MS VOLENDAM – A FIFTH SHIP ENTERS TORBAY’S ‘CRUISE SHIP CAR PARK’
Written by Jay Richards on 04/10/2020
Yet another cruise ship has joined the armada of ships currently anchored up off the coast of Torbay. This morning saw the arrival of MS Volendam, a Holland America Line cruise liner. MS Volendam now joins the other ships being the P & O Ventura, P & O Azura, and its sister ship the Westerdam, as well as Cunard’s luxury flagship ocean liner The Queen Mary 2. Torbay has seen the arrival of a number of vessels during the Coronavirus pandemic. There are now currently 5 vessels anchored up off of Torbay’s coastline, the Volendam being the latest arrival.
MS Volendam is a Rotterdam-class (R-class) cruise ship belonging to Holland America Line. The Volendam is half of the size of some Holland America Line ships. It was built in 1999 as the third of four Rotterdam-class vessels. She has ten decks, with passenger cabins spread across six of them. The Volendam’s theming prominently features flowers, and the décor throughout the ship emphasizes floral patterns. She usually sails out of Australia, Asia, and conducts cruises of the Inside Passage, traversing British Columbia and Alaska.
On 20 March 2020 its sailing schedule was shorten as it arrived at Port Everglades in Florida, where they docked the passengers except the crew members during the Coronavirus pandemic. The ship was left stranded at the sea in weeks and was, until now left off the coast of the Bahamas, where their captain told them that they will be remained on a board.
As a Rotterdam-class (R-class) cruise ship, the Volendam has three sister ships in the fleet, Zaandam, Amsterdam and Rotterdam. She follows the Rotterdam, the lead ship of her class, as the second ship launched in 1999. Volendam is 237 m (778 ft) long, has a 32.3 m (106 ft) beam, and an 8.1 m (27 ft) draft. She has ten decks, and contains cabins for passengers (called state rooms) on six decks,
with a ship’s capacity of 1,432 guests. The ship’s theme is flowers, and she features floral designs throughout. The atrium contains a sculpture spanning three decks which was created by Luciano Vistosi. Volendam was christened by former professional tennis player Chris Evert on 12 November 1999, who became the ship’s godmother. She was refurbished in both 2006 and 2011, when she entered drydock for a refit in Singapore.
Each of the vessels anchored up in the Bay is operating on a skeleton crew of approximately 100-180 crewman per vessel, the number required to keep the vessel in operation. Although it is costing the cruise companies money to keep the vessels in what they call ‘warm storage’, where the vessel is partially manned with a small number of crew. It would cost far more to completely put the ships into ‘cold storage’ without crew or engines running, due to the costly procedures that would have to be followed to ‘re-start’ the ships engines, generators, water sanitisation systems and other systems. For this reason, cruise lines are at least for now, choosing to keep their vessels in ‘warm storage’, which is why we are seeing so many of these magnificent vessels appear along our glorious Devon Coastline.