New showcases (2-11-2014)
The museum on C-deck has been enriched with three new showcases. They are placed at out disposal by WestCord Hotels for the exhibition of memorabilities.
Lido winner Terrace trofee (8-9-2014)
The Lido terrace is the winner of the AD-Terrace trofee 2014. The scores are: a 10 for ambiance and entourage, a 9 for the view and a 9 for the service.
Pianorecital Panos Karan on September 16 (31-8-2014)
On Tuesday evening September 16 Panos Karan plays classical music in the Grand Ballroom on board the ss Rotterdam. Panos sailed with his family on the ss Rotterdam in December 1996, during her final Holiday cruise and performed a piano recital for fellow guests in the Ritz Carlton Lounge (now Grand Ballroom) on December 30, en route to Bonaire. He is deeply honoured and proud to be back on board the ss Rotterdam.
The pianorecital is between 8 and 9 PM. Free entrance.
Before and after the recital drinks can be ordered in the Captains lounge on Maindeck.
Panos Karan was born on the island of Crete in 1982. He was brought up in Athens, where he started piano lessons at age seven and very soon distinguished himself. He received his musical education at the Royal Academy of Music. He made his professional debut in the South Bank Centre, London at age 19 and in 2004 he was a laureate at the "Jose Iturbi" International Piano Competition in Valencia, Spain, after performing in the final round with the Valencia Symphony Orchestra.
Panos keeps a busy performing schedule in Europe and the rest of the world. Past appearances include the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, the St. Petersburg Hermitage Theatre, the Athens Megaron Recital Hall, the Vienna Konzerthaus, Tokyo Suntory Hall, as well as three solo recitals at Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall). In 2007 Panos presented the complete cycle of the Beethoven Concertos with the St. John’s Festival Orchestra in the UK.
In December 2009 Panos Karan recorded his debut album of Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Orion Symphony Orchestra. In January 2011 Panos returned to the Athens Megaron Hall for a sensational performance of Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Athens State Orchestra, which received great critical acclaim.
In January 2011 Panos founded the non- profit organization Keys of Change with the motto “Can music change the world? We believe it can.” Panos has already completed eleven projects for Keys of Change in the Amazon River, India, Japan, Uganda and Sierra Leone.
Open Monument days (31-8-2014)
On September 13 and 14 during the Open Monument days in the Theater the documentary 'The last voyage of the ss Rotterdam' and a promotion picture that was made in 1964 are being showed. In the Library Friends of steamship Rotterdam give presentations about travelling with the ss Rotterdam and the monumental character of the ship.
Visit www.openmonumentendag.nl and www.ssrotterdam.nl
World Port days on board the ss Rotterdam (17-8-2014)
During the coming World port days in Rotterdam Friends of the steamship Rotterdam offer a variety of movies and presentations. On September 6 en 7 between 10 AM and 5 Pm you are invited to join us in the Queens lounge on Promenadedeck. Free entrance.
Pleading for a preservation order (15-7-2014)
Member of the town council of the city of Rotterdam, Maarten van de Donk, has suggested a motion to prepare for a preservation order for the ss Rotterdam. In the end the ship should reach the Unesco-status of world heritage. The burgomaster and eldermen of the city of Rotterdam have decided to investigate the feasibility of a preservation order.
Architecture day 2014 (13-4-2014)
On Saturday June 21 Friends of steamship Rotterdam offer some interesting lectures.
At 1 PM art historian mr. Joshua van Scherpenzeel gives a lecture about the Dutch firm Mutters, that has built interiors on many vessels. For example the RMS Titanic (1912) and the Statendam (1929). On the ss Rotterdam Mutters has built the Queen's Lounge and the Ocean Bar. At 2.30 PM Friends of steamship Rotterdam tell about the history of the ship and at 4 PM they show their work on the interior of the ss Rotterdam. Free entrance in the Queen's Lounge on Promenadedeck at 12 AM, when a movie will be shown about the building of the ss Rotterdam
Ton Wesselink general manager ss Rotterdam (23-3-2014)
WestCord Hotels, owners of the ss Rotterdam, announced that Ton Wesselink has been appointed as general manager of the ss Rotterdam. Ton Wesselink is the former director of Rotterdam Marketing and has a lot of experience in promoting the City of Rotterdam.
On Saturday March 8 the ss Rotterdam is joining the Museum Night. The theme is Traces. From 8 PM till 2 AM Friends of steamship Rotterdam give presentations about the ss Rotterdam in the Grand Cayman Room next to the Captain's lounge on Maindeck. A route can be walked through parts of the ship. For more information see www.rotterdamsemuseumnacht.nl
Erasmus pin (3-2-2014)
On Tuesday 28, Jeannette Baljeu alderman for harbor, traffic and economy of the city of Rotterdam presented the Erasmus pin to Klaas Krijnen, chairman of the Steamship Rotterdam Foundation, for his long lasting efforts to preserve the ss Rotterdam and give her a new life in the Rotterdam harbour. Copyright photo Remco van Mourik
Refurbishment Lido restaurant (1-1-2014)
The Lido restaurant on Promenadeck is being refurbished with warm colors. Dining room chairs dating from 1959 have been upholstered and new tabletops were mounted. The menu card has also been renewed. Copyright pictures Jan-Willem Koene
Opening Captains Lounge (22-12-2013)
In Thursday December 19 the new Captains lounge was inaugurated by the new owners of the ss Rotterdam, mr and mrs Westers. They were joined by Santa Claus. The well known singer/entertainer Lee Towers opened the lounge traditionally by cutting the top of a bottle of champaign with a sword. Copyright pictures Jan-Willem Koene
Captains Lounge (10-11-2013)
On Maindeck of the ss Rotterdam WestCord Hotels has refurbished the former Coffee lobby to a new Captain's lounge. Many authentic parts, that have been taken care of by our foundation, have been re used in the interior. In a pleasant atmosphere you can have drinks and snacks throughout the day. Copyright pictures Jan-Willem Koene
ss Rotterdam launched 55 years ago (13-9-2013)
Today, September 13, at 4.30 PM 55 years ago the ss Rotterdam was launched at the Rotterdam Drydock Company by Queen Juliana. Almost one year later, at September 3 1959, the ship left for her maiden voyage to New York.
WestCord Hotels new owner of the ss Rotterdam (12-6-2013)
Since June 11 the Dutch hoteloperator WestCord Hotels is the proud owner of the ss Rotterdam. WestCord Hotels is chosen by Woonbron from 100 interested parties. The housing company Woonbron bought the ss Rotterdam in 2005 en refurbished it to a multifunctional place for working, learning and leasure. The transfer to WestCord Hotels was postponed for some months because of juridical problems that have been solved now. We are grateful that Woonbron saved the ship from scrap to give it a new future. We welcome the new management of the ship, Mr. and Mrs. Westers, and are looking forward to a fruitful cooperation.
The day of architecture (2-6-2013)
Welcome to the day of architecture onboard the ss Rotterdam. On Sunday June 23 between 11 AM and 3 PM the La Fontaine room is the place where you can learn more about the architecture of the ship and the work of architects who worked on board and on shore.
At 11 AM and 2 PM lectures will be given. Free entrance. See www.ssrotterdam.nl and www.dagvandearchitectuur.nl
Gisèle d'Ailly-van Waterschoot van der Gracht has passed away (28-5-2013)
Today the sad news reached us that Gisèle d'Ailly-van Waterschoot van der Gracht has passed away at the age of 100 years. For the ss Rotterdam she designed four Gobelin tapestries in the Club Room on Promenade deck.
Sale ss Rotterdam (7-5-2013)
The embargo that was put on the ss Rotterdam has ended today. The owner of the ship, the housing corporation Woonbron, can transfer the ship now to WestCord Hotels. Before that a settlement has to reached with the present operator of the hotel on the ship. WestCord bought the ship with the stipulation that the hotel operator should leave the ss Rotterdam.
Christmas Tree Lighting (21-12-2012)
On December 12th 2012 Patricia Paay lighted the christmas tree on the quay next to the ship. See photopage for an impression.
ss Rotterdam stays in Rotterdam (2-11-2012)
The Friends of steamship Rotterdam are delighted by the transfer of the ss Rotterdam to WestCord Hotels. As an important maritime heritage the ss Rotterdam will stay in Holland. We are looking forward to a fruitful cooperation with the new owners.
Builder's plates unveiled (13-10-2012)
In October 10 replica's of the builder's plates of the ss Rotterdam have been unveiled by Mai Elmar, executive director of the ss Rotterdam, and Martin Lanting, founder of RaetsMarine Insurance. The original builder's plates were placed on the ship in 1959 bij the Rotterdam Drydock Company, the builders of the ship, and are now in the Maritime Museum Rotterdam and at the head-office of Holland America Line in Seattle. RaetsMarine Insurance sponsored our foundation for reproducing the builder's plates.
Lynbaan showcase is ready (13-10-2012)
Using original materials volunteers of our foundation have rebuilt the Lynbaan showcase on Promenade deck. The showcase contains historical materials (port side) and merchandising of the Lynbaanshop (starboard side).
Today the media brought the news that the ss Rotterdam might be sold to investors in Oman. We did not get any conformation of this news. For the present we presume that the ship will not be sold to Oman. Anyway we persue the line of action of the present owners.
Rebuilding the Lynbaan-shop show-case (29-9-2012)
Using original materials the Friends of steamship Rotterdam are rebuilding parts of the show-case of the Lynbaan-shop on Promenadedeck.
Gisèle centennial (10-9-2012)
Gisèle d’Ailly-Van Waterschoot van der Gracht was born in The Hague on September 11, 1912. She became a varied artist and designed four goblin tapestries for the Club Room of the ss Rotterdam. Her inspiration for the tapestries came from Ovidius' Metamorphoses and the story of Dionysus. She celebrates her anniversary at home in Amsterdam. We congratulate Gisèle with her 100th anniversary.
The Club Room restaurant on board the ss Rotterdam serves a special Gisèle menu at a rate of € 45,-. For each cover € 2,50 is being donated to the Foundation Castrum Peregrini, which is taking care of the artworks of Gisèle. On September 21 a special lunch will be served at a rate of 25 Euro, accompanied by a lecture of Klaas Krijnen of the Friends of steamship Rotterdam. At 11.30 AM you will be welcomed in the Club Room with a glass of champaign. At Noon the lecture will start and a two course lunch will be served. Please get more information and make your reservation through restaurant@ssrotterdam-hotel or by telephone 010-2973098.
Sea going tug Elbe visits the ss Rotterdam (10-9-2012)
On Friday September 7 the sea going tug Elbe visited the ss Rotterdam. She was commissioned in 1959, like the ss Rotterdam. After many years of uncertainty the Elbe has been restored now. The harbour tug Adriaan (1957) joined them.
Smits vastgoedzorg repaints the hull of the ss Rotterdam (21-8-2012)
Photos courtesy of Frits Smits
Builder’s plates Rotterdam Drydock Company (9-7-2012)
We are delighted to announce that thanks to sponsoring by RaetsMarine Insurance B.V. the two builder’s plates of casted bronze have been replaced on the ship.
The Rotterdam Drydock Company, who was the builder of the ship, mounted the original builder’s plates in 1959 on deckhouses of the two sports decks. In 1997 HAL removed the original plates from the ship when she was sold to Premier Cruises. One of the plates became part of the collection of the Maritime Museum Rotterdam. The museum cooperated in this project, together with Archeo Plan in Delft.
Day of architecture on June 23 2012 (4-6-2012)
On Saturday afternoon June 23 the Friends of steamship Rotterdam give two lectures in the former Odyssee diningroom on the ss Rotterdam. The theme of the Day of architecture is 'architecture and food'. Sandra van Berkum and Klaas Krijnen give duo-lectures on architecture and dining on board the ss Rotterdam.
Each lecture takes one hour, staring at 2 and 3 PM in the Odyssee diningroom on B-deck. Free entrance, drinks can be bought.
Spektakel op de Kaap (4-6-2012)
On June 16 the 'Cape district' Katendrecht on the south bank of the river Maas in Rotterdam shows different cultural colors with the event 'Spektakel op de Kaap'. The ss Rotterdam is involved with activities for children. Short lectures on art are given in the Coffee Lobby on Maindeck of the ss Rotterdam between 12 AM and 5 PM. Entrance is free.
See the program at: www.spektakel-opde-kaap.nl
Queen Beatrix on board the ss Rotterdam (8-5-2012)
Today Queen Beatrix visited the ss Rotterdam during the celebration of 50 years World Wildlife Fund. The picture was taken when she left the Queen's Lounge on Promenade deck with Mai Elmar, executive director of the ss Rotterdam. Queen Beatrix was on board for the first time as a princess during the maiden voyage from September 3 till September 11 in 1959.
Photo: © Jan Willem Koene
ss Rotterdam dressed again (8-4-2012)
Volunteers of Friends of steamship Rotterdam have dressed the ship again. Flags on the smokestacks will follow.
New on the ss Rotterdam (4-4-2012)
On March 28 volunteers Koos Sanderse, Alfons Croes and Jan Tjassens Keiser hoisted our new flag in the radarmast. This flag is bigger and more colorful than her worn out 20 predecessors. Producer Shipmate sponsored the new flag partially. Volunteers of our foundation replaced the railing in front of the mirror in the central staircase on Upper Promenadedeck. On Maindeck and Promenadeck the volunteers replaced the brass plating around the elevator doors, that will be painted red again.
Newly released cookery-book and cd (26-12-2011)
Last week the cookery-book 'Captain's Dinner, koken met de Holland Amerika Lijn' and the cd Kings of swing have been released. See our page with books etc. more info
Paintings of the ss Rotterdam (4-12-2011)
The famous Dutch maritime painters Hans Breeman and Frans Romeijnsen will show about 55 paintings in 'Galery R', Beethovenlaan 60, Rotterdam Schiebroek. About 10 of the paintings will show the ss Rotterdam.
The exhibition will be from December 17 till February 15.
Opening on December 17 at 3.30 PM. Free entrance.
Opening cabins on C-deck (18-10-2011)
De CEO of the ss Rotterdam, Mai Elmar, opened a tourist class passenger cabin and a crew cabin with lavatories on C-deck of the ss Rotterdam. They have been rebuilt bij the Friends of steamship Rotterdam and give a good impression of life on board the ss Rotterdam when she was sailing. The cabins can be seen during the Seabreeze Deluxe Tour.
Heritage Day on September 10 (27-8-2011)
On Heritage Day on September 10, 2011, the ss Rotterdam offers a special program. In the Coffee Lobby on Main Deck (gangway 1) the Friends of steamship Rotterdam give lectures about the ship. Enjoy coffee or tea while movies about the history of the ship are shown. From 11 AM till 4 PM every hour a guide will take you for a tour of about 45 minutes, starin in the Coffee Lobby on Maindeck.
World Port Days Rotterdam (16-8-2011)
For the fourth time the ss Rotterdam is a maritime attraction during the World Port Days. Everybody can enjoy the richness of the largest passenger liner ever built in The Netherlands. On September 3 1959, 52 years ago, the brand new flagship of Holland America Line left Rotterdam on her maiden voyage to New York. On Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 September from 10 Am till 5 PM the Friends of steamship Rotterdam are present in the Coffee Lobby on Maindeck to inform you about the rich history and interior of the ss Rotterdam. Continuously pictures will be shown of the building of the ship and of the ship when she was sailing. Also pictures are being shown of the refubishment and artworks in the ship. Free entrance.
ms Rotterdam greets ss Rotterdam (8-7-2011)
On July 3 at 9 PM the ms Rotterdam left Rotterdam for a nostalgic transatlantic crossing to New York. When passing the ss Rotterdam the ms Rotterdam saluted the ss Rotterdam. Because of the strong eastern wind the horn of the ss Rotterdam could hardly be heard on the river Maas.
Woonbron in search for money (24-6-2011)
Publicity about the annual returns of Woonbron, the owner of the ss Rotterdam, has caused the rumour that the ship is for sale and might depart from Rotterdam. In fact Woonbron is in search for investors willing to take over the capital stock.
Day of architecture on the Rotterdam (10-6-2011)
On June 25 the Day of architecture is celebrated onboard the ss Rotterdam. Arnold Bos of ABD Architects and former projectarchitect of VFD and Klaas Krijnen, chairman of the Steamship Rotterdam Foundation will give lectures at 1.30 PM and 3 PM in the Queens Lounge.
Celebration of 10 years Steamship Rotterdam Foundation (25-5-2011)
On Sunday May 22 the Friends of steamship Rotterdam celebrated their 10-year anniversary on board the ss Rotterdam. Thanks to the operators On Board On Shore and De Rotterdam we were able to welcome more than 300 visitors. The delightful orchestra Musical Souvenir plaid in the Theater, Ambassador lounge and Grand Ballroom. The lectures of Daniel van de Ven, Koos Sanderse and Jan Oostrijck were well attented. Pictures of the celebration can be found on our photopage.
Mai Elmar and Shuffleboard game (8-5-2011)
On Friday May 6 the board of the Steamschip Rotterdam Foundation (Friends of steamship Rotterdam) met Mai Elmar, the new Executive Director of the ss Rotterdam. From both sides the enthusiasm was expressed for cooperation in favour of the succes of the ss Rotterdam. To settle the cooperation the board offered her the shuffleboard game on one of the sports decks on the ship.
The traditional shuffleboard game returns on the s.s. Rotterdam. De Friends of steamship Rotterdam painted the first shuffleboard track on the former First Class Sportsdeck. From Eastern it will be possible to play shuffleboard during the Seabreeze Deluxe Tour around the ship.
New director of De Rotterdam B.V. (4-4-2011)
Today it was announced that Mai Elmar has been appointed as director of the operator of the s.s. Rotterdam, De Rotterdam B.V. She has been leading the Cruiseterminal Rotterdam back to succes and is one of the most influential 'businessmen' in the Rotterdam harbour. She will stay with the s.s. Rotterdam until at least the end of 2012.
Evaporator in the picture (3-4-2011)
In the Evaporator Room of the Rotterdam the Steamship Rotterdam Foundation attached a live size picture of an evaporator on the wall. During the renovation of the ship a separation wall was placed just in front of the evaporators, who were not visible anymore. Now the visitors of the engine room can get a good impression of the original situation.
Each evaporator produced 250 ton of fresh water out of seawater a day.
5 years grey (26-1-2011)
This week 5 years ago the hull of the s.s. Rotterdam was painted grey again in a drydock in Cadiz. Since 1973 she had sailed with a dark blue hull.
Engineroom reopend (7-1-2011)
The engineroom is open again. Regularly guided tours can be booked.
Engineroom still closed (10-12-2010)
The maintenance works in the engineroom are not yet ready. The operators of the Rotterdam will announce the reopening on their website www.derotterdam.com page 'Touren'.
Divers under the Rotterdam (29-11-2010)
During last week the Dutch Royal Navy used the H.M. Nautilus as a trainingship in the Rotterdam harbour. Divers inspected the hull of the s.s. Rotterdam in the Maashaven.
Engine room can not be visited (17-11-2010)
During the two coming weeks the engineroom will be closed for visitors because of maintenance.
Gymnastics on board (23-10-2010)
This month the Artistic Gymnastics World Championship is being held in Rotterdam. Sportsmen and -women from many different countries are staying in the hotel on the s.s. Rotterdam. The lobby on Maindeck is appropriate for a warming up.
Entertrainment on the Rotterdam (29-9-2010)
Entertainment is back on the s.s. Rotterdam. During the weekends there is a Captain's Dinner Party, a show in the Theater and music in the Grand Ballroom. Enjoy every Thursday evening live music in the Ocean Bar. See for more information www.derotterdam.com
Maidenvoyage 51 years ago (3-9-2010)
Today 51 years ago the Rotterdam left Rotterdam on her maiden voyage to New York.
World Port Days (31-8-2010)
During the World Port Days, on September 4 and 5 our foundation will be present in the La Fontaine room on B-deck from 10 AM till 5 PM. Lectures about the ship will be given at 11 AM, 1 PM and 3 PM. During both days information about the ship can be found in the La Fontaine.
Opening lounges on the Rotterdam (5-8-2010)
As from August 2010 the tours ‘Seabreeze Deluxe’ and ‘De Rotterdam all inclusive’ are extended with several lounges on Upper-Promenadedeck. Since the ship was opened for the public the lounges were not accessible. Until coming December only lounges that are not in use will be open for tour-guests. The accessibility differs from day to day. In August most of the lounges will be open.
Engineer H.W. Stapel deceased (6-7-2010)
On July 2 engineer H.W. Stapel deceased. He reached the age of 89. He was chief engineer when the Rotterdam Drydock Company built the s.s. Rotterdam. He had an important role in the design and the building of the ship that was delivered to Holland America Line on August 20 1959. During the last 9 years engineer Stapel supported our efforts to save the s.s. Rotterdam enthusiastically. We are very greatful for this. Our sympathy is with his wife, children and grandchildren.
Day of architecture (14-6-2010)
On June 26 the Day of architecture is dedicated to 'Architecture & Re-use'. The s.s. Rotterdam is part of the program of the Rotterdam Foundation for Architecture. Lectures are given and lounges and rooms that normally are closed are open for the public. For more information see www.airfoundation.nl
Ship of the year 1996 (9-6-2010)
On Monday June 7, Donald W. Eberle, former President of the Steamship Historical Society of America, brought back to the s.s. Rotterdam the award 'Ship of the year 1996'. In april 1997 the award was handed over by Mr. Eberle to Captain Jacob W. Dijk, when the ship was still in service. Now the award was presented by Mr. Eberle to Klaas Krijnen, Chairman of the Steamship Rotterdam Society, in the presence of Captain Dijk and Willem Smit, managing director of the operator De Rotterdam B.V. The award was given because the s.s. Rotterdam was in service as an almost unaltered steamship during so many years. Ann Eberle wrote a comprehensive article about the s.s. Rotterdam in PowerShips, the new magazine of the SSHSA. See www.sshsa.org
The Rotterdam back in time (27-3-2010)
Last week the s.s. Rotterdam was the scenery of a movie picture depicting the sixties. The movie will be shown in the Experience Room on board the ship.
Uniformjacket missing (1-3-2010)
Last week a black uniform jacket with HAL-buttons disappeared from one of the officers cabins on Bridgedeck. It was a gift of Mr. Melis, a former enigineer on the s.s. Rotterdam. His name is on the laudry-mark in the collar of the jacket. Please send any information you have about the missing jacket to firstname.lastname@example.org
Activities on the Rotterdam (21-2-2010)
Our foundation fit up some rooms on the Bridge deck, in cooperation with volunteers of Radio Holland and the brandnew association of amateur ' sparks' (call Pi4HAL). Many visitors found their way to the Bridge deck last week. See photopage
The Rotterdam is open for the public (15-2-2010)
Today the s.s. Rotterdam opened for the public. A group of Rotterdam celebrities took the lead by passing the gangway. Our foundation handed over the renovated ships horn to the owners of the ship. From now on the ship has her voice back, thanks to the help of volunteers, entrepeneurs and a financial support foundation. See photopage
The Rotterdam opens her doors (13-2-2010)
After years of preparation the s.s. Rotterdam opens her doors for the public on monday Februari 15 at 10 AM. You are welcome to enjoy all the facilities on board such as the tours around the ship, wining & dining, hotelrooms and lounges and bars for festivities and congresses. Please see www.derotterdam.com
Top radarmast on the quay (17-1-2010)
After a two year stay in the ssRotterdam Infocentre the old top of the radarmast of the Rotterdam has been placed on the quay next to the ship. Captain Albert Schoonderbeek recovered the four meter top in Alaska in 2006 and brought it back to Europe with the m.s. Veendam in 2007. The old top will not be replaced on the ship because during the drydocking in Cadiz (2006) the radarmast was brought back to her original lenght already. See photos
Artists with their goblin tapestries (17-1-2010)
On Friday Januari 15 Gisele d' Ailly-Van Waterschoot van der Gracht and Joke Haverkorn van Rijsewijk were on board the s.s. Rotterdam to take a look at the remade goblin tapestries in de Clubroom. Mrs. d' Ailly painted the design and mrs. Haverkorn produced the four tapestries in her studio De Uil (the Owl) in 1959. When te tapestries were stolen in 2004 the owner of the s.s. Rotterdam (Rederij De Rotterdam B.V.) made it possible to make four new tapestries, now on a computerised weaving loom at the Textile Museum in Tilburg. Mrs. Haverkorn supervised the reproduction. After 50 years the two ladies were together again on the s.s. Rotterdam. They are very satisfied with the result. See photos
Date of opening made public! (16-12-2009)
Today the operators of the s.s. Rotterdam, De Rotterdam B.V., announced that the ship will be open for the public as from February 15 2010. Until that time the ship will be used for private parties.
The Rotterdam is not yet ready (25-10-2009)
Last week the owners and operators of the Rotterdam made public that it is doubtful whether the Rotterdam will be open for the public this year. The work on the ship is proceeding very well. The main part of the interior is ready, except for the loose furniture and pieces of equipment. They can only be placed on board with permission of the authorities. The main issue on board now is testing the technical installation.
Our contributors will receive an extended information bulletin with many pictures in November.
50 years maiden voyage steamship Rotterdam (31-8-2009)
This week, 50 years ago, the maiden voyage of the Rotterdam started. On September 3 1959 the s.s. Rotterdam, the brand-new flagship of Holland-America line (HAL), departed from Rotterdam to New York, where she arrived on September 11.
During the world port festival in Rotterdam on September 4, 5 and 6, the Maritime Museum Rotterdam shows some historical documentaries about the Rotterdam. On September 5 the Steamship Rotterdam Foundation, in cooperation with the Maritime Bookshop in the museum, comes with a modest presentation about 50 years steamship Rotterdam.
Handed over 50 years ago (20-8-2009)
Tonight 50 years ago during official trials at sea Queen Juliana hoisted the houseflag of Holland America Line from the First Class sports deck in the radar mast. With this ceremony the Rotterdam was handed over by her builders, the Rotterdam Drydock Company (RDM), to the Holland America Line (HAL).
De Rotterdam B.V. shows understanding (11-8-2009)
In a press release De Rotterdam B.V. (operators of the s.s. Rotterdam) shows understanding for the disappointed reactions on the postponed opening of the ship. A new date for the opening will be made public when after consultation of the main stakeholders the operators and the owners are convinced about a revised date. The people of Katendrecht (the suburb where the Rotterdam is docked), former employees of Holland America Line and contributors to the Steamship Rotterdam Foundation will be the first to receive an invitation for the ‘open days’.
The Rotterdam one year at home (4-8-2009)
Today a year ago the Rotterdam had a festive arrival in her homeport. Though a lot of work is being done to make her ready for her new role the ship is not yet operational. The day of her inauguration is still not set.
Opening postponed (19-7-2009)
The opening of the s.s. Rotterdam, announced for July 27, has been postponed by the operator De Rotterdam B.V. until further notice.
Rotterdam VI meets Rotterdam V (7-6-2009)
On May 31 the Rotterdam VI (1997) visited her homeport and passed the Rotterdam V (1959) when leaving in the afternoon.
Gangways in place (17-5-2009)
Work on board the Rotterdam continues. Recently the gangways to the ship were placed.
Woonbron and the Rotterdam (3-4-2009)
Today the Minister of Housing, Suburbs and Integration has send a letter to Dutch Parliament about the (financial) plans made by Woonbron (the owners of the ship). The plans don’t completely satisfy the minister. An external supervisor will review the plans before June 1. An extra manager will be added to the board in regard to the s.s. Rotterdam. Woonbron has stated that it will fulfil the project and won’t resign from it.
Today was announced that the Rotterdam will be open for the public from July 27th 2009.
Delivery s.s. Rotterdam is nearing (19-3-2009)
The operators of the s.s. Rotterdam announced today that from the end of March the delivery of the ship will start. According to Hans Elemans, spokesman of the operators, it will be possible to stay in the hotel, go to the theatre or attend a conference on board the ship from this summer.
The Rotterdam connected to the posts (31-1-2009)
Last night the Rotterdam has been connected to the two spudposts in de Maashaven. The work was prosperously accomplished. The ship is lying now about 8 meters from the quay. During the day the gangways and cables have been connected to the ship again so the refurbishment can continue. The opening of the ship will be announced three months before.
Fixing to her mooring posts at night (27-1-2009)
The s.s. Rotterdam will be fixed to her two mooring posts during the night of Friday January 30 till Saturday January 31. Works will begin during the evening.
The Rotterdam to her mooring posts (25-1-2009)
Coming week the mooring of the Rotterdam to her posts will be prepared. She will be connected to the two posts that have been driven into the bottom of the Maashaven on starboard side of the ship last year. On Friday January 30 the ship will be connected to the posts definitively.
First the turn of the year for the Rotterdam in Rotterdam (1-1-2009)
For the first time the s.s. Rotterdam was in her homeport at the turn of the year. Since she started sailing in 1959 as an ocean liner and cruise ship she was in foreign ports or at sea during the turn of the year. On December 31 of 1959 and January 1 of 1960 she was in the roads of Puerto Montt in Chili, during her inaugural cruise around South America.
Lifeboats on board again (23-12-2008)
At the end of the year that the s.s. Rotterdam returned to her homeport, 14 of the 18 lifeboats have been hung back in the davits. The four missing lifeboats have to be rebuilt. See the pictures on our photopage.
The minister and the Rotterdam (21-12-2008)
Minister Van der Laan of Housing, Labour and Integration has expressed his appreciation about the initiative of housing corporation Woonbron to buy the s.s. Rotterdam. The minister states in a letter dated December 15 that it is not the kind of project that bothers him, but the way Woonbron runs it. He has informed Dutch Parliament to have taken some measures in order to stabilize the financial situation at Woonbron. Before March 2009 Woonbron has to deliver plans for the completion of the ship, operations, financing and selling the ship. The minister demands a financial plan for the years until 2012. By way of precaution the minister expects that the ship will not be sold before 2012.
Gangways arrived (30-11-2008)
At the end of november the gangways were delivered that will connect the s.s. Rotterdam with the entrancebuildings on the quay in Katendrecht. During the first months of 2009 they will be brought into place. see the photopage.
Woonbron and the Rotterdam (7-11-2008)
A member of Parliament asks the minister of Housing for more information about the investment in the s.s. Rotterdam by housing corporation Woonbron. In fact the corporation has to diminish its investment of € 175 by 80%. The government and its supervisors have communicated this to Woonbron earlier this year. Woonbron says they are negotiating with investors.
The Rotterdam wins prize of the public (7-11-2008)
During the last weeks the Rotterdam and nine other projects were nominated for the painters-professionals-prize. The first prize was given to the Royal Stables Het Loo. The Rotterdam won the prize of the public. On the website 867 votes were given to the s.s. Rotterdam. The painter of the ship, Smitsvastgoedzorg, can be proud of this prize.
Davits back on the Rotterdam (8-10-2008)
At the end of September davits, lifeboats and a lot of containers arrived in Rotterdam from Wilhelmshaven. Last week the first davits were put in place again. When all the davits are in place, the lifeboats will be hung back again. Two mooring-posts have been placed in the Maashaven on starboard side of the ship.
Next step in finishing the Rotterdam (12-9-2008)
Today the owners of the s.s. Rotterdam, Rederij de Rotterdam B.V., announced that on September 11 they reached an agreement in principle with GTI to finish the engineering on board the Rotterdam. During the coming weeks a planning will be made with GTI, including a point of time of completion.
On September 13 it is 50 years ago that the s.s. Rotterdam was launched at the Rotterdam Drydock Company.
Rotterdam arrived safely in Rotterdam (5-8-2008)
On August 4 the s.s. Rotterdam arrived safely in Rotterdam. At about 4 PM she entered the New Waterway. She was towed to her berth at Maashaven where she was moored at 9 PM. During the coming months the refurbishment will be finished, including replacement of davits and lifeboats. photos August 4
The big day! (4-8-2008)
Today is the big day of the arrival of the s.s. Rotterdam in her homeport. It's the fruit of a seven year struggle of our foundation. This morning at 8.00 local time the s.s. Rotterdam passed Zandvoort (west of Amsterdam). From 2.00 PM the tugs will set course to Hoek van Holland. Around 4.00 PM the s.s. Rotterdam will reach the Nieuwe Waterweg for the last 15 nautical miles of her final trip back to Rotterdam.
Rotterdam on the way (3-8-2008)
Today the s.s. Rotterdam is being towed by RT Magic and RT Spirit north of the Frisian Islands. Tomorrow in the afternoon she will arrive in Rotterdam.
The s.s. Rotterdam has left Wilhelmshaven (2-8-2008)
This morning at 9.00 AM local time the s.s. Rotterdam left the quay in Wilhelmshaven, where she stayed since September 2, 2006. After she passed the lock at half past ten, she was taken to the open sea by the tugs Magic and Spirit of Kotug, heading for Rotterdam. She will arrive at her berth in Rotterdam on Monday-evening.
Return of the s.s. Rotterdam (30-7-2008)
The s.s. Rotterdam will return to her home port Rotterdam on Monday August 4. This is confirmed by her owner ‘De Rotterdam’. The ship will leave Wilhelmshaven on Saturday morning and is due to arrive at Hoek van Holland at approximately 3.30 PM local time. There will be no festivities, because the official opening will take place on a later date. (Source: RTV Rijnmond)
Wether conditions and other unexpected problems may cause a delay. As soon as we have more information about the departure of the s.s. Rotterdam from Wilhelmshaven, Germany, we will publish it on our website.
Fire on the s.s. Rotterdam (26-6-2008)
On Wednesday June 25 at about 6 PM in Wilhelmshaven waste materials caught fire in a room above the engine room. Burning isolation material caused a lot of smoke. About 150 firemen extinguished the fire at about 9.30 PM. According to Hans Elemans, CEO of De Rotterdam BV the fire caused not too much damage. Probably the ship will be back in Rotterdam in August as planned (source: De Rotterdam BV / AD).
Wally Elenbaas has passed away (24-5-2008)
At 10 AM on Wednesday May 21, 2008, the artist Wally Elenbaas passed away in Rotterdam.
Wally Elenbaas created several artworks on board the Rotterdam. In the Tropic Bar he painted on jute tropical scenes on a wall that measures 11 meters long by 2.3 meters wide. In the Smoking Room he made lead-tape artworks on three cabinets of Carel Wirtz. We looked forward to show Wally Elenbaas his artworks when the Rotterdam returns to her homeport later this year. We regret it that that will not be possible anymore.
The Rotterdam returns in the first week of August (22-5-2008)
The refurbishment of the Rotterdam in Wilhelmshaven is making steady progress. Plans are being made to bring the ship to Rotterdam during the first week of August and to have the first congress in September.
s.s. Rotterdam comes this year (21-2-2008)
The owners of the s.s. Rotterdam made public this week that the s.s. Rotterdam opens this autumn.
When she arrives, probably during the summer, the total cost will be € 140 mln. As an icon of the post-war city of Rotterdam she will host cafe-restaurants, 289 hotel rooms, congress- and education rooms. Hundreds of people will find a job onboard the ship, expecting 600.000 visitors.
Tapestries s.s. Rotterdam showed in the Maritime Museum Rotterdam (15-2-2008)
From February 18 the Maritime Museum Rotterdam shows four beautiful tapestries, measured 4 by 1,3 meter, that will find their way to the s.s. Rotterdam. The original tapestries from 1959 were woven by workshop De Uil under the direction of Joke Haverkorn van Rijsewijk. She was inspired by four paintings of Gisèle van Waterschoot van der Gracht. The tapestries were stolen from the s.s. Rotterdam when she stayed in Gibraltar in 2004.
Stories of Ovidius
Gisèle van Waterschoot van der Gracht was inspired by the Metamorphoses of Ovidius. Love stories from the antiquity with Zeus, Dionysos, Poseidon and Apollo enlived the four corners of the Clubroom of the Rotterdam. Thanks to both ladies the four tapestries were woven again, but now with new technology in one of the workshops of the Textile Museum in Tilburg in Holland. The owners of the ship (Rederij De Rotterdam BV) gave orders to remake the tapestries. When the ship returns to Rotterdam, the tapestries will be replaced in the Clubroom.
The tapestries will stay at the museum until September.
The Maritime Museum Rotterdam can be found at Leuvehaven 1 near the Metro-station Beurs and is open to the public Tuesday till Saturday from 10.00 till 17.00; on Sundays and public holidays from 11.00 till 17.00 and on Mondays from 10.00 till 17.00 during school vacations.
The Rotterdam will ready in May 2008 for finishing in her homeport (11-10-2007)
Good news about the s.s. Rotterdam. The most complex part of the removal of asbestos has been finished and the refurbishment of the ship can begin. But the works on teak decks, interior, steelwork and the electric installation take more time than was to be expected. This means that the s.s. Rotterdam will come to her homeport later. Fortunately the owner, Rederij De Rotterdam BV, has chosen to accept no less than a good quality of the restoration. We are happy that maintaining style and dignity of the Rotterdam still is one of the priorities of the company. Following the new technical planning the Rotterdam will be towed to Rotterdam in May 2008, where she will be finished and fitted out for exploitation. A new date for the inauguration of the ship will be made public later.
Summer in Wilhelmshaven (6-8-2007)
Work is steady going on the Rotterdam. Several decks (from Bridge- to Promenadedeck) are ready for furnishing. On August 3 the ‘green-white-green’ flag of the city of Rotterdam is proudly waving on the fo’c’sle, while the lifeboats are renovated on the quay in front of the ship. Teak decks are being holystoned and the seams refilled and smoothened. The starboard spare anchor was replaced on a new fundament. The starboard davits have been removed for refitting and the pole has been lengthened again and replaced on the bridge between the smokestacks. See the photopage.
The present state of affairs in Wilhelmshaven (2-6-2007)
During May a milestone was reached on the Rotterdam when the refurbishment started of several spaces on Bridgedeck. On the outside a lot of steelwork is being done on railings and decks. Lifeboats and davits are undergoing repairs. On the forward deck the foundation of several capstans was renewed. Still a lot of work has te be done to get the ship ready in time.
Thanks to captain Schoonderbeek of the Veendam the former top of the radarmast arrived in Rotterdam where it is prepared for erecting it on the quay.
Mast top s.s. Rotterdam (17-4-2007)
Last summer captain Albert Schoonderbeek of the m.s. Veendam of Holland America Line announced that he had found in Alaska the original top of the radarmast of the s.s. Rotterdam.
On April 14 he brought the mast top ashore in Barcelona from where she will be transported to Rotterdam where she will get a special place. Our foundation thanks captain Schoonderbeek and his crew for taking care of the mast top.
s.s. Rotterdam open to the public from March 31 2008 (3-4-2007)
Today De Rotterdam BV, made public that the steamship Rotterdam will be opened to the public on March 31 2008. It is expected that the s.s. Rotterdam will be towed to Rotterdam in December of January, depending on weather conditions. About two months will be needed to put the Rotterdam in operation.
Work on the s.s. Rotterdam takes longer (27-2-2007)
On the website rotterdamveilig.nl the event calendar announces that on September 14 the s.s. Rotterdam will arrive in Rotterdam. On TV-Rijnmond the manager of De Rotterdam BV declared that a lot of work is being done on board, but that it seems that the Rotterdam will not arrive on September 14. Elemans: ‘The ship must be at Katendrecht in a good condition for 20 years. I prefer that she comes back in an accountable way, in stead of keeping the planning because of prestige.’. The future hotelmanager Lucas Petit stated ‘ (…) inside and outside cabins will be combined to create nice and large cabins. (…). Most important is that the Rotterdam will stay the Rotterdam as a beautiful authentic and historical ship’.
Our foundation agrees with these gentlemen: a well restored ship may come a bit later.
New model of the s.s. Rotterdam (18-2-2007)
Scaldis produced a full hull / waterline model cut-out card kit, scale 1 : 250 of the s.s. Rotterdam. It’s an impressive 50 pages book of 24,5 to 34 cm with much details. The s.s. Rotterdam can be build with a grey hull (1959 till 1973 + 2006 till now) and with a blue hull (1973 till 1997). It is the first model of a Dutch liner that can be build as a full hull and waterline-model.
For more information: www.scaldismodelclub.nl.
s.s. Rotterdam Infocenter is open (21-1-2007)
Last Friday the s.s. Rotterdam Infocenter was opened. You can take a look at the photo exhibition The Netherlands Photo museum showed during the first months of 2006. In addition our foundation shows in more than 80 pictures the life of the ship, crew quarters, engine room and navigation bridge. A complete wall shows dry-docking in Cadiz.
De Rotterdam BV has built cabin 212 as it will be in future. There are a shop and a café.
You can visit the infocenter at the Brede Hilledijk 99a, about 200 meters west of Metrostation Rijnhaven, at Katendrecht, Rotterdam. Opening hours: Wednesday till Friday between 1 PM and 5 PM, Saturday and Sunday between 11 AM and 5 PM.
Entrance tickets: € 3,-. Our contributors will receive two free tickets in short. See the photopage for an impression.
The real work has started! (10-12-2006)
We are delighted to report that work on board the s.s. Rotterdam in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, has started during the past weeks. Work is carried out on decks, railings and the outside swimming pool. Spots of rustiness on the starboard side have been removed.
During the coming months the refurbishment of the ship will grow to its full scale.
See the photopage.
Works in Wilhelmshaven (18-10-2006)
Today De Rotterdam BV announced that the preparations of the renovation of the s.s. Rotterdam progress smoothly. De city of Rotterdam has stated that the quay at the Maashaven must be ready on May 15, 2007.
See for the announcement of De Rotterdam BV: www.derotterdam.com
Top radar mast recovered in Alaska (2-10-2006)
When s.s. Rotterdam started Alaska cruises in 1981 the mast top was removed to avoid problems with passing power lines. During her last season in Alaska in 1997 the s.s. Rotterdam left the mast top in Ketchikan for use as a flag standard at the pier. It never became a flag standard, but on our inquiry Captain Albert Schoonderbeek and bo’sun Nico Pangamanan of the m.s. Veendam (HAL) recovered it last summer. The mast top will return to Rotterdam next year when it will be handed over to the new owners of the ship, De Rotterdam BV. Click here for a picture.
Arrival at Wilhelmshaven in Germany (3-9-2006)
On Saturday morning September 2 the s.s. Rotterdam arrived from Gdansk in Wilhelmshaven. At about 6 am she approached the harbour and was brought into the locks by four tugs. At eight she was docked at Hannoverquay . Until the early afternoon the towing chains were removed after which the seagoing tug Bazalt of Petrobaltic was dismissed. See our photo page for an impression.
Rotterdam to Wilhelmshaven (26-8-2006)
Rederij De Rotterdam BV (shipowner) announces, that on August 25 in the afternoon the Rotterdam left Gdansk for Wilhelmshaven in Germany. It will take a tug about 7 days to tow the ship to its new berth. In Wilhelmshaven the sacks of asbestos waste will be unloaded and further restoration work will be done on the outside. The ship is expected to remain in Germany for about six to eight weeks while this work is done.
See our photo page
Another port (23-8-2006)
Today Rederij De Rotterdam BV (shipowner) made the following announcement: Disagreement between two parties in the port of Kaliningrad, Russia, forced the shipowner to search for an alternative port. It was the intention to unload the bags with asbestos-contaminated waste in Kaliningrad while a new berth was prepared in Gdansk for the s.s. Rotterdam. In the mean time several shipyards have offered to welcome the ship in order to avoid further delay in Gdansk. As soon as possible a shipyard will be chosen where the bags can be onloaded in order to continue the renovation.
Rotterdam still in Gdansk (17-8-2006)
De Rotterdam BV stated us, that past Monday the s.s. Rotterdam was to set sail for the Kaliningrad harbour in Russia in order to dispose of the asbestos bags and to start renovations for the outside. However, departure was delayed until Wednesday, August 16th. One of the consequences of the delay is that the insurance company has to renew its approval for departure. The harbour in Kaliningrad is currently making preparations for the ship’s arrival in its harbour. The ship’s departure will be delayed an additional few days due to this work. Until that time, the s.s. Rotterdam will remain at the Ore Pier in Gdansk.
Celica Sunday in Gdansk (28-7-2006)
On Wednesday the 26th of July De Rederij De Rotterdam BV [De Rotterdam Shipping Company] wrote a letter to the minister of Maritime and Economic Affairs in Poland. This letter contained a confirmation that De Rotterdam is ready to transfer the bags of material containing asbestos onto the freighter Celica in accordance with the minister’s wishes. The large crane has been on board already for several days, as well as the large bags in which the material must be transported.
It is expected that the Celica will arrive in Gdansk on Sunday. De Rotterdam requested the minister in the letter to permit the transfer of the waste on the jetty. This is in order to disturb the nesting birds as little as possible. If this is not possible, De Rotterdam will have to wait until the birds have finished brooding.
De Rotterdam intends to start an active information campaign with other parties in the Gdansk community before the ship leaves for the yard.
One swallow does not make a summer (24-7-2006)
Last week we informed you that the Rotterdam should be towed to the open sea to unload bags containing asbestos waste. Now it appears that swallows have build their nests on board the ship. It are protected birds with brood. Moving the ship is in discussion now. The consequences are uncertain even as how long this will go on.
Rotterdam leaving Gdansk? (21-7-2006)
The governor of the Polish province of Pomerania has stated that the Rotterdam has to leave the port of Gdansk to unload bags containing asbestos waste outside Polish waters. On the roads of Gdansk the bags should be loaded on a ship that brings them to the Netherlands.
Statement by the owner of s.s. Rotterdam (14-7-2006)
The owner of the s.s. Rotterdam published the next statement:
"As the owner of SS Rotterdam we hereby maintain our position in the case of the steamship’s refurbishment in Poland. We also wish to inform that we are in possession of an official statement by the Polish Ministry of Maritime Economy, confirming that our appeal from the Maritime Office decision’s has not been rejected. The Minister has not made a decision yet.
In relation to the negative decision of the Maritime Office in Gdynia with instructions for us to leave Poland due to import of dangerous substances into the Polish territory, we wish to state that the main reason for this decision can be removed without any harmful effects. Other restoration works on the ship, including removal of asbestos, can be performed in suitable conditions as today we signed an agreement with Stocznia Gdanska SA.
On 6th July 2006, the Chief Inspector of Environment Protection and the Dutch Ministry of Environment (WROM) jointly agreed the procedure and technology of removal of bags out of SS Rotterdam which form the basis of the negative decision by the Maritime Office. These procedures are completely safe for health and environment and approved by the Polish authorities, hence the claim of environmental threat in the port area cannot be justified. The works are to be performed by a specialist company in possession of a valid KOMO certificate regarding the procedure of asbestos removal in accordance with the valid regulations as per assessment directive BRL 5050, and current Polish laws and regulations.
A Dutch ship Selicca is ready to take the bags with asbestos waste. They will be transported to Hengelo port in Holland, where, also in accordance with all security procedures, they will be delivered to the waste disposal area. As such the requirement included in GIOS decision issued on 21st June and instructing Rederij de Rotterdam BV to transport about 500 m3 of asbestos waste to Holland is fulfilled.
The Rotterdam’s restoration contract with Stocznia Gdanska SA states that the work is to be carried out at one of the Stocznia Gdanska’s wharfs. The first stage of the restoration includes removal of asbestos itself and elements of the ship’s equipment contaminated with asbestos from the ship. This task will be performed by a Polish company Algader Hofman, with proved experience in removal of asbestos waste. All materials containing asbestos or contaminated with asbestos will be safely and methodically transported and stored in disposal area TKK Kodersdorf GmbH in Germany."
Model s.s. Rotterdam back in all its glory (1-7-2006)
Yesterday the almost 10 meter long scale model (1:23) of the Rotterdam was presented after a thorough renovation by the Albeda College. The model has the age of almost 40 years and belongs to the miniature city Madurodam in The Hague. The renovation was done in cooperation between Madurodam, Albeda College and De Rotterdam BV. Friday afternoon the model was brought back to Madurodam by truck. At the Cityhall the mayor of Rotterdam christened the beautifully restored ship before it returned to The Hague.
Also look at our photopage and the website of Madurodam
News about the s.s. Rotterdam (27-6-2006)
You may have noticed that busy deliberations are going on about the work to be done on the s.s. Rotterdam. June 25 we were informed that Polish authorities gave orders to remove the s.s. Rotterdam from Gdansk by July 10. This information could not be confirmed.
On June 27 Radio Rynmond reported the same information and Diana Coolegem, Public Relations Manager of the “De Rotterdam BV”, stated that the information was incorrect. Radio Rynmond rectified the news about three hours later and broadcasted an interview with Rob Hagens, director of the ship-owners of the Rotterdam. He told them that a letter of intent has been signed to have the work been done on the Gdansk Shipyard, where Lech Walesa became well-known.
The Steamship Rotterdam Foundation wishes to inform you about the latest developments in dialogue with the shipowners.
For more news see De Rotterdam BV
Exhibition in Museum Katendrecht, Rotterdam (18-6-2006)
The Steamship Rotterdam Foundation and the “De Lijn – association” created an exhibition with pictures of among others pieces of art Wally Elenbaas made for the s.s. Rotterdam. Splendid pictures of the ship, made by Harry Mosch are exhibited too. Four showcases are filled with several special features of the HAL and the s.s. Rotterdam. The exhibition is open until the end of August in Museum Katendrecht, Rechthuislaan 1a, Rotterdam, on Thursday until Sunday from 1.00 till 5.00 PM (Metro station Rijnhaven, bus 77).
Five years Steamship Rotterdam Foundation (5-5-2006)
This month FIVE YEARS ago the Steamship Rotterdam Foundation saw the light. The most important objective to get the Rotterdam to Holland and operate her in a sustainable and cultural-historical responsible way has almost been reached. The Rotterdam is in the hands of a Dutch owner who does much to make the ship ready for use in the Maashaven in the port of Rotterdam next year. That it is not plain sailing is no surprise bearing in mind the scale of the project. Refurbishing an almost 50 years old ship isn’t a small affair. Coming year will be very important for the future of the s.s. Rotterdam. The foundation keeps helping to think in a critical and creative way.
Asbestos-problems have not been solved yet (1-5-2006)
The Rotterdam is in Gdansk now for more than two months. At the arrival of the ship the Polish authorities among others had problems with the planned asbestos sanitation. Last week the authorities stated that an amount of bags with asbestos polluted waste should have been notified at the arrival of the ship. This led to extra deliberations with the authorities.
One thing with another the refurbishment has not been started yet, while the ship has to be ready next year for her new job in the port of Rotterdam. The foundation regrets this deeply.
Renovation s.s. Rotterdam meets resistance in Poland (3-3-2006)
Several Dutch newspapers report that in Poland opposition has been raised against the planned renovation of the steamship Rotterdam in de port of Gdansk.
Greenpeace wants to know what happens to the 180 tons of asbestos on board. “We want to know exactly who removes the asbestos from the ship en where it will be stored”, says a Greenpeace spokesman. The prefect of Pomerania has decided that the place where the Rotterdam is berthed does not suit for the renovation.
According to R. Hagens, representing the operator of the Rotterdam (De Rotterdam BV), problems are being solved. “There was fuss because a newspaper stated an asbestos bomb was coming to port. During renovation about 1500 tons of waste will get off. The newspaper mentioned 1500 tons of asbestos. We are no dumpers of waste. We explained everything neat and are observing the permits, says Hagens. He says to be in contact with Greenpeace about the removal of waste and asbestos from the ship. “It is alright that Greenpeace checks us. They know that we are no dumpers”.
Arrival in Gdansk (28-2-2006)
In the early morning of February 27 the Rotterdam arrived in Gdansk. After a journey of almost 2300 nautical miles the V.B. Artico transfered the Rotterdam to four harbour tugs that docked the ship at the pier where she will be renovated during the coming year. See the photopage
Through Denmark (24-2-2006)
Today the Rotterdam passed the Danish islands Langeland and Lolland, towed by the V.B. Artico, temporarily assisted by the tug Stevns Ocean.
If you like pictures of the Rotterdam, you can go the the Photomuseum in Rotterdam until, April 9. See for more information the link on our homepage. The weekly Elsevier shows a nice picture on two pages of the Rotterdam sailing the North Sea on Sunday February 19. See position on map
In the Cattegat (23-2-2006)
This morning the Rotterdam was sailing the Cattegat between Denmark and Sweden at the position 57.15'00 North and 11.30'70 East. The course was 160 degrees, still to sail about 500 nautical miles. Wind force 2 scale beaufort.
To Denmark (21-2-2006)
The V.B. Artico is towing the Rotterdam in the direction of the Skagerrak near Denmark. Today the ships were as far as Esbjerg, with a speed of 5 knots and winds of 6 scale Beaufort.
In the North Sea (19-2-2006)
Today the Rotterdam and her tug V.B. Artico sailed the North Sea. During the morning both ships passed the province of Zeeland.Thanks to the kind co-operation of Hans van der Linden and Gert-Jan Postma of Aero Lin Photo BV and Richard Rieske of De Rotterdam BV the ships could be photographed from an aeroplane. It took some searching to find them under the clouds. It was the first time since 35 years the Rotterdam showed her grey hull in the North Sea. And it was impressive indeed to see her proudly following the tug, northbound to Gdansk. See the photopage
Along the French coast (18-2-2006)
This morning the position was 50.13'70 North en 00.16'60 West, at a course of 73 degrees. The Rotterdam is now halfway the distance of 2300 nautical miles to Gdansk. Today V.B. Artico and the Rotterdam sailed along the French coast at a speed of 4.37 knots.
Waiting for good weather (17-2-2006)
Today the towed vessel has stopped near Cap la Hague in Normandie, awaiting an improvement of the weather.
Very rough weather (16-2-2006)
The Rotterdam had to deal with very rough weather. Brave she follows the V.B. Artico to the north at a course op 69 degrees and an average speed of 5.75 knots. This morning she sailed the Channel at the position 49.13'70 N and 05.11'40 W.
Near Bretagne (15-2-2006)
This morning the Rotterdam and her tug V.B. Artico were near Bretagne, at the position 47.24'60 N en 06.59'00 W. Speed is lowered to 5.5 knots. Course 22 degrees. There are heavy winds and a rough sea. Distance sailed: 817 nautical miles. Distance to Gdansk: 1498 nautical miles.
In the Bay of Biscay (14-2-2006)
This morning at 8 AM the Rotterdam was in the Bay of Biscay, passing Bordeaux, at 45.20'20 N en 08.15'2 W. The tug is steering a northern course (23 degrees) at a speed of 7.5 knots. The sea is rough with a south western wind, force scale 4, increasing to scale 6 or 7.
Rotterdam to Rotterdam in 2007 (14-2-2006)
Steamship Rotterdam will come to Rotterdam in Spring 2007. According to previous plans she would return during the World Port Festival in September this year, but to guarantee quality of ship and quay the owners (De Rotterdam BV) and the City of Rotterdam decided that some more months are needed to bring the ship back to her homeport.
The Rotterdam underway (13-2-2006)
The Rotterdam has been towed about 500 nautical miles now by the V.B. Artico. At 8 AM this morning her position was 42.31.50 North and 09.48'40 West, passing Vigo and Cape Finisterre today.
Departure from Cadiz (10-2-2006)
The Rotterdam left Cadiz this afternoon at 3.30 PM, towed by the V.B. Artico. De voyage to Gdansk is 2280 nautical miles and will take about 16 days.
The ship will sail through the Atlantic Ocean, the English Channel, North Sea, Skagerrak, Cattegat, Great Belt and the Baltic. Close to the coast the Rotterdam will be near Ile d’Ouessant (Bretagne), Cape de la Hague (Normandie) and Skagen (Denmark). Whether the ship can bee seen depends on weather conditions and the course of the vessel. See the photopage
Model Rotterdam on the move (7-2-2006)
Today a model of the steamship Rotterdam was transported from miniature-city Madurodam in The Hague to Heijplaat near Rotterdam. There it will be restored by the Albeda College. See the photopage
The Rotterdam left dry dock (2-2-2006)
On January 31 the Rotterdam left dry dock in Cadiz. Tugs brought her back to the place where she was moored when she came from Gibraltar on November 25. In about a week she will leave for Gdansk towed by the Artico.
Steamship Rotterdam freshly painted (28-1-2006)
Last week in drydock the s.s. Rotterdam regained her grey hull with yellow striping. Hempel did their utmost to paint the ship thoroughly. The two smokestacks and four derricks were repainted in their original light grey livery. See the results on our latest photo page.
Weather permitting the s.s. Rotterdam will leave dry-dock at the beginning of next week to return to the berth at the Navantia shipyard where she arrived late November 2005. From there she will depart for Gdansk in February on tow for a journey of two or three weeks.
Steamship Rotterdam to Poland (18-1-2006)
Today the news was made public that in February steamship Rotterdam will leave to Gdansk in Poland. Since November 25 last year the ship is in Cadiz for restoration and painting in drydock. Work will be ready at the end of this month. The Rotterdam will have her grey hull again. It is expected that the Rotterdam will stay in Gdansk for at least six month.
Before the restoration of the interior of the ship can start, the ship will be made asbestos free and – safe. Much attention will be paid to restoring the lounges and cabins in their original state, answering today needs of comfort and safety. Heating, electricity, sound-isolation and sanitary will be renewed. Elevators and the cabins will be restored while keeping the historical elements. Air-conditioning will apply to the Dutch climate. Also fire alarms and sprinklers will be renewed so the ship will have a high degree of safety.
Several European shipyards were considered, because the job to be done is complex and a lot of highly qualified workers are necessary. In the end Gdansk offered the best opportunities. The Polish partners are delighted to be able to contribute to the restoration of steamship Rotterdam. Visit www.derotterdam.com to.
First copies book steamship Rotterdam presented (24-12-2005)
On Thursday December 22 publishing company Duo Duo presented in the Maritime Museum Rotterdam the first copies of the book “Stoomschip Rotterdam 1955-2005” to Mr. baron C.O.A. Schimmelpenninck van der Oije, director of the museum and Mr. H. Elemans, director of De Rotterdam BV. This book gives a splendid photographic report on the building and the life of the steamship Rotterdam. Also in English text.
Copies can be obtained in the bookshops (ISBN 90-72971-81-07). Publisher Duo Duo: fax 0031104778529, e-mail email@example.com
The Rotterdam in drydock (18-12-2005)
The Rotterdam is in graving-dock nr. 4 of the Navantia shipyard now. Unfortunately one of the divers deceased. We regret this deeply.
Drydocking in Cadiz (13-12-2005)
The steamship Rotterdam will be dry-docked later than was announced previously. This is because of the profound procedures the Navanti Shipyard follows to dry-dock this special ship. The depth and the streamlined hull need extra attention. Dry-docking is planned now for Thursday this week.
Drydocking steamship Rotterdam (7-12-2005)
Coming weekend the Rotterdam will enter drydock for the first time since eight years. She is in Cadiz since November 25 at the Navantia Shipyard. This yard was chosen because of the climate and because the ship could be handle there soon. Painting the ship will take several weeks. Some 28.000 litres of paint are necessary to paint the whole outside of the ship. To replace the yellow striping and the original name and logo the original construction drawings are used. The hull will be dove-grey again. The advanced painting system will conserve the ship for 15 years. At the end of January the steamship is expected to leave drydock under her original name.
Safe in Cadiz (26-11-2005)
After a very properous trip Thursday-evening the s.s. Rotterdam arrived in Cadiz where she spent the night in the bay. Fridaymorning she docked in harbour where she will stay until December 10 when she enters drydock. In drydock the exterior of the ship will be restored.
On her way to Cadiz (24-11-2005)
At 10.50 this morning the steamship Rottterdam left Gibraltar for Cadiz after one day of delay. She was towed along the Spanish coast to Cadiz. Tonight she is expected in the bay of Cadiz where she will drop anchor. On December 10 she will enter drydock for renovation of her exterior.
s.s. Rotterdam leaves Gibraltar tomorrow (23-11-2005)
The s.s. Rotterdam did not leave Gibraltar today. The weather was bad and it took more time to make the ship ready for towing by the tug V.Bartigo. See the pictures on our photopage Departure Gibraltar. She will leave Gibraltar on thursday.
s.s. Rotterdam to Cadiz (18-11-2005)
Today the owners of the steamship Rotterdam (De Rotterdam BV) announced that on wednesday November 23 the s.s. Rotterdam will leave Gibraltar to be towed to Cadiz in Spain, where she will be drydocked. In drydock the exterior of the ship will be repainted. The original dovegrey color of her hull will return, piped with gold. The Rotterdam will stay in Cadiz for about six weeks. See the press-release on our website and on www.derotterdam.com
The Steamship Rotterdam Foundation congratulates ‘De Rotterdam BV’ with this important milestone!
Mural painting unveiled (10-11-2005)
Today a mural painting is unveiled in Delfshaven, part of the city of Rotterdam. The workshop of Leo Mineur from Rotterdam who created this piece of art is well known for several paintings in the city. Hans Elemans, director of De Rotterdam BV unveiled this tribute to the magnificent ship. See the pictures on our photopage.
Tenders arrived in Rotterdam (15-10-2005)
Today the four tenders of the Rotterdam arrived on the grounds of the former Rotterdam Drydock Company. Last monday they were picked up in Gibraltar by the ms Deo Volente of Wagenborg. The new owners “De Rotterdam BV” will restore the tenders in cooperation with the Albeda College to use them as ferries between the future berth of the vessel at Maashaven and different parts of the city of Rotterdam.
Two lifeboats that were found back in the USA this summer will be transported to Europe soon.
After three months De Rotterdam Ltd. (29-9-2005)
The new owners of the steamship Rotterdam are still negotiating with shipyards about docking and asbestos removal. They expect to have a deal at the end of october.
Several parties are invited to offer for restaurantfacilities on board. At the end of november a choice will be made.
HAL offers two sparelifeboats of the steamship Rotterdam that were still left in Portland. And last but not least shortly the four tenders (built in 1992-1994) will be transported to Holland to be renovated.
Today the new owners of the s.s. Rotterdam made public that on July 15 the actual management of the ship was taken over from Port of Rotterdam. Vuyk Engineering of Rotterdam is supervising the refurbishment. Many plans and suggestions were sent to the new owners. During the coming months these will be selected on quality and financial strongness. The plans involved concern hotel and restaurants, congress-organization, tourism and entertainment. The Albeda College starts developing an organization for working and teaching on the ship.
s.s. Rotterdam in good hands! (30-6-2005)
Today during a presconference the news was brought that the s.s. Rotterdam has been sold by the bankrupt “s.s. Rotterdam Ltd.”. The new owners, a consortium of Woonbron (a housing company) and Eurobalance (investor), intend to use the ship for the purposes of living, working and learning in the port of Rotterdam. The Albeda College has been contracted for this. The new company is called “De (The) Rotterdam”. At first an asbestos-safe situation will be created and the ship will go into drydock. Next year the ship will be ready for use. A letter of intent has been signed with the Steamship Rotterdam Foundation which reads a follows: “The Rotterdam and the Steamship Rotterdam Foundation agree that the s.s. Rotterdam must be conserved as a unique cultural, industrial and maritime heritage, and intend to work together in a sustainable relationship with the aim to do all that is necessary to reach the objectives of the Steamship Rotterdam Foundation. This letter of intend will be detailed in the near future. The Foundation will among other things advise the new company about the technical and museum functions on board. You can imagine that we are very satisfied with this result!
Also see the press release (in Dutch) of De Rotterdam BV.
Withdrawal HCO2 (15-6-2005)
Today HCO made public that she will not purchase the s.s. Rotterdam. In February this company announced to make plans for a total removal of all the asbestos. Since then investigations made clear that a safe and sound economical exploitation is not possible when to much money is needed for asbestos removal. According to HCO2 the costs are to high.
The Steamship Rotterdam Foundation regrets the withdrawal of HCO2, because she took a lot of trouble to make plans for the ship. But this is not the end of the s.s. Rotterdam. Fortunately there are other parties willing to invest in the ship. The foundation continues to strive for the preservation of this beautiful ship.
All asbestos out? (28-4-2005)
Today HCO2, potential owner of the s.s. Rotterdam, announced that recent research made clear that a total asbestos clean-up is necessary to meet all safety-standards. This will take more time and a changes plans for refurbishment. During the coming weeks HCO2 makes plans to carry out the removal of all asbestos.
The Steamship Rotterdam Foundation is worried about the ship as time goes by without refurbishment. The total removal of asbestos should not affect the precious interior of the ship. The asbestos clean-up that came ready recently should fit to the use of the ship in Rotterdam.
Little news (24-4-2005)
Only a few newsfacts can be mentioned about the s.s. Rotterdam. Last month a strong wave slammed the ship against the quai-wall. The exact damage to the ship unknown.
The asbestos clean-up has been finished. The next step is a certificate that states the good result of the clean-up operation. The former HAL-employees are home again. They have done a good job on board. The negotiations between Port of Rotterdam and potential new owners are still going on.
Buyers need more time (28-2-2005)
Today Jan Roersma, CEO of Hotel Cruiseship Operations 2 BV (HCO2), made clear that his company needs more time to prepare the deal with Port of Rotterdam to take over the s.s. Rotterdam. Safety is, next to remunerativeness of the project, one of the most important issues on board. A careful completion of the asbestos clean up is an essential part of it.
Moreover, the negotiations about refurbishment are still going on, and more clearness is necessary about fire protection and berth. Jan Roersma goes for a highly qualified ship that can be used for at least 25 years. A sound preparation is needed therefor.
By the way, several companies en events are showing interest in using the ship when she will be at her berth in the Maashaven in Rotterdam.
A bright future for the s.s. Rotterdam (17-12-2004)
Port of Rotterdam has chosen the Hospitality Support Group (HSG) and Fortis Bank as parties for the final sale negotiations. The future proprietors of the s.s. Rotterdam are planning to accommodate restaurants, a hotel (500 beds), a museum and room for congress (450 persons).
The director of HSG, Jan Roersma, has done a lot of thorough work to prepare for buying and operating the ship. He is negotiating with other parties about different accommodations on board the ship. The final negotiations will last until February 2005.
The Steamship Rotterdam Foundations welcomes this new episode, bringing more brightness about the future of the ship.
Bankruptcy ss Rotterdam BV (Ltd) (13-12-2004)
The court of justice of Rotterdam announced bankruptcy of the “s.s.Rotterdam BV”, the company that owns the s.s. Rotterdam. But the city of Rotterdam, who owns the “s.s. Rotterdam BV” is negotiating with several parties who want to buy the s.s. Rotterdam. The aim is still to use the s.s. Rotterdam in the port of Rotterdam as a hotel/restaurant/congress/casinoship as from 2005. In the meanwhile the s.s. Rotterdam still remains in Gibraltar, where the asbestos clean-up goes on.
Port of Rotterdam plans to sell the s.s. Rotterdam (2-10-2004)
In a press-release of October 1, 2004, the Port of Rotterdam announces that negotiations are going on with two parties to operate the s.s. Rotterdam. In a few weeks the port-authority hopes to have a deal. They plan to sell the ship to a new owner by the end of this year.
s.s. Rotterdam valued as cultural heritage (18-9-2004)
During a symposium, held on September 17 in Rotterdam, three independent experts valued the s.s. Rotterdam as an important part of the cultural heritage.
In their report of more than 200 pages the experts say: “The authenticity and soundness of the Rotterdam is amazing, surely when taking into account that the vessel has sailed for 41 years and was laid up for almost four years”.
This report must play an important role in the procedure that must lead to a certain monumental status.
Refurbishment of the s.s. Rotterdam continues (18-9-2004)
Thanks to favourable decisions of the Rotterdam Port Authority the refurbishment of the s.s. Rotterdam in Gibraltar continues. This means that the financial troubles that rose at te beginning of september do not directly affect the future of the ship. Remediation of asbestos and renovation of piping are the main works during the coming months. After drydocking in spring 2005 the ship will go to her original homeport.
The s.s. Rotterdam: firm as a rock (11-9-2004)
While the s.s. Rotterdam is lying in the shade of the Rock of Gibraltar for several works, in Rotterdam rises a confusing situation around finance and ownership. According to newsreports the city of Rotterdam is investigating the situation.
Clarity is needed very soon, as the aim of the project is still to inaugurate the “Hotel Cruiseship s.s. Rotterdam” in september 2005 at the Maashaven in Rotterdam.
The Steamship Rotterdam Foundation stil supports this wonderful project. Our trust in it is firm as a rock!
World Port Festival 2004 (8-8-2004)
This year, the Steamship Rotterdam Foundation will be present at the World Port Festival again. You can find us in the Cruise Terminal at the Wilhelminapier, together with association De Lijn , ss Rotterdam B.V. (the owner of the ship) and the companies who will operate the hotel and other facilities on board.
The World Port Festival will take place at september the 3th, 5th and 4th. See www.wereldhavendagen.nl for more information
Safely arrived in Gibraltar (14-7-2004)
On monday July 12, 2004, the s.s. Rotterdam safely arrived in Gibraltar. Towed by the Englishman, she completed her last transatlantic crossing of 3800 nautical miles without incidents. At about 13.00 GMT+1 she docked at the Cammell Laid shipyard, where she will be refitted until spring. Then she will be towed to Rotterdam. Have a look at the pictures.
Under way! (17-6-2004)
ss Rotterdam's final transatlantic voyage has commenced! This afternoon the ship finally left Freeport where she has been laid up since september 2000. Towed by the polish tug Englishman (1782 GRT, length 70.16 m, 10406 BHP) ss Rotterdam is heading for Gibraltar.
It is expected that the ship, which is officially still named Rembrandt, will arrive around the 10th of july at the Camell Laird yard where the renovation will take place. Later this year the ship will be drydocked. During the stay in Gibraltar, the ship's original livery will be restored.
The final home journey will probably take place in the spring of 2005; the festive inauguration is expected for september of that year.
Next stop: Gibraltar! (26-5-2004)
The end of the three and a half year lay-up period in Freeport is nearing! If all goes as planned, the voyage under tow across the Atlantic will commence already on the 15th of june. The Barendrecht-based company MCS International Marine Services has been awarded the contract; a tug is already on its way to Freeport.
The destination of this voyage, which will take about three weeks, is the Camell Laird yard at Gibraltar. At least the steel work and the necessary measures regarding asbestos will be carried out there, before the ship will commence her final journey: the one towards her home port! The schedule for this historical event hasn't yet been settled.
In the mean time, preparation work is in progress in Freeport, such as plating in the numerous portholes and securing all loose stock.
ss Rotterdam finds her berth! (28-4-2004)
The Rotterdam court of mayor and aldermen has made a decision about the berth for ss Rotterdam. The location will be the Rivierkwartier ("River Quarter"), the west part of Katendrecht at the entrance of the Maashaven.
The Steamship Rotterdam Foundation is pleased with this decision. The "head of Katendrecht" offers an impressive scenery. The ship will be visible from a great distance, thus serving as a real landmark for the city. Transport towards and from the site is a matter which requires some attention, but this can certainly be solved.
The foundation is confident that with reaching this milestone the project will take shape quickly. There is much more info about this subject at www.ssrt.nl, this site is in Dutch only.
RDM in heavy weather (14-4-2004)
Recently, some bad news has been released about the RDM's financial situation. The company has applied for suspension of payment for four of its sub-divisions. The division, specially established to carry out the Rotterdam project, ss Rotterdam BV, will not be struck. Therefore, the homecoming of the ship seems to go ahead as planned.
Mainport International Boat Show (28-3-2004)
From the 1st til 4th of april 2004 the Mainport International Boat Show ("MIB Waterie") will take place in the cruise terminal at the Wilhelmina Pier in Rotterdam. The Steamship Rotterdam Foundation will be present during this event. The opening hours are:
thursday, april the 1st: 12.00-8.00pm
friday, april the 2nd: 12.00-8.00pm
saturday, april the 3rd: 12.00-5.00pm
sunday, april the 4th: 12.00-5.00pm
The entrance fee will be 5 euro.
Rotterdam in good company (8-3-2004)
From time to time (depending on the local port authority's need for free quay space) the Big Red Boat II is moored alongside the Rotterdam. This ship also comes from the Premier Cruises fleet. The Big Red Boat II is the former Eugenio C; the ship came into service in 1966 and was the last of the Italian "supertransatlantici".
According to the latest plans the Big Red Boat II will depart soon to India for demolition. The Steamship Rotterdam Foundation however would cheer any serious plan to give this (still very usable) ship a new destination as well. For example in the former home port of Genova...
Rembrandt returns a little bit into Rotterdam (24-2-2004)
The great questions about the ship's restoration, the final location and operation haven't been solved yet. But with great pleasure we hereby may present the first visible result of the project. The original name of the ship, in relief still present at the aluminum of the midship deckhouse, has been repainted in black and thus been made clearly readable. For the time being, "Rembrandt" remains the official ship's name.
Visit to the Rotterdam (1-2-2004)
For the first time since the Steamship Rotterdam Foundation has been established, a delegation of the foundation has visited the ship. Still renamed Rembrandt, the former ss Rotterdam hasn’t yet left Freeport at Grand Bahama.
The ship’s overall condition seemed to be quite reasonable. From a constructive point of view, both the hull and the superstructure appear to be sound. However, the condition of many exterior details (rails and stairs for example) shows that some basic maintenance is needed soon.
The interior is in a surprisingly good shape. The public spaces are completely intact, including the artworks. However, everything is dusty and dirty. Some rooms appear rather chaotical, because the furniture has been moved aside.
Elctricity and drinking water are provided from the shore. By opening as many doors and windows as possible, sufficient ventilation has been achieved.
An “Owner’s Representative” is living permanently on board the ship, together with ca. 13 Cubans. This crew performs small maintenance jobs.
Former crew members of Holland-America Line have co-operated in reactivating the ship. For instance, the electrical system has come to life almost everywhere.
Shortly before our visit, experts on art, interior and maritime history have carried out an investigation on board. This in order to prepare the ship’s future status as a monument.
The drydock period and renovation works, the licensees to operate the ship and the final berth in Rotterdam are still subject of negotiations. Although no decisions have been made yet, mr. van Sluis, the alderman for port affairs, stated on local TV that the ship will be in Rotterdam before the summer of 2005...
A week on board “our” Rotterdam: a great experience! We would like to stress that the foundation’s funds will not be charged with this journey.
Also see the photo-report
Debate on maritime heritage (26-10-2003)
A public debate on maritime heritage will take place in Rotterdam next month. As this debate will be in the Dutch language, please see the Dutch news page on this website for further details.
During this weekend (the 27th and 28th of september), "Cinemaritime" will take place again at the Rotterdam Maritime Museum. On both days, two films about ss Rotterdam will be shown alternately.
12.00 Construction, launch and maiden voyage
01.15pm The last voyage of ss Rotterdam
02.30pm Construction, launch and maiden voyage
03.45pm The last voyage of ss Rotterdam
Please note that both films are in Dutch only.
For admission you 'll pay just the entrance fee to the museum; there is no supplementary charge.
Looking back at the World Port Days (8-9-2003)
In a pleasant co-operation with the RDM, we have presented "our" ship once again to a large audience during the World Port Days. The partially renewed photo-exhibition has evoked many positive emotions. As a foretaste of things to come, we have mainly showed a grey Rotterdam, rather than a blue Rembrandt. The visitors were almost unanimous in their view that the ship deserves a prominent location in the city.
We owe many thanks towards the royal association of Dutch shipping companies, the KVNR, for their hospitality and the excellent provisions during the festival.
World Port Days 2003 (30-8-2003)
This year, the foundation will be present again at the World Port Days. Like last year, you can find us at the Parkkade. This time we are guest at the Koninklijke Vereniging van Nederlandse Reders, KVNR (the royal association of Dutch shipping companies).
The World Port Days will take place at september the 5th, 6th and 7th.
The KNVR-tent will be opened to the public:
friday, september the 5th from 11.30 am til 6.00 pm
saturday, september the 6th from 9.00 am til 6.00 pm
sunday, september the 7th from 9.00 am til 5.00 pm
We look forward to greet you in large numbers!
Five hundred supporters! (30-8-2003)
We have just passed the magic number of 500 supporters! Apart from the highly appreciated financial support, which enables us to act as the "voice of the ship", this implies a moral support which is also of great importance. We now can speak of a real "movement" which stands up for ss Rotterdam.
Much has still to be done before the ship can enter her new career. Behind the screens, the foundation is active at several issues. In the near future, especially the preparations towards recognition as a monument will draw our attention, as well as the still unsolved matter: where in Rotterdam will the ship finally be berthed.
And the next public event is on the stocks as well: please see the next item.
Will ss Rotterdam be acknowledged as a monument? (10-7-2003)
The foundation has urged the Undersecretary for Culture, mrs. van der Laan, to acknowledge the ship as a monument. She considers to overrule a promise, made by her predecessor mr. van Leeuwen towards the owner of the ship, RDM. According to that promise, the ship qualifies for a status as a monument, “on the analogy of the Monument Act”. This act however does not formally apply on mobile heritage.
The success of the project will not be exclusively dependent on a status as a monument. Nevertheless, the foundation regards acknowledgement as very important. Apart from the financial side (possibilities for subsidies for maintenance and tax benefits) this can be a major factor in the public image of the ship. As such, it might be reflected in the choice of the final berth in the port of Rotterdam. And of course, a status as a monument is the best instrument to protect the Rotterdam’s authentical character.
Council for Culture positive about ss Rotterdam (29-6-2003)
On request from the Undersecretary for Education, Culture and Science, the Council for Culture has regarded the cultural-historical valuation of ss Rotterdam. The Council has based it's opinion mainly upon documentation by the Steamship Rotterdam Foundation. The result is a very favourable advice, from which we 'd like to quote:
"The ship marks the standard of shipbuilding in the period of reconstruction. Interior, exterior, technology, design and construction have been integrated in a special way into a ship that is exemplary for the optimism and democratization of society in the post-war years."
"The artistic quality of the interior should be qualified as very special. Such ensembles from the period of reconstruction are very rare."
The 1988 Legislation for Monuments only provides protection for real estate objects. These have to be older than fifty years. Nevertheless, the Council concludes:
"...that the national government should be concerned in the fate of ss Rotterdam, by developing of policy and / or by making financial facilities available. The symbolic value, the ensemble-value, the integration of interior, design and technology, the uniqueness of ss Rotterdam and the public support for maritime heritage justify this conclusion."
Also read the full advice (in Dutch only).
Exhibition ss Rotterdam to "Las Palmas" (28-6-2003)
Our traveling photo-exhibition has been transferred to Las Palmas, the former workshop building of Holland-America Line. Together with society De Lijn ("The Line"), who exposes a unique collection of HAL-items, we join with "Ellis Island in Las Palmas". This is the original version of the immigration-exhibition, wich was first shown at Ellis Island and attracted more than a million visitors.
Ellis Island, the HAL-collection and ss Rotterdam can be seen from june the 29th through september the 7th. The entrance fee is € 3,50.
Opening hours: 11am-5pm; closed on mondays and tuesdays
"Las Palmas is situated at the Wilhelmina Pier in Rotterdam.
ss Rotterdam comes home, but not this year... (21-6-2003)
Last friday, the foundation had an interesting meeting at RDM with mr. Hesp (project manager ss Rotterdam) and mr. Eijkhout. We mainly discussed the possibilities for utilization of the ship.
Before commencing the home yourney, the ship will probably go into a drydock somewhere in the Caribean. From the point of cost reducing, it is desirable to carry out as many works as possible during that period. These include the conservation of the underwater-hull, as well as modifications to the electrical wiring and the sewage sytem. It is also strongly considered to repaint the hull when still in the Caribean. Of course, the colours will be again: “pigeon-grey” with yellow line.
Because of all these works, the home yourney (under tow, and in itself lasting for nearly a month) will not take place before next year.
Photo-exhibition ss Rotterdam in the Maritime Museum (18-5-2003)
In the presence of a large audience, the photo-exhibition of the Steamship Rotterdam Foundation was opened in the Rotterdam Maritime Museum on the 16th of may.
The exhibition includes a number of unique archive photographs, showing the construction of ss Rotterdam. Furthermore, you will get an impression of the ship in all it's glory, both in- as exterior. In addition to our own exhibition, a beautiful scale model of ss Rotterdam from the museum's collection is displayed.
All this is situated in the museum's entrance hall and can be admired free of charge. You are kindly requested to report to the counter. The exhibition will last for about two months. The Rotteram Maritime Museum is situated at the Leuvehaven and is open all days except monday.
The exhibition was made possible by the Rotterdam Drydock Company. We also owe much gratitude to the Rotterdam Maritime Museum for making this great hall available.
The Great News - further details (3-5-2003)
While we are becoming familiar with the new situation, more background information comes available.
The Rotterdam Drydock Company (RDM) and Rotterdam Port Authority did not really purchase the ship together, as we mentioned before. RDM are the new owners of the ship; the port authority provides credit facilities.
Even before the summer (date not yet announced!) the ship will return to her original building yard. The neccessary maintenance- and refurbishing works are estimated to take two years. The work will be carried out by the yard itself, although many local subcontractors will be employed. For RDM as well, conservation of the authentical character of the ship is the key issue.
It is still unknown wo will finally operate the ship. A permanent berth still has to be pointed out. But the Rotterdam community says that "an economically viable and for all parties desirable exploitation is realistic".
The greatest asset for this moment is that the ship at least has been secured. It was really "now or never", as has been clearly illustrated by the sale of Big Red Boat III (ex Transvaal Castle, 1961) for scrapping in India. Against this background, the community has taken great efforts to make the purchase of ss Rotterdam possible.
The Steamship Rotterdam Foundation would like to express great appreciation for the vision and efforts of the court of Mayor and Aldermen of Rotterdam, the Rotterdam Port Authority and Rotterdam Drydock Company, which have lead to this historically important step.
ss ROTTERDAM HAS BEEN SAVED ! (1-5-2003)
The great news has reached us that the Rotterdam Drydock Company and the Rotterdam Port Authority have jointly purchased the ship!
We hope to come forward with more detailed information as soon as possible.
ss Rembrandt not going to IJmuiden (30-4-2003)
ss Rembrandt will not go to IJmuiden. After having received negative advices from the fire brigade and environment service IJmond, the mayor and aldermen of Velsen will no longer cooperate. The fire brigade has reported that the ship can not be reached properly in case of emergency.
It is possible that the ship will go to Rotterdam now.
Source: Haarlems Dagblad
Rotterdam on course again! (14-2-2003)
The negotiations between the municipality of Rotterdam, the investors who intended to purchase the ship and the developers of the high-rise appartment blocks on the Wilhelmina Pier will be continued! M.W. van Sluis, the alderman concerned with the port of Rotterdam, has promised this during the “port committee” assembly, wednesday the 12th of february. After a powerful speech by K. Krijnen, chairman of the foundation, there was a debate about this subject, lasting for more than 45 minutes. ss Rotterdam proved to be very much “alive” among the members of the council, across all political branches.
Main issue was the much desired berth in the Rijnhaven. The foundation has demonstrated by means of scale drawings that the ship can be positioned in the Rijnhaven in several ways, maintaining a distance of at least 340m. from the proposed “Montevideo”-tower. At such a distance the ship will contribute to the view from the appartments, rather than disturbing it.
The alderman’s promise made further discussion in the council meeting, thursday the 13th of february, redundant. But we did present the collected signatures to mayor Opstelten. This took place in the grand lobby of the town hall, attended by a large audience including press. Together, you have sent us more than 1800 signatures and SOS e-mails; it made up an impressive packet. Thank you very much for that! You have given a loud blow on the ship’s whistle...
Thursday the 13th of february, ss Rotterdam was the main issue in TV Rijnmond news (by the Rotterdam regional TV station).
ss Rotterdam - NOW OR NEVER ! (9-2-2003)
Thursday february the 13th ss Rotterdam will be the subject of a special debate in the municipal corporation of Rotterdam. This was prompted by the investors' withdrawal from the project, as none of their preferred locations were made available by the municipality.
Stimulated by the foundation, the ship is becoming a hot item in Rotterdam and beyond, with radio messages and large stories in several newspapers. By means of the SOS ROTTERDAM! button on top of this site you can give your support to save the ship.
Before the debate, we will present your mail (together with many signatures collected on paper) to the mayor or one of the involved aldermen. Our aim is of course to "refloat" the project. Rotterdam gets her own ship back like a present (as it is a private company willing to spend 40 million euro in it) and refuses the gift: that can not be true!
It is urgent to find a decent berth in Rotterdam! (2-2-2003)
The Steamship Rotterdam Foundation has sent letters to aldermen and members of the city-council of Rotterdam, urging them not to spoil this unique opportunity to get ss Rotterdam back in town. At this time, there is still uncertainty about the ship’s return to her former home port. Although the municipal corporation tends to co-operate in search for a place to berth the ship, none of the sites preferred by the investors have so far been made available for this project.
In the Rijnhaven, the investors’ first choice, the ship is believed to obstruct the view from high-rise appartment blocks, to be built on the Wilhelminapier. Furthermore, the fire department has adviced against any location directly on the river, thus eliminating the also favourite Parkkade area. The reason is the risc of “surface fires” as a result of river shipping incidents. The remaining sites are considered too remote for an economically viable exploitation.
In the letters, the foundation has pointed out that the ship can be berthed in the Rijnhaven at several positions with sufficient distance from the appartments. Regarding the river quays, safety measures like floating screens should be considered, instead of simply giving up the possibility. Unlike in 1997, private investors are willing to spend 40 million euro at this ship. Missing it at this stage would be a historical mistake!
Rotterdam and IJmuiden: the progress (22-12-2002)
The court of mayor and aldermen in Rotterdam considers the return of ss Rotterdam "far from impossible". However, before the municipality can express full committment to the plan, more investigation is needed. This was declared in reaction on an intermediate report by the team, which has been specially established to study this project. The municipality will not be asked to participate financially in the purchase of the ship.
In the mean time, the plan to bring the ship to IJmuiden is being worked out as well. Initially, the local authorities will start an investigation into the fire-safety of the ship.
With two plans to return the ship to the Netherlands being considered seriously, some "cautious optimism" seems appropriate...
ss Rotterdam to be presented at "Cinemaritiem" (18-12-2002)
This year, the Cinemaritiem event at the Maritime Museum of Rotterdam, will be dedicated to the Holland-America Line. The Steamship Rotterdam Foundation has been given the opportunity to take part in this event, which we will of course gratefully accept.
We will show some films, specially dedicated to the ss Rotterdam. There will be a slide show as well, and once again, our exposition of photographs can be admired.
Cinemaritiem will take place in the weekend of december the 28th and 29th (both days between 12.00 and 16.00) at the Maritiem Museum Rotterdam.
ss Rotterdam to New York? (28-11-2002)
The Steamship Rotterdam Foundation has received a message that the ss Rotterdam may be bought by the city of New York for use as a hostel for homeless people. As far as we have been able to verify this message, the city of New York has indeed shown interest in the ship (and other laid-up ships in Freeport) but a deal with the present owner has not been made yet.
Still the Grande Dame (4-11-2002)
As long as the foundation exists, widely divergent reports have reached us about the condition of the former Rotterdam. But these pictures (see below), made by Robert-Paul van de Graaf last september, show that the ship has been well maintained all that time. International Shipping Partners (ISP), the company which carries out the technical management, has a permanent maintainance crew in Freeport. Apart from Rembrandt, they take care of Big Red Boat III (ex Transvaal Castle, 1961), moored alongside, and Big Red Boat II (ex Eugenio C, 1966). For this moment it is the best news we have. A great job, ISP...
Click here for pictures
New plans: Rotterdam and IJmuiden (21-10-2002)
A new plan to bring ss Rotterdam back to the Netherlands is developing. A potential buyer has contacted the municipal corporation of Rotterdam. His preference is to haven the ship permanently moored in the Rijnhaven (close to the original Holland-America quays). The plan is currently being investigated upon its feasability. "It does not seem impossible", M. W. van Sluis says, the alderman whose department covers port affairs.
Almost at the same time another plan was launched to berth the ship near the Seaport Marina in IJmuiden (at the entrance of the port of Amsterdam). Both plans are supported by financially strong parties and in both cases the intention is to maintain the special character of the ship. In this stage, the foundation co-operates with both initiators in their efforts to save the ship.
Successful presentation at World Port Festival (15-9-2002)
With great satisfaction we look back to the World Port Festival. The exposition about the ship and possible future scenario's (including the National Transport Park at the site of the Rotterdam Drydock Company) was well visited. We were struck by the many favourable reactions: for many people, the ship lives even more than we dared to expect. Hundreds of signatures for preservation were given; there was also interest from local politicians.
The foundation and the World Port Festival (4-8-2002)
During the World Port Festival on 6, 7 and 8 september 2002, the foundation will be present in a tent in the Parkhaven / Parkkade area. In this tent, which will be made available by the Navy, we will present ourselves to the public with an exposition about ss Rotterdam / Rembrandt. The glory of the ship will be fully emphasized here, as well as our vision on her future. For this presentation we will co-operate with the Rotterdam Drydock Company and the Romeo Foundation. Romeo makes an effort to establish the National Transport Park in Rotterdam.
Amsterdam, Rotterdam... (15-7-2002)
Interest in the ship is also growing in the city of Rotterdam. Two members of the town-council, H. Maronier (Leefbaar Rotterdam) and M. Kneepkens (Stadspartij Rotterdam) have made an attempt to get the ship back into her old home port. Despite Kneepkens’ warm pleading, the Court of Mayor and Aldermen answered that there will be no municipal investment in the ship.
At this moment it doesn’t seem very likely that the ship will return to Rotterdam forever. On the other hand, it might be possible to moor the ship there on a temporary base, for instance during the start-up phase of the Amsterdam project. Decisions will be taken upon eventual concrete applications.
In the mean time, the preparations of the Amsterdam project are continuing. However, it takes some time before the final “go ahead” will be given.
Steamship Rotterdam saved ? (9-6-2002)
ss Rotterdam will probably return to the Netherlands! If all goes well, the ship will be purchased by a company, specially established for this purpose. After municipal approval, the ship will be moored in Amsterdam. There she will become part of a site which is to be redeveloped into a housing, office and leisure area. An on board hotel will open, providing accommodation for both the tourist as the business segment. Besides, the ship is well suited for use as a museum, theatre, congress facilities etc. These functions might be filled in gradually. The current name Rembrandt is to be maintained.
The Steamship Rotterdam Foundation is very pleased with the ship’s new destination. Although from a historical point of view the city of Rotterdam would be a more logical choice, the foundation’s aims will be achieved in a great way with the Amsterdam project. Not only will the ship be saved from the scrapyard; the future owner also intends to keep her in a condition as original as possible. The plans even comprise a number of short cruises in the region each year. Wether these will be carried through however, depends from the results and advices of the purchase inspection. What more could the foundation wish than preservation of the ship in a sailing condition...
The foundation intends to continue to promote the ship as an important piece of cultural heritage. For instance, by working towards an official status as a monument. This is not possible under the current legislation, but the Under-Secretary for Culture has already acknowledged the great cultural value of the ship. Documenting and making available the current knowledge about the ship will be another future task for the foundation
Foundation in the news (16-4-2002)
On April 15th, the Steamship Rotterdam Foundation was in the news. A Rotterdam newspaper and TV-station brought the news that time is running out for the s.s. Rotterdam. The decisionmakers need to hurry up to take the marvellous ship back to its birthplace.
ss Rotterdam for sale again? (1-3-2002)
As we have feared for some time, the former ss Rotterdam will NOT be taken into service by Cruiseshares as planned. The reason is said to be that the ship won't comply with SOLAS regulations from 2010 on.
This announcement does not neccessarily mean a final cancellation. However, the Foundation has no confidence that the ship will come into good hands with Cruiseshares. Therefore, we now will do our utmost in order to take ss Rotterdam to the Netherlands as soon as possible.
Rembrandt to remain Rembrandt (1-12-2001)
According to the latest message, the ship will come back into service under her current name Rembrandt. In order to secure the ship's long-term future, the Steamship Rotterdam Foundation will continue her activities. Information about the intended "cruiseshare"-service can be found at www.cruiseshares.com.
Back into service as the GRANDE DAME? (7-11-2001)
We got a message that the acquisition of the former ss Rotterdam by Cruiseshares/Romantic Cruise Lines has been finalized. Contrary to previous reports, the ship will be appropriately renamed GRANDE DAME. Service will commence on may the 15th, 2002. This can be the long awaited news. At this stage however, it might be a little too early for us, shiplovers, to rejoice..... Hopefully, we will be able to give more details soon.
Two hundred supporters! (4-11-2001)
Early november 2001 the 200th supporter has signed up at the Steamship Rotterdam Foundation. A great milestone for the foundation. However, in our effort to have the ship preserved, extra support will be much welcomed. Aren't you a supporter yet? Please read elewhere on this site how you can sign up. Thank you!
Rotterdam, Rembrandt, Romantic II... (17-10-2001)
In a press release dated 15 october 2001, the American company EXA International Inc announces that their subsidiary CruiseUnit Project Ltd has signed a letter of intent to charter/purchase ss Rembrandt. The former Rotterdam is the second ship scheduled to operate in a timeshare-program, starting next year. Marketed as "cruiseshare", this involves a part-ownership which entitles the holder to a 3- 4 or 7 day cruise each year. However, separate cruises can also be booked. The fleet, which is to include up to five ships, will form the Romantic Cruise Lines; our Rotterdam most likely will be renamed Romantic II... We follow these developments with great interest!
Still going strong (30-9-2001)
The Steamship Rotterdam Foundation is still going strong.
Since april 2001 the foundation is discussing her plans with several business-people and authorities to bring the ship to Holland. In fact there is acknowledgement of her value as a part of the industrial and cultural heritage. But that is not enough to bring the former s.s. Rotterdam to Holland. We are still searching for businessmen who dare to invest in a prosperous future of the vessel. After all the ship can still be used for several lucrative purposes.
s.s. Rembrandt still for sale (30-9-2001)
This month a year ago the s.s. Rembrandt was laid up in Freeport, Bahamas, when Premier Cruise Lines collapsed. Since then a crew of 20 is taking care of the ship, to keep it in shape. Therefore the ship is basically in the same condition as in september 2000. But, ofcourse, the climate with high temperatures and humidity are doing no good to the interior, the furnitur and decoratings.
The owners of the vessel are asking approximately $ 27 millions for the s.s. Rembrandt.