Holland America Line's New 'Flagship Of Excellence,' ms Rotterdam VI, Introduces A New 6-Star Era In Luxury Cruising
Seattle, Aug. 20, 1997 -- Holland America Line's new "Flagship of Excellence," the ms Rotterdam VI is designed to take luxury cruising to new levels of service and elegance.
"We are confident that our beautiful new Rotterdam VI will introduce a new era in worldwide luxury cruising. As our flagship, this ship embodies the highest standards of excellence. Her level of service and amenities will surpass even that found on board our current five-star fleet, elevating the Rotterdam VI to six-star status," said Peter T. McHugh, president and chief operating officer.
"The Rotterdam VI will be a one-of-a-kind luxury cruise ship, with all of the attributes to support her position in the top end of the cruise market. She is designed for, and will be committed to, our high-end World Voyages, Grand Voyages and European sailings," said McHugh.
One of the most significant special features is the 88-seat alternative restaurant, the Odyssey, which will feature fine Italian dining in an intimate setting reminiscent of an opulent Venetian villa. Reservations will be available to all guests during all Rotterdam VI cruises.
For the Odyssey Restaurant, Master Chef Reiner Greubel has created "Rotterdam VI Signature Cuisine," reserved only for the flagship sailings. Greubel's creations also will grace the most extensive menu at sea, featured in the spectacular two-deck La Fontaine Dining Room, the top-rated Lido Restaurant and Terrace Grill, offering the finest in casual dining as rated by Fieldings Guide.
Another new feature will be a concierge deck devoted exclusively to suites. In the private Neptune Lounge, a concierge will handle special requests, shore excursion bookings and account services for suite guests. The 40 suites, which include four penthouse suites, are larger than the industry average, with suites measuring 565 square feet and penthouses totaling 1,126 square feet, both including a 180-square-foot verandah. As a special touch, the penthouses will have floor-to-ceiling windows and all verandahs will have glass balustrades, providing an unobstructed view of the sea even while relaxing on the two chaises longues.
The Rotterdam VI will have a hand-selected staff of experienced officers and veteran crew members who have the most world cruising experience in the company's fleet. European sommeliers will oversee a wine cellar offering one of the most extensive wine lists at sea and will conduct special tastings of premium vintages. In addition, Holland America Line's trademark "tipping not required" policy will ensure the utmost in hassle-free "flagship service."
One of the most technologically advanced ships sailing today, the Rotterdam VI will be the fastest luxury-class ship in the world. The latest in diesel propulsion systems and a new hull design have resulted in a 25 percent increase in speed over Holland America Line's four popular Statendam-class vessels, introduced to service from 1993 to 1996. With a cruising speed of 25 knots, the Rotterdam VI will visit more ports and offer guests more time in the ports of call on her worldwide cruise itineraries.
The world's largest luxury cruise ship, the Rotterdam VI will be spacious, with one of the highest guest-to-space ratios in its class. Ceilings four inches higher than standard also will enhance comfort levels on board the ship. And, the addition of a third staircase to the ship's design will mean guests should never be more than 130 feet from a staircase for easy access between decks.
The ship's decor also will be a cut above, accented by a $2 million collection of specially-commission artwork and fine antiques themed to Dutch worldwide exploration. The ship's interior architect, F.C.J. Dingemans, of Utrecht, Netherlands, has used dark woods and rich colors throughout the ship to create an atmosphere of "great elegance and refinement," which he describes as "slightly more formal" than Holland America's Statendam-class ships.
Guests also will find touches on board inspired by the ship's immediate predecessor, the famous ss Rotterdam V -- such as wall paintings in the La Fontaine Dining Room that are reminiscent of the islands and birds seen in the two-deck-high lacquered mural in the old Rotterdam's Ritz Carlton Lounge and an elaborate brass dance floor in the new Ambassador Lounge, also similar to one found in the Ritz Carlton. Further links to Holland America Line's past will be found in other decorative touches, like the Ambassador Lounge's ornate ceiling, a replica of that from a previous flagship, the 1938 ss Nieuw Amsterdam, and two replicas from the company's former headquarters building on the Wilhelminakade in Rotterdam: a tall iron lantern and a bronze weathervane in the image of explorer Henry Hudson's ship, the Half Moon -- both to be found in the Ambassador Lounge.
"The Rotterdam VI was designed with world cruising in mind," said McHugh. "Her cruises will feature the most desirable and the most exotic destinations, visiting more than 150 destinations annually. And, our Flagship Forum lecture series will enhance and illuminate the experience for our guests on every one of her cruises."
"With all of these exemplary features, this ship will define the future of luxury cruising," said McHugh. "There is no doubt this ship will be special. It will be a great ship and will deserve to carry the flag for Holland America and to carry on the company's 'Tradition of Excellence' earned over 125 years of service throughout the world."
The Rotterdam VI will make its grand entrance with a series of four inaugural European cruises beginning Oct. 6, 1997. On these luxury cruises the ship will cruise the Eastern and Western Mediterranean and the northwest coast of Africa before crossing the Atlantic Ocean for its debut in the United States leading to her inaugural circumnavigation of the globe during her Grand World Voyages on Jan. 19, 1998.
World Voyages (97 Days) 1/19 - 4/26