Holland America Line
ms Rotterdam Cruise
Rotterdam, Helsingborg, Copenhagen, and Oslo
ABOVE: HAL's ms
Rotterdam at the
Cruise Terminal. (The photo was
taken from the Erasmus Bridge as we walked from our hotel to the ship on a
rainy, windy day.)
name with great symbolic meaning for Holland America Line:
HAL was founded in 1873 as the Dutch-America Steamship Company. Under that
name and as Holland-Amerika Lijn, it offered transatlantic passenger
service between Rotterdam and New York for a hundred years.
Over the decades, the line has had six ships named
Rotterdam V (which is now a floating museum in the city of
Rotterdam) and the ship featured in this review: the ms Rotterdam VI, which was built in 1997 and is currently
the flagship of HAL's 15-ship fleet.
In July, 2009, we boarded ms Rotterdam for a roundtrip "Scandinavian
Impressions" cruise from Rotterdam, Netherlands
with port calls at Helsingborg (Sweden), Copenhagen, and Oslo.
7-day, 6-night cruise was unusual not only because it started and ended in Holland
historic home port, but also because it may have been the most European HAL
cruise to date: At least 95 percent of the passengers were Dutch, and
"Goedemorgen" or "Goedemittag" was a more common
greeting than "Howdy," "Hi there," or "How ya doin'." (Our sidebar, "Holland
America Line for European passengers," discusses the company's
ambitious plan for reconnecting with its European roots.)
Rotterdam coverage--which includes a
cruise photo gallery and several
related articles--you'll learn about the ship, our itinerary's ports of call in
Scandinavia, what to expect from a European cruise with Holland America Line,
and what happens behind the scenes on a 1,404-passenger cruise vessel.
To get started, continue to
page 2 or use the navigation links below.
Rotterdam: the ship