Holland America Line announced today that the City of Rotterdam has extended its charter agreement for Volendam through September 14, 2022.
The vessel has been home to around 1,200 Ukrainians since docking in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in early April. It 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 home country.
The Dutch government originally chartered Volendam through the end of June, but has asked Holland America to extend it for an additional 10 weeks.
Under the agreement, Holland America Line is providing hot meals, stateroom accommodations, housekeeping services, laundry, use of public spaces, fitness facilities, internet access, and other necessities. The vessel is currently staffed with around 650 crew members.
To allow for the extended charter period, the cruise line is canceling an additional six planned departures on Volendam, including voyages to Norway, the British Isles, and the Mediterranean.
Affected guests will be automatically rebooked on similar itineraries, and don’t need to contact Holland America, as the 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.”
Following the Netherlands charter, Volendam‘s first scheduled guest voyage is now a 14-night Holy Land & Ancient Kingdoms Explorer itinerary departing Venice, Italy on September 24, 2022.
Volendam first entered service in 1999 as part of the Rotterdam class (R-class). She comes in at just over 60,000 gross tons and carries just over 1,400 passengers.