Holland America Line has shuffled some names along with ships and itineraries to keep alive the historic name Rotterdam, the name borne by its first ship in 1872, assigning the name to a new ship that will set sail next July.
The new ship, which the line is designating as its flagship, is under construction in Italy; it was originally due next May, but the date has been pushed back by Covid and other factors. It was originally set to sail under the name Ryndam, but Carnival Corporation, parent of HAL, is shedding older ships, and one of those departing is the current Rotterdam, built in 1997.
Passengers with cruises booked on the ships that are leaving are variously being switched to other ships, or offered rebooking or refund options. Other HAL ships leaving the fleet are Amsterdam, Maasdam and Veendam.
The first Rotterdam sailed regularly between Rotterdam and New York for a number of years before being replaced by another ship with the same name in 1886. Others came to the name in 1897 and 1908; the 1908 ship, fourth to carry the name, was used as a World War I troopship, and then served New York to Mediterranean cruises for years. The fifth Rotterdam sailed from 1959 to 1997, bridging the shift from liner to cruiser. The soon-to-retire 1997 ship was the first built specifically for cruising.
Image: Holland-America publicity image before ship was renamed.