During November the Ocean Bar has been transformed into the Ocean Wine Bar. We took part in de process by giving advise about furniture and restoring the cupboards behind the bar. Some of the doors of the cupboards were missing and the decoration had been damaged through the years. Our volunteers managed it to replace the doors and to recreate the decoration. PrinterPro of Rotterdam printed the decoration on foil and fixed it to the doors of the restored cupboards. Our volunteer Jan Fahner managed the whole process. The decoration was originally designed in 1959 by Mrs. Mutters-Roth and was made of Perstorp.
The biggest event occured on August 4 in 2008 when the ss Rotterdam returned to her homeport
The arrival on the New Waterway, on her way to the city of Rotterdam on August 4, 2008. Pictures Klaas Krijnen
On August 10 2008 the ss Rotterdam was safely moored at her berth at home. Picture Klaas Krijnen
Below: scroll through the ups and downs from 2009 back to 2001 when we started.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Wheather 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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!
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.
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.
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. Electricity 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.
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.”
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.
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…).
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 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…
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. 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
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.