Borealis’ Naval Architect Returns with Exclusive Talk

Stephen Payne (right) owner's Project Manager with Loris Di Giorgio, shipyard Project Manager, at the keel laying of Rotterdam VI


Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines announced that the naval architect of the Borealis is returning to the ship for the first time in 27 years to deliver an exclusive talk for guests onboard.


Dr Stephen Payne OBE, who was the project manager for the building of the Borealis, formerly known as Holland America’s Rotterdam VI, will be joining the “Whales and Volcanic Landscapes of Iceland” cruise in July, according to a press release.

During the sailing, Dr Payne will deliver three talks, including one about his role in creating the Borealis, another on the Battle of the Denmark Strait in 1941 and a third on the HMY Britannia.

Dr Payne said: “Rotterdam VI, now known as Borealis, is very special to me as it was built to replace the iconic Rotterdam V, which I’d fallen in love with because she was so different to modern ships.

“When the decision was made to build the new Rotterdam, the requirements were that it had to have all the attributes of the former ship, but with the new facilities that passengers were looking for.

“As the project manager, I oversaw the contract negotiations and the build through to the sea trials and delivery. There was such a big build up to the handover and I can only describe the occasion as like a daughter leaving home.

“July will be the first time that I’ve been on the ship since 1997 and I’m hoping I’ll rediscover the warmth and personality that she was built with. It’ll be a real walk down memory lane.”

James Moss, itinerary product manager at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be welcoming Dr Stephen Payne OBE on board Borealis for the first time since he built the ship.

“We know our guests are curious and look for enriching experiences, so this will be a golden opportunity to listen to talks from such a renowned expert in his field.”

Borealis’ 11-night “Whales and Volcanic Landscapes of Iceland” cruise departs from Dover on July 11, 2024. Ports of call include Akureyri, Ísafjörður, Reykjavik,  Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar and Lerwick, Scotland.

Photo: Stephen Payne (right) owner’s Project Manager with Loris Di Giorgio, shipyard Project Manager, at the keel laying of Rotterdam VI.

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