Holland America Line’s new Rotterdam departed today from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on its inaugural Caribbean cruise, a roundtrip five-day sailing that visits Bimini, Bahamas, and spends two days at Half Moon Cay.
The ship arrived at Port Everglades Nov. 3 following its maiden transatlantic voyage that set sail from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Oct. 20, according to a press release.
The Rotterdam marks the second ship to return to Florida cruising and the Caribbean for Holland America Line since the industrywide pause began 20 months ago.
During November, the ship will be joined at Port Everglades by Pinnacle Class sister-ship Nieuw Statendam and Eurodam, which also kick off their Caribbean seasons. Nieuw Amsterdam began Caribbean cruising from Fort Lauderdale Oct. 23.
“We have been awaiting our return to the Caribbean for a long time, and having Rotterdam and our other ships restart operations out of Fort Lauderdale is an incredible moment for our company,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. “Rotterdam’s maiden voyage from Europe was a huge success and we’re getting a lot of positive feedback from guests about the ship.”
The cruise line celebrated Rotterdam’s Caribbean departure with fanfare to welcome guests on board, and Antorcha was on hand to greet embarking passengers.
Following the Nov. 5 cruise, Rotterdam will sail in the Caribbean through April, with all departures roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. The cruises range from six to 11 days and span the region on southern, eastern, western and tropical itineraries.