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Volendam Chartered to House Ukrainians Forced to Flee

Volendam will spend three months in the city of Rotterdam.

Holland America Cruise Line has announced that they have reached an agreement with the City of Rotterdam and the Government of the Netherlands to provide a temporary home for approximately 1,500 Ukrainians, part of a larger commitment from the Netherlands to accommodate 50,000 people who fled the war in their homeland.

Gus Antorcha, the president of Holland America Line said, “We are in a unique position to accommodate the immediate need for food and housing, so we felt it was very important to work with the City of Rotterdam and charter this ship. Our company was founded in Rotterdam around the mission of helping immigrants find a better life. So today, we’re proud to be a small part of a similar mission for Ukrainians who have tragically been displaced.”

Captain Ryan Whitaker added “We are known for our service and hospitality, and our team is ready to welcome our new guests as we would welcome guests into our own home. It will truly be an honor for us to make Volendam a comfortable and caring environment for these families who have been through so much.”

“We are very sorry for the inconvenience this will cause to guests booked on the three canceled cruises,” Antorcha said. “We hope they understand the unprecedented nature of this situation and why we felt it was important to work with the government on this initiative in support of these families in need.”

The Volendam will be docked at Merwehaven, a cargo port on the north side of the River Maas in Rotterdam. Remaining docked will ensure Ukrainian families can transit easily to and from services in Rotterdam.

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