Only six months until the launch of Holland America Line’s newest vessel Rotterdam, the line is slowly getting ready to sail. The Seattle based cruise revealed the Senior officers that will be taking the ship into service on August 1, 2021.
The company had previously revealed the Captain to be Werner Timmers, while they have now revealed they have appointed Staff Captain Kevin Beirnaert, Hotel Director Wessel van Oorschot, Chief Engineer Peter Massolt, Staff Chief Engineer Wim Akkerman, and Environmental Officer Michael Brown to lead Rotterdam’s shipboard teams.
Together the senior officers will be bringing more than 80 years of shipboard experience to the 99,500 gross ton Rotterdam.
Solid Foundation Of Exceptional Leaders
Holland America has long been a company that ensures they have experienced leadership on their vessels when they launch. Holland America Line has a history that spans nearly 150 years, and with that comes a depth of talented crew who will be aboard Rotterdam when the ship is delivered in July.
According to Gus Antorcha, the President of the cruise line, the senior officers will be tasked with getting the vessel ready to receive guests this summer:
“Holland America Line has a solid foundation of exceptional leaders who are seasoned at delivering new ships, and these team members bring years of experience, knowledge, and dedication to our brand; as we move toward delivery this summer, this team will be tasked with getting the ship ready to welcome guests and ensuring we have a happy complement of crew. We know they’re up to the task, and we congratulate them on their appointments.”
Third Pinnacle Class, Seventh Rotterdam
The 80 years of shipboard experience will be a welcome addition as Rotterdam has long been a well-regarded name for the cruise line. When she is launched and named in August, she will be the seventh vessel to carry the name.
The first vessel to carry the Rotterdam name was christened in 1872 and ran aground near the dutch coast on September 26, 1883. The most famous Rotterdam is the 1959 SS Rotterdam, which is currently a hotel and museum in the port of Rotterdam.
Fincantieri is building the current Rotterdam in Italy. It is the 17th vessel being built by the Italian shipyard for Holland America Line. The third in the Pinnacle Class series, the vessel will carry 2,668 guests and feature highly successful amenities and innovations introduced with her sister ships, including the 270-degree surround screen World Stage, Rudi’s Sel de Mer, and Grand Dutch Café.
Following her maiden voyage departing August 1, 2021, the ship will spend its inaugural summer season in northern Europe.
Meet The Senior Officers
The senior officers that will be launching Rotterdam are:
Captain Werner Timmers
Since first joining Holland America Line in 1984 as an intern, Captain Timmers has worked his way up the ranks to Captain, which he achieved in 1996. He has since been master of Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Ryndam, Zaandam, and Zuiderdam.
“I am deeply honored to be named the first master of Rotterdam, and I look forward to getting on board for the sea trials and seeing the ship come together during the final stages of construction,” said Captain Timmers. “My long career with Holland America Line has been filled with so many wonderful milestones, and this appointment is a highlight.”
Staff Captain Kevin Beirnaert
Kevin Beirnaert joined Holland America Line in 2006 and worked on Rotterdam, Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Koningsdam, and Nieuw Statendam, where he recently filled in as Captain.
Hailing from Gent, Belgium, Beirnaert studied at the Hogere Zeevaart school in Antwerp, Belgium, where he graduated with a master’s in nautical science. He resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Hotel Director Wessel van Oorschot
Since joining Holland America Line in 2005, Wessel van Oorschot has worked his way through the food and beverage department ranks from assistant maître d’ to hotel director.
Rotterdam will be the fourth new ship he has launched with the company, having previously introduced Nieuw Statendam, Koningsdam, and Nieuw Amsterdam.
Chief Engineer Peter Massolt
A Dutch native from Drachten in the province of Friesland, Peter Massolt has worked 19 years with Holland America Line, from 1980-87 and then again from 2008 onwards.
During his time with the company, he has worked on ss and ms Rotterdam, Ryndam, Prinsendam, Statendam, Veendam, Volendam, Noordam, Nieuw Amsterdam, and Nieuw Statendam.
Massolt holds a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering from the Maritime Institute Willem Barentsz.
Meet Environmental Officer Michael Brown
A native of Panama, where he still resides, Michael Brown joined Holland America Line in 2016. Previously he was a marine engineer in the cruise industry.
Brown graduated from the Universidad Marítima Internacional de Panamá with a bachelor’s degree in nautical marine engineering.
Staff Chief Engineer Wim Akkerman
Wim Akkerman joined Holland America Line in 1994 following an apprenticeship on cargo reefer vessels.
Raised in the small village of Nederhorst den Berg, the Netherlands, Akkerman went to the Zeevaart maritime college and became a maritime officer, but he chose a technical route.
All Photos: Holland America Line