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*ss Rotterdam, "The Grande Dame" from formerly Holland America Line, Rotterdam

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.

Concept and Design: Originally she was conceived as a running mate to the popular Nieuw Amsterdam launched in 1937, but work was put on hold at the outbreak of World War II in Europe. When economic conditions once again became favorable for completion of the new ship in early 1954, the beginning of the end of ocean liners as basic transport was visible on the horizon. The designers took this in mind and created a groundbreaking vessel, a two class, horizontally divided ship with movable partitions and a unique double staircase allowing for easy conversion to cruising. The christening and launch on September 13, 1958 by Queen Juliana was a huge crowd puller, with tens of thousands on both banks of the river. Rotterdam's machinery was shifted aft, to the now-traditional two thirds aft position, and in lieu of a funnel twin uptake pipes were fitted. To provide balance, a large deckhouse was built atop the superstructure in the midships position of a typical funnel. While very controversial at the time, Rotterdam's appearance became groundbreaking, and her unique design features can be found on cruise ships today.

As the Rotterdam:............

As the Rembrandt:............

Restoration and hotel opening: On July 12, 2004, she arrived at Gibraltar for asbestos encapsulation and removal performed by the Cuddy Group of the UK. She next visited Cadiz where her hull was repainted its original Holland America grey, and then moved on to Poland and Germany for final restoration. She returned to the city of Rotterdam on August 8, 2008. She opened to the public on February 15, 2010 as a combination museum/hotel and school for vocational training.

For more info see here on Wikipedia.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on February 16, 2013
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Chris10 ©
    • Camera: SONY DSC-HX1
    • Taken on 2013/02/02 15:31:36
    • Exposure: 0.002s (1/640)
    • Focal Length: 7.80mm
    • F/Stop: f/4.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO125
    • Exposure Bias: -0.30 EV
    • No flash