This from the HollandAmerica Blog website:
Exciting news, blog fans! It was announced today that Holland America Line will build another ship for delivery in fall 2015.
The 99,000-ton vessel will be built by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri at their Marghera Yard, near Venice. Fincantieri has built fourteen Holland America Line ships. The new ship will accommodate 2,660 guests in lower berths and will be the first in a new Pinnacle class of vessels.
I'm almost sorry to see HAL doing such a big ship . . . one of the best things about HAL is the smaller ship intimacy. I had a fight getting DH onto the Zuiderdam with 2000 passengers. Howsomever - seems like lots of good buzz.
I'm almost sorry to see HAL doing such a big ship . . . one of the best things about HAL is the smaller ship intimacy.
Agreed! We've been on Maasdam (twice), Ryndam, Prinsendam, and Westerdam and definitely feel that the S-class ships are the right size. Westerdam was a bit big for us. (In contrast, my husband wasn't as enthused by Prinsendam as I was -- but she's quite different and truly for the small-ship fan.) I can't see myself on anything larger than the Vistas, even though the space-per-passenger ratio is comfortable. I guess we have to accept it's a sign of the times...
One additional incentive for the construction of the Post Panamax ships is the expected completion of the New Locks on the Panama Canal. The new locks will allow ships up to 1400 ft in length, 180 feet in beam (with a new depth of 60 feet) for transit. Gatun Lake will be raised by an additional 1.5 feet and the new Miraflores (Pacific) Locks will allow the New Super Panamax ships to bypass the widened Gaillard (Culebra) Cut over the Continental Divide. They are using the channel dug in 1939-1942(abandoned because of WWII).
As a result the much larger cruiseships will be able to Transit without sailing around Cape Horn or trying the Nortwest Passage if the Polar ice melts. The Super ships will be coming to the West Coast and the Pacific. A significant change to future cruise plans for Us all!!
The New Locks are presently scheduled to open in the Spring of 2015.