line reveals newbuild’s hotel director, staff captain, chief engineer and SEH
Wash., Nov. 5, 2015 —
When Holland America Line’s ms Koningsdam debuts in April 2016, the
ship’s senior staff officers will set sail with a
combined 95 years of company loyalty and
experience. In addition to the previously announced appointment of
Captain Emiel de Vries, the cruise line announced that Hotel Director Stan Kuppens,
Chief Engineer Willem Zuidema, Staff Captain Kevin Beirnaert and Safety,
Environmental and Health Officer Martijn van Dam will lead Koningsdam’s
99,500-ton ship currently is under construction at Fincantieri’s shipyard at
Marghera, Italy. During its inaugural year Koningsdam will explore the
Mediterranean and northern Europe in summer and the Caribbean in winter.
America Line has an incredible depth of talented and qualified personnel, and
we’re thrilled to have Stan, Willem, Kevin and Martijn joining Captain de Vries
to head up the onboard teams that will bring out Koningsdam,” said
Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “With their knowledge,
experience and years of dedication to the company, these senior staff officers
are well positioned to ensure that the ship is a successful addition to our
Captain Emiel de Vries
previously, Captain Emiel de Vries will be in command when Holland America
Line’s ms Koningsdam sets sail in April 2016. Having been with the
company since 1997, de Vries rose through the ranks from fourth officer to
captain and has been master of ms Amsterdam, ms Eurodam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam,
ms Rotterdam and ms Zuiderdam. Hailing from the Netherlands, de
Vries grew up just east of Amsterdam. He graduated from the Hogere Zeevaart
School in Amsterdam, one of the oldest nautical schools in the world, with
degrees in navigation and engineering. De Vries was introduced to Holland
America Line in 1995 when he interned as a cadet on the former ms Noordam,
and since joining the company, he has sailed on every class of Holland
America Line ship.
not in Italy at the shipyard, de Vries lives in Barrie, Ontario, Canada, with
his wife, Susan, and their daughter.
Hotel Director Stan Kuppens
joining Holland America Line in 1990, Hotel Director Stan Kuppens has sailed on
12 current ships and four that are no longer with the fleet. In addition to ms
Koningsdam, Kuppens was the hotel director who launched ms Nieuw
Amsterdam, ms Eurodam, ms Noordam and ms Westerdam, the
four ships most recently built for the cruise line. He also has worked on ms
Amsterdam, ms Maasdam, ms Oosterdam, ms Rotterdam, ms Ryndam, ms Statendam, ms
Zaandam and ms Zuiderdam.
A native of Nijmegen,
Netherlands, Kuppens enjoyed sailing on the rivers and lakes of the Netherlands
as a child and he looked for a career that combined his love of travel and his
appreciation for hospitality. After graduating from
the University of Hotel Management, he came to work for Holland America Line
and was selected to be a part of the prestigious Management Trainee Program — a
multiyear course that provides training in all aspects of a marine Hotel
Department, eventually leading to the hotel director position. He currently lives in Seattle, Washington, with his wife and
Staff Captain Kevin Beirnaert
Koningsdam’s Staff Captain Kevin Beirnaert
joined Holland America Line in 2006 and worked on Rotterdam, Nieuw Amsterdam
and Eurodam prior to being named to the newbuild team.
from Gent, Belgium, Beirnaert studied at the Hogere Zeevaart school in Antwerp,
Belgium, and worked for freight company Ecuadorian Line and on dredging ships
in Dubai, U.A.E. on the Palm Jumeirah Project before joining Holland America
resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Meet Chief Engineer Willem Zuidema
Engineer Willem Zuidema joined Holland America Line in 1991 aboard ss
Rotterdam after sailing on cargo ships with Nedlloyd.
During his career with the company he has served on several ships and was
involved in the building of Ryndam and Rotterdam. Prior to being
named to the Koningsdam team he was chief engineer on Oosterdam.
A graduate of Marine
Engineering College in Rotterdam, Netherlands, the Dutch native from The Hague
began his seagoing career as a dual-purpose officer (both deck and engine)
before committing to the engineering side of ship operations. Zuidema also
holds a Master of Arts degree in international development. He and his wife
live in Atibaia, Brazil, and when on leave he is involved in several
educational projects in that country.
Safety, Environmental and Health Officer Martijn van Dam
Growing up in Aalsmeer, Netherlands, as the fifth generation in a
family of shipbuilders, Safety, Environmental and Health Officer Martijn van
Dam sought his career at sea when he was 18 years old.
A graduate of Hogere Zeevaart School Amsterdam with degrees in
navigation and engineering, van Dam joined Holland America Line in 2000 on the
previous Nieuw Amsterdam in the engineering department and has
since worked in several capacities on almost all the ships in the fleet. He has
also served as a safety and environmental trainer for the fleet.
When he’s not onboard, van Dam lives in a small village at Costa
Blanca, Spain, where he is restoring an old farm.
sets sail on its Premier Voyage April 8, 2016, the vessel will debut several
innovative concepts and new public venues while still featuring popular
amenities guests associate with Holland America Line.
will have the opportunity to enjoy fine dining in several alternative
restaurants including Sel de Mer, a new French seafood brasserie; a new
immersive farm-to-table dinner experience in the Culinary Arts Center presented
by Food & Wine magazine; a redesigned casual Lido Market with themed
serving stations; a stunning main dining room; and favorites such as Pinnacle
Grill, Canaletto Italian restaurant and pan-Asian Tamarind. The ship also will
feature Holland America Line’s first purpose-built staterooms for families and
single staterooms among its 1,331 guest accommodations.
Onboard entertainment will be taken to
a new level with the energetic Music Walk area featuring all genres of music
showcased in venues including Lincoln Center Stage, offering chamber music
nightly; Billboard Onboard, where live musicians rock the crowd with
chart-topping hits; and the popular B.B. King’s Blues Club in the Queen’s
Lounge, bringing the best of Memphis music to sea. World Stage brings
270-degree LED projection to the main show lounge, enabling new concepts
for show-time performances and immersing the audience in panoramic visual and
more information about ms Koningsdam and Holland America Line, consult a
travel professional, call 1-877-SAIL HAL (877-724-5425) or visit hollandamerica.com.
Editor’s note: Photos are available at https://www.cruiseimagelibrary.com/c/0ramr2rv.
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About Holland America Line [a division of
Carnival Corporation and plc (NYSE: CCL
Holland America Line’s fleet of 13 ships offers more than 500
cruises to more than 400 ports in 98 countries, territories or dependencies
around the world. From shorter getaways to 115-day itineraries, the company’s
cruises visit all seven continents with highlights including Antarctica
explorations, South America circumnavigations, exotic Australia/New Zealand and
Asia voyages; four annual Grand Voyages; and popular sailings to the Caribbean,
Alaska, Mexico, Canada/New England, Bermuda, Europe and the Panama Canal. The
line currently has a new 2,650-guest ship, ms Koningsdam, on order for
delivery in April 2016, as well as a second Pinnacle Class ship due for
delivery in November 2018.
The company recently announced $300 million in brand enhancements
to secure its position at the leader in premium cruising. Fleetwide, the ships
feature innovative initiatives and a diverse range of enriching experiences
focused on destination immersion and personalized travel. Guests can expand
their knowledge onboard at the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food &
Wine magazine, Explorations Café powered by The New York Times and Digital Workshops
powered by Windows. Outstanding entertainment fills each evening at venues
including Lincoln Center Stage, Billboard Onboard and B.B. King’s Blues Clubs.
The dining experience can be savored at a variety of restaurants with menus
that feature selections from Holland America Line's esteemed Culinary Council
that comprises world-famous chefs who design dishes exclusively for our guests.