UK Port Readies for Visits From Two Special Cruise Ships

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Gearing up for a banner year in cruise tourism, the UK’s Port of Dover is celebrating the return visits of two Holland America Line ships in 2024, Nieuw Statendam and Rotterdam. The cruise line has a long history with the port and is committed to a homeport schedule for one ship in 2025.

Rotterdam, Nieuw Statendam to Call at Dover in April

The month of April 2024 will be a special one for the Port of Dover, as Holland America Line’s Rotterdam makes her first call since the ship sailed a special cruise to mark the line’s 150th anniversary in April 2023. The Pinnacle-class ship is set to call at the port on April 26, 2024, as part of her transatlantic crossing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Rotterdam is the line’s newest ship, having debuted in 2021.

Nieuw Statendam, also a Pinnacle-class ship, made her maiden call at Dover on September 8, 2023, and will return on April 20, 2024, also during her transatlantic voyage from Fort Lauderdale.

Both ships are repositioning for their summer seasons in Europe. Rotterdam will be homeport in Rotterdam, Netherlands, sailing 7- to 21-day voyages around the British Isles and to Scandinavia. Nieuw Statendam will sail 7- to 25-day cruises between Copenhagen, Denmark, and Reykjavik, Iceland, calling at a wide variety of ports in the British Isles and Northern Europe.

The Port of Dover is celebrating the return visits of both ships, particularly Nieuw Statendam, since she will be based at Dover during the summer of 2025 for the first time.

Nieuw Statendam will be a regular fixture next year, as she will spend a full season sailing out of Dover, providing our guests with an even greater choice of destinations and the option to sail with us without the need to fly. So the visit gives us the ideal opportunity to prepare for 2025 and all the benefits and opportunities it will bring,” said Karen Farndell, director of sales and marketing at Holland America Line.

Port of Dover and Nieuw Statendam
Port of Dover and Nieuw Statendam (Photo: Port of Dover)

Both ships accommodate up to 2,700 guests in double occupancy, making their port calls a boon to the local economy. The port enjoyed a robust 2023, and is expecting the same in 2024. It typically welcomes about 200,000 cruise arrivals from ships operated by more than 20 cruise lines.

The two ships are both sailing 14-day repositioning cruises that include the stop in Dover.  Rotterdam departs Fort Lauderdale on April 13, 2024 and calls at Ponta Delgada, Azores; Brest, France; Portland, England; Le Havre, France; and Dover before concluding in Rotterdam.

Nieuw Statendam leaves Fort Lauderdale on April 7, 2024 and visits Kings Wharf, Bermuda; Cork, Ireland; St. Peter Port, Guernsey; Le Havre, and Dover, and also ends in Rotterdam.

Port Attracts Ships From Several Major Lines

The Port of Dover, just over an hour’s train ride from London, also operates a busy ferry terminal. Besides Holland America Line, other cruise lines with ships slated to call at Dover include AIDA Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line, Saga Cruises, Viking Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, and Celebrity Cruises.

Cruise Ships Docked in Dover, UK
Cruise Ships Docked in Dover, UK (Photo Credit: ALLYOU Grzegorz Wasowicz)

It’s always a joy to welcome Holland America Line and their guests back to Dover. The upcoming return of Nieuw Statendam and Rotterdam will give us another fantastic opportunity to celebrate our unique history together, whilst adding another chapter to the story,said Peter Wright, head of cruise at the Port of Dover.

We are excited for the future and look forward to presenting the very best of Kent alongside Dover’s much-loved scenery and heritage when Nieuw Statendam sails in for many more port of call visits,Wright added.

Dover’s growing cruise industry mirrors the success of other UK ports. In 2023, 2,499 ships called at ports across the UK, exceeding the pre-pandemic number from 2019, and the number of cruisers embarking on a voyage from a British port broke the 1.5 million mark for the first time.

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