MV Rotterdam – Past and Present

MV Rotterdam

© Simonwp

Rotterdam © Simonwp

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 1997 by Fincantieri Breda, Venedig Italy (Yard No 5980) as a Passenger (Cruise) Ship for Holland America Line

Technical Data

  • Original Cost: $250 million
  • Length: 237.95 m (overall) 202.0 m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 32.29 m
  • Depth: 11.0 m
  • Draught: 8.0 m (summer)
  • Tonnage: 61489 gross/29017 net/6354t deadweight
  • Engines: 5 x Sulzer type 16ZAV40S – 16 cylinder diesel engines
  • Power: 57600 kW/HP
  • Speed: 22.5 knots (Service) 25 knots (Max)
  • Passenger Decks: 12
  • Capacity: 1802/1620 passengers
  • Crew: 617
  • Call Sign: PDGS
  • IMO Number: 9122552
  • MMSI Number: 246167000
  • Port of Registry: Rotterdam/The Netherlands
  • Sister-Ships: Amsterdam, Volendam, Zaandam

Current Location

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July 1st 1996: Keel laid.

December 12th 1996: Launched.

November 1997: Completed for Holland America Line, Rotterdam (care of Holland America Line NV). Operator: Holland – America Line/Carnival Corp.& Plc Company, USA.

November 11th 1997: Maiden cruise from Barcelona.

April 2000: During Pacific Ocean crossing cruise, the ship was hit by a rogue wave and sustained serious interior damages.

September 24th 2004: Sustained damage whilst crossing the Atlantic during hurricane Karl.

“The ship was on Transatlantic repositioning cruise from Europe to Canada and the USA. The Atlantic Ocean crossing coincided with Hurricane Karl (category 4 storm) that formed right in the mid-Atlantic Ocean, then turned north.

Hard to navigate in such harrowing weather conditions vessel had numerous encounters with huge rogue waves (up to 30 ft / 9 m) and sustained serious damages. The situation became even worse when on Sept 24, while en-route to NYC, the ship lost power for ~3 hours right in the middle of the Atlantic. The engineering crew found an issue with the engines’ filter system. Accumulation of sediment in the lubricating filters forced the crew to shut down all the 5 diesel engines at ~6 pm. Soon the hotel operations were powered by the ship’s emergency generators, but both stabilizers became ineffective.

A total of 85 passengers and 5 crew suffered injuries. The most seriously injured were 2 passengers with fractures – a woman with broken femur (thigh bone) and a man with broken collarbone. The rest sustained bruises and minor contusions. The ship was diverted to Halifax (NS Canada) for medical assistance. Vessel’s all lower portholes (cabins with non-opening windows) were completely underwater.”

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

© John Mavin  © John Mavin

© John Mavin

© Nigel Thornton

© Nigel Thornton (Dover, 20/06/2005)

© Aleksi Lindström

2009: Refit at Bahama dry-dock during which 23 Veranda Deck cabins were converted in “Spa Cabins” while new style cabins were created on Lower Promenade Deck.


© Aleksi Lindström

© Pieter Inpyn  © Pieter Inpyn

© Pieter Inpyn (Invergordon 27/06/2017)

October 4th 2019: Due at Dover.

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Pieter Inpyn, Ken Larwood, Aleksi Lindström, John Mavin and Simonwp for their assistance in producing this feature.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

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