Dutch government extends charter contract for housing Ukrainian refugees on HAL's Volendam

May 13, 2022

Holland America Line and the city of Rotterdam extended the charter contract for the cruise ship Volendam to house Ukrainian refugees through September 14, 2022.

The ship has been home to about 1,200 Ukrainians since landing in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in early April. It will house up to 1,500 refugees through an expanded charter - part of a larger obligation by the Netherlands to accommodate 50,000 people who have fled the war in their country. The Dutch government originally leased Volendam until the end of June, but asked the company to extend it for an additional 10 weeks.

Under the agreement, Holland America Line provides hot meals, cabin accommodation, cleaning services, laundry, use of public spaces, fitness facilities, internet access and other necessities. The ship currently has about 650 crew members.

To allow for an extended charter period, the cruise company is canceling an additional six scheduled departures to Volendam, including trips to Norway, the British Isles and the Mediterranean.

Affected guests will be automatically re-booked on similar itineraries and do not have to contact Holland America, as the line will come directly with options.

"We apologize for the inconvenience this will cause guests booking on Volendam during the summer," said Beth Bodensteiner, Holland America Line's chief commercial officer. "We appreciate their continued understanding as we work with the city of Rotterdam on this important mission.”


Following a Dutch charter, Volendam's first planned guest trip is now a 14-night Holi Land & Ancient Kingdoms Explorer itinerary departing from Venice, Italy, on September 24, 2022.