The first time Nieuw Statendam visited her homecountry was at the fifth of may in 2019. She is seen here passing the village of Velsen Noord on het way to the IJmuiden locks.
To attract a more diverse clientele, Holland America Line changed slowly after the year 2000 from a company that concentrated on the older, classic cruisepassenger to the more contemporary world traveller. For the smaller ships, like the S-class and R-class from the mid to late 1990's, there was no problem with their classic style. But in a changed world, Holland America started to push up the scale with the 86.000-ton Vista class from the beginning of the new millennium up to the Signature class in the 2010's, the Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam. When the Pinnacle class was announced, it was expected that also HAL would go beyond the 100.000-ton marker but the company stated that they would not be part of that race. That said, the first ship Koningsdam, introduced in 2016, was just 164 tons short of that number. At the date of her dedication, the 20th of may in 2016, the name for the second ship in the class was announced as Nieuw Statendam. This ship was going to be introduced in 2019, followed by a thirth ship, the then still unnamed Ryndam in 2021. The Pinnacle class of ships broke tradition, as they were no longer designed by the Dutch company VFD, who did design the interiours since the 1980's, but by Adam Tihany and Bjorn Storbraaten.
What about the dam-name?
In 2015, Holland America Line waved goodbye to two of the smaller S-class ships, the Statendam of 1992 and the Ryndam of 1994. They were replaced in the fleet of P&O Australia, another of the Carnival owned companies and part of the Holland America Group within the corporation. The Australian fleet was in need for 'new' ships and the Holland America fleet, as said, was in need of modernization. And in need of names. One of the few companies in the world that is still relying on older shipnames, the choices had become less easy as the company had never sailed with this many ships before and the names have to be internationally recognizable as well. New names have been introduced in the last decades and all are easy to justify. Oosterdam as part of the Vista class, Koningsdam named after King Willem Alexander of The Netherlands and Eurodam due to the European origins of the company. For the second ship in the Pinnacle class though, a rather curious name was chosen. The idea was to combine the classic touch of the past in the Statendam-part of the name and the new direction of the company in the Nieuw-part. Next to that, the company also sails with Nieuw Amsterdam so in that line of names it seems logical. Does it? But Nieuw Amsterdam was named after the former Dutch colony of Nieuw Amsterdam, actually called like that before it became New York. It is really a thing. Nieuw Statendam is not. Yet, at least. It is a combination of words that is kinda odd. Especially when you consider that in Dutch, 'nieuw' is not a word that can translate all English 'new'. In Dutch, the name of the ship should thus be 'NieuwE Statendam' but that name would be very silly in my opinion. Why not just name the new ship Statendam, like the company has always done since their founding in 1872? The way it is done now is kinda like the Americanized Dutch version of the Mein Schiff series by TUI. Just put a number behind the name and forget about the whole thing. I understand the reason why the name Nieuw Statendam was chosen, but it will take a long while to get used to it. Oh, stop whining, you traditional idiot....
Construction and general statistics
At the 20th of march in 2017, the first 260-ton buildingblock of the Nieuw Statendam was lowered into the drydock at the Marghera Shipyard of Fincantieri near Venice in Italy. Her first steel had been cut in july of 2016. The ship was build as yardnumber 6244 and would recieve accomodations for 3152 passengers as maximum, next to around 1000 crewmembers. She has 12 passengerdecks and a tonnage measurement of 99.902. Being just a little tiny bit larger then her sister also makes her the largest ship that has even sailed for Holland America Line, as well as the largest passengership that has ever sailed under the Dutch flag. The ship is 299,57 meters long, 38 meters wide and her draft reaches 8,60 meters. Her machinery consists out of four 12-cylinder diesel-electric engines that run on traditional heavy fuels when at sea, although the ship can be using marine gasoil while she is in port. Her maximum speed is 22 knots, although she will mostly cruise at a more modest 19 knots. Of course she flies the Dutch flag and she is home-ported in Rotterdam. On the 6th of december of 2017, the traditional coinceremony was held when a Dutch guilder from the year 1898 was welded to the forward mast. The year was chosen, as it was the year in which the first Statendam set sail for Holland America Line. At the same day, the ship was floated out of her dock and fitting out could now begin. Her trials were sailed in the Adriatic between the 10th and 12th of august 2018 followed by the nautical tests between the 18th and 22nd of august. On the following november 29th, the ship was finally handed over to the company as their fifteenth ship in the fleet.
The Pinnacle class of ships are the first in the modern Holland America Line fleet that are not designed by the Dutch company VFD, but the company awarded the interiour design to Adam Tihany, who worked together on this project with Bjorn Storbraaten. All spaces aboard are much more bright and open as they had been on the earlier ships. Like Koningsdam, the architects mostly found their inspiration in music and music itself is also largely present aboard in the Music Walk, which is a combination of several musicvenues. Within it, the Lincoln Centre Stage is one of the main entertainmentvenues, sponsored by the Lincoln Center in new York. Also the BB King Blues Club and Billboard Onboard return from her earlier sister. The central atrium, where-in a large sculpture reminds people of being inside a musical instrument, is topped by a ceiling where HD projections can be seen, like the starry night-sky when evening is there and blue skies when the ship is sailing in the middle of day. The modern variant on an open skydome made out of glass, we can say...
Nieuw Statendam is seen here after just leaving the north lock at IJmuiden after her first visit to Amsterdam.
The Nieuw Statendam has a little higher passengercapacity then her earlier sister, as several of her Pinnacle Suites are re-designed and she also has eight more staterooms. The ship also has 32 Family Staterooms as well as 12 Single Staterooms. Most of the cabins are updated though, which is mostly the case aboard a second ship within a class. Like aboard Queen Mary 2 for example, guests who book the Neptune Suite, Neptune Spa Suite of Pinnacle Suite can use a dedicated lounge named the Neptune Lounge with personal concierge service. This lounge also is enlarged when compared to the lounge aboard Koningsdam, so she can also have more windows for a more open feel.
Instead of the Culinary Arts Center, which is aboard Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam features the Club Orange, named after the Dutch Royal Family. Returning are the Grand Dutch Café and the BLEND wine-bar, next to of course the circular World Stage, with its 240 degrees LED-screens surrounding the stage. In the main Dining Room, the ceiling is held high by several bended pilars and central focuspoint is the two-storey wine-tower. Rudi's Sel de Mer restaurant is the French restaurant aboard, with seating for only 54 people. The back wall is sporting a collection of culinair pop-art porcelain plates designed by the French company Bernardaud. Also the eastern restaurant Tamarind returns, designed by Storbraaten. It is based on the four elements, water, wood, fire and earth. What is different from Koningsdam is that Tamarind aboard Nieuw Statendam also has some outdoor seating.
Out to sea.
Nieuw Statendam sailed her first cruise departing the 5th of december 2018, before sailing for Fort Lauderdale in Florida from Civitavecchia, Italy. In Fort Lauderdale, the ship was named by Oprah Winfrey in a ceremony at the 2nd of february 2019 before departing for her first Caribbean winterseason. On the cruise before the ceremony, Winfrey was already aboard as the company had organized a three-day Girls Getaway Cruise together with O, The Oprah Magazine, departing Fort Lauderdale at january the 30th for a roundtrip. After her first Caribbean season, Nieuw Statendam again sailed the Atlantic, repositioning to Amsterdam from where she took over summercruises in Europe from her earlier sister. At the end of summer, the ship then repositions to the Mediterranean for a series of cruises from Civitavecchia.