The SS Rotterdam is one of Rotterdam’s’ most popular places to visit. This old steamship made its first cruise in 1959! The ship is one of the most well-known post-war Dutch passenger ships. In the first ten years, the Holland-Amerika Lijn (HAL) used the ship for the trans-Atlantic route: Rotterdam – New York. From February 1961 to April 1962 the ship made a cruise around the world. When the ship returned from this world-trip, the trans-Atlantic routes made place for air traffic and became unnecessary. This is the moment when HAL decided to use their three large steamships (the SS-Rotterdam, the Nieuw Amsterdam and the Statendam) exclusively for cruise holidays.
At the beginning of the ’90s, safety requirements were adjusted and the SS Rotterdam no longer met these requirements. HAL decided that renovation would be too expensive. The SS Rotterdam wasn’t used for years and couldn’t move without assistance from other boats The ship was towed from the Wilhelmshaven in Germany to Rotterdam, where it is currently docked. Piece by piece the steamship got its old shape back, because of its new owner Premier Cruises. In 2008 the ship finally returned to Rotterdam, after almost 50 years. In 2013 the SS Rotterdam was officially assigned to WestCord Hotels and started functioning as a hotel and historical place of interest.
Accessibility SS Rotterdam
The SS Rotterdam is accessible for everyone. To get on board you can use the elevator built in front of the ship, which will take you to a higher level. At this level, you can take the ferry bridge to embark the ship. Wheelchairs with a maximum width of 80 centimeters can use the elevators on board. Almost all public spaces on the ship are accessible for visitors with limited mobility. The cruise ship has several adapted toilets in public areas. At the entrance there are crew members available for questions and assistance.
The SS Rotterdam has 4 different accessible rooms. These rooms are called ‘superior rooms’. These hotel rooms have accessible bathrooms and toilets. The cruise ship offers different tours that will show you the above decks where you will visit the bow, the steering house, the radio room and the captain’s cabin. All of these spaces are wheelchair accessible. Also the restaurants and bars are fully accessible.
The SS Rotterdam is located in the harbour of Rotterdam at Derde Katendrechtse Hoofd 25. From the deck, it has a beautiful view on the harbour and Rotterdam city center. The old headquarters of HAL is located within walking distance from the steamship and is now called Hotel New York. The center of the city can easily be reached from this hotel.
The SS Rotterdam can be reached with several types of transport. The harbour is accessible by car, which can be parked at the (paid) parking lot right in front of the ship. Public transport can also take you to the SS-Rotterdam, bus 77 stops right in front of the ship. For a totally different typical Rotterdam experience, you can take the waterbus. This unique type of transport is accessible for all types of wheelchairs and mobility scooters, with a maximum of 4 wheelchairs/mobility scooters.