Four Ships to Leave the Holland America Fleet This Year

holland america selling four ships 2020
Veendam is one of four ships that are leaving the fleet. - Photo by Holland America Line

UPDATE 7/16: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has revealed that they are one of the buyers of two of the ships. The UK-based line will be purchasing Amsterdam and Rotterdam and renaming them Bolette and Borealis. Chairman of the line Fred Olsen Jr. said "I am delighted to be announcing this news today. 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. The naming of the vessels is important to us. Bolette and Borealis are both names of ships we have had in years gone by. This increase in our capacity demonstrates our confidence in the future. With over 170 years of seafaring history, we have sailed through many difficult periods. 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."

Fred. Olsen currently has four ocean ships. Bolettee and Borealis will join the fleet later this year, once they have undergone renovations and rebranding work. 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Holland America Line has announced that four ships will be leaving their fleet in 2020.

The ships Amsterdam, Maasdam, Rotterdam, and Veendam will all be departing the Holland America fleet and be transferred to undisclosed buyers. The ships have been sold in pairs, with the S-Class Maasdam and Veendam transferring to one company in August 2020, and the R-Class Amsterdam and Rotterdam moving to another company this coming fall.

Holland America will be canceling most cruises on the four ships, but some select itineraries will be assumed by other vessels in the fleet. The 2021 Grand World Voyage aboard Amsterdam will be postponed until 2022 and will now be aboard Zaandam. The Grand Africa Voyage departing October 10, 2021 aboard Rotterdam will also now be onboard 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.”

“I recognize and appreciate the deep affection our guests have toward our company and the ships in our fleet,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. “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.”

History of the Ships

Maasdam joined the fleet in 1993 as the second of four S-Class ships. It is the fourth ship in the fleet to bear the Maasdam name. Most recently, the 1,258-passenger ship sailed longer EXC In-Depth Voyages in the South Pacific and Alaska.

Veendam, the final S-Class ship, was delivered in 1996. The 1,350-passenger vessel was the fourth Holland America ship to bear the name Veendam. Recently, the ship operated the line’s Caribbean and longer European itineraries, including the British Isles, Baltic, Norway, and the Mediterranean.

Rotterdam was the first ship in the R-Class, introduced in 1997 and carrying 1,404 guests. It was the sixth ship in the cruise line’s history to be named Rotterdam. The vessel had been sailing Panama Canal, Caribbean, Norway, Baltic, and British Isles cruises.

Amsterdam joined the fleet in 2000 as the final of four R-Class ships. Carrying 1,380 guests, it is the third Holland America vessel to be named Amsterdam. Most recently, the vessel operated the line’s Grand World Voyages and Canada/New England itineraries.


READ MORE: New Holland America Line President is Named

Booked Passenger Information

Guests booked on future sailings on these ships will be notified that their voyages will be canceled or changed. Along with their travel agents, travelers will receive information on whether the voyage will operate on a different ship, or information and special offers on how to book a different Holland America cruise when sailings resume. Passengers who prefer a refund will receive one. 

Canceled 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

Our Take

Well, this news was a bit of a shocker as we expected to hear the Maasdam was leaving the fleet, but not four vessels total! The Amsterdam and Rotterdam were the Grand Dam’s of the fleet for many years and had a cult-like following for many die-hard Holland America cruisers. It’s truly a sad day to see these vessels leave the fleet but we are excited to learn who they were sold to. Any guesses? Leave us a comment below as to which cruise line you think these ships will be making a stunning edition to their fleet. 

Join the discussion

Have you sailed any of these four ships?

1 Comment

Posted by Ilikeclass

I took my first HAL cruise on the Rotterdam and was hooked ever since. Afterward I have been on many other ships of the same cruise line but Rotterdam always remained my favourite. I guess there will be no more cruises for me, since I don’t enjoy the bigger ships!

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