The SS Rotterdam viewed by JGADV
The SS Rotterdam V of the Holland Amerika Lijn, this ship has been photographed and written about in so many words, articles, books that I 'm not even going to attempt to write a good article about her history! Instead I will start with an introduction and some links, followed by my own personal view on the ship.
The Rotterdam was built in the Netherlands in 1959 for the Holland Amerika Lijn in Rotterdam. After a long and successful career she ended her life with the now named Holland America Line in 1997 and after 3 more years at Premier cruises as the Rembrandt, she was laid up and came very close to be sold for scrap. Luckily after a very difficult process, she was eventually saved and ended up as a floating hotel and museum in her former home port and namesake Rotterdam where she is still open today (September 2023).
Anyone who wants to know more details about her, I suggest you look at buying some of the books of Nico Guns and Roelof H. Valbracht. Onnozone can offer some nice photos and models of the ship and any of the photos in this blog or anywhere else on the website can also be acquired by simply sending me a request on the contact form.
My personal view on the ship!
I personally never sailed on her and never even saw in real life before she was back in Rotterdam where she remains today. However ... I knew her and had roughly read about her history and her legacy, she is in fact a stunning ship to look at and that is exactly why I got interested in her a bit more.
The first time I saw her, she wasn't yet open to the public as she was still undergoing restoration before she could be opened as hotel and museum, but she was already tied up in the same spot as where she is today. Her fine lines and sharp bow are an instant eye catcher and I was impressed with how she looked after so many years at sea. The restoration team did an absolutely amazing job.
Over the years I visited her almost every time I was in the area and this resulted in me photographing her inside and out on many occasions, sometimes as a main theme, sometimes as a backdrop, sometimes even from the air with my drone.
In 2022 I had a weekend onboard as Nico Guns organized an event for shiplovers and my friend Onno from Onnozone was one of the guest speakers who invited me on for some logistic support. The event was a great success and we decided that some of us where going to organize the next event onboard the SS Rotterdam in May 2024, more details about this event will follow when concrete details become available.
The only thing I would like to add here is a small album of most of the photos I took in and around the ship in the last few years and urge anyone visiting the area to go and visit this unique ship that gives you a real window into the past of life on the oceans.