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An Introduction to the Ships and Classes of the HAL Fleet

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What a very helpful thread! I have found the HAL site a bit difficult to use. Am considering a HAL cruise in the fall on the Canada-New England itinerary as Celebrity no longer does the interesting itinerary including a cruise of the Saguenay Fjord. Thanks to all who have contributed!

 

I would like to make a contribution too. We were parked behind the Westerdam in Ft. Lauderdale last February and I have a good shot of the rear of the ship. I've never been able to figure out how to post large photos. A thumbnail wouldn't be of much use to anyone. If someone can advise me how to post a large photo, I'll be happy to put it up.

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What a very helpful thread! I have found the HAL site a bit difficult to use. Am considering a HAL cruise in the fall on the Canada-New England itinerary as Celebrity no longer does the interesting itinerary including a cruise of the Saguenay Fjord. Thanks to all who have contributed!

 

I would like to make a contribution too. We were parked behind the Westerdam in Ft. Lauderdale last February and I have a good shot of the rear of the ship. I've never been able to figure out how to post large photos. A thumbnail wouldn't be of much use to anyone. If someone can advise me how to post a large photo, I'll be happy to put it up.

 

Hi Happy

 

First save your photo on your own PC in a folder, then use a site like Photobucket (it's free, just register) and save it there. Once saved there, open up that pic, use the copy function (right click on your mouse), open up a new post in this thread, add some text (it wont take just a photo by itself), use the paste function (right click on your mouse again) and you should be done! Good luck and thanks for your service!!!

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Is the Prinsendam essentially the same ship as the former Renaissance vessels that currently sail for Oceania, Azamara & Princess? They all seem to be smaller, more intimate & classic ships. Are there any real differences? Many thanks.

 

No, the Prinsendam is not one of the R-boats, nor was it a first generation Renaissance ship. It was built as the Royal Viking Sun, for the Royal Viking line, which was absorbed by Carnival Corp. It is somewhat older than the R-boats.

 

It happens to be our favorite. We've taken cruises on HAL's R-class and S-class ships, for itinerary, but rather watch where Prinsendam is going, and book that ship again, paying a substantial premium to do so. It you sail on Prinsendam, you will likely discover that the majority of your fellow passengers are repeaters. On our previous cruise, one of our fellow passengers had been on Prinsendam for more than two years, and was debarking only because she forced to, by the ship going into drydock.

 

addendum: Carnival Corp first put the Royal Viking Sun to use under the Seabourne brand. They apparently decided it was too big for the Seabourne style, so the next likely place was HAL, although the rest of HAL's ships were quite a bit bigger.

Edited by OKTraveler

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rotterdam_1959_1.jpg

 

ss Rotterdam V (1959-present) Built in 1959 as ss Rotterdam by the Rotterdamsche Droogdok Maatschappij (Rotterdam Drydock Company), Rotterdam, the Netherlands for the Holland Amerika Lijn/Holland America Line for which she would become their very popular flagship. At 748 feet long, 94 feet wide and weighing 38,650 tons, she would be the largest ship ever built in the Netherlands and she would sail for HAL for 39 years!

 

She was the fifth ship in the line's history to bear the name of Rotterdam, the principal city in the Dutch province of Zuid (South) Holland, second largest municipality in the Netherlands and the largest port in Europe. The name 'Rotterdam' originally comes from a dam built on the river Rotte.

 

On 13 September 1958, Rotterdam V was launched by her godmother, HRH Queen Juliana of The Netherlands. Upon the completion of succesful sea trials, she set out on her maiden voyage from Rotterdam to New York, via Le Havre, France and Southampton, England, on 3 September 1959, arriving in New York on 11 September. One of her passengers was the then Crown Princess of The Netherlands, Princess, now Queen, Beatrix.

 

She then departed New York on her first cruise on 11 December, 1959, a 49-day cruise circumnavigating South America. She would make her first world cruise in 1961, a seventy seven-day roundtrip from New York. In 1969, Rotterdam made her last regularly scheduled transatlantic crossing and was converted to a one-class cruise ship. She would, however, make four more world cruises in 1993, 1995, 1996, and 1997.

 

rotterdam_1959_3.jpg

 

From September until October 1989, she received a $15 million dollar (mostly interior) refit at a Portland, Oregon shipyard. On 31 January 1996, HAL announced that the much loved ship would be taken out of service as of 30 September 1997. The reason given by her owners (later disputed) was the new SOLAS (Safety Of Life At Sea) requirements coming into effect and the funds, supposedly U.S. 40 million, required to update the thirty-eight year old vessel. Rotterdam would make a farewell cruise at the end of her Alaska season from Vancouver, BC to Ft Lauderdale, Fl.

 

In October 1997, she was purchased by Premier Cruises who had her upgraded to SOLAS standards and renamed Rembrandt. Premier kept her classic ocean liner 'feel' and on 21 December 1997, she departed on her first cruise to South America. The summer of 1998 found her cruising in the Mediterranean. Premier however, also had grandiose plans to rename the ship 'Big Red Boat IV' and to paint her hull a bright red, an idea not very popular with her fans. As Big Red Boat IV she would sail out of Los Angeles on three and four-day party cruises to Mexico in the winter and out of Vancouver, BC on seven-day Alaska cruises in the summer.

 

As faith would have it, Premier Cruise Line ran into financial difficulties. On 13 September, 2000 during a northbound New England/Canada cruise, her captain was ordered to return his ship to Halifax, Nova Scotia. After off-loading her passengers, the ss Rembrandt was placed under arrest. As a special condition of her warrants, she was allowed to depart for Freeport, the Bahamas where she arrived on 30 December 2000 and was laid-up pending sale. Premier Cruise Lines filed for bankruptcy and went out of business.

 

Ship+Photo+Rembrandt.jpg

 

On 7 May 2003 Rembrandt became the property of s.s. Rotterdam BV (part of RDM holding or Rotterdamse Droogdok Maatschappij, her original builders). On 17 June 2004, the Polish ocean-going tug 'Englishman' towed her from the Bahamas to the Camell Laird yard at Gibraltar where she arrived on 12 July 2004 and where renovation work was scheduled for her. She would remain docked at the British Crown Colony until October 2005 (see below). By that time, she also had new owner, 'Rederij De Rotterdam BV'.

 

rotterdam_1959_5.jpg

 

On 25 October 2005, after a tow from Gibraltar by the Spanish tug 'V B Artico', she arrived at Cadiz, Spain, for additional (dry) dock maintenance including the repainting of her hull in her original light gray color. In addition, she was renamed Rotterdam and registered in the same city. 'V B Artico' would tow her again, this time from 10 to 27 February 2006, from Cadiz to Gdansk, Poland where her asbestos was removed and further renovating would take place (see below).

 

rotterdam_1959_9.jpg

 

On 25 August 2006 she received yet another tow, this time to Wilhelmshaven, Germany (see below) where she stayed until August 2008 for additional exterior restoration work.

 

rotterdam_1959_14.jpg

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Ship+Photo+Rotterdam.jpg

 

On 2 September 2008, she left Wilhelmshaven and on 4 September 2008, she made her triumphant return (see above and below) to her city of birth, Rotterdam, where she was berthed at the “Katendrechtse Hoofd” (Head of Katendrecht) located on the northern edge of Rotterdam Zuid (South) in the Maashaven (River Maas harbor) and where she will serve as a floating hotel, static museum ship and conference center.

 

Rotterdam-home-Gerard-Vaas1-4-8-08.jpg

 

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I've been on Holland America ships 9 times now and this is the 1st time I've known the difference of the ships. Your info was very informative and very easy to read and understand.

 

Thanks

D:cool:

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Thank you for continuing to update us on the classes of ships in the HAL fleet.

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I have been all ships currently in the fleet except: Prisendam, Noordam and Eurodam. I like them all but my current favorite is the m.s. AMSTERDAM.

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Our first two cruises were with Carnival.The Elation, then the Ecstasy which are clones. On Carnival we were among the youngest couples, we were early 50's. When waiting to board HAL (Ryndam) we noticed most passengers were way older than us. Numerous wheelchairs, walkers even oxygen tanks. Carnival caters to a younger party, drinker and smoker crowd. HAL offers a more reserved and luxurious ambience. Most passengers are asleep by 11:00p.m. Very few smokers since by this age most smokers have died. Now that we are in our 60's we still feel young traveling HAL. I loved Princess. However both Carnival and HAL had larger cabins. Princess had mattresses made of stone. If you go on HAL avoid the Ryndam. It is a small ship and I got seasick. In addition it has plumbing problems that cannot be fixed. We were without the use of our toilets for hours on two separate days.

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Our first two cruises were with Carnival.The Elation, then the Ecstasy which are clones. On Carnival we were among the youngest couples, we were early 50's. When waiting to board HAL (Ryndam) we noticed most passengers were way older than us. Numerous wheelchairs, walkers even oxygen tanks. Carnival caters to a younger party, drinker and smoker crowd. HAL offers a more reserved and luxurious ambience. Most passengers are asleep by 11:00p.m. Very few smokers since by this age most smokers have died. Now that we are in our 60's we still feel young traveling HAL. I loved Princess. However both Carnival and HAL had larger cabins. Princess had mattresses made of stone. If you go on HAL avoid the Ryndam. It is a small ship and I got seasick. In addition it has plumbing problems that cannot be fixed. We were without the use of our toilets for hours on two separate days.

 

I meant to say "on Carnival we were among the OLDEST couples."

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Out of the nine cruises I have been on so far in my life, I've been on HAL for five of them. Been on the Veendam (1-night Vancouver-Seattle in 1996 and 4-day Pacific Northwest r/t Vancouver in 1999), SS Rotterdam (4-day Pacific Northwest r/t Vancouver in 1997), Ryndam (10-day S. Caribbean Seafarer r/t Ft. Lauderdale), and Zaandam (4-day Pacific Northwest r/t Vancouver in 2002). The Ryndam was among my favourites since it was a rather spontaneous, last-minute decision to sail on that cruise, but even though I was 8 at the time, I immensely enjoyed sailing on the Grande Dame and was fortunate to have experienced a real ship (not a floating box with a bow stuck to the end) before she was retired.

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Best I have found for HAL. Where does Eurodam fit and has Oosterdam April renovations actually been accomplished?

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Where does Eurodam fit

This thread, the descriptions of the various classes, began before the Eurodam.

The E-dam is a Signature class ship, and will soon be joined by a sister in that class. The Nieuw Amsterdam is expected to sail in July, 2010.

 

You can think of the Signature class as Vista 2.0. The deckplans are virtually identical, with the exception that there is an additional deck. There is the introduction of the Tamarind Restaurant and Silk Den lounge. There is also the introduction of cabanas on Lido Deck and in the Retreat area of Observation Deck. There are also spa cabins, and a few other little changes from the Vista class.

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This thread, the descriptions of the various classes, began before the Eurodam.

The E-dam is a Signature class ship, and will soon be joined by a sister in that class. The Nieuw Amsterdam is expected to sail in July, 2010.

 

You can think of the Signature class as Vista 2.0. The deckplans are virtually identical, with the exception that there is an additional deck. There is the introduction of the Tamarind Restaurant and Silk Den lounge. There is also the introduction of cabanas on Lido Deck and in the Retreat area of Observation Deck. There are also spa cabins, and a few other little changes from the Vista class.

 

Thanks, dear Ruth!

 

Always apreciate your expert advice here.

 

We've cruised a lot (in fact, spent a great 12 days on the Oosterdamn this summer from BCN-VEN in an aft corner SC, which we loved!)--but never done a T/A. DH and I just booked the Nieuw Amsterdam for its final inaugural season sailing of the Med (BCN-LIS) plus maiden T/A to the USA (October 2010) -- but have few concerns that I hope you might address:

 

1. Any idea why this T/A is EIGHT days from Lisbon to FLL (plus a 9th day at Half-Moon Cay)? Most others seem to be only 6 days.

 

2. I've read on these boards that the Eurodam has a crowded feel--so I'm concerned about how it will feel to be cooped up for soooo many days. We're looking forward to enjoying the R+R of a T/A, so crowds and chaos would be a deal-breaker. Any thoughts? (Also: We always thought if we did a T/A it would be on Cunard, with a variety of cultural activities, including Oxford lecturers and RSC players. Does a Eurodam T/A have anything comparable?)

 

3. Speaking of our preferred aft corners (and presuming the NA's stern will be the same as the Eurodam's, which we've not sailed), do you think the 5th deck aft corner SCs will have mostly covered large balconies and not TOO squeezed staterooms (I've read that it won't be as spacious as our Oosterdam 7th deck SC)?

 

Thanks for any and all advice!

Mary-Lou

("Dr. FUN")

:)

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Always apreciate your expert advice here.

Thank you. You might get more, and better, responses if you post your questions in their own thread. But I'll give a shot at some of them here---

1. Any idea why this T/A is EIGHT days from Lisbon to FLL (plus a 9th day at Half-Moon Cay)? Most others seem to be only 6 days.

No idea, but I know that my crossing this November is seven days, plus HMC. Perhaps it's standard on this route? All I know is that I'll love it!

 

2. I've read on these boards that the Eurodam has a crowded feel--so I'm concerned about how it will feel to be cooped up for soooo many days. We're looking forward to enjoying the R+R of a T/A, so crowds and chaos would be a deal-breaker. Any thoughts?

My experience on the E-dam was that the Lido felt terribly crowded, especially at meal times. The tables were also close together, so it could even feel crowded when there weren't many people there. The dining room also felt packed in, like that. The Ocean Bar was very crowded before dinner.

However, there were also times and places that I could enjoy the solitude. The Crow's Nest, both by day (assuming no activity going on), and later in the evening, as it's not an entertainment venue. Certainly, sitting out on Lower Promenade was uncrowded. The Explorers Lounge was full when the group was playing, but I was always able to get a seat---frequently there was a choice of seats.

3. Speaking of our preferred aft corners (and presuming the NA's stern will be the same as the Eurodam's, which we've not sailed), do you think the 5th deck aft corner SCs will have mostly covered large balconies and not TOO squeezed staterooms (I've read that it won't be as spacious as our Oosterdam 7th deck SC)?

I can't remember if Brian's (bepsf) corner, aft cabin was deck 5 or deck 6. :confused: It certainly was mostly covered. And quite spacious! I liked it there!

Thanks for any and all advice!

You're welcome!

Edited by RuthC

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Thanks, dear Ruth! This is soooo helpful--and I will also post Qs at the respective appropriate threads.

 

Appreciatively,

Mary-Lou

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I have booked a cruise in the Caribbean on the Eurodam & decided to go with the Spa Statesroom way up on the Observation Deck next to the Exploration Lounge & right beside the Retreat. I thought it looked exclusive (only 10 cabins on that floor)& close to things. I am concerned about the "sway" up top & I do know that the balcony is just a step out. I enjoy having a window open at night. I figure with the Retreat next door I will sit out there.

Am I wrong? Has anyone any advise or stayed in a VT room?

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I enjoy having a window open at night. I figure with the Retreat next door I will sit out there.

I presume by this you mean that you will go and sit in the Retreat area instead of leaving your balcony door open. :confused:

First, it's important to keep your balcony door closed, unless you are passing through it, because it cuts off the A/C in the other cabins on the same line. Those cabins can be on other decks, and even be inside cabins.

Second, it may not be a consideration at night because the retreat cabanas are not open for business, but the Retreat is only for those people who have booked a cabana. If you aren't booking a cabana that area may not be accessible to you.

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great cruise in eurodam from copenhagen to new york.

attention, food courtesy

aug 10 to aug 17 2009

everything fabulous.

except one day my safe deposit box was opened ???????? An the door to

my cabin did not close as you leave the room. After complaining it was fixed.

i was concerned. I notced a few things out of place.

security take notice

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Do I have the classes in correct order below and what is the meaning of the various classes; i.e., What does "S" class stand for, etc.,

 

I want to put this info on the Staterooms Main Page, so that CC'rs can see what type of ship is meant when someone mentions "S" Class, etc.

 

"S" CLASS SHIPS

 

Maasdam

Nieuw Amsterdam

Ryndam

Statendam

Veendam

 

"R" Class Ships:

 

Amsterdam

Rotterdam

Volendam

Zaandam

Amsterdam

 

"Vista" Class Ships:

 

Zuiderdam

OOSterdam

Westerdam

Zuiderdam

 

Thank you in advance

 

Joanie

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