Holland America Line
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|Founded||1873 (as Netherlands-America Steamship Company)|
|Successor||Nederlandsche Scheepvaart Unie|
|Headquarters||Seattle, Washington, U.S.|
|Parent||Carnival Corporation & plc|
Holland America Line was founded in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and from 1873 to 1989, it operated as a Dutch shipping line, a passenger line, a cargo line and a cruise line operating primarily between the Netherlands and North America. As part of the company's legacy, it was directly involved in the transport of many hundreds of thousands of emigrants from the Netherlands to North America.
Holland America has been a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation since 1989.
Dutch shipping and passenger line (1873–1989)
Holland America Line was founded in 1873, as the Nederlandsche-Amerikaansche Stoomvaart Maatschappij (Dutch-American Steamship Company), in short Holland-Amerika Lijn, a shipping and passenger line. It was headquartered in Rotterdam, in the building which is now the Hotel New York. It provided service from its European base to the Americas over the North Atlantic. The company was formed as a result of the reorganization of an earlier company, Plate, Reuchlin & Co. The company's first ship was the original Rotterdam (1872), which sailed its 15-day maiden voyage from the Netherlands to New York City on October 15, 1872. Other services were started to other new world ports, including Hoboken, Baltimore and South America. Cargo service to New York started in 1809.
During the first 25 years, the company carried 400,000 people from Europe to the Americas. Other North American ports were added during the early 20th century.
Though transportation and shipping were the primary sources of revenue, in 1895, HAL offered its first vacation cruise. Its second vacation cruise, from New York to Palestine, was first offered in 1910.
At the start of the Second World War, HAL had 25 ships; nine remained at war's end. At the beginning of the war, the Westernland acquired from the Red Star Line in 1939, berthed at Falmouth, England, became the seat of the Dutch government. The Nieuw Amsterdam sailed half a million miles transporting 400,000 military personnel. After the war, the shipping line was instrumental in transporting a massive wave of immigrants from the Netherlands to Canada and elsewhere.
Another notable ship during the post-war period was the SS Rotterdam of 1959, one of the first North Atlantic ships equipped for two-class transatlantic crossing and one-class luxury cruising.
By the late 1960s, the golden era of transatlantic passenger ships had been ended by the introduction of transatlantic jet air travel. HAL ended transatlantic service during the early 1970s, leaving the North Atlantic passenger trade for Cunard's RMS Queen Elizabeth 2.
In 1973, it sold its cargo shipping division, which continued to operate freight liner services with freighters, a Lighter aboard ship ('LASH' ship, mv Bilderdijk) and then container ships under the trade name of Incotrans, with headquarters in Rotterdam, with some of its North American services operated in partnership with the French shipping line Compagnie Générale Maritime.
It ceased operating as a Dutch line in 1989, when it was purchased by Carnival for 1.2 billion guilders (€530 million). The proceeds were put into an investment company (HAL Investments), the majority of which is owned by the van der Vorm family.
Former fleet (before 1989)
This is the category of Holland America Line Ships that left service or sank before 1989. The ones that had left service after 1989 are at the bottom of the page at the other category.
- MS Prinsendam, 1973–80 — Sank off of the coast of Alaska.
- SS Veendam (III), 1972–74, 1975–76, 1978–84 — Last in service for Commodore Cruise Line as Enchanted Isle
- SS Volendam (I), 1922–1952 — 1940-45 Escaped to Britain in WW2, served as troop transport, returned to Rotterdam in 1945
- SS Volendam (II), 1972–76, 1978–84 — Sister to SS Veendam (III); Last known as Universe Explorer of World Explorer Lines
- SS Statendam (I), 1898-1911 — Sold to the Allan Line
- SS Statendam (II) — Taken over before completion as the White Star Line's SS Justicia
- SS Statendam (III), 1929-1940 — Scrapped after being set on fire to avoid capture at Rotterdam
- SS Statendam (IV), 1956–1982 — Last in service for Regent Star as Regency. Inactive after Regent Star went bankrupt.
- SS Maasdam (1921) (III) Torpedoed and sunk in convoy HX-133 on 27 Jun, 1941 by U-564 south of Iceland
- SS Maasdam (IV), 1952–1968 — 1968–1990 in service for Polish Ocean Lines as TSS Stefan Batory, scrapped Turkey 2000
- SS Ryndam (II), 1951–1973 — Sank 2003 on way to breakers
- SS Waterman, 1951–1963 — Launched January 16, 1945 Decommissioned 1970.
- SS Zuiderkruis, 1951–1963 — Launched May 5, 1944 Decommissioned 1969.
- SS Groote Beer, 1951–1963 — Launched June 17, 1944 Decommissioned 1971.
- SS Westerdam, 1945–1965 — Combination first class passenger/cargo vessel; scrapped Spain 1965
- MV Zaandam, 1939–1942 — With passengers and 9200 tons of cargo was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean 300 nautical miles (560 km) north of Cape Sao Roque, Brazil, with the loss of 134 of the 299 people on board.
- SS Nieuw Amsterdam, 1937 — In WW2 escaped to US neutral port, served as a British War Transport carrying over 350,000, returned to Holland in 1946. Breakers yard in 1974.
- SS Rotterdam, 1908 — Scrapped 1940.
- SS Noordam, 1902 — Scrapped 1927, alerted RMS Titanic to ice early into its ill-fated maiden voyage.
- SS Potsdam, 1900 — Scrapped 1947. It was the largest ship HAL owned at the time it was in service.
- SS Rotterdam, 1886 — scrapped 1895.
- SS Rotterdam, 1872 — Wrecked September 26, 1883.
- SS Veendam (II) — Sister ship of SS Volendam (I). In 1940, bombed in Rotterdam, repaired and requestioned by Hamburg-America Line. Used for German submarine crews stationed in Hamburg. Returned to service from Rotterdam 1947, scrapped Baltimore 1953.
- MS Sommelsdyk (III) — 1939 Pacific service, wartime service as U.S. troopship until Atlantic service in 1947, scrapped 1965.
As a US-based cruise line (1989–present)
Beginning in September 2012, Rotterdam was based year-round out of Rotterdam, sailing to Europe, the Caribbean, as well as Asia, before returning to more varied itineraries and home ports by 2016.
Amsterdam makes annual "Grand Voyages" lasting more than 60 days, including a grand circle of the Pacific Ocean each fall and a World Voyage sailing around the world, usually ranging from January to April/May.
The line currently operates five different classes of ship: the smaller and older S-class vessels, the slightly newer and larger R class, the Vista class, the Signature class, and the newest and largest Pinnacle class.
All HAL ships have a dark blue hull with white superstructure, with the company's logo featured prominently on the functional smoke stacks.
Holland America also owns the following:
- the Westmark hotel chain operating in Alaska and the Yukon
- Half Moon Cay, a private Caribbean island (known officially as Little San Salvador Island) with most Caribbean cruises spending a day there.
On October 26, 2012, it was announced that a memorandum of agreement had been signed with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri for the construction of a 2,660-passenger ship for Holland America Line scheduled for delivery in spring 2016. The MS Koningsdam, which became a new class of vessel for the line (The Pinnacle Class), and the first new Holland America ship since the Nieuw Amsterdam, delivered in 2010. Also noted was that the addition of new ships would maintain passenger capacity if some of the older Carnival Corporation ships are sold.
The Holland America Group of HAL and Princess Cruises have a letter of understanding to buy the Yukon White Pass Railways from Skagway to the US-Canadian border. The purchase closed July 31, 2018.
On July 15, 2020, it was announced by Holland America that the Maasdam, Veendam, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam were sold to two undisclosed buyers. The ships were sold in pairs, with the Maasdam and Veendam transferring to one company in August 2020, while the Amsterdam and Rotterdam moved to another company in fall 2020. One pair went to a new cruise brand and the other to an existing brand.
Most cruise lines suspended their sailings because of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. As of 6 January 2021, all Holland America sailings were cancelled to at least 30 April 2021, according to an industry news item. That report listed no specific sailings for Holland America prior to the first week of June 2021.
|Vessel name||In HAL
|Rotterdam class (R class)|
|Unlike the vessels of the S class, Holland America Line's R-class ships did not all start out identical. Rotterdam, the first of the four, was similar to the S class, but slightly longer and wider, with a third set of passenger stairs/elevators, twin funnels, and some new facilities. The twins Volendam and Zaandam followed, similar to Rotterdam, but with a different (single) funnel and larger because the aft pool was moved up one deck to the Lido level, creating more space for passenger accommodations below. The final R-class ship, Amsterdam, like a hybrid of Rotterdam and Volendam/Zaandam, incorporates Rotterdam's twin funnels as well as the Lido deck aft pool. Together, Rotterdam and Amsterdam were considered HAL's flagships. On July 15, 2020, it was announced by Holland America that MS Rotterdam and MS Amsterdam were sold to an undisclosed buyers. The ships were sold in pairs, with the two joining an existing cruise brand in fall 2020. It was further announced on the same day, that this pair will join Fred. Olsen Cruise Line.|
|MS Volendam||1999||61,214||23 knots||1,432||9||Netherlands|
|MS Zaandam||2000||61,396||23 knots||1,432||9||Netherlands|
|Vista class (V class)|
|HAL's four Vista-class ships are named for the points of the compass in Dutch. Noord for north, Zuid for south, Oost for east and West for West. These ships were designed mainly for shorter (less than two weeks) cruises in the Caribbean, Alaska and Europe. These ships are notable because of the exceptionally great number of oceanview and verandah staterooms - more than 85% and 67% respectively. The first three Vista-class vessels were built as identical triplets. Noordam incorporated a few design changes, including a more vertical aft profile, which makes her larger, with a slightly greater passenger capacity. The success of Noordam's revised design caused HAL to modify the other three Vista-class ships with aft expansions to mimic Noordam. In 2006, the Vista-class cruise ships were awarded the 2006 Green Planet Award for outstanding environmental standards by Kuoni Switzerland. Zuiderdam, Oosterdam and Westerdam received the first phase of Signature of Excellence upgrades (detailed above) between 2005 and 2006, while Noordam was built to SOE1 standards.|
|MS Zuiderdam||2002||82,305||24 knots||1,916||10||Netherlands|
|MS Oosterdam||2003||82,305||24 knots||1,916||10||Netherlands|
|MS Westerdam||2004||82,305||24 knots||1,916||10||Netherlands|
|MS Noordam||2006||82,318||24 knots||1,924||10||Netherlands|
|The Signature-class ships are essentially an enhanced Vista-class design. The main difference is the addition of a deck between the Lido and Observation decks. This allows for more cabins (mostly spa accommodations) and some additional facilities including the specialty restaurant Tamarind and the Silk Den lounge. Both Signature-class ships were built to Signature of Excellence (first phase) standards (detailed above).|
|MS Eurodam||2008||86,273||23.9 knots||2,104||11||Netherlands|
|MS Nieuw Amsterdam||2010||86,700||23.9 knots||2,106||11||Netherlands|
|Constructed at the Fincantieri shipyards, Koningsdam is the largest ship to be built for Holland-America, and is the size of the ex-Ryndam and ex-Statendam joined together. The new vessel has a beam of 35 metres (114 ft 10 in), complying with the New Panamax dimensions and allowing it to cruise through the new wider locks currently under construction at the Panama Canal. It was launched on February 15, 2016. All Pinnacle class ships were built to Signature of Excellence (first phase) standards (detailed above).|
|MS Koningsdam||Apr 2016||99,863||22,2 knots||2,650||12||Netherlands|
|MS Nieuw Statendam||Nov 2018||99,863||22,2 knots||2,650||12||Netherlands|
|MS Rotterdam||July 2021||99,863||22,2 knots||2,650||12||Netherlands|
Holland America's parent company, Carnival Corporation & plc, currently owns 2 ex-Holland America Line ships operated by Marella Cruises. Both the Marella Celebration and the Marella Spirit sailed for Holland America as the Noordam (1984) and Nieuw Amsterdam (1983) before being transferred to the Marella fleet in 2005 and 2003, respectively. Marella Spirit was operated by Louis Cruises under sub-charter to Marella until 2018, when she was sold for scrap. Her sister ship, the Marella Celebration, still remains in operation. The Marella Dream was built as Homeric in 1986 before moving to Holland America as Westerdam in 1988.
When Carnival Corporation acquired Costa Cruises in 2000, she was then transferred to the Costa fleet as Costa Europa in 2002. She has since been under charter to Marella since 2010. It was announced on May 19, 2014 that both the Statendam and Ryndam would be transferred to P&O Cruises Australia fleet.
|Vessel name||Built||In HAL
|Amsterdam||2000||2000-2020||62,735 tons||Netherlands||Rotterdam class
Sold to Fred. Olsen Cruise Line in 2020 and renamed Bolette.
|Rotterdam||1997||1997-2020||61,849 tons||Netherlands||Rotterdam class
Sold to Fred. Olsen Cruise Line in 2020 and renamed Borealis.
|Veendam||1996||1996-2020||57,092 tons||Greece||Statendam class (S class)
As the first ships ordered and delivered under the line's ownership by Carnival Corporation & plc, the S-class ships were the first new Holland America Line ships to incorporate features including the atrium, the two-deck main dining room and show lounge, and the Lido pool with retractable roof. Sold to Seajets in 2020 and renamed Aegean Majesty.
|Ryndam||1994||1994-2015||55,819 tons||Greece||Statendam class (S class)
MS Ryndam for Holland America Line from 1994 to 2015. Pacific Aria for P&O Cruises Australia from 2015 to 2020. After the deal to sell to CMV failed due to their administration P&O sold Pacific Aria to Seajets.
|Maasdam||1993||1993-2020||55,575 tons||Greece||Statendam class (S class)
sold to Seajets in 2020 and renamed Aegean Myth.
|Statendam||1993||1993-2015||55,819 tons||United Kingdom||Statendam class (S class)
MS Statendam for Holland America Line from 1992 to 2015. Pacific Eden for P&O Cruises Australia from 2015 to 2019. Vasco da Gama for TransOcean Tours since 2019. After CMV entered administration in 2020 sold to Mystic Invest.
|Prinsendam||1988||2002-2019||38,848 tons||Bahamas||Prinsendam had a career with Royal Viking Line, Cunard Line, and Seabourn Cruise Line before joining the HAL fleet after an extensive refit in 2002. Transferred to Phoenix Reisen and renamed Amera in 2019|
|Westerdam||1986||1988-2002||54,763 tons||Malta||Homeric for Home Lines from 1986 to 1988. MS Westerdam for Holland America Line from 1988 to 2002. Costa Europa for Costa Cruises from 2002 to 2010. Marella Dream for Marella Cruises from 2010 to 2020. Laid up and future uncertain.|
|Noordam||1984||1984-2005||33,960 tons||Malta||MS Noordam for Holland America Line from 1984 to 2005. Marella Celebration for Marella Cruises from 2005 to 2020. Laid up and awaiting scrapping.|
|Nieuw Amsterdam||1983||1984-2000||33,930 tons||Malta||MS Nieuw Amsterdam for Holland America Line 1983 to 2000. MS Patriot for American Classic Voyages from 2000 to 2002. Laid up as MS Nieuw Amsterdam by Holland America Line 2002. MS Spirit for Louis Cruise Lines from 2002 to 2003. Marella Spirit for Marella Cruises from 2003 to 2018. Sold for scrap as Mare S and La Spirit in 2018|
|Rotterdam||1959||1959-1997||38,645 tons||Netherlands||SS Rotterdam for Holland America Line from 1959 to 1997. Rembrandt for Premier Cruises from 1997 to 2000. Laid up as Rembrandt from 2000 to 2003. SS Rotterdam for WestCord Hotels since 2013.|
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The cruise line which has been hit hard by the global pandemic has announced a further suspension on cruise operations.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Holland America Line.|
- Official website
- The Last Ocean Liners - Holland America Line - trade routes and ships of the Holland America Line during the 1950s and 60s.
- Nederlandsch-Amerikaansche Stoomvaart Maatschappij / Holland America Line The Ships List
- Documents and clippings about Holland America Line in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
- Passenger Lists (1899-1954) of the Holland-America Line GG Archives
- Holland-America Line History and Ephemera GG Archives