Holland America Line’s newest cruise ship is the Normandie. The special features of this new ship are its large size, luxury suites and cutting-edge technology. Embark on a luxurious vacation with your family or friends when you book an upcoming Holland America sailing at one of our many departures for 2018

The “holland america new ship 2021” is the newest cruise ship of Holland America. The ship will be sailing from Europe to South America and back again in 2021.

You may have noticed that I’ve been spending more time at sea than on land recently. That’s because numerous ships that were supposed to launch during the stoppage have finally entered service in the last several weeks. There are so many that I haven’t been able to fit them all in! Today, though, I’ll be aboard the Rotterdam of Holland America Line.

rotterdam embarkation ship exterior

If you’re wondering, “Wait, Rotterdam isn’t a new ship… it’s been around for a long time!” You’re both correct and incorrect. This is the eighth ship to have that name that has sailed under the Holland America flag. (Fun fact: the Rotterdam V is presently parked in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and is a floating hotel similar to the Queen Mary in Long Beach, but in much better condition!)

This cruise will stop in Bimini, Bahamas, and spend two days on Half Moon Cay, Carnival Corporation’s private island. I was asked to go down to Fort Lauderdale to ride the first Rotterdam cruise and see what it would be like to board Holland America Line in 2021. I last set foot on one of its ships in 2019, when I worked on their most recent new construction, the Nieuw Statendam.

I got at the Renaissance Cruise Harbor hotel after arriving in Fort Lauderdale, which is only steps away from the port. In fact, if you have the appropriate accommodation, you may get a great view of the port.

Embarkation

The embarkation procedure followed the same pattern as the previous seven ships I’ve sailed in the last three months, with technology — in this instance, HAL’s Navigator app — playing a key part. Guests must be completely vaccinated within 14 days of sailing, perform a pre-cruise PCR or antigen test within two days before sailing, and plan their arrival time with Holland America. When you get to the dock, make sure you have your Navigator app open and signed in, or at the very least the print-out with the barcode. They resisted me a little since I had printed out my cruise confirmation but not the check-in document with the barcode. That makes logical, given that everything is touchless.

rotterdam terminal embarkation

Thank you for coming aboard.

The crew greeted us as we boarded, many waving their own country flags. The staterooms were ready as soon as we boarded, which was approximately 11 a.m., since the transatlantic passengers had disembarked a day earlier. 

rotterdam embarkation crew members

My accommodation is a Verandah stateroom… meaning a balcony, and it’s on deck six, port side. More and more, cruise companies are considering what the contemporary cruiser needs in terms of connection, and this ship is no exception. Each side of the bed has a USB port and a regular outlet, as well as one of each on the vanity.

The bathroom is large and has a walk-in shower with a door. Plastic shower curtains are another item I’m delighted cruise companies are going away from. I’ve also observed that doors are becoming more common in motels. It’s not a lie that I’ll book a hotel room based on the availability of free WiFi and the absence of a shower curtain.

In terms of the balcony, it’s a basic size with two standard seats. Before getting some meal, I spent some time out there.

holland america rotterdam balcony verandah cabin

MORE: Should You Take a Short Cruise? 5 Reasons to Make a Reservation

Lunchtime has arrived.

Holland America is proud of its image as a foodie-friendly cruise company, and this extends to the buffet. It’s still a buffet, but it’s one that’s done correctly. On each side, there are around a half-dozen stations that duplicate each other, with a combination of grab-and-go options and meals served by a crew member.

I decided on a salad with turkey and fresh greens. While I was eating, I realized that there is a New York Pizza outlet near the pool that serves made-to-order pizzas and salads. I ended up ordering a pepperoni and pineapple pizza and eating it while sitting by the pool.

rotterdam salad lunch

holland america rotterdam pool

After eating, it was time to burn some calories, and what better way to do it than by roaming the ship and taking photographs and videos?

Remember how I said Holland America takes its cuisine very seriously? They take it so seriously that they have a culinary council comprised of some of the world’s most renowned chefs. Rudi Sodamin, who owns Rudi’s Sel de Mer restaurant aboard, is one among them. It’s a seafood restaurant that specializes on French/Mediterranean cuisine. The chef officiated the grand launch of his newest joint venture with Carnival Corporation with a handful of the first customers booked in the venue by his side.

chef rudi sodamin rotterdam rudi's sel de mer opening

For both the Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam, Sodamin already has Sel de Mer restaurants, as well as Rudi’s Seagrill on Carnival’s Mardi Gras. I’m definitely looking forward to trying this little more sophisticated spin on his popular dishes after having just eaten there. Chef Rudi, as he’s known, is one of the chefs who has helped elevate the standard for both Holland America and Carnival Cruise Line, in my opinion.

Sail Away

Because we were waiting for a supply truck, our sailaway was delayed, but we ultimately set sail about 7 p.m. Although Princess Cruises’ new Enchanted Princess was across the harbor hosting travel agents and other invited passengers, we were the only revenue-generating cruise going from the port on this day. I’ve always enjoyed seeing other ships go by with people on board — and seeing passengers on both ships wave at one other — but it now has a whole new meaning for me. Being aboard one ship and seeing people on another after 18 months of no ships sailing is a nice indicator that things are slowly but steadily returning to normal.

holland america rotterdam inaugural sail away port everglades

Dinner

Tonight’s dinner was in the main dining room, which is really lovely! Because we had open seating, we arrived at 8 p.m. and entered the two-deck, oval-shaped dining room, which is anchored at one end by a massive wine rack. The menu had a decent selection of options, and the service was swift. The shrimp ceviche, French onion soup, and salmon were my choices. The meal was delicious… I had no issues at all. I’m not a major dessert eater, so skipping out before that dish so I could attend a 9 p.m. lecture was OK with me. 

rotterdam dining room

Presentation of History

What was it about this presentation that drew me away from the food? One was held on the World Stage and covered the almost 150-year history of Holland America Line. I’m not usually one for lectures, but this one was unique. Not only were we educated about the company’s history, but we were also exposed to technology, which included everything from soundbytes to films shown on a 270-degree LED screen. 

It was, in a word, enthralling, and I’m not ashamed to confess that I lost it when they started talking about the closure and how it affected the business, as they showed overhead pictures of hundreds of Carnival Corporation ships moored off the coast of Manila. They also went into considerable depth regarding the difficulties faced by the world’s largest-ever repatriation mission, which included flying hundreds of crew members back to their home nations.

holland america line history presentation rotterdam

They repatriated nearly 15,000 crew members over the course of four months by arranging for ships to meet at certain areas so that the men and women on board could be moved from one vessel to another and finally returned to their home countries. This 50-minute session is now being offered at least once on each sailing, and I can’t recommend it strongly enough. 

We will arrive at Bimini, Bahamas, early the next morning. After seeing the Resorts World complex on my Carnival Horizon cruise, I want to visit the opposite end of the island to see what more it has to offer.

READ NEXT: Holland America Introduces a “Kids Cruise Free” Promotion

Rotterdam is the third largest city in the Netherlands and is located on the North Sea. The ship Holland America’s newest cruise ship will be sailing from Rotterdam to New York City. Reference: rotterdam ship holland america.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the newest ship on Holland America?

A: The newest ship on Holland America is the MS Eurodam.

Which Holland America ships are being sold?

A: You can check up on this here.

What is the newest cruise ship out?

A: The newest cruise ship out is the Carnival Vista.

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