Monday, August 04, 2008

SS ROTTERDAM

The SS Rotterdam seen arriving in RotterdamOf course, there's only one Ship of the Day today: the SS Rotterdam (IMO: 5301019, Port of Registry: Rotterdam), which will return to her former home port of Rotterdam today for a new life as a hotel and tourist attraction. The SS Rotterdam, known as "The Grande Dame", was launched by Queen Juliana in a gala ceremony on 13 September 1958 at the Rotterdamsche Droogdok Maatschappij. The vessel ran a transatlantic service until 1969 for the Holland America Line. In 1971 the Rotterdam got a small refit for permanent cruising and began her new life as a full-time cruise ship. The Rotterdam's career for the for the Holland America Line ended on September 30, 1997 after a gala final cruise. The Rotterdam was then sold to Premier Cruises and was renamed into "Rembrandt". Unfortunately, Premier Cruises ran into financial problems and the Rotterdam was taken out of service. The Rotterdam was then laid up at Freeport, Bahama's since September 2000. After a few years in which many plans for the future of the ship were made, but none were taken into executed, the vessel was bought by the s.s. Rotterdam BV, which prevented the demolition of the ship. In 2004 however, the s.s. Rotterdam BV, then part of the Port of Rotterdam, went bankrupt. The Port of Rotterdam then started negotiations with several interested parties, after which housing company Woonbron and informal investor Eurobalance decided to buy the ship and to found a new company “De Rotterdam”. Now, after a few years of asbestos removal and refurbishment in Gibraltar and Wilhelmshaven, the Rotterdam will finally return to her homeport today where she will used for several purposes, such as used as a hotel, café-restaurant, museum and for educational purposes.

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