|ms Rotterdam is a cruise ship, the sixth Holland America Line vessel to bear the name, and is one of the two Atlantic flagships of the fleet. Built in Italy in 1997, ms Rotterdam features fine art and antiques, an internet center, and a spa and fitness center. She is named for the ss Rotterdam of 1959 and also named after the city of Rotterdam, Netherlands. ms Rotterdam and her sister ship ms Amsterdam are loosely based on the original ship. Also, the Amsterdam and the Rotterdam are the co-flagships of Holland America Line.
ms Rotterdam conducted Holland America Line's first standalone transatlantic crossing since 1971 during the summer of 2011, making a single trip both eastbound and westbound.
Today the Rotterdam sails around Europe during the summer and South America in the winter. Beginning in 2012, she is based year-round in Rotterdam. Holland America said it wanted to reconnect with its roots there.[ (Source Wikipedia).
The fifth SS Rotterdam, known as "The Grande Dame", was launched by Queen Juliana in a gala ceremony on 13 September 1958, and completed the following summer. The Rotterdam was the last great Dutch "ship of state", employing the finest artisans from the Netherlands in her construction and fitting out process. With a career spanning forty years, she was also one of the most successful passenger ships of all time. She sailed from 1959 until her final retirement in September 2000.
Her sea trials and handing over to Holland America Line took place on July 20, 1959, just a few months before her maiden crossing of the Atlantic. On her maiden voyage she carried the then Crown Princess of the Netherlands to New York. As more and more transatlantic liners started to disappear due to the popularity of plane services, the Rotterdam was retired from transatlantic service permanently in 1969, and afterwards she received a small refit for permanent cruising and began her new life as a full time cruise ship. The Rotterdam also became a one class ship after this refit. She became increasingly popular throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, with mostly American and Australian passengers. Another refit in 1977 saw her passenger capacity decreased from 1,499 to 1144. By the 1980s the ship had settled into a routine of winters in the Caribbean and summers in Alaska, with the occasional and very popular world cruise. When Carnival Cruise Lines took over Holland America Line in 1989 she remained in service and continued to be until 1997.
She was sold to Premier Cruises and renamed SS Rembrandt. Controversially Premier was able to refit the Rembrandt for new safety regulations as well as many other things for half of what Carnival had predicted. She sailed for Premier along with the ex ocean liners Oceanic, Eugenio C and Transvaal Castle, all now named Big Red Boat I, II and III. She continued to serve as a fairly popular cruise ship out of Port Canaveral, Florida until September 13, 2000, when Premier Cruises shut down. It was midnight when this was made official and the captain of the Rembrandt was ordered to dock in Halifax, Nova Scotia and offload all passengers. She was subsequently placed under arrest by the Halifax Sheriff's department until the next morning, then days later she sailed to be laid up in Freeport, Bahamas.
On July 12, 2004, she arrived at Gibraltar for asbestos encapsulation and removal. She next visited Cadiz where her hull was repainted in its original Holland America grey, and then was moved on to Poland and Germany for final restoration. She returned to the city of Rotterdam on August 8, 2008. She was opened to the public on February 15, 2010 as a combination museum/hotelship and school for vocational training. (Source: Wikipedia).