The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

C20 Holiday Stays

ss Rotterdam, Rotterdam Harbour

Sleeps: Various


Enjoy a hotel with a difference and stay on the legendary former flagship of the Holland America Line.

Recommended by Doug Black: “Amazing post-war heritage ship, the Dutch QE2,  with stunning public rooms and authentic guest room interiors. Perfect for a weekend break.”

The biggest passenger ship ever built on Dutch soil is now a 254 room 4 star hotel where you can choose to stay in one of six room types with a fifties decor of choice.

One of the superior ‘Manhattan’ rooms on the ship

Photo: Elan Fleisher /

Various tours are available which take in the Bridge, Engine room the Grand Ballroom, the Queens lounge, Ambassador lounge and more.  Or just chill in one of the ship’s bars and restaurants while taking in the view of the Meuse and Rotterdam’s skyline.

The ’Grande Dame’ of Rotterdam is 228 meters long, 28 meters wide and 61 meters in height. The steam ship was inaugurated by Dutch Queen Juliana in 1958. Just under a year later, she departed on her maiden voyage from Rotterdam to New York. Among the guests was the crown princess Beatrix.

The ship was advertised with the slogan “The ship of tomorrow … today!” Many noted architects and artists worked together on the interior arrangements and furnishing of the ship, making her a floating work of art.

Until 1971 the ship ran scheduled services to New York City, but turned more towards cruises when air traffic became more popular. During its heyday famous artists like Frank Sinatra and Dave Brubeck performed.

The Ocean Wine Bar
The Captain’s Lounge

Due to economic downturn and bankruptcies the ship stopped service in 2000 and was chained for years in the harbour of Freeport, Bahamas. In 2008 she returned to the place of her birth: the city of Rotterdam. People of Rotterdam were waving and crying when tugboats towed the ship to its final destination in the city. For them the ship will always be part of the history of Rotterdam.

After a full restoration, completed in 2010, the ship has been operating in Rotterdam harbour as a hotel with shops and restaurants, conference centre and floating museum.

The ship is supported by a large number of volunteers who have helped restore authentic elements, using original materials that were found on the ship.  Their craftsmanship and enthusiasm have delivered many valuable results.

Photo: Mark de Rooij


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