My company the Holland America line has 15 cruise ships, one ship on order, expected in 2021 and one ship going out the Prinsendam (II) ,leaving 01 July 2019.
The details of each ship in the fleet are in this sub-directory but nothing has been completed yet. (Feb. 2019)
Most company’s had naming systems in the old days and Holland America was no exception. They choose the ending Dam as some of the major cities , Amsterdam and Rotterdam, had a name with such as ending and we have kept this tradition ever since.
After 1900, the passenger ships kept the DAM ending and the cargo- only ships which now appeared received the ending DIJK. As half of the Netherlands is below sea water level there are plenty DAMS and DIJKS out there and thus sufficient names to choose from. Most of the names that were chosen do exist in reality. But the current Vista class derives its names from the Compass Class from 1938 and those names do not relate to a real town or city.
The same goes for the Prinsendam. One theory is that the name was chosen to please The Hague, where the houses of Parliament are located. This as the company had already ships called Amsterdam and Rotterdam. One has to keep the politicians happy as well. The name Prinsendam would then have been derived from the name Princenhof (Court of the Princes) which was an old name for The Hague as that is were the Ruling Royal Family lived.
Ever since 1872 the company has been repeating the names. Hence we have a Rotterdam VI and a Maasdam V etc. This pattern still continues. The Nieuw Statendam is basically the Statendam (VI) but the prefix Nieuw was added to indicate that the new = nieuw ships coming on line with the Koningsdam in 2016 were substantially different in layout and operating philosophy than the ships before.
A quick rundown of the current names background
Amsterdam (III) named after the capital of the Netherlands
Eurodam (I) name chosen to honor the Dutch and European heritage of HAL
Koningsdam (I) name chosen to honor the King of the Netherlands (Koning Willem Alexander) The Dutch had not had a King since 1898, always Queens, so he is quite special. Very special as one takes into consideration that he will be replaced one day by his daughter, and thus another Queen. As men do not baptise ships (bad luck), Queen Maxima of the Netherlands baptised the ship.
Maasdam (IV) named after the river Maas, which is the river which flows through Rotterdam. The 2nd ship of the company was called Maas and was later renamed in Maasdam.
Nieuw Amsterdam (IV) named after the Dutch settlement on Manhattan, before it became New York.
Nieuw Statendam (VI) There are two theories about the name Statendam. One is that the first Statendam (1898) was called after a Dam on one of the islands south of Rotterdam. Second one that it is called after a Dam near a town called Oosterhout South East of Rotterdam. We are still looking for final confirmation.
Noordam (IV) named after the Noordam from 1900 which was named after the river Noord in Rotterdam. There is no town called Noordam. This name was also repeated with the compass class of 1938.
Oosterdam (I) Named in line with the compass class ships of 1938. Although that class did not have an Oosterdam, for reasons unknown that ship was called Zaandam.
Rotterdam (VI) named after the city of Rotterdam, where the company was founded in 1872.
Veendam (IV) named after the town Veendam in the North East of the Netherlands. Name was chosen to honor W.A Scholten who was born there and who in 1874 bought a complete ship for the company when the company went public.
Volendam (III) Very famous Dutch Tourist town located on the eastern shore of the province Noord Holland.
Westerdam (II) named after a ship which was one of the compass class ships of 1938. There is no town called Westerdam.
Zaandam (III) Town North of Amsterdam, also very wellknown by tourists.
Zuiderdam (II) named after a ship which was one of the compass point class ships of 1938. There is no town called Zuiderdam.