For the first time in 40 years, Holland America Line will be returning to their traditional roots and routes, for a pair of Trans-Atlantic crossings in 2011. The line operated voyages across the Atlantic from 1873 until 1971, when the company turned to full-time cruising. On July 3, 2011, the 59,885 gt MV ROTTERDAM will depart from her namesake port for Southampton and New York, where she will arrive on July 12th. The eastbound crossing will commence the same day, calling at Cork, Ireland and terminating back in Rotterdam after a 9-day crossing. For those passengers seeking to learn more about the history of the line during the voyages, the Crow’s Nest Lounge will be set up as a nautical “Museum At Sea.” Guest lecturers on both crossings will include ocean liner author Bill Miller and maritime artist Captain Stephen J. Card (whose Holland America Line works are showcased aboard every ship in the fleet). They will be joined on the July 12th voyage by marine architect Stephen Payne, who designed not only this ROTTERDAM (the sixth ship of the name) but also the Cunard flagship QUEEN MARY 2, among many others. In the City of Rotterdam, guests may wish to take advantage of the opportunity to visit the extraordinary former flagship ROTTERDAM of 1959 which has been preserved in a static role. Holland America has previously offered trips across the Atlantic in recent years but always as a positioning voyage or part of a World Cruise. For 1,404 passengers, these trips will mark a return to a dedicated crossing on a line that was a mainstay of Trans-Atlantic travel for 98 years.
Shawn J. Dake, freelance travel writer and regular contributor to MaritimeMatters, worked in tourism and cruise industry for over 35 years. A native of Southern California, his first job was as a tour guide aboard the Queen Mary. A frequent lecturer on ship-related topics he has appeared on TV programs. Owner of Oceans Away Cruises & Travel agency, he served as President of the local Chapter of Steamship Historical Society of America. With a love of the sea, he is a veteran of 115 cruises.