Cruise Ships 2011, The Year In Review: Holland America Line & Seabourn

Continuing Shawn J. Dake’s
Cruise Ships 2011, The Year In Review: Holland America Line & Seabourn

The m/s ROTTERDAM (vi) at Nassau, Bahamas. Photograph © Shawn J. Dake 2010.

Holland America Line made a one-time round trip Trans-Atlantic crossing from Rotterdam to New York beginning on July 3rd.  The 61,849 gross ton m.s. ROTTERDAM made a call at Southampton before continuing across the Atlantic.  The eastbound crossing departed July 12th with an additional call at Cork, Ireland and terminating back in Rotterdam after a 9-day crossing.

The line operated Trans-Atlantic service from 1873 until 1971 when it turned to full-time cruising.  During the crossings the Crow’s Nest Lounge was set up as a nautical museum, and guest lecturers included author Bill Miller, maritime artist Captain Stephen J. Card and ship designer Stephen Payne, OBE.

The 1,404 passenger ROTTERDAM will be based year-round in her namesake port beginning in 2012, marking the first time a Holland America Line ship has been exclusively based in Holland.  More than half of the passengers are expected to be Dutch.

SEABOURN QUEST. Courtesy Seabourn Cruise Line.

Seabourn uprooted their offices from Ft. Lauderdale and moved in with sister company, Holland America Line, in Seattle.  This was just another example of the cost-cutting and consolidation taking place throughout the industry.  Rick Meadows of Holland America Line takes over as president of Seabourn, replacing Pamela Conover.  Micky Arison issued a statement saying the move would save Carnival Corporation $20 million to $25 million per year.  Seabourn had 116 employees in Florida.  Only 50 will man the company in Seattle.

Although operating with fewer staff, the line completed it’s largest growth cycle with the delivery of a sixth ship, the new SEABOURN QUEST. The ship is the third and final in a trio of 32,000 gross ton, 450-passenger luxury vessels.  Mr. Arison was not on hand for the pre-inaugural cruise from Rome to Nice in early June.  Understandably, as owner of the Miami Heat basketball team, he was busy watching them battle for the NBA championship, only to be defeated by the Dallas Mavericks.  Personally, I’d have taken the cruise.  Fleet mate SEABOURN LEGEND (ex ROYAL VIKING QUEEN, QUEEN ODYSSEY) was on hand for a rendezvous at sea with the new ship the evening of June 7th off the coast of Italy.  With a six ship fleet of three small and three medium size vessels, Seabourn’s capacity has grown to 1,986 berths.

Next Up: Costa Crociere

Shawn Dake

Shawn Dake

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.
Shawn Dake

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