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Ryndam (III)

Ryndam was the thirth ship of the 'S'-class for Holland America Line. She followed Statendam and Maasdam and came before Veendam. It was the thirth time that Holland America Line used the name Ryndam for one of their ships. The first Ryndam was a 12.500 ton ship that sailed for HAL between 1901 and 1929. The second Ryndam was an immigrantliner of 15.000 tons that sailed between 1951 and 1972 for the Holland America Line.

Ryndam, dressed overall in flags, at the Wilhelminakade in Rotterdam at the 22nd of may 2011 in her first European season.

In the earlier ships, the name was originally spelled as Rijndam, the correct Dutch spelling. But because the name was very difficult to pronounce for foreigners because of the connected i and j, the name was later changed to the more international Ryndam.

The thirth Ryndam was built at the Fincantieri wharf at Monfalcone, Italy as yardnumber 5883. She floated out at the 1st of november 1993 and was delivered to Holland America Line at the 9th of september 1994. The ship has a tonnage of 55.451 and she is 219,21 meters long, 30,80 meters wide and her draft measures 7,50 meters. Her passengercapacity is 1629 and they are served by 602 crewmembers. The normal speed of the ship is 20 knots, although her top speed is 22,6 knots. Her homeport was Nassau, so she flew the flag of the Bahama's.

The layout of the interiour of Ryndam was based on the earlier ships that were sailing for Holland America Line, especially the N-class of the mid 1980's, Noordam and Nieuw Amsterdam. The main theme of the ship is the Dutch explorations in the 17th to the 19th centuries. Aboard are several artefacts and artworks original from this period, so she can be called a floating museum also. Next to these precious artefacts, there is also artwork aboard from former ships of Holland America Line, including several items from the earlier two Ryndam's.

But there are also some artworks made especially for the new ship, with as central point the three deck high sculpture in the central atrium. Her interiours can be called conservative and classical, something that is appreciated by her Holland America passengers who mostly have an older average age than aboard other major lines.

The ship was named by Madelaine Arison at Fort Lauderdale before setting sail for her first Caribbean cruise at the 20th of october 1994. She mostly sailed the Caribbean and Alaska, a very important market for Holland America Line. Her carreer has been one of very little incidents. In her inaugural season, a small fire broke out in one of the shops storage lockers but there was no severe damage and the ships scedule was not affected. She has also the misfortune of an outbreak of the norovirus near San Diego in february 2007 and on the 27th november 2010 a passenger released the stern anchor of the ship while sailing en route to Florida. No damage was done to the ship.

A little Dutch sentiment is always to be found on the Wilhelminakade in Rotterdam, when a ship of the Holland America Line is berthed in the city. The connection between the modern American-owned company and the biggest port in Europe is still vividly strong.

In 1996, all ships of the Holland America Line were reflagged to their original homeport of Rotterdam, because if became possible for merchant ships to fly the Dutch flag cheaper than before, because of new tax rules in The Netherlands. On the 20th of october 2004, Ryndam was again named in San Diego by her original Godmother, Madelaine Arison, after the ship was updated within the new Signature Of Excellence program. This had been the slogan for Holland America Line for several years, and now Ryndam was the first ship to be updated. The Signature of Excellence meant that the onboard service and product were improved and also some new spaces had been added like the Culinary Arts Center, the Explorations Café and improved youth facilities.

At the 27th of november of 2010, a drunk 45-year old passenger released an anchor of the ship while sailing between Costa Maya, Mexico and Tampa in Florida, the USA. Luckily, the anchor did not hit the seabed, because the consequences when that ocurred could have been disastrous. He later admitted the charges after he was recognized from security images. 

From 2011 onwards, Ryndam was placed in European summer service out of Rotterdam and Dover. In winter, she keeps sailing the Caribbean, before returning to Europe in the summer of 2012.

On the picture below, Ryndam is shown during her first season of northern European cruises departing from the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. She is seen here sailing between the pierheads at IJmuiden on the 22nd of july 2012.

In may 2014 it was announced that Ryndam and her sister Statendam were going to leave the fleet of Holland America Line in november of 2015 and that they would be transferred to Australian waters for P&O Australia. With their introduction down under, the P&O Australia fleet grew to five ships. Ryndam became Pacific Aria for P&O Australia, based in Singepore for cruises in the Far East. Statendam became Pacific Eden and she was based in Australia. During november of 2015, in a record time of just 11 days, the ships were rebuild for their new role in Singapore and the naming ceremony for both ships will be held at november 25th 2015 in Sydney. To fill in for them, Holland America Line will take delivery of its largest ship to date in early 2016, slightly reducing the Dutch fleet  in numbers. This new ship, named Koningsdam and measuring some 99.500 tons, will enter service sailing yearround from the port of Amsterdam in The Netherlands.  

Just before the Ryndam moved down under, there was a rather chilling event aboard while the ship was on a Caribbean cruise during the beginning of april 2015. On the 2nd of april, two passengers had been found dead in their cabin. One of the passengers had killed the other and afterwards commited suicide.

At the 25th of november 2015, in the dual naming ceremony in Sydney, Pacific Aria was named by singer Jessica Maulboy and the former Statendam was named by actress Kate Richie as Pacific Eden. During the naming cermony, the three other ships of P&O Australia will also be there and the whole event was namedFive Ship Spectacular, the largest gathering of cruiseships together in Australia.

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