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Senior Officers Named For New Holland America Ship

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Holland America Line has announced who the senior officers will be aboard its new ship, Rotterdam, when it is delivered in July 2021.

The line has appointed Staff Captain Kevin Beirnaert, Hotel Director Wessel van Oorschot, Chief Engineer Peter Massolt, Staff Chief Engineer Wim Akkerman, and Environmental Officer Michael Brown. The officers will lead Rotterdam‘s various shipboard teams.

Holland America previously announced that Captain Werner Timmers will be at the helm of Rotterdam. The 99,500 gross ton ship is currently under construction at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Marghera, Italy.

“Holland America Line has a solid foundation of exceptional leaders who are seasoned at delivering new ships, and these team members bring years of experience, knowledge and dedication to our brand,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line.

“As we move toward delivery this summer, this team will be tasked with getting the ship ready to welcome guests and ensuring we have a happy complement of crew. We know they’re up to the task, and we congratulate them on their appointments.”

Staff Captain Kevin Beirnaert

staff captain kevin beirnaert holland america rotterdam

Staff Captain Kevin Beirnaert (Photo courtesy of Holland America)

Kevin Beirnaert joined Holland America in 2006, and worked on Rotterdam, Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Koningsdam, and Nieuw Statendam, where he recently filled in as captain.

Hailing from Gent, Belgium, Beirnaert studied at the Hogere Zeevaart school in Antwerp, Belgium, where he graduated with a degree in masters nautical science. As a cadet and junior officer, he started his career with freight carrier Ecuadorian Line and on dredging ships in Dubai on the Palm Jumeirah project before joining Holland America.

He lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hotel Director Wessel van Oorschot

Hotel Director Wessel van Oorschot rotterdam

Hotel Director Wessel van Oorschot (Photo courtesy of Holland America)

Since joining Holland America in 2005, Wessel van Oorschot has worked his way through the ranks of the food and beverage department from assistant maître d’ to hotel director. Van Oorschot studied hospitality management at Hotelschool Ter Duinen in Belgium and Baronie College in the Netherlands, and started his career with Holland America as an intern.

Rotterdam will be the fourth ship he has launched with the company, having previously introduced Nieuw Statendam, Koningsdam, and Nieuw Amsterdam.

When not on board, van Oorschot lives in the Philippines with his wife, who is a shipboard doctor with Holland America.

READ MORE: Behind The Scenes: Rotterdam Ship Construction [PHOTOS]

Chief Engineer Peter Massolt

Chief Engineer Peter Massolt rotterdam

Chief Engineer Peter Massolt (Photo courtesy of Holland America)

A Dutch native from Drachten in the province of Friesland, Peter Massolt has worked a total of 19 years with Holland America, from 1980-87 and then again from 2008 onwards. During his time with the company, he has worked on ss and ms Rotterdam, Ryndam, Prinsendam, Statendam, Veendam, Volendam, Noordam, Nieuw Amsterdam, and Nieuw Statendam.

Massolt holds a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering from the Maritime Institute Willem Barentsz.

In his free time, he enjoys restoring Land Rovers, camping, and aerobatic flying. He speaks Dutch, English, German, and Frisian.

Staff Chief Engineer Wim Akkerman

Wim Akkerman joined Holland America in 1994 following an apprenticeship on cargo reefer vessels. Raised in the small village of Nederhorst den Berg, the Netherlands, Akkerman went to the Zeevaart maritime college and became a maritime officer, but he chose a technical route.

Environmental Officer Michael Brown

Environmental Officer Michael Brown rotterdam

Environmental Officer Michael Brown (Photo courtesy of Holland America)

A native of Panama where he still lives, Michael Brown joined Holland America in 2016. Previously, he was a marine engineer in the cruise industry.

Brown graduated from the Universidad Marítima Internacional de Panamá with a bachelor’s degree in nautical marine engineering.

When not working, he enjoys spending time with friends and watching movies.

About Rotterdam

The third in the Pinnacle Class, Rotterdam will carry 2,668 passengers and feature highly successful amenities and innovations introduced with her sister ships. It is the seventh ship to to bear the name Rotterdam for Holland America, and the 17th ship constructed for the line by Italian shipyard Fincantieri.

Following Rotterdam‘s Premiere Voyage departing August 1, 2021, the ship will spend its inaugural summer season in northern Europe.

MORE: Holland America Announces 2022 & 2023 Grand Voyages

Sarah has been writing about the cruise industry since 2015. She’s been on eight cruises so far, and her favorite onboard activities include trying out the water slides, spending time in the spa’s thermal suite, eating lots of food, and attending the love & marriage show. You can keep up with her over on her Instagram at @IAmSarahJaneB.

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