September 27, 2000
Holland America Line has installed a system for the safe transfer between ship, tender and pier for guests using wheelchairs. Called the Shore Tender Accessibility Project, the system was first installed on the Statendam in May and has been in operation during her Alaska season. The Ryndam and Volendam are scheduled to be outfitted with the system next, with the rest of the Holland America fleet to follow during scheduled drydocks. The new system provides a safe means of transportation by locking the guest's wheelchair into place on a lift that runs on an inclined track from the top of the gangway to the tender. A ramp on the tender allows the chair to be wheeled directly aboard and locked into place atop a specially designed scissor-lift. That lift is then raised to provide the guest a clear view through the tender's windows. Holland America Line has maintained a high percentage of handicap-accessible staterooms on its vessels. Guests may request TDD equipment, amplified telephones, visual alert alarms, bed vibrating alarms, closed caption decoders on televisions, and flashing light door buzzers.