Cruise Ships 2012, The Year In Review: Holland America & Seabourn Cruise Line

Continuing Shawn J. Dake’s
Cruise Ships 2012, The Year In Review

NIEUW AMSTERDAM versus ZUIDERDAM off Ft. Lauderdale.
NIEUW AMSTERDAM versus ZUIDERDAM off Ft. Lauderdale, photo © Peter Knego, March 2012.

Holland America Line had a relatively quiet year operating their fleet of 15 ships, eight of which have been added since 2000.  In late October it was announced that the largest vessel in company history had been ordered from the Fincantieri shipyards in Italy.  The new ship will arrive in the autumn of 2015.  It is projected to have a gross tonnage of 99,000 tons and carry 2,660 guests.  Presumably by staying under 100,000 tons, Holland America will market this as a more “intimate” vessel in keeping with their previous reputation.

The VOLENDAM rescued 70 people from an Alaskan sightseeing vessel, the BARANOF WIND, which had run aground in Glacier Bay on August 19th.  Under the command of Captain Peter Bos, the ship continued on its course, with the new passengers enjoying the remainder of the day cruising the National Park.  In another area, Holland America Line has had a long-standing on-again-off-again relationship with Bermuda.  After completing a final season of cruises, the 1,346 passenger VEENDAM will leave the lovely island in the Atlantic.  Nearly all cruise ships have become too large to enter the harbor at St. Georges, Bermuda, and others no longer fit into Hamilton either, leaving only the busy Dockyards area to handle the big ships.

SEABOURN QUEST exiting St. John’s, photo © Peter Knego December 2012.


Seabourn Cruise Line has now been fully integrated operationally into Holland America Line’s corporate offices in Seattle.  It remains the most luxurious line in the Carnival Corporation portfolio.  Beginning in the winter 2013/14 the SEABOURN QUEST will offer voyages to Antarctica for the first time, enabling the company to say they cruise to all seven continents of the world.  The 32,000 ton ship was built in 2011 and carries 450 passengers in all-suite accommodations.


For more than a decade Shawn Dake has written his annual “Cruise Ships, The Year In Review” which has now grown to a nearly 15,000 word essay recalling all of the events that have taken place within the cruise industry the previous year.


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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