When Holland America Line’s ms Koningsdam debuts in April 2016, the ship’s senior staff officers will set sail with a combined 95 years of company loyalty and experience. In addition to the previously announced appointment of Captain Emiel de Vries, the cruise line announced that Hotel Director Stan Kuppens, Chief Engineer Willem Zuidema, Staff Captain Kevin Beirnaert and Safety, Environmental and Health Officer Martijn van Dam will lead Koningsdam’s shipboard teams.
The 99,500-ton ship currently is under construction at Fincantieri’s shipyard at Marghera, Italy. During its inaugural year Koningsdam will explore the Mediterranean and northern Europe in summer and the Caribbean in winter.
Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president said:
“Holland America Line has an incredible depth of talented and qualified personnel, and we’re thrilled to have Stan, Willem, Kevin and Martijn joining Captain de Vries to head up the onboard teams that will bring out Koningsdam, with their knowledge, experience and years of dedication to the company, these senior staff officers are well positioned to ensure that the ship is a successful addition to our fleet.”
Announced previously, Captain Emiel de Vries will be in command when Holland America Line’s ms Koningsdam sets sail in April 2016. Having been with the company since 1997, de Vries rose through the ranks from fourth officer to captain and has been master of ms Amsterdam, ms Eurodam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Rotterdam and ms Zuiderdam.
Since joining Holland America Line in 1990, Hotel Director Stan Kuppens has sailed on 12 current ships and four that are no longer with the fleet. In addition to ms Koningsdam, Kuppens was the hotel director who launched ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Eurodam, ms Noordam and ms Westerdam, the four ships most recently built for the cruise line. He also has worked on ms Amsterdam, ms Maasdam, ms Oosterdam, ms Rotterdam, ms Ryndam, ms Statendam, ms Zaandam and ms Zuiderdam.
Koningsdam’s Staff Captain Kevin Beirnaert joined Holland America Line in 2006 and worked on Rotterdam, Nieuw Amsterdam and Eurodam prior to being named to the new build team.
Chief Engineer Willem Zuidema joined Holland America Line in 1991 aboard ss Rotterdam after sailing on cargo ships with Nedlloyd. During his career with the company he has served on several ships and was involved in the building of Ryndam and Rotterdam. Prior to being named to the Koningsdam team he was chief engineer on Oosterdam.
Environmental and Health Officer
Growing up in Aalsmeer, Netherlands, as the fifth generation in a family of shipbuilders, Safety, Environmental and Health Officer Martijn van Dam sought his career at sea when he was 18 years old. A graduate of Hogere Zeevaart School Amsterdam with degrees in navigation and engineering, van Dam joined Holland America Line in 2000 on the previous Nieuw Amsterdam in the engineering department and has since worked in several capacities on almost all the ships in the fleet. He has also served as a safety and environmental trainer for the fleet.
Koningsdam sets sail on its Premier Voyage April 8, 2016
Source: Holland America Line