The Dutch ships were noted for reliability and spotlessness, with a weekly three ship operation across the North Atlantic. In peak season, one of the fleet departed New York every Friday for Southampton and Le Havre (7 days), continuing to Rotterdam (8 days). Concurrently, there was a Holland America Line westbound sailing every Tuesday from Rotterdam, and Wednesday from Le Havre and Southampton. They were also one of the first shipping lines to offer off-season cruising.
Rotterdam was the largest Dutch ocean liner to date, a superbly decorated flagship with rare woods, a wealth of artworks and innovative design. She was the first transatlantic liner without a traditional funnel and one of the first passenger ships to have engines mounted two-thirds aft instead of midship. Twin uptakes were used for the exhausts.
In another unusual decision, the two classes aboard Rotterdam were divided horizontally rather than vertically, facilitated by a unique midship double stairway with each class using one side separate from the other and elevators which would only stop at selected decks. First class public rooms were on the Bridge, Boat and Upper Promenade Decks, which included the distinctive "Ritz Carlton" and an indoor pool on D-Deck. Tourist class was on the Sun and Promenade Decks with an outdoor pool aft. Both dining rooms were on B-Deck.
Holland America Line's beloved Nieuw Amsterdam was built before World War II and proclaimed "the ship of tomorrow". She was an art deco gem following the trend of the day in interior decoration and exterior design. The handsome Statendam followed in the 1950s in recognition of a growing demand for economical travel, with over 90% of the ship devoted to Tourist class.
Passengers on board Rotterdam, Nieuw Amsterdam and Statendam enjoyed continental cuisine and devoted service by unobtrusive stewards in beautiful surroundings, highlighted by fine paneling, paintings, sculptures, mosaics and tapestries.
Sample minimum one-way fares from New York to Rotterdam: First class $456; Tourist class $238; All fares are per person in U.S. dollars.
Go to Holland America Line sailing schedules or select schedules by ship below:
Built: 1959 by Rotterdamsche DD Mij, Rotterdam, Holland
Built: 1938 by Rotterdamsche DD Mij, Rotterdam, Holland
Built: 1957 by Wilton-Fijenoord, Schiedam, Holland