Holland America Line: The Rotterdam’s Lanai Staterooms

As part of her commemorative 40th Anniversary Transatlantic voyage from Rotterdam to New York and back this month, Holland America Line’s flagship Rotterdam called in at Southampton yesterday on her way to New York. This voyage celebrates the fact that it was forty years ago that Holland America Line operated its last full schedule of Transatlantic sailings.

Several prospective Holland America clients and cruise agents visited the ship on the event of her call for an inspection and lunch, followed by a brief presentation from the line. We took advantage of the ship’s Southampton visit to meet up with some of our own passengers who had boarded in Rotterdam two days earlier. They are travelling to New York in Rotterdam, then returning to Southampton in the Queen Mary 2 in August. Ninety passengers also embarked at Southampton.

One of the things that Holland America Line is best known for is its wrap-around teak promenade decks, and here you see the port side of Rotterdam‘s. In the foreground, with the full-height silvered sliding door, is one of the ship’s thirty-nine new Lanai staterooms. These were installed in December 2009, in a conversion from outside staterooms that added a full height window and sliding door, not only allowing direct access to the promenade deck but also bringing more light into the cabin than the smaller window it replaced.

Just outside the door of each Lanai stateroom can be found two cushioned steamer chairs – yet another thing for which Holland America is well known. These are reserved for private use by the stateroom’s occupants. While not quite offering the privacy of a veranda cabin, Lanai staterooms are still regarded as a big improvement on the outside cabins that they replaced as they allow easy access to the promenade and fresh sea air. They are now in the process of being installed in both the line’s flagships, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, as well as its four “S” class ships – Maasdam, Ryndam, Statendam and Veendam. The idea came about because of the relative shortage of balconies on these ships compared to Holland America’s newer vessels.

The only shortcoming of these new accommodations, if one does not mind passing strollers and joggers, occurs for other passengers, who now have less access to promenade deck steamer chairs. Beyond the Lanai cabin above, for example, one can count nine publicly-available steamer chairs, but stretching beyond those is a row of Lanai cabins with privately-reserved chairs.

The Rotterdam, which will be based full-time at her home port of Rotterdam from September 2012, will also be offering two longer cruises from Southampton at the end of next year. In November 2012, she will depart on a 32-night round voyage from Southampton to the Caribbean, which will include all three of the Netherlands “ABC” islands – Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao – as well as St Maarten, and also Tortola, St Lucia, Trinidad and Barbados, as well as the Azores out and Madeira on the return. And in January 2013 Rotterdam will sail from Southampton on a 90-day long voyage to the Far East and back via Suez that will feature a two-week in depth exploration of Indonesia, the former Dutch East Indies, as well as India, Malaysia and Singapore.

For further details on Holland America Line cruises and voyages please call The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.