The former passenger ship SS Rotterdam is sold for 29.9 million Euro to the Hotel Chain WestCord Hotels. The controversial ship is now owned by the Rotterdam housing corporation Woonbron.
In 2005, Housing corporation Woonbron bought the flagship of the Holland-America Line, the SS Rotterdam, originally built in 1959. The restored ship was supposed to become an icon of the urban renewal of Rotterdam South. As one of the biggest tourist attractions of the city, it would bring jobs to the area and provide internships for students from surrounding schools. The cost for the purchase and renovation of the ship were estimated at 25 million, but finally reached a total of 250 million. Woonbron was forced to sell 80% of their share to other parties. Even after completion, the ship turned out to operate at a loss and was put on sale. It is now sold for 29,9 million Euro’s, leaving behind a financial hole of almost 220 million euro, that otherwise could have been spent on social housing and public facilities. At least the ship will stay in Rotterdam.