We’re all going to have to wait until February 2016 to get a look at Holland America Line’s latest vessel, which it turns out literally will be in a class of its own.
The as yet un-christened ship will be the line’s first Pinnacle Class vessel, joining the Rotterdam, Vista and Signature Class ships and the line’s ms Prinsendam exploration vessel on the ocean waves. At 100,000 tons and catering for 2,660 passengers, she’ll be the largest Holland America Line vessel yet and will also boast a width of 35 metres, as opposed to the current largest of 32.4. This is apparently to take advantage of a widened Panama Canal, which should give you some of idea of at least one of the regions that the vessel is set to explore. Currently in progress, the Panama Canal expansion project is scheduled to be completed by 2015 and is set to double the capacity of the epic waterway by the creation of a new set of locks and another lane of traffic.
It’s a safe bet there may be an extra deck or two as well, as a wider ship makes it easier to build upwards. However, don’t expect HAL to follow the suit of their rival Royal Caribbean, which recently announced that its Quantum of the Seas vessel would feature bumper cars. When asked about what kind of features cruisers could expect, HAL President Stein Kruse remained tight-lipped, though did confirm that the forthcoming ship would feature no such fairground favourites! One thing which can be confirmed is that the ship will have at least one thing in common with all of its sister vessels – a name which ends in ‘dam’.
The announcement comes shortly after the line celebrated its anniversary, 140 years after being founded as the Netherlands-America Steamship Company in 1873.
By Simon Brotherton