on the ss Rotterdam


The ss Rotterdam is a special ship with a rich history. Many people in (and around) Rotterdam have an emotional connection with the ship. In 2009 the foundation ‘Cultureel Erfgoed’ was created to give the many different people, who care a lot about the ship, a place where they can contribute to the success of the ship.

180 volunteers

The ss Rotterdam works with over 180 volunteers.  The foundation aims to: maintain and convey information about the ss Rotterdam. The foundation does this by providing a collection about the ship, its crew, and travelers, to inform the public.

What is a volunteer/Shiphost?

All volunteers have an important task. As shiphost they inform our guests on board during tours or when asked a question. We our hospitable to our guests and want each of them to have an unique experience. Most of the time, the volunteers are stationed on board, but sometimes also for the Shuttle Service. As well during different events on and off the ship, which have a link with the Holland-Amerika Line and other maritime, nautical and historical related events.

Many of our volunteers where part of the crew during the high days of the ship. They know the ship in and out and can therefore help the guest to find the way on board. They can also tell the stories from their own experience to the guest. This means that the guest experiences the experience of the Shiphost in the present. The ship has been in service for over 40 years and has experienced various events. The Shiphost can, as nobody else, tell about the journey through time.

Becoming a shiphost

Are you looking for a fun volunteering position? Become a Shiphost!

A day in the life of a Shiphost

A Shiphost works a shift at least twice a month. One shift usualy lasts 4 hours. The shifts are planned in deliberation with the coordinator. The busiest periods are during weekends and school holidays. Then, more volunteers are actively on board to tell our guests the story of the ship.

After an extensive briefing in the Crew Mess Room, the shift starts on the tour route where the Shiphosts take place at various anchor points. There, they are the face and ambassador of the ship for the tour visitor. The Shiphosts are also stationed in the different rooms if they are opened as part of the tour route. The guest walks the tour independently, with an audio phone, along the anchor points. The Shiphost then explains, answers questions and gives information about the rooms.

The working times of a Shiphost are as follows:

The morning shift is from 10 A.M. till 1.30 P.M.
The afternoon shift is from 1.30 P.M. till 5 P.M.
The evening shift is from 4.30 P.M. till 7.30 P.M.

The morning shift is from 8 A.M. till 11.30 A.M.
The afternoon shift is from 3 P.M. till 6.30 P.M.
On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 7 P.M.

Special events are dependable on the application and are always scheduled in deliberation with the Shiphost.

More information?

Would you like more information about volunteering on board of the ss Rotterdam? Contact us via stichtingderotterdam@ssrotterdam.nl