Holland America Line (HAL) has announced that four ships will be leaving its fleet.
Amsterdam, Maasdam, Rotterdam and Veendam are to transfer to undisclosed buyers and have been sold in pairs.
Holland America Line did not disclose the buyers of the ships, but Fred Olsen Cruise Lines confirmed its purchase of R-Class vessels Amsterdam and Rotterdam – which will be renamed Bolette and Borealis after previous Fred. ships.
They will carry 1,380 and 1,404 guests respectively, and bring the Fred Olsen fleet up from four ships to six.
S-Class Maasdam and Veendam are moving to another company in August 2020, HAL said.
Holland America Line will cancel cruises for the four ships’ deployments, with some select itineraries to be assumed by other ships in the fleet. The 2021 Grand World Voyage aboard Amsterdam will be postponed until 2022 and will now sail aboard HAL’s Zaandam.
The Grand Africa Voyage departing October 10, 2021, on Rotterdam will sail aboard Zaandam on the same dates.
“It’s always difficult to see any ship leave the fleet, especially those that have a long and storied history with our company,” said Stein Kruse, chief executive officer of Holland America Group and Carnival UK. “However, Holland America Line has a bright future ahead that includes recent Pinnacle-Class additions, with a third sister ship next year that will continue to maintain our overall capacity in the marketplace.”
Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line, added: “I recognize and appreciate the deep affection our guests have toward our company and the ships in our fleet. While streamlined, our diverse fleet continues to offer exceptional options for cruisers looking for a mid-sized ship experience to destinations all around the world. I look forward to carrying on those beloved shipboard offerings while cultivating new ideas to bring to our guests.”
Maasdam joined the fleet in 1993 as the second of four S-Class ships. Carrying 1,258 guests, it is the fourth Holland America Line ship to bear the Maasdam name. Most recently, the 55,575-ton ship sailed longer South Pacific and Alaska voyages. Veendam, the final S-Class ship, was delivered in 1996. The fourth Holland America Line ship to bear the name Veendam, the 57,092-ton vessel carries 1,350 guests.
Rotterdam was the first ship in the R Class in 1997. Carrying 1,404 guests, it is the sixth Holland America Line ship to be named Rotterdam. Amsterdam joined the HAL fleet in 2000 as the final of four R-Class ships. Carrying 1,380 guests, it is the third Holland America Line ship to be named Amsterdam.
Guests with bookings on future sailings of these ships will be notified that these cruises will be cancelled or changed. Guests and travel agents will receive information if the cruise will operate with a different ship or how to book another Holland America Line cruise when operations resume. Guests can have a cash refund if they prefer.
Cancelled cruises will include scheduled Canada/New England and Grand Voyages on Amsterdam; Mexico, South Pacific, Australia and Asia itineraries on Maasdam; Caribbean, Europe, Panama Canal, South America and Hawaii sailings on Rotterdam; and Caribbean and Europe itineraries on Veendam.
Fred. Olsen Junior, chairman of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “We have chosen these vessels as they will fit seamlessly into our existing fleet of small ships, each carrying under 1,500 guests, bringing with them new and larger public areas whilst not compromising on our small ship experience.
“This increase in our capacity demonstrates our confidence in the future. With these new additions to the fleet, we will come out of this current situation stronger than ever, ready to deliver the award-winning itineraries that we are famous for.”
Managing director Peter Deer added: “This is an exciting chapter in the history of our company, and I know our loyal and returning guests will be looking forward to exploring our new ships as soon as they can.
The two new ships will enter the fleet later this year after eing rebranded, joining 1,325-guest Balmoral, 924-guest Braemar, 853-guest Boudicca and 799-guest Black Watch – which are all currently in Babcock’s Rosyth Facilities in Scotland.
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