Rotterdam City Welcomes Back SS Rotterdam

Monday August 4, 2008 the former Holland America Line (H.A.L.) Liner and later Cruise Ship “SS Rotterdam”, Dutch and Rotterdam Pride, was welcomed back in Rotterdam. There it will be berthed to serve as a Hotel, Congress Center, Theater, School and Museum, after extensive renovations. Currently the owner, a Rotterdam Social Building Society, has invested already Euro 175 Mio where they estimated it would cost Euro 25 Mio. It certainly meets some critique.

Technically it is not a Steam Ship, but a Steam Turbine driven Vessel. Anyway, it is not important anymore, because the motors don’t operate anymore. It was towed all the way from Wilhelmshaven in Germany where the major part of the renovation was done including an extensive asbestos cleaning.

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Under the welcoming consorting vessels was a spraying Rotterdam Port Authority vessel.

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Thousands of spectators on shore welcomed SS Rotterdam Back.


SS Rotterdam was launched in 1959 by then Queen Juliana. The wear and tear of 49 years of Ocean cruising is clearly visible here as the hull is reasonably dented.


Four red tugs of Kotug, a relatively small company owned by the Kooren family, proudly push and pull where necessary. It is remarkable that the Kooren Family succeeded to take over almost all towing in Rotterdam Harbor after a long struggle with Smit International. I still remember vividly when the first Kotug Tug arrived in Rotterdam years ago. They got an real grim escort from the whole fleet of Smit International. Grim, because the Smit tugs sailed so close to the new tug that it seemed as if they would like to sink the new competitor. Till then Smit International had the towing monopoly in almost all Dutch harbors and was a stock exchange quoted company with very deep pockets.


Those with an eye for ship design claim this is a vessel with a clear line as opposed to the boxes they create nowadays as Liners or Cruise ships.


The elegand funnels for the steam turbines are very characteristic for SS Rotterdam


I do like its silhouette!


Under the escorting vessels is the former motor yacht “Piet Hein”, currently owned by the Rotterdam Port Authority, but formerly owned by Queen Juliana and her husband Prince Bernhard. A super yacht in those days, but dwarfed here against the colossus of SS Rotterdam.


To the left of SS Rotterdam you see a very characteristic office building called “De Bolder” (ie “The Bollard”) serving as main office for the Mammoet company that lifts and transports whole offshore installations, factories and other heavy material over the seven seas. This is located in the city of Schiedam, located between Rotterdam and the North Sea. Schiedam is famous for its Dutch Genever distilleries.


A real Grand Old Lady with a properly curved backside.


On its way to its last Berth. I do appreciated they didn’t demolish or sink it.


I made these photos on board of the Rotterdam River Cruising Vessel “Tourmalijn”, that in a cooperation with AD ( A Rotterdam based News Paper) had provided a free welcome the SS Rotterdam tour of 2,5 hours for those who brought a coupon that was printed in the AD. I really appreciate this clever way of marketing a news paper and a river cruise company to the advantage of the citizens of Rotterdam and elsewhere with less to spend. I hadn’t read it off course, but had to pay only Euro 5.- Kudos for this social thinking of the two companies. There were more than 1200 people on board and it was like a good party as everybody enjoyed this trip tremendously!

See for more photo’s this Flickr Account of Nell a Dutch Photographer and Blogger of High Profile.

3 thoughts on “Rotterdam City Welcomes Back SS Rotterdam”

  1. Hello there happy hotelier team!

    I just visited your travel blog and found it very interesting!

    I´m currently the marketing manager at Casas Brancas Boutique Hotel & Spa in Búzios, Rio de Janeiro – Brazil. We are the most traditional hotel in the area with over 35 years of stories and wonderful experiences.
    I would like to know if it is possible for you to post an article or a review about our hotel in our blog. If that be possible we would be very delighted and could offer a link back to your blog in our website.

    Our adress is and my email address is

    Very best Regards,

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