ss Rotterdam, Rotterdam | Netherlands

© SS Rotterdam

Just had the pleasure of staying on ‘La Grande Dame’ aka the legendary former flagship of the Holland America Line (HAL), the ss Rotterdam. From 1959 and 1971, she made transatlantic crossings between Rotterdam and New York, later becoming a five-star cruise ship with trips to far-flung exotic shores. In 2008 she returned to her home port of Rotterdam and was transformed into a floating hotel, with onboard restaurants, bars and business facilities.

There are 254 Rooms – Superior, Deluxe and Executive and Family – in three different styles: Original, Manhattan and Bahamas. We stayed in the spacious Executive (Original) room on the Boat Deck overlooking the bow of the ship which had a simple and functional 50s-style (with modern bathroom). And because it was fairly quiet at this time of the year, we had the adjacent deck to ourselves and were able to take in vistas of the city skyline from the comfort of the stylish lounge chairs. It’s all about the experience here. And the nostalgia…

Tip: take a water taxi to and from the ship to ‘mainland’ Rotterdam and don’t forget to visit the nearby Hotel New York, formerly home to the HAL offices.

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