Posted by: cruise2 | 24 November, 2010

Holland America Celebrates Its Transatlantic Heritage

Jan van Beers, Hol.-Amerika Lijn via Boulogne ...

Image via Wikipedia

Some sources have been going on about Holland America coming to compete with Cunard Line next year in the North Atlantic. Not so. Holland America has always done Transatlantic voyages and secondly, although managed independently, both companies are part of Carnival Corp & PLC.

What has been announced is that its flagship, Rotterdam, will make two Transatlantic voyages in 2011 that will be used to celebrate Holland America’s Transatlantic heritage.  Rotterdam, still flagship although larger ships have since joined the fleet, will leave Rotterdam on July 3, 2011, and call at Southampton before heading for New York, where she will turn around and offer an eastbound Transatlantic voyage, departing New York on July 12 with a call at Cobh for Cork. Southampton and Cobh have been chosen for their historical roles as Transatlantic ports.

Rotterdam‘s Crows Nest lounge will become a Museum at Sea and as part of this celebration Holland America has engaged author and ocean liner expert Bill Miller and marine artist Stephen Card as lecturers. Miller is the author of dozens of books about ocean liners, including "Great British Passenger Ships," "The Last Bluewater Liners" and "Passenger Liners American Style," not to mention "Going Dutch: The Holland America Line Story," and has lectured on more than fifty cruise ships.

Card is a master mariner and maritime artist who now has ship portraits hanging on every ship in the Holland America fleet, not to mention a few Cunard and Costa ones. Card, a native of Bermuda, is the author of "Holland America Line: The Spotless Fleet" and "Cunarder: Maritime Paintings," as well as co-author of "Queen of Bermuda and the Furness Bermuda Line." Miller has recently also become the subject of a documentary film by Robert Neal Marshall entitled "Mr Ocean Liner," which previewed on RMS Queen Mary 2 in Brooklyn on July 1.

Both Miller and Card will be on board Rotterdam for the round voyage while Stephen Payne OBE, vice-president and naval architect for Carnival Corporate Shipbuilding, and master designer of RMS Queen Mary 2, will be on board for the July 12 eastbound voyage. Payne is also an author, having written "Grande Dame: Holland America Line and the s.s. Rotterdam." Each of the three lecturers thus has a Holland America Line book to his name. .
Of course, Transatlantic voyages are nothing new for Holland America, which has been in the business for 138 years. In fact, this year Prinsendam left Fort Lauderdale for Istanbul in March, Eurodam for Rome and  Westerdam for Venice in April, Noordam for Barcelona in May, and Maasdam left Boston for Copenhagen in July, returning from Dover to Boston in August, while Eurodam left Amsterdam for New York in September and Noordam and Westerdam both left Rome for Fort Lauderdale in October. That’s nine Transatlantic crossings this year

The main difference is that the newly-announced voyages are meant to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of Holland America Line’s last regular Transatlantic liner service, so Rotterdam‘s 2011 voyages will be only nine nights long instead of the usual fifteen it takes for a Transatlantic cruise with multiple ports of call.

Rotterdam will also do a couple of those next year, however, taking 16 nights to sail from Fort Lauderdale to Zeebrugge via Cobh, Dublin, Liverpool, Ilfracombe, Cherbourg and Dover in May and 15 nights to sail from Rome to Fort Lauderdale via Ajaccio, Barcelona, Cartagena, Malaga, Tangier and Funchal in November. In fact, Holland America will perform sixteen Transatlantic crossings in 2011, including the two commemorative voyages, but most will be between 15 and 21 days.


The Cruise People, Ltd, of Toronto has special fares and shipboard credit for the 3 July crossing.

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