Holland America Line has celebrated the launch of the first hull section for its new cruise ship Ryndam, at Fincantieri’s Palermo shipyard in Italy.
The 269-foot-long, 115-foot-wide block that will form the lower forward section of the hull was blessed by Padre Giovanni Cassata, with Madrina Giuseppa Catalano cutting the rope that released a celebratory bottle of Champagne for good luck.
“This is Ryndam’s first major milestone since the steel cutting, and it’s so exciting to see a large portion of the ship taking shape and already in the water,” said Orlando Ashford, President, Holland America Line.
“Watching a new ship come together piece by piece builds anticipation, and we will soon be announcing the inaugural itineraries for Ryndam cruises in summer 2021,” he added.
Holland America Line’s new Pinnacle-class cruise ship (a sister ship to Nieuw Statendam and Koningsdam) is being built in an unusual order, with this first block launched before the ship’s actual keel is laid.
That will take place early next year with the bottom part of the ship’s mid-section laid down in the drydock. The keel is traditionally the first section built when a new cruise ship is constructed.
The bow section will eventually be moved to Fincantieri’s Marghera yard where other sections of the ship are being built for finally assembly like a giant Lego set.
This is expected to be completed in July, 2020 with the steel structure of the ship then floated out for final fit out.
Ryndam will be the fourth ship in Holland America Line’s history to bear the name and is expected to enter service in Mary, 2021.
At 99,500 tons, she will boast some of Holland America’s newest features, such as the 270-degree surround screen World Stage, Rudi’s Sel de Mer dining venue, the Grand Dutch Cafe, Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King’s Blues Club and the Rolling Stone Rock Room.
When Nieuw Statendam was launched, she featured these same features from Koningsdam, but with several modifications based on guest feedback, and it’s likely that this will be incorporated into Ryndam’s design as well.
Aboard Nieuw Statendam for example, the Lincoln Center Stage venue has been moved away from the noise of the casino, the ship’s suites have been expanded and family cabins have been re-arranged.
Call buttons have also been added to tables on the Lido and a new pay-for-perks program called Club Orange is being offered that allows passengers to purchase access to priority embarkation and debarkation, a concierge, dedicated help desks, priority restaurant reservations and a dedicated restaurant.