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Copper10-8

Former HAL Nieuw Amsterdam sold for scrap

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For those of you who have sailed her with HAL. On 29 Oct 2018, Marella Cruises announced that their Marella Spirit had been sold for scrap. Marella Spririt is the former Nieuw Amsterdam III (her sister was Noordam III, currently still sailing for Marella Cruises as Marella Celebration). Nieuw Amsterdam III was built at Chantiers de l'Atlantique in St. Nazaire, France and delivered to HAL on 1 July, 1983 as the first of two identical sisters which would be known as the "N"-class with HAL. Her younger sister, Noordam III followed just under a year later from the same yard. They would be the last new-builds for the, at that time, Dutch-owned Holland-Amerika Lijn. She was the third ship to bear the name Nieuw Amsterdam in Holland America Line’s then 110-year history.  Nieuw Amsterdam or New Amsterdam, was named after the 17th-century Dutch colonial settlement on the island of Manhattan that served as the capital of the New Netherland territory and later became New York City. The ship is currently in Piraeus, Greece awaiting her last voyage to the breakers (more than likely Alang, India) for which she has been renamed 'Mare S' 

 

Image may contain: water and outdoor

 

Nieuw Amsterdam’s keel was laid on 14 November 1981 and her hull floated out on 21 August 1982. Successful technical trials took place off the Normandy coast on 12, 13 and 14 March 1983. The official delivery was scheduled for 11 May 1983. Then the problems started! First, a strike by Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard workers forced the hand-over date back to more than a month later, to 17 June 1983. This is when HAL actually took possession of the vessel and on 23 June, Nieuw Amsterdam departed St. Nazaire for Le Havre, France with a number of VIPs onboard, arriving there the next day. The naming ceremony as well as her maiden voyage was scheduled to take place two days later, on 26 June 1983. On 25 June however, one of Nieuw Amsterdam’s main electrical switchboards burned out which resulted in severe technical problems. HAL was forced to postpone the dedication ceremony and several of the VIP’s and naming ceremony guests had no choice but to return home. Replacement parts to repair and rebuild the ailing switchboard were actually removed from her younger sister Noordam, still under construction in St. Nazaire, but the process took almost a month to complete.  

 

Now two weeks behind schedule, the lead ship of the “N” class was finally named by her godmother, HRH Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, on 9 July 1983.  Nieuw Amsterdam then departed Le Havre on a trans-Atlantic crossing to New York City on 10 July 1983 under the command of HAL Captain Frederik “Freek” van Driel. She arrived in New York Harbor, complete with two stowaways from the African country of Ghana, on 18 July where she received the traditional fireboat welcome from the FDNY. As part of her inaugural visit and maiden voyage festivities, Nieuw Amsterdam sailed two cruises to ‘nowhere’ on 19 and 20 July 1983 from New York for VIPs, travel professionals and media representatives.

 

On 21 July 1983 she departed New York with her first revenue passengers on her maiden voyage, a roundtrip bound for Hamilton, Bermuda, Philipsburg, Sint Maarten and Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI. For the 1983 winter season, Nieuw Amsterdam repositioned via the Panama Canal to San Francisco, CA on the U.S. west coast, from where she operated 14-day cruises to the Mexican Riviera, as far south as Acapulco in the state of Guerrero. In 1984 she was registered to Sint Maarten-based Holland America Tours N.V. while being managed by Seattle, WA-based Holland America Line-Westours. Also in the summer of that year, she operated her first Alaska season from Vancouver, BC calling at Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and Valdez. The 1984-1985 winter season found her sailing 7-day cruises to the Western Caribbean out of Tampa, Fl. With port calls at Playa del Carmen and Cozumel, Mexico, Ocho Rios, Jamaica and George Town on Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands. And this pattern would continue for the next several years. As the HAL fleet grew from the late 1980s onwards, Nieuw Amsterdam’s itineraries widened to various destinations around the world. A longer, thirty plus day South Pacific cruise was on her agenda in the fall of 1991. In 1996 she began using New Orleans, LA as a seasonal home port for some of her Western Carib cruises, substituting Montego Bay for Ocho Rios. Nieuw Amsterdam would wind up serving the Holland America Line for seventeen years.

 

On 10 August 1999, American Classic Voyages, then parent company of Delta Queen and American Hawaiian Cruises, announced that it had purchased Nieuw Amsterdam from Holland America Line for $114.5 million dollars, to operate an inter-island Hawaii service alongside their ss Independence. After her final Alaska season in 2000, Nieuw Amsterdam sailed, without passengers, to Sydney, Australia where she served as a hotel ship for the Summer Olympics between 12 September and 3 October 2000. Following those games, she sailed to Honolulu, where about 60 crew came aboard from the newly formed United States Lines (under American Classic Voyages) and then continued on to Portland, Ore.

 

On 18 October 2000, American Classic Voyages officially acquired the ship with the transfer occurring in a somewhat unusual ceremony at sea, approximately fourteen miles off Portland. At the same moment her registry was changed to Honolulu, she reverted to the U.S. flag, and was renamed ms Patriot. Patriot proceeded to Cascade General Shipyard in Portland, Ore, arriving on 18 October 2000, where she underwent a multi-million dollar dry-docking and refurbishment afterwhich she sailed to the Hawaiian Island. Upon arrival in Honolulu, she began operating 7-day cruises for United States Lines on 9 December 2000, departing every Saturday evening with port calls at Nawiliwili, Kauai, Kahului, Maui, Hilo, Hawaii, and Kona, Hawaii, before returning to Honolulu.

On 19 October 2001, American Classic Voyages, Inc. announced that it had filed for bankruptcy/Chapter 11 protection and would cease most sailings. Both ss Independence and ms Patriot stopped sailing on Saturday, 20 October after completing their cruises and were laid up at pier 24 in Honolulu. Patriot’s main creditors at this time were still the Carnival Corporation (also the owners of HAL) and they sought a federal court action to, among other things, prohibited the ship from leaving port. As a result, Patriot was arrested in Honolulu harbor on 26 October 2001.   

 

On 27 January 2002, she was auctioned off at the federal court in Honolulu. Carnival Corporation took possession, and the ship reverted back to her original name of Nieuw Amsterdam, however under Bahamian flag and registered to HAL’s subsidiary Wind Surf. Nieuw Amsterdam departed Honolulu on 15 March 2002, initially for dry-dock at Freeport, the Bahamas. Those plans, and her destination, were changed on 28 March 2002 and a new course was set for Charleston, NC, where she arrived on 2 April 2002 for a wet-dock and general maintenance work.

 

Approximately two weeks later, it was announced that Carnival Corporation had reached a 10-year bareboat charter agreement for the ship with Cyprus-based Louis Cruise Lines. This was followed by another announcement on 18 April 2002 that Louis, in turn, would sub-lease the ship to Luton, England-based travel operator Thomson Holidays/Thomson Cruises, initially for three and a half years, and then changed to ten years. On 3 May 2003, and now renamed Thomson Spirit, she operated her first cruise for Thomson Cruises, a Mediterranean itinerary from Palma de Mallorca, one of Spain’s Balearic islands. Thomson Spirit usually sailed in the Mediterranean during the northern hemisphere winter season and could be found in Northern and Western Europe in the summer.

 

Following the announcement on 09 October 2017, that Thomson Cruises would be renamed Marella Cruises, the owners, TUI Group, also announced that Thomson Spirit would be renamed 'Spirit' at the end of October 2017. In December 2017 however, Marella Cruises revised this decision by announcing that the vessel would be renamed 'Marella Spirit'
 

 

 

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Always sad to hear. These floating chunks of metal that shelter, feed and care for us become so personal -- even though I had never sailed on that particular ship - I have grown attachments to every other ship  I have sailed.  Brutally ripping her apart is always hard to hear.

 

My first major RTW ship the Lloyd Triestino Galileo caught fire decades later sailing as a Star Cruise Line gambling ship, went down off Phuket and there she rests, now a wreck diving site ....along with all my own memories of that grand, grand voyage in 1977.

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5 minutes ago, OlsSalt said:

Always sad to hear. These floating chunks of metal that shelter, feed and care for us become so personal -- even though I had never sailed on that particular ship - I have grown attachments to every other ship  I have sailed.  Brutally ripping her apart is always hard to hear.

 

My first major RTW ship the Lloyd Triestino Galileo caught fire decades later sailing as a Star Cruise Line gambling ship, went down off Phuket and there she rests, now a wreck diving site ....along with all my own memories of that grand, grand voyage in 1977.

 

Galileo Galilei, one of the classic ships of a time gone by

 

1110403.jpg

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20040321051220/http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/asiapcf/9905/21/malaysia.ship.01/

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9 minutes ago, VennDiagram said:

I'm sad to read this 😞 my first HAL ship.....

 

Ours also; Nov 1993, a seven-day Western Caribbean voyage out of Tampa

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Quite the history Copper10-8 . Thank you for posting this , so was it the SS Nieuw Amsterdam  ?  It was also my first cruise ship in the Caribbean  spring ? of 1987 and I believe also from Tampa . She impressed us so much ever since we stuck with Holland America . ( Must also be in the blood ! ) :classic_biggrin:

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Although I never sailed on this ship, it is always sad to hear of a ship heading towards its final resting place. Thanks for the detailed history. I always like to read about a ship's life.

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51 minutes ago, VennDiagram said:

I'm sad to read this 😞 my first HAL ship.....

 

Me too Venn.  It was our first HAL ship as well!   She really was beautiful with a first class crew 😄 

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Thanks for posting, interesting history. It was the first ship my wife & I sailed on. It was a New Years cruise '88 - 89.

Allan

Edited by ski ww

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1 minute ago, sailingdutchy said:

Quite the history Copper10-8 . Thank you for posting this , so was it the SS Nieuw Amsterdam  ?  It was also my first cruise ship in the Caribbean  spring ? of 1987 and I believe also from Tampa . She impressed us so much ever since we stuck with Holland America . ( Must also be in the blood ! ) :classic_biggrin:

 

Good afternoon to you Sir! It was ms (motor ship) Nieuw Amsterdam III. The last ss (steam ship) that sailed for HAL was the ss Rotterdam V (35,000 hp Schelde Parsons steam turbines) , now a hotel ship in the port of Rotterdam

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8 minutes ago, TiogaCruiser said:

So they’re renaming her for her final voyage?

Is that common?

 

Yes, very much so when going to the scrappers/breakers

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37 minutes ago, Copper10-8 said:

 

Good afternoon to you Sir! It was ms (motor ship) Nieuw Amsterdam III. The last ss (steam ship) that sailed for HAL was the ss Rotterdam V (35,000 hp Schelde Parsons steam turbines) , now a hotel ship in the port of Rotterdam

 

Thanks for explaining this difference - MS and SS. And thanks for finding that photo of the Galileo. Like all things Italian, she was built for speed and the italian officers were pretty racy at that time too. 

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Thanks Copper John for the news, sad that it may be.  My folks sailed on her out of Tampa in the late 80's.  It was their second cruise, the first being on Chandris on it's Amerkanis.  Naturally, HAL and Nieuw Amsterdam proved to be a better experience.  There was a AAA lunch and tour aboard her in the early 90's in Tampa which I eagerly jumped on.  Although it appeared upscale over some of the "party" ships I had been on, it took 10 years before I actually booked a cruise on her sister Noordam.  I was won over and now have been on nearly every ship in the fleet.  Thanks for your postings and for keeping us a abreast.

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11 minutes ago, St Pete Cruiser said:

Thanks Copper John for the news, sad that it may be.  My folks sailed on her out of Tampa in the late 80's.  It was their second cruise, the first being on Chandris on it's Amerkanis.  Naturally, HAL and Nieuw Amsterdam proved to be a better experience.  There was a AAA lunch and tour aboard her in the early 90's in Tampa which I eagerly jumped on.  Although it appeared upscale over some of the "party" ships I had been on, it took 10 years before I actually booked a cruise on her sister Noordam.  I was won over and now have been on nearly every ship in the fleet.  Thanks for your postings and for keeping us a abreast.

 

Greek-owned Chandris Line's Steam Ship Amerikanis, the former Kenya Castle of the British-owned Union-Castle Line; yet another classic from a bygone era

 

2597520.jpg

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Makes me very sad- was also my first HAL ship.  Sailed on her to Mexico from San Francisco first in 1983 and a few more times after.  Will never forget glassware vibrating off of the tables.  CD David DeHavilland called her the Magic Fingers ship- he said you don't even need to put a quarter in the box next to the bed 🙂

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15 minutes ago, Copper10-8 said:

 

Greek-owned Chandris Line's Steam Ship Amerikanis, the former Kenya Castle of the British-owned Union-Castle Line; yet another classic from a bygone era

 

2597520.jpg

 

On our Trans-Pacific run on the Galileo we saw the Amerikanis on the horizon so both our ships engaged in a speed race until they headed north and we veered south - two RTW passenger ships out on a lonely sea that day in 1977. Never forget it.

 

Chandris was my first cruise line - the Fantasia: Venice to Venice and the Greek Isles before big tourism took over all these ports - late 1960's. Did it twice.

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OlsSalt, could we try to keep this thread about our memories of the former Nieuw Amsterdam  please? 

Edited by VennDiagram

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29 minutes ago, OlsSalt said:

 

On our Trans-Pacific run on the Galileo we saw the Amerikanis on the horizon so both our ships engaged in a speed race until they headed north and we veered south - two RTW passenger ships out on a lonely sea that day in 1977. Never forget it.

 

Chandris was my first cruise line - the Fantasia: Venice to Venice and the Greek Isles before big tourism took over all these ports - late 1960's. Did it twice.

 

Chandris Line Fantasia, born as the Duke of York for The London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS)

 

Image result for Chandris Fantasia

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