Holland America Line - company profile

hal logo 150

Holland America Line, the cruise company based in Seattle / Washington, will celebrate its 150th anniversary in just a few years. The origins of the company go back to 1871.

Shortly afterwards, in 1873, it was given the name Nederlandsch-Amerikaansche Stoomvaart Maatschappij NV (NASM). The company headquarters was Rotterdam. The shipping company organized liner services for freight and people between Rotterdam and New York from the start.

MS Rotterdam - the shipping company's first ship

The small one, measured at 1.705 tons MS Rotterdam was the shipping company's first ship. Within a very short time she gained a first-class reputation for safety, service and punctuality. The company specialized in transporting emigrants between Rotterdam and New York. Soon after was the name Holland America Line the common name of the company.

The current MS Rotterdam in the port of Puerto Vallarta / Mexico

The current MS Rotterdam in the port of Puerto Vallarta / Mexico

The time between the world wars

Between the two world wars it was 36.287 tons New Amsterdam the shipping company's largest ship to date put into service. The outbreak of the Second World War stopped the company's growth. The only positive thing: in good time before the occupation of the Netherlands by German troops, the majority of the fleet was withdrawn from the occupiers.

The realignment of the company after the Second World War

After the Second World War, passenger shipping companies suffered from the rise of transatlantic air traffic. Holland America Line was also forced to discontinue its Atlantic passenger services in 1971 in favor of cruise lines. Freight shipping ceased two years later.

hal 202 zuiderdam in front of kefalonia 750MS Zuiderdam off Kefalonia

The 1970s mainly served to consolidate the shipping company. Two cruise ships measured at around 34.000 GT were ordered. When trying to grow through acquisitions, the company stood out in 1988 by taking over Windstar Sail Cruises. The Holland America Line got into financial turmoil and was replaced by the competitor Carnival Cruise Lines adopted.

Holland America Line - parent company of several cruise lines

The company currently functions in the Carnival Group as the parent company of a group of three cruise brands. They are Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Seabourn Cruise Line. The first two stand for two premium brands and Seabourn Cruise Line operates as a luxury brand. Other corporate activities include the operation of hotels and two bus routes. In addition, the shipping company manages Little San Salvador Island, which is part of the Bahamas archipelago Half Moon Cay mentioned.

Half Moon Cay - the Bahamian Church

Half Moon Cay - the Bahamian Church

Holland America Line currently

Holland America Line currently operates 14 ships with passenger capacities ranging from 1.258 (Maasdam) to 2.666 (Nieuw Statendam). A 15th ship that MS Ryndam, will be built. The company's superbly equipped, medium-sized ships call at 473 ports in 100 countries. The company claims 5 * status for its fleet and the service it offers.

The names of all ships end in the final syllable typical of the company "... women". The flag state is the Netherlands and Rotterdam is the home port of the fleet. The ships are divided into four classes according to their size and capacity. There are …

the Statendam class with the ships

  • Maasdam
  • Veendam

MS Veendam in Quebec
MS Veendam in Quebec

the Rotterdam class with the ships

  • Amsterdam
  • MS Rotterdam                                                     
  • Volendam
  • Zaandam

MS Rotterdam in Huatulco / Mexico

MS Rotterdam in Huatulco / Mexico

the Vista class with the ships

  • Noordam                                                       
  • Oosterdam
  • Westerdam
  • Zuiderdam                                                     

MS Noordam in the port of Bridgetown / BarbadosMS Noordam in the port of Bridgetown / Barbados

the Signature class with the ships

  • New Amsterdam                                        
  • Eurodam                   

MS Eurodam in Venice

MS Eurodam in Venice

and the new one Pinnacle class with the ships 

Nieuw Statendam - meeting on the high seas

Nieuw Statendam - meeting on the high seas

The current flagship of the shipping company is the MS Nieuw Statendam. It entered service in 2018. Godmother was the American talk show host Oprah Winfrey.

According to its own information, the cruise line transports more than 800.000 passengers annually. In addition to the extensive new construction program for the Pinnacle class, USD 500 million is being invested in upgrading the ship fleet as part of the so-called “Signature of Excellence® Initiative”.


Ship departures

Five ships will leave the fleet between 2019 and 2020. From the Carnival Group's point of view, these are less efficient ship units. The following ships are not used: Amsterdam, Maasdam, Prinsendam, Rotterdam and Veendam.

The Prinsendam joined Phoenix Reisen last year. The Maasdam and Veendam will leave the fleet in August 2020. The buyer is not yet known. Most recently, in autumn 2020, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines the Amsterdam and the Rotterdam.



Update July 2020




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