Traveling the Holland America Westerdam is one of the most pleasant experinces afloat! It being one of four of the Vista Class Ships, is one of the classiest cruise ships anywhere. The names of the four ships,the MS Westerdam, the MS Oosterdam, MS Zuiderdam, and the MS Noordam, all translate to the four points of the compass in Dutch.
Holland America is one of my favorite cruise lines, and this ship is one of the reasons why!
As with all Vista-class ships, she 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.
It weighs in at 81,000 tons, is 950 feet long and includes 11 passenger decks, carries a crew of 800 and a passenger capacity of 1848, most of which would be able to have an outside balcony.
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.
After a history like that history, I don’t think I would have wanted to go anywhere on it!
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.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.