MS Westerdam

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MS Westerdam, October 2008
Name: MS Westerdam
Namesake: Named for the western compass point
Operator: Holland America Line
Port of registry: Template:NLD, Rotterdam
Builder: Fincantieri Marghera shipyard, Italy
Christened: April, 2004
In service: 2004 - present
Status: In service
General characteristics
(following April 2007 refit)
Tonnage: 82,500 gross register tons (GRT)
Capacity: 1,916 passengers
General characteristics (as built)
Class and type: Vista class cruise ship
Tonnage: 81,811 GRT
Length: 936 ft (285.3 m)
Beam: 105.8 ft (32.2 m)
Decks: 11 passenger decks
Installed power: Diesel-electric
Propulsion: Azipod
Speed: 24-knot (44 km/h) maximum
(service at 22 knots)
Capacity: 1,848 passengers
Crew: 800 crew

MS Westerdam is the third of Holland America Line's Vista Class ships, as well as being the third ship to bear the moniker Westerdam. It is sister to the ms Oosterdam, MS Zuiderdam, and the ms Noordam. The names of the four ships translate to the four directions of the compass in Dutch. The ship was christened on April 25, 2004 in Venice, Italy by Dutch actress Renée Soutendijk.[1]

In 2010 the ship visits Europe. There she visits the Mediterranean in spring and fall; the Norwegian Fjords and the British Isles in summer, and in late August the ship cruises up to the North Cape before returning to Southern Europe. In the winter season she operates in the Caribbean.[2]

In 2011 Westerdam will visit the Panama Canal in spring and fall, and during the summer period Alaska. In winter she will cruise the Caribbean.

As with all Vista-class ships, Westerdam is equipped with a diesel-electric power plant and an Azipod propulsion system, and eighty-five percent of her staterooms have ocean views and sixty-seven percent have verandahs. The theme of her art collection is Dutch heritage in the New World. Paintings of historic Dutch ships, such as Henry Hudson's Halve Maen (Half Moon), and various sculptures and statues are displayed throughout the ship. Contemporary pieces include an original Andy Warhol portrait and sculptures by Sedona artist Susanna Holt.[3] In April 2007, as part of Holland America Line's "Signature of Excellence" program, modifications to the ship were done to add 34 staterooms, as well as modifications to several public areas of the ship.[4][5]

Past Westerdam ships

The first Westerdam sailed for Holland America Line from 1946 to 1965. It was a combined cargo/passenger ship with accommodations for 143 first-class passengers. While being constructed during World War II, this ship was sunk three times before making its maiden voyage. It was bombed and sunk by Allied forces on August 27, 1942 in the shipyard in Rotterdam. The Germans raised the ship in September 1944, but it was quickly sunk by the Dutch underground forces. After being raised a second time, the resistance again sank it on January 17, 1945. The ship was finally completed and went on to be a regular on the transatlantic run making two eight-day crossings each month between Rotterdam and New York.[6] She ended her career on February 4th, 1965 when she was sold to Spain as scrap.[7]

The second Westerdam began service as the Homeric for Home Lines in 1986. Holland America Line acquired the ship in 1988 where the ship was lengthened in 1989 by 130 feet. After 643 cruises spanning over 13 years with Holland America, she was transferred to sister company, Costa Crociere in 2002, and renamed the Costa Europa.[6] Since then she has been placed on a ten year lease to Thomson Cruises, active as of April 2010, and renamed once more as MS Thomson Dream.


External links

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[[Commons: Category:MS Westerdam

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