Ahoy! A Night on the SS Rotterdam

by farrah on June 19, 2013 · 6 comments

When people think about the Netherlands the city they associate with it most is Amsterdam. As I have quickly learned- this country has so much more to offer than just old world charm. Specifically- I am talking about Amsterdam’s cooler, more modern sibling- Rotterdam.



I got really lucky a few weeks ago and won a night on the SS Rotterdam via the Rotterdam Tourism Facebook page. Truth be told, I wasn’t really sure what I was entering (the translate thing wasn’t working) but I know enough that putting your name somewhere and clicking means that you are entering a contest. Rotterdam is only about an hour and a half away from us by train- and since I was just there for the travel blogger’s conference recently- I knew it was worth the trip.

Long story short, I was one of about 4 other people to win a night at the SS Rotterdam hotel. We made the arrangements with our sitter and her mom to tag team an overnight babysitting gig- and escaped!

We thought the whole thing of being on a floating hotel was so cool we skipped our dinner reservation plans elsewhere and just spent the entire time on the ship. Well worth it in my opinion!

Brief history:

According to the SS Rotterdam website:

The ship was built in Rotterdam. It left the city to come back again many years later. The legendary former flagship of the Holland America Line is 228 meter long, 28 meters wide, 61 metres in height, rich in history and renowned for its cultural and historic value. ss Rotterdam is also referred to as La Grande Dame. At www.stoomschiprotterdam.nl you can read about the ship’s entire history.

The SS Rotterdam sailed from about 1956-2000. Once retired, it has been docked there in Rotterdam and was transformed into a hotel in 2008. The result is a pretty nice piece of history with some of the 60s kitchy-ness adding to its allure.

Our cabin


What to do on board:

We had  dinner at Lido (one of the two main restaurants on board) and went up to the promenade to have a few cocktails and take in the magnificent sunset and view. The best part about dinner was that we finally had some really good bitterballen. My husband hasn’t had the best experiences with the deep-fried snack as of yet, so we were thrilled to finally get a really great version of the traditional Dutch treat.

All that was left of our bitterballen


It was a little chilly to go for a dip in the pool, but if you ask my husband this was perfect weather to relax. We both sat in the lounge chairs at the top of the deck and drowsed. It’s not often that the both of us are together somewhere not having to wrangle children, so this was quite nice indeed!


What about kids?

As with most smart hotels, they have a plan for kids. Personally- I wouldn’t have been able to relax with my little guys on board (the railing just wasn’t 2-year-old approved) but for the older kids they have a full range of kids activities. Someday we want to go on a cruise with the gang, but not today. And not even with a hotel that is docked!

Overall we had a great time and even though our ‘free night’ on the hotel basically was the same as what we paid for the sitter- sometimes you just have to do stuff like that. If you get the chance to experience all that Rotterdam has to offer- I highly recommend you check out this ship for an overnight stay!

I have more pics in my Instagram feed from our SS Rotterdam adventure, check them out  @Momofthreeunder.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Andrea, Passports And Pushchairs June 19, 2013 at 11:05 am

I would never pass up a ‘free’ night away from my kids!


2 farrah June 19, 2013 at 2:05 pm

I know it, right?! The price was well worth it 🙂


3 Ann June 19, 2013 at 3:04 pm

This is pretty cool…

reason #123,126,053


4 farrah June 20, 2013 at 6:48 am

I know it! Really neat. Glad we went.


5 Leighann June 20, 2013 at 6:45 pm

looks like a beautiful place to relax!!


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