Last Minute Port of Embarkation Changes for the Holland America Cruise Ship

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Holland America Line has been forced to change the embarkation ports of its new cruise ship. MS Rotterdam was due to depart from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on Sunday, but that has been changed to Rotterdam.

Guests were told of the last-minute change this weekend, catching many off guard and rushing to make new arrangements to get to the new port, which is around 1.5 hours away. It is not only the navigation of July 24 that has been affected, because that of July 31 will also depart from Rotterdam.

MS Rotterdam Sails from Rotterdam, Amsterdam canceled

Much of Europe is currently facing extreme drought and extremely low water levels in rivers, including the Netherlands. Due to the low water level in the North Sea Canal, the authorities were forced to close the locks between the North Sea and the canal.

The closure aims to ensure that salt water from the North Sea does not mix with fresh water from the canal, which could cause serious environmental damage to the fragile river systems of the Netherlands.

Courtesy of Holland America Line

It forced Seattle-based cruise line Holland America to make last-minute changes to its scheduled July 24 embarkation for a seven-day cruise through the Norwegian Fjords aboard its new cruise ship, MS Rotterdam.

Instead of departing from Amsterdam, the MS Rotterdam will depart from its homonymous portRotterdam, where she was also christened earlier this year.

The cruise line only informed customers of the change at the last minute, forcing thousands of guests to rush to make arrangements for the new port of embarkation.

Luckily, the Port of Rotterdam cruise terminal is less than an hour’s journey by public transport, giving customers more time to make the journey, either by train and public transport, or by taking a taxi, the most expensive option.

The MS Rotterdam should arrive at the Rotterdam cruise terminal at 07:00. At 5:00 p.m., she will depart on a 7-day Norwegian fjord cruise, calling at Flam, Ulvik, Kristiansand and Oslo, Norway.

July 31 navigation has also been adjusted

Customers who were booked for the July 31 cruise have also been contacted to advise of a change to their cruise as well. The 14-day trip will also depart from Rotterdam.

Departing from Rotterdam, the 99,935 gross ton, 2,668 passenger cruise ship will head for a Northern Europe cruise, calling at Bergen and Molde in Norway; Akureyri, Isafjord and Reykjavik, Iceland; Lerwick in the Shetland Islands, and Invergordon and Edinburgh, Scotland.

Holland America cruise ship Rotterdam
Photo credit: StudioPortoSabbia / Shutterstock

It is not yet known whether other cruises will be affected. MS Rotterdam It is planned to depart from Amsterdam until October 15th. As long as the drought in Europe continues, passengers should keep an eye on their email for possible changes to the port of embarkation.

On October 15, the MS Rotterdam will be set sail for the first 150th anniversary 12-night transatlantic crossinga replica of the first voyage ever undertaken by a Holland Americal Line ship.

On October 15, 1872, the first MS Rotterdam sailed from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, to the United States. Along the way, the ship stopped at Le Havre, France, and Plymouth, England.

MS Rotterdam will take the same route in October, starting with a celebration in Rotterdam and ending with a celebration in New York.

Holland America Line Rotterdam
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