04 August 2011

Rotterdam in Helsinki, 23 June 2011


IMO 9122552
Built 1997, Fincantieri Venice, Italy
Tonnage 61 849 GT
Length 237,95 m
Width 32,25 m
Draugth 7,80 m
1 668 passengers
1 668 berths
5 Sulzer Fincantieri diesels, combined 37 500 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
2 stern thrusters
Speed 25 knots

The current Rotterdam is already the sixth ship with that name in the Holland-America Line fleet. Often she's referred to as the Rotterdam VI to differentiate her from the 1959-built Rotterdam V that remains in the city of Rotterdam as a floating hotel.

The Rotterdam (VI) is in essence a larger version of HAL's S-class (Statendam, Maasdam, Ryndam and Veendam). She was however built to be somewhat faster, with a top speed of 25 knots and service speed of 22,5 knots. Due to her high speed her codename during construction was Fastdam. (Personally I'd question how much utility a 25-knot top speed is in these days when fuel prices are ever-increasing). As a nod to the Rotterdam V, the Rotterdam VI was given side-by-side twin funnels.

In 2009 the Rotterdam was given a refit where her aft superstructure was re-modelled. Sometime before a new fitness center and thermal suite had been added above the bridge, both refits somewhat compromising the ship's scifi-sleek exterior looks.

The photographs below show the Rotterdam departing from Helsinki West Harbour on 23 June 2011. Photographed from Sisä-Hattu. Click on the individual images to view in them larger size.

It  was a busy day in the West Harbour (as I've written on Maritime Matters here). In the background you can see the Baltic Princess on the left and Oceania Cruises' Marina on the right.
Cousins? The Costa Luminosa (on the right) is an example of Carnival Corporation's Vista-class, which was originally designed for Holland America Line. Which at least theoretically makes her the younger cousing or something of the Rotterdam.
For whatever reason I find it hard to get excited about the 1900s HAL ships. Which is odd, I'm usually a fan of sleek scifi looks like on these ships... but for some reason I'm always looking at my own photos of them and thinking "meh, I don't know". But I guess these look alright.
This one called for a panoramic shot.
The rebuilt aft superstructure really looks quite odd, even more so than the added structure above the bridge. Or maybe it's just a matter of my brain having had the time to get used to the latter a bit more.
It's always a pleasure to photograph HAL ships together with sailboats. The boats are easy to dintinguish from the dark hulls and the resulting images always nicely reflect the HAL funnel symbol.

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