Here a little update from my side. I have not posted since July 20 last year as the worldwide situation was so fluid that any update from my side would be old news, before it was uploaded.
I hope that everybody is doing well and adhering to the precautions needed for succeeding in defeating the Covid-19 virus. Here in England vaccination is well on its way and it is now becoming apparent that the continuous spread of the virus is mainly due to not keeping a social distance, wearing a mask and washing your hands. Not much different as what we were used to in the past when there was a norovirus challenge on the ships. The Covid-19 virus is of course much more aggressive and deadly but the principles of combating it are not much different. Remember when you were on the ships; Sing happy birthday twice when washing your hands with water and soap. If we not all do our little thing, then we will never get the cruise ships going again.
And when that will be is a big question mark. So follow the company’s announcements about the when but a lot will depend on how fast a considerable number of the public can be vaccinated. Until that time all the cruise ships remain in short term lay-up and our HAL ships are basically split up in two groups. For those who lost track at the end of this blog a little listing of where our ships currently are.
As the ships are still in hot lay-up, I cannot sail yet as my function of Fleet Master depends on travelling around the fleet and that is not possible. Plus the number of crew on the ships is the bare minimum to keep the ships safely maintained and that also reduces my role on board. Thus I am at home and my wife and I are shielding as much as possible to protect my mother in law, who just reached the blessed age of a 100 and is in our bubble.
I can still support the ships to a certain extent with advice and suggestions and that is an every morning activity. The rest of my daily time (when not doing the ironing and the washing up) is spent on my hobby which is of course to a great extent Holland America Line. Numerous Captains’ biographies have been added to the website since last year and I am now nearing the captains of the 1950’s.
Also on request of Ship’s Monthly I have produced a Book-a-zine (that is a book printed as a magazine) about the company. This is part of their “Ship’s of the World” series and offers an overview of our company by means of a not too expensive publication. For those who live in the UK and Europe it is £ 8.99 and available at W.H Smith (UK) and Bruna (Netherlands).
For those in the USA , I have been informed that Barnes & Noble was going to stock it but if you want to order from Europe, this is the link:
This link should work for anybody anywhere in the world as well.
I am not making any money out of it but it does help the economy. So if you would like to have a simple refresher about how all those “DAM” ships came about, then this is a good opportunity.
For the rest we have to wait until better times.
Where are the Ships today:
Europe: Tor Bay (near Southampton, England)
Volendam: Tor Bay
Zaandam: Tor Bay
Nieuw Statendam: Bahamas
Koningsdam: Near Los Angeles
Nieuw Amsterdam: Near Los Angeles
Noordam: Near Los Angeles
Westerdam: Off the coast of California
Zuiderdam: Bahia California anchorage