Rotterdam is seen passing IJmuiden when sailing towards Amsterdam at the 17th of october in 2021. From Amsterdam, the ship would then depart for her Maiden Voyage to Port Everglades, Florida a few days later on the 20th.
The seventh Rotterdam of the Holland America Line was ordered at the 19th of january in 2017 as the thirth unit within the Pinnacle-class, following her sisters Koningsdam (2016) and Nieuw Statendam (2018). In 2022, the sisterhood was also expanded with the new Cunard Line ship Queen Anne, slightly larger and re-designed, but built out of the same blueprint. The Pinnacle-class was, with almost 100.000-ton in size, the largest class of ships ever ordered for the old Dutch company. With the class, the line continued its shift towards a more modern approach, instead of the more classic style they were always known for. Originally, the new Rotterdam was about to be named Ryndam when that name came available after the former 1994-built Ryndam had been transferred to P&O Australia in 2015. But this was changed when the company had sold their both flagships Rotterdam (1997) and Amsterdam (2000) to Fred. Olsen Lines in 2020 and the desision was made to revive the traditional flagship name Rotterdam in the new ship. Both flagships had been sold on short notice when the COVID-19 pandemic had hit the cruise-industry hard and HAL wanted to reduce the number of smaller, older and less economical ships within the fleet.
Construction and general statistics
In march of 2019, the first steel was cut at the Fincantieri Yards at Marghera, Italy for the then still named ship Ryndam. This name was announced at the 7th of april in 2019. She was built as yardnumber 6278 and was of course going to fly the Dutch flag, with her homeport being Rotterdam. The ship is 299,79 meters long, 35 meters wide and her draft reaches 8 meters. Her tonnage measurement is, like her HAL sisters, just below 100.000 and is stated as being 99.935. This is because HAL doesn't want to be in the 100.000-ton range. There are 12 passengerdecks for a maximum capacity of 3120 passengers and 1053 crewmembers. Normally, the number of 2666 passengers is brought up, based on a two passengers per cabin measure. The maximum speed of the ship is 22 knots, but normally the ship will sail at a servicespeed of 18 knots. Two ABB designed azipods are there for the propulsion and her power comes from 4 MaK diesel generators.
The first block of Ryndam had been built at the Fincantieri yards at Palermo where it floated out at the 3rd of october of 2019 before being towed towards Marghera. At the 21st of november of that year, the first block had also been lowered into the dock of the Marghera yard, where all blocks would be assembled. During building, the cruise-industry was grinding to a halt because of the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic and because of this outbreak also for HAL a lot started to change. The company decided to get rid of several of their older and less economical ships, selling at least four ships. The Rotterdam (1997) and Amsterdam (2000) were sold to Fred. Olsen Lines and the Maasdam (1993) and Veendam (1996) were sold to a Greek ferrycompany called Seajets. This company got their hands on many out-of-service cruiseliners but since the sale, nothing seems to have happened to those. As normally there should be a flagship named Rotterdam within the HAL-fleet and the company had no other plans to order new ships soon, at the 30th of july in 2020 HAL renamed the Ryndam to Rotterdam. At the 2nd of october in 2020 and three days before the ship floated out of her dock, a coinceremony was performed to wish the now new Rotterdam good luck. Seatrials in the Adriatic sea started at the 25th of april in 2021 and took some 11 days to complete succesfully. She returned to the Marghera yards at the 6th of may and was delivered to HAL at the 30th of july.
Below, Rotterdam is seen at her namesake port at the 15th of october of 2021 before setting sail for Amsterdam from where her Maiden Voayage would begin after a few earlier delays.
Like her sisterships Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam was not designed by Holland America Line's Dutch classic house-designers VFD, but the ships design was overseen by the New York-based Adam Tihany. The ship also inherits the main focus in design of her both sisters, which is music. The design is of course almost identical of all three Pinnacle-class ships, but aboard Rotterdam the colourscemes are lighter and also improvements were made to storage-spaces and shelving in the cabins and cabin bathrooms. Also the large library that was prominent aboard the line's older ships returns aboard the new flagship, spaces that were not implemented onboard her sisters. Less visible are of course the changes to the airconditioning systems due to the COVID-19 outbreak during the years in which she was built. Inside the diningroom, the colours are changed a bit to more gold and Delft-blue, because passengers aboard the other Pinnacle-class ships seemed to complain about the spaces being 'too yellow'. But because the colours are lighter, the fear was that the food aboard the plates would look too pale. This was adressed by having the light in the chandeliers only shine through the white crystal balls and not through the blue ones. So the food has to look splendid because of that minor touch!
A big difference between Rotterdam and her sisters was created by one of the designers of many public indoor and outdoor spaces aboard the ship, the Norway-based YSA design. Next to the lift lobbies and corridors, this company also designed the World Stage Theatre and the Observation Deck. They created more intimate, compact spaces to be enjoyed with smaller groups of people in contradiction to the other ships within the class to create a more 'human scale' within the rooms. Also, YSA was largely in charge of the multi-million dollar art-collection, where-in the themes of nature and animals are most prominent. The artworks within the Spa is aquatic themed and within the corridors you can mostly find music-themed art to the likes of hand-carved vinyl records and cassette-tapes.
In her Dutch homeport Rotterdam again.
Returning of course are the Music Walk with spaces like the Rolling Stones Rock Room, the BB King's Blues Club and the Lincoln Center Stage. Those spaces can appeal to many different people due to their different vibes. Within the atrium, there also is a central art-piece which represents a combination of movement, dance and the dress of a tango-dancer.
Originally, Rotterdam would have been departing on her Maiden Voyage from Trieste to Civitavecchia at the 21st of may in 2021 for a first half-season of European cruises, but because of uncertainty still because of COVID-19 this was postponed untill the following 26th of september. This was the second shift, as earlier the date was set at the 1st of august. Sadly, also this date was unable to be met, so the whole first season was abandonned and instead, the ship sailed her Maiden trip departing Amsterdam at the 20th of october 2021, which was a 14-day transatlantic crossing to Port Everglades in Florida for her maiden season in the Caribbean. In april of 2022, Rotterdam will again sail back to Europe. At the 30th of may of that year, the ship will also be named, or 'dedicated' as HAL names it, in her homeport of Rotterdam.