Historical halyard back on the ss Rotterdam

On September 23 Philip Hilgersom brought back a special showcase to the ss Rotterdam. It contents the halyard that Queen Juliana used when hoisting the houseflag of Holland America Line (HAL) during the official tryals on August 20 1959. The hoisting of the houseflag symbolized the transfer of the ss Rotterdam by the Rotterdam Drydock Company (RDM) to the HAL. It was the start of a glorious career as the flagship of the HAL, ending on September 30 1997 when the ship was decommissioned by the HAL. Captain Albert Schoonderbeek, who was at that time Staff Officer on he ship, took care that the showcase was brought to the HAL headquarters in Seattle. Philip Hilgersom has been an employee of the HAL during many years. Thanks to his efforts HAL has given the showcase with the halyard on loan to our foundation. We are very grateful to the HAL and Philip for bringing back this historical artefact to the ss Rotterdam. Our volunteers will prepare the showcase with its contents for replacement on the original spot. Unless mentioned otherwise, the pictures were made by Jan-Willem Koene.

The showcase with the halyard has been mounted on its original place on Bridgedeck (Picture Klaas Krijnen)

Philip Hilgersoms hands over the showcase with the halyard to Klaas Krijnen, chairman of the Friends of steamship Rotterdam. The red dot on the sportdeck marks the spot where Queen Juliana was standing when she hoisted the company flag of Holland America Line on August 20 1959.


Work in progress

The renovation of the teakdeck on Upper-Promenadececk aft continues. In the meantime visitors are welcome!

July 22 2017 Picture Ryan Derks

July 30 2017 Picture Klaas Krijnen

Picture Ryan Derks, August 6 2017

Picture Ryan Derks, August 6 2017

Picture Ryan Derks, August 6 2017


On the ss Rotterdam maintenance is going on. The painter on Boatdeck is being supported by a remarkable daredevil at the front of the ship….

Picture Jan-Willem Koene

Picture Ryan Derks

A painter at work on Boatdeck starboard. Picture Ryan Derks

Bronze of Queen Juliana is back

The bronze of Queen Juliana has been replaced at the entrance of the Queens Lounge. It was a gift of the Rotterdam Drydock Company, in remembrance of the christening of the ss Rotterdam by Her Majesty on September 13 1958. The bronze was designed by Pieter de Monchy. When the ss Rotterdam was taken out of service by Holland America Line in september 1997 the bronze and the rose-wood socle were moved to the Maritime Museum Rotterdam. This museum has given the bronze in loan to WestCord Hotels, the owner of the ship. Our volunteers mounted the showcase to the wall. Pictures Klaas Krijnen