Holland America Line has sold the Maasdam  – the ship which sailed Australia and New Zealand.

The 27-year-old HAL veteran had gone to an undisclosed buyer. The line has also sold sister ship, Veedam, to the same buyer.

The two S-Class ships are among the oldest in the HAL fleet. Stein Kruse, CEO Holland America Group and Carnival UK said: “It’s always difficult to see any ship leave the fleet, especially those that have a long and storied history with our company”.

HAL  has also sold two of their four R-Class ships,  Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The two ships will sail to an undisclosed company based in the Northern Hemisphere before the end of the year.

The Oosterdam is still scheduled to arrive in Sydney on October 24, from Seattle on September 27. But with the Centres of Disease Control and Prevention no sail order extended to September 31, it’s unclear whether the Oosterdam will be able to depart.

Australia’s no sail order is currently September 17.

Gus Antorcha, president of HAL said: “I recognise and appreciate the deep affection our guests have toward our company and the ships in our fleet. While streamlined, our diverse fleet continues to offer exceptional options for cruisers looking for a mid-sized ship experience to destinations all around the world”.

Without the Maasdam, the premium line has no presence in the area.

Carnival-owned Holland America was popular, and its newer ships had given the line a new lease of life in the younger market.

A spokesperson told Cruise Passenger there are plans to bring other ships back to the region, but could not say which or when.

The move leaves the hotly contested premium space to Princess, another Carnival brand.

Mr Kruse added:“(The line) has a bright future that includes recent Pinnacle-Class additions, with a third sister ship next year that will continue to maintain our overall capacity in the marketplace”.

Passengers who have booked to cruise with the four ships should get in touch with the line or their travel agents.

Some of the affected itineraries include voyages to Canada/New England and Grand Voyages on Amsterdam; Mexico, South Pacific, Australia and Asia itineraries on Maasdam; Caribbean, Europe, Panama Canal, South America and Hawaii sailings on Rotterdam; and Caribbean and Europe itineraries on Veendam.

Those who have bookings on these voyages will automatically receive a future cruise credit unless they opt for a refund. The line said refunds will be provided within 60 days if they are requested  by August 24, 2020.

For more information on refunds visit:  https://book2.hollandamerica.com/cp/