The City of Rotterdam is extending its charter agreement for Holland America Line’s Volendam through Sept. 14, 2022, to house Ukrainian families.
The ship has been home to around 1,200 Ukrainians since docking in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in early April and will house up to 1,500 refugees through the extended charter, part of a larger commitment from the Netherlands to accommodate 50,000 people who fled the war in their homeland, according to a press release.
The government originally chartered the ship through the end of June but has asked to extend for an additional 10 weeks. Under the agreement, Holland America Line is providing hot meals, private stateroom accommodations, housekeeping services, laundry, use of public spaces, fitness facilities, internet access and other necessities. Volendam is staffed with approximately 650 crew members.
To allow for the continued charter mission, Holland America Line is cancelling an additional six departures on Volendam, including cruises to Norway, the British Isles and Mediterranean. Guests on canceled cruises will automatically be rebooked on similar itineraries and do not need to contact Holland America Line, as the cruise line will reach out directly with options.
“We are sorry for the inconvenience this will cause to guests booked on Volendam through the summer,” said Beth Bodensteiner, chief commercial officer of Holland America Line. “We appreciate their continued understanding as we work with the city of Rotterdam on this important mission.”
The Volendam’s first scheduled voyage is a 14-day Holy Land & Ancient Kingdoms Explorer departing Venice, Italy, Sept. 24, 2022.