Holland America Rounds Out Rotterdam Officers With All Star Lineup

Holland America Line has completed its officer lineup for the new Rotterdam, set to debut in July.

The Seatte-based line previously announced that Captain Werner Timmers will be at the helm of the new Rotterdam, and has now announced Staff Captain Kevin Beirnaert, Hotel Director Wessel van Oorschot, Chief Engineer Peter Massolt, Staff Chief Engineer Wim Akkerman and Environmental Officer Michael Brown.

“Holland America Line has a solid foundation of exceptional leaders who are seasoned at delivering new ships, and these team members bring years of experience, knowledge and dedication to our brand,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. “As we move toward delivery this summer, this team will be tasked with getting the ship ready to welcome guests and ensuring we have a happy complement of crew. We know they’re up to the task, and we congratulate them on their appointments.”

Staff Captain Kevin Beirnaert

Staff Captain Kevin Beirnaert

Kevin Beirnaert joined Holland America Line in 2006 and has worked on the Rotterdam, Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam, where he recently filled in as captain.

From Gent, Belgium, Beirnaert studied at the Hogere Zeevaart school in Antwerp, Belgium, where he graduated with a degree in masters nautical science. As a cadet and junior officer, he started his career with freight carrier Ecuadorian Line and on dredging ships in Dubai, U.A.E., on the Palm Jumeirah project before joining Holland America Line. He resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Fun Fact: If he weren’t at sea, he’d be a police officer in Belgium.

Hotel Director Wessel van Oorschot

Hotel Director Wessel van Oorschot

Since joining Holland America Line in 2005, Wessel van Oorschot has worked his way through the ranks of the food and beverage department from assistant maître d’ to hotel director, according to a company statement.

Van Oorschot studied hospitality management at Hotelschool Ter Duinen in Belgium and Baronie College in the Netherlands and started his career at Holland America Line as an intern.

The Rotterdam will be the fourth new ship he has launched with the company, having previously introduced the Nieuw Statendam, Koningsdam and Nieuw Amsterdam.

When not on board, van Oorschot lives in the Philippines with his wife, who is a shipboard doctor with Holland America.

Fun Fact: His song request at Billboard Onboard would be “Piano Man” by Billy Joel.

Chief Engineer Peter Massolt

Chief Engineer Peter Massolt

A Dutch native from Drachten in the province of Friesland, Peter Massolt has worked a total of 19 years with Holland America Line, from 1980-1987 and then again from 2008 onwards.

During his time with the company, he has worked on the ss and ms Rotterdam, Ryndam, Prinsendam, Statendam, Veendam, Volendam, Noordam, Nieuw Amsterdam and Nieuw Statendam.

Massolt holds a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering from the Maritime Institute Willem Barentsz. In his free time, he enjoys restoring Land Rovers, camping and aerobatic flying. He speaks Dutch, English, German and Frisian.

Fun Fact: If he had to swap roles with someone onboard, he’d be a Cruise & Travel Director because he is an advocate for learning culture and enjoys the port talks.

Staff Chief Engineer Wim Akkerman

Wim Akkerman joined Holland America Line in 1994 following an apprenticeship on cargo reefer vessels.

Raised in the small village of Nederhorst den Berg, the Netherlands, Akkerman went to the Zeevaart maritime college and became a maritime officer, but he chose a technical route.

Fun Fact: His favorite Holland America Line specialty restaurant is Canaletto.

Environmental Officer Michael Brown

Environmental Officer Michael Brown

A native of Panama where he still resides, Michael Brown joined Holland America in 2016. Previously he was a marine engineer in the cruise industry.

Brown graduated from the Universidad Marítima Internacional de Panamá with a bachelor’s degree in nautical marine engineering. When not working, he enjoys being with friends and watching movies.

Fun Fact: His ideal shore excursions involve nature, hiking and kayaking.

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