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MS Eurodam Makes Her First Visit to St. Thomas

Oct. 29, 2008 — St. Thomas Wednesday welcomed a big visitor to its shores for the first time.
MS Eurodam, the first of Holland America Lines' Signature Series cruise ships, called here for its inaugural Virgin Islands visit. Christened only this past July in Rotterdam by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, the vessel since then has made calls in the Baltic, Canada and New England.
Calling at Crown Bay this morning, Eurodam brought with her 2,100 guests and 860 crew. The passengers are about a 50-50 split between U.S. and Dutch visitors. The crew members represent some 45 nations, according to Eurodam's Captain Jonathan Mercer, who hails from Great Britain.
Mercer has called here many times as captain of a number of different cruise ships. The last time he was here was as skipper of the Veendam, a smaller vessel.
Eurodam is the first and, for now, the only ship of her kind, but she will soon be joined by her sister ship, New Amsterdam, which is under construction in an Italian shipyard. New Amsterdam has a scheduled completion date of May 2010, according to Mercer.
While Eurodam looks like some of the other boats in the Holland America Line fleet, there are subtle differences in her superstructure. The ship has eleven stops on the boat's elevators, and boasts the largest state rooms in the industry. It features AZIPOD drive systems and its six engines are configured differently from similar ships in the fleet.
While the scheduled itinerary can be performed with speeds in the low twenty-knot range, during sea tests Eurodam, with her 7,500 horsepower, delivered up to 26 knots. Docking the 105.8 foot beam ship is assisted with three bow thrusters.
Mercer said that the improvements to facilities for docking at Crown Bay had made coming into the dock easy.
"It's a nice berth to come into," Mercer said of the facility which is owned by the Virgin Islands Port Authority, noting that the dock could accommodate all 936 feet of Eurodam's length.
"She's a little taller and a little bigger," the captain told Del. Donna M. Christensen, who came with representatives of the Virgin Islands Tourism Commission, the Port Authority, the Department of Public Works and other members of the V.I. government to a ceremony welcoming Eurodam.
The ceremony celebrating the inaugural visit saw the captain and the officials exchanging plaques and Delftware plates commissioned for the Eurodam's trip. The V.I. government also gave a Virgin Islands flag to the ship, which flew smartly from the ship's flag mast within an hour of the ceremony.
Passengers notice the ship's amenities, the on-board entertainment, variety of on-board restaurant facilities, particularly its private cabanas, which can be booked by the day or by the cruise.
Although they hadn't yet used them, passengers Tom and Lynn Giebel of Ohio said that they had noticed the cabanas, which they saw as a particular way of pampering the guests.
The Giebel's also noted that the usual demographics of cruisers didn't seem to apply to this trip. The Geibels said that they noticed a lot of families, a gay group, and a large number of people in their 30s.
"The 60-plus crowd is in the minority," Tom Giebel said.
Havensight is the Geibel's preference for docking though.
"There is better shopping than down here," Lynn Geibel said.
Christensen and David Mapp, assistant director for the Port Authority, said that they hoped that Holland America would also soon bring ships like the Eurodam to St. Croix.
Erik Elvejord, public relations officer for the ship, said that St. Croix wasn't out of the question, but noted that there were a number of factors that figure into selecting the ports where the ship would call. These factors include the guest experience as well as a number of behind the scenes issues with provisioning and rubbish disposal.
With regard to the trash that is generated aboard, Elvejord explained that recycling and waste management is an important part of operating the ship.
"Anything you can recycle, you recycle," Elvejord said.
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Oct. 29, 2008 -- St. Thomas Wednesday welcomed a big visitor to its shores for the first time.
MS Eurodam, the first of Holland America Lines' Signature Series cruise ships, called here for its inaugural Virgin Islands visit. Christened only this past July in Rotterdam by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, the vessel since then has made calls in the Baltic, Canada and New England.
Calling at Crown Bay this morning, Eurodam brought with her 2,100 guests and 860 crew. The passengers are about a 50-50 split between U.S. and Dutch visitors. The crew members represent some 45 nations, according to Eurodam's Captain Jonathan Mercer, who hails from Great Britain.
Mercer has called here many times as captain of a number of different cruise ships. The last time he was here was as skipper of the Veendam, a smaller vessel.
Eurodam is the first and, for now, the only ship of her kind, but she will soon be joined by her sister ship, New Amsterdam, which is under construction in an Italian shipyard. New Amsterdam has a scheduled completion date of May 2010, according to Mercer.
While Eurodam looks like some of the other boats in the Holland America Line fleet, there are subtle differences in her superstructure. The ship has eleven stops on the boat's elevators, and boasts the largest state rooms in the industry. It features AZIPOD drive systems and its six engines are configured differently from similar ships in the fleet.
While the scheduled itinerary can be performed with speeds in the low twenty-knot range, during sea tests Eurodam, with her 7,500 horsepower, delivered up to 26 knots. Docking the 105.8 foot beam ship is assisted with three bow thrusters.
Mercer said that the improvements to facilities for docking at Crown Bay had made coming into the dock easy.
"It's a nice berth to come into," Mercer said of the facility which is owned by the Virgin Islands Port Authority, noting that the dock could accommodate all 936 feet of Eurodam's length.
"She's a little taller and a little bigger," the captain told Del. Donna M. Christensen, who came with representatives of the Virgin Islands Tourism Commission, the Port Authority, the Department of Public Works and other members of the V.I. government to a ceremony welcoming Eurodam.
The ceremony celebrating the inaugural visit saw the captain and the officials exchanging plaques and Delftware plates commissioned for the Eurodam's trip. The V.I. government also gave a Virgin Islands flag to the ship, which flew smartly from the ship's flag mast within an hour of the ceremony.
Passengers notice the ship's amenities, the on-board entertainment, variety of on-board restaurant facilities, particularly its private cabanas, which can be booked by the day or by the cruise.
Although they hadn't yet used them, passengers Tom and Lynn Giebel of Ohio said that they had noticed the cabanas, which they saw as a particular way of pampering the guests.
The Giebel's also noted that the usual demographics of cruisers didn't seem to apply to this trip. The Geibels said that they noticed a lot of families, a gay group, and a large number of people in their 30s.
"The 60-plus crowd is in the minority," Tom Giebel said.
Havensight is the Geibel's preference for docking though.
"There is better shopping than down here," Lynn Geibel said.
Christensen and David Mapp, assistant director for the Port Authority, said that they hoped that Holland America would also soon bring ships like the Eurodam to St. Croix.
Erik Elvejord, public relations officer for the ship, said that St. Croix wasn't out of the question, but noted that there were a number of factors that figure into selecting the ports where the ship would call. These factors include the guest experience as well as a number of behind the scenes issues with provisioning and rubbish disposal.
With regard to the trash that is generated aboard, Elvejord explained that recycling and waste management is an important part of operating the ship.
"Anything you can recycle, you recycle," Elvejord said.
Back Talk


Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.