Cruise ShipsFred Olsen Cruise LinesHolland America Line (HAL)Past and Present

MV Borealis – Past and Present

IMO Number: 9122552

MV Borealis

ex Rotterdam

© Marcel & Ruud Coster

© Marcel & Ruud Coster (Ijmuiden, Netherlands, May 8, 2022)

Steel twin screw “R Class” motor vessel built in 1997 by Fincantieri Breda, Marghera, Venice, Italy (Yard No 5980) as a Passenger (Cruise) Ship for Holland America Line, Rotterdam, Netherlands

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, C6ES4
  • IMO Number: 9122552
  • MMSI Number: 311000987
  • Port of Registry: Rotterdam/Netherlands 🇳🇱, Willemstad/Cura√ßao 🇨🇼, Nassau/Bahamas 🇧🇸
  • Sister-Ships: Bolette, Volendam, Zaandam

Current AIS Location

Please note that this specific vessels AIS position data may be over an hour old and that the vessels position will only be displayed when it is within range of the VesselFinder AIS system. The AIS transponder/ship position data featured on this page is intended for information purposes only and it is in no way related to the 'Safety of Navigation at Sea'. All the AIS ship position data featured within this article is provided by VesselFinder and we are therefore not responsible for its content or its accuracy.


July 1st 1996: Keel laid.

December 12th 1996: Launched as the first ship in Holland America Lines (HAL) Rotterdam “R class”.

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

© Simonwp

© Simonwp

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 ‚Äď 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.‚ÄĚ

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

© John Mavin  © John Mavin

© John Mavin

© Nigel Thornton (Dover, 20/06/2005)

© Aleksi Lindström

2009: Refit at Bahama dry-dock during which 23 Veranda Deck cabins were converted in ‚ÄúSpa Cabins‚ÄĚ 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.

July 16th 2020: Announced that together with her sister, AMSTERDAM, an agreement had been reached to sell her to Fred Olsen. She wouldbe renamed BOREALIS and her sister BOLETTE. Delivery will be September 2020.

August 2020: Sold to Borealis Cruise Lts (c/o Fred Olsen Windcarrier, Oslo. Norway), Nassau, Bahamas

September 4th 2020: Arrived Rosyth, Scotland.

September 2020: Renamed BOREALIS

Artist’s Impression – Fred Olsen Cruises

March 17th 2021: 

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Bolette and Borealis will sail from Dover and Liverpool, respectively, in a series of scenic-only summer cruises along the British Isles.

New ship Borealis will be the first of the fleet to sail, in a three-night maiden voyage from Liverpool on July 5, with Bolette departing on a three-night voyage from Dover on August 16. The 11-cruise programme includes the Shetland and Orkney islands, and the Isles of Scilly.

‚ÄėThis is an incredibly important milestone for our business, and we can‚Äôt wait to welcome our guests on board our new-look fleet‚Ķ‚Äô said Peter Deer, managing director,¬†Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.¬†‚ÄėWith this selection of shorter sailings…before we all begin to venture further afield again.‚Äô

Deer added, ‚ÄėSo often overlooked, our British Isles are home to some of the most wonderful wildlife, and so much spectacular scenery that is best enjoyed from the water.‚Äô


Borealis‚Äô four-night ‚ÄėScenic British Isles & Summer Wildlife‚Äô no port cruise, will sail from Liverpool on July 8, traversing Neist Point Lighthouse, Kilt Rock & Mealt Waterfall, Loch Broom, The Small Isles, Loch Hourn, Dutchman‚Äôs Cap, (Bac M√≤r) & Fingals Cave, Sound¬†of Mull and Duart Castle, before returning to Liverpool.¬†¬£75 per person will be available to spend on board.¬†

Borealis‚Äô five-night ‚ÄėScenic Orkney & Faroe Islands‚Äô no port cruise, will journey from Liverpool on July 17, sailing The Needle, Orkney, Scotland, Old Man of Hoy, Hoy, Orkneys, Marwick Head, Orkneys, Fair Isle, Sumburgh Head, Shetlands, Cape Enniberg, Kalsoyarfj√łr√įur, Leirv√≠ksfj√łr√įur & Dj√ļpini, Vestmanna cliffs, Streymoy, G√°sadalur, Mykines, G√°sh√≥lmur, Tindh√≥lmur & Drangarnir, Hestur & Koltur, returning to Liverpool.¬†Up to ¬£100 per person will be available to passengers to Spend on board the ship.¬†

On August 24, Bolette will embark on a five-night Orkneys & Shetlands cruise, departing from Dover and sailing Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Kirkwall, Orkney Islands and Dover; up to £100 per passenger will be offered for onboard spending. 

Source: Seatrade, a trading name of Informa Markets (UK) Limited

© Malcolm Cranfield  © Malcolm Cranfield

© Malcolm Cranfield (Liverpool, 02/07/2021)

© Robert Foy  © Robert Foy

© Robert Foy

© Robert Foy (Liverpool, 02/07/2021) 

July 2nd 2021: Sailed from Liverpool on a cruise around the Irish Sea with representatives of the travel industry.

July 4th 2021: Returned to Liverpool.

July 5th 2021: Due to set sail from Liverpool on her Maiden Voyage (3 day UK trip).

© Marcel & Ruud Coster  © Marcel & Ruud Coster

🆕 ¬© Marcel & Ruud Coster (Ijmuiden, Netherlands, May 9, 2022)

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: Marcel & Ruud Coster, Malcolm Cranfield, Robert Foy, 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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