|Staff Captain Kevin Beirnaert|
Holland America Line has announced the senior staff officers for its newest ship, the Koningsdam, which is set to debut in April 2016.
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 shipboard teams.
The 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.
Since 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 Koningsdam, Kuppens was the hotel director who launched Nieuw Amsterdam, Eurodam, Noordam and Westerdam, the four ships most recently built for the cruise line. He also has worked on Amsterdam, Maasdam, Oosterdam, Rotterdam, Ryndam, Statendam, Zaandam and Zuiderdam.
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.
Chief Engineer Willem Zuidema joined Holland America Line in 1991 aboard 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.
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.