Holland America Line (HAL) has sold four cruise ships – ‘Amsterdam’, ‘Maasdam’, ‘Rotterdam’ and ’Veendam’ .
The ships were sold in pairs, with the S-Class ’Maasdam’ and ’Veendam’ transferring to an undisclosed company in August, 2020, while the R-Class ’Amsterdam’ and ’Rotterdam’ will move to Fred.Olsen in the Autumn of this year and will be renamed ‘Bolette’ and ‘Borealis’, respectively.
The identity of the buyer of the other two was not revealed.
HAL has cancelled the four ships’ deployments, with some of the itineraries being taken up by other ships in the fleet.
“It’s always difficult to see any ship leave the fleet, especially those that have a long and storied history with our company,” said Stein Kruse, CEO of Holland America Group and Carnival UK. “However, Holland America Line has a bright future ahead that includes recent ‘Pinnacle’-class additions, with a third sistership next year that will continue to maintain our overall capacity in the marketplace.”
“I recognise and appreciate the deep affection our guests have toward our company and the ships in our fleet,” said Gus Antorcha, HAL President. “While streamlined, our diverse fleet continues to offer exceptional options for cruisers looking for a mid-sized ship experience to destinations all around the world. I look forward to carrying on those beloved shipboard offerings while cultivating new ideas to bring to our guests.”
‘Maasdam’ joined the fleet in 1993 as the second of four S-Class ships. She was the fourth HAL ship to be named ’Maasdam’ . ‘Veendam’, the final S-Class ship, was delivered in 1996 and was the fourth ship to bear that name.
The first ship in the R Class, 61,849-ton ’Rotterdam’ was introduced in 1997. She is the sixth HAL ship to carry the ’Rotterdam’ name. ’Amsterdam’ joined the fleet in 2000 as the last in this series and was the third ship to be called ’Amsterdam’.
Talking about his purchases, Fred. Olsen Jr, Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines Chairman, said: “I am delighted to be announcing this news. We have chosen these vessels, as they will fit seamlessly into our existing fleet of small ships, each carrying under 1,500 guests, bringing with them new and larger public areas whilst not compromising on our small ship experience.
“The naming of the vessels is important to us. ’Bolette’ and ’Borealis’ are both names of ships we have had in years gone by.
“This increase in our capacity demonstrates our confidence in the future. With over 170 years of seafaring history, we have sailed through many difficult periods. With these new additions to the fleet, we will come out of this current situation stronger than ever, ready to deliver the award-winning itineraries that we are famous for,” he said.
Peter Deer, Fred.Olsen Managing Director, added: “This is an exciting chapter in the history of our company, and I know that our loyal and returning guests will be looking forward to exploring our new ships as soon as they can.
“Of course, we also hope to attract new guests to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and we look forward to demonstrating the exceptional service that makes us the best UK cruise line for repeat business,” he concluded.
The two new ships will enter the fleet later this year following re-branding work.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ ocean cruise ships – ‘Balmoral’, ‘Braemar’, ‘Boudicca’ and ‘Black Watch’ – are currently lying at Babcock’s Rosyth facilities in Scotland, where the two new ships will join them.
It is believed that the total cost for the Fred.Olsen pair was $37 mill.
Consultants have said that Fred.Olsen’s holding company, Bonheur, is to offer seller’s credit of £22.3 mill ($28 mill) to cover re-branding, lay-up, pre-operational and start up costs.
Credit will run for five years with three years of zero amortisation and annual repayments of £7.3 mill ($9.35 mill) at 2.5% fixed interest.