from May through July, Nieuw Statendam cruise itineraries also will see some changes to match up as much as possible with former Ryndam sailings. 

Guests booked on the originally scheduled Premiere Voyage will be rebooked on the “Premier Sailing” for Rotterdam, departing August 1, and will receive a $100 per person shipboard credit. All other guests who were booked on impacted Ryndam or Nieuw Statendam cruises will be automatically rebooked to a similar future cruise date during the summer at the same fare paid. Guests will receive a $100 per person shipboard credit for cruises 10 days or less and $250 per person for itineraries of 12 days or more. Guests are asked to wait until they receive updated booking confirmations in the next several weeks before contacting Holland America Line for additional changes to the booking. 

About Rotterdam VII

The third in the Pinnacle Class series, Rotterdam will carry 2,668 guests and will offer amenities and innovations introduced on its sister ships, including the 270-degree, surround-screen World Stage, Rudi’s Sel de Mer and Grand Dutch Café. Rotterdam will have an exclusive collection of performances each night, from Lincoln Center Stage and B.B. King’s Blues Club to Rolling Stone Rock Room and Billboard Onboard. 

Rotterdam is the 17th ship constructed for Holland America Line by Italian shipyard Fincantieri, which most recently built Nieuw Statendam

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