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Stories from the Sea, Past and Present

Nieuw Amsterdam (I) of 1906

Main Particulars:

TONN. BRT: 16,957 NRT: 10,714 DWT: 17,363
BUILT AT: Harland & Wolff Limited, Belfast, Ireland. YARD NO: 366
ENGINES: Two four cylinder quadruple expansion engines by yard.
ENGINE OUTPUT: 10,800 Ihp PROPS: Two (fixed)
SERVICE SPD: 16 Knots. MAX.SPD: 17.5 knots.
LENGTH Overall: 187.68 Meters BEAM OA: 20.88 Meters DRAFT: 10.68 Meters.
PAX.CAPACITY: 440 First, 246 Second, 1078 Third and 1284 in Tweendeck. CREW: 305
REMARKS: Bunker capacity 2591 tons of coal at a regular consumption of 190 tons a day.

NA 1906webAn artist drawing of the Nieuw Amsterdam of 1906

The construction of the Nieuw Amsterdam was a direct result of the great success of the Noordam, Rijndam, Potsdam trio of 1900. These were the first dedicated passenger ships in the company and due to their large third class/steerage capacity, real money spinners. They generated so much money for the company that the thoughts went to constructing a passenger ship that would be on par with what was being built by the foreign competition. There was no intention to compete for the blue Riband or to have the biggest ship afloat, but the company felt that it now could compete in the luxury segment, in the same way as the White Star Line and the Hamburg Amerika Line were already successful. Although most money was made in the emigrant trade each company that wanted to mean something had to offer eye catching ships with luxurious first class accommodation. The Nieuw Amsterdam was the first ship where Holland America applied this philosophy extensively. However the ship had to make money thus it still had extensive cargo holds. These would be used westbound to the USA for carrying emigrants. (The so-called Tweendeck accommodation) To achieve this collapsible wooden bulkheads were erected in the holds and this created private cabins and dormitories. After the emigrants had been landed in New York, these bulkheads would be removed again and the holds used for cargo. This was a very successful system and was used by the company for a long, long time. (I have a report in my collection, written my an emigrant who fled Germany in 1939, that he crossed to the free world in such a cabin on board the Rotterdam IV) In total there were seven holds and 14,500 tons of cargo could be carried or 1284 emigrants in this space.

NA 1906 under construction at Harland and Wolff web The Nieuw Amsteram under construction on the slipway of Harland and Wolff

By 1900 the Dutch shipbuilding industry was not yet ready and capable to built such a big ship and to such exacting standard and thus Holland America placed an order with the Harland and Wolff shipyard at Belfast, Ireland, which had also built some of the previous passenger ships of the line. The Nieuw Amsterdam was a steamship pur sang but it still carried a full set of sails for the masts of the ship. As far as we know, these were never used and were found, as new, in their storage bags when the ship went for scrap in 1932.

When the ship came into service, it was the 10th largest ship in the world and the biggest ship under the Dutch flag, until the arrival of the Rotterdam (4) in 1908. The keel was laid on 21 January 1904 and the hull launched on 28 September 1905. The official trial trip took place on 22 February 1906 and there a maximum speed of 17.5 knots was reached. Such a speed was more then sufficient to compete on the North Atlantic successfully. Passengers could choose the fastest ships, to reach their destination as quickly as possible, but that often resulted in being shaken all over the place during a crossing due to the vibration of the engines going full out at the maximum achievable speed. With a slower crossing there would be no vibration and the passengers could enjoy the comfort of the ship more. From Belfast the Nieuw Amsterdam sailed to Rotterdam were it arrived on the 24th.of February. Here it entered on the 26th. the new City Dry dock for two days of under water cleaning. After some more testing and inspections, it was delivered by the yard on the 6th. of March 1906 to Holland America.

NA 1906 portside view in calm waters web
The Nieuw Amsterdam on a calm day in port

With Captain Frederick H Bonjer (The commodore of the company) in command the ship left on is maiden voyage on 7 April 1906 sailing from Rotterdam to New York. As this was such a large ship (about 40% larger then the previous flagship of the company) and had so many innovative idea’s, a large number of modifications were considered during its first year of operation and two years later she was sent back to her builders for numerous improvements. This took place between November and December 1908, a time of the year when North Atlantic trade was more quiet. As a result the passenger configuration was changed to 443 First, 379 Second and 2050 in Third Class. (17,149 brt.) Some space was taken away from the 3rd class and used for increasing the 2nd class accommodation. Also her forward Boat deck promenade was glazed in. This was a reaction to the great success that Rotterdam (IV) was having with a similar concept and made it possible that the First Class passengers could walk around the forward part of the ship protected from inclement weather and sea water. To offer more space in the First Class dining room, it was extended forward making it similar to the one of the Rotterdam (IV)

Here follow some interiors shots of the ship:

NA06SocialHallweb

The First Class Social Hall.

Note the Piano. Although the company porivided a piano as part of the luxury environment, no professional shipboard entertainment was made available. The passengers relied on a talented fellow traveller to play.

NA 1906 Japanese tearoom web

The Japanese Tearoom.

Another photo of a first class lounge, the Japanese Tearoom. This particular room attracted a lot of attention in the press as it was considered very innovative in this days.

na 1906 deluxe cabin web The Bedroom of a First Class suite

The decoration of a first class cabin would not be that much different than found at the home of the passengers who would book such accomodation. This is the bedroom of a first class suite.

NA06SecClassDinRoomWeb
The 2nd class Diningroom.

The 2nd class accomodation was understandbly less luxurious but offered good value for money. Please note the swivel chairs. Once the passenger had “swiveled” him or herself into position, he or she would be nicely wedged between the chair and the table to enjoy dinner with the danger that a sudden movement of the ship would mover the diner all over the room. For the cutlery and crockery on the table, there would be a ledge around the table to prevent everything moving off the table.

NA06SecClassSmokeRoom Web The 2nd class Smoking Room.

This was normally the domain of the male passengers only. Ladies would spend their time in the Social Hall or Drawing room.

na 1906 3rd class web

The 3rd class diningroom.

Holland America was one of the first company’s who realized that taken good care of their emigrants paid off in the future. Letters would go back to those left at home about the treatment on board with the fair chance that prospective emigrants would then choose HAL as well. For a poor emigrant it must have been heaven to be served at a table with table cloths and good quality cutlery and crockery.

When the summer season started for the North Atlantic in April 1910, the ship started to call at Plymouth in England, which was in conjunction with the fact that Holland America had obtained the Royal Dutch Mail contract the year before. Some of the express mail was now landed here on the Eastbound crossing and could be in Rotterdam (via British Rail and the Channel steamer) the next day, while the ship went on to call at France first before steaming to Rotterdam.

NA 1906 stern view Wilhle kade unusual dock wrong way web The photo shows the extra lifeboats positioned on the poop deck. This is also a rather unusual photo as the ship is docked starboardside alongside the passenger terminal at the Wilhelmina Kade. It was the norm that the ships would always dock portside alongside with the nose down river.

In April 1912 the Titanic sank, with great loss of life. This had great repercussions throughout the shipping world and resulted that a month later, in May 1912, six lifeboats were added to the poop deck (that is the uppermost deck near the stern) to increase the lifesaving capacity on board. The ship continued here North Atlantic sailings up and throughout the First World War. When the war was imminent many Americans were anxious to get home and the Holland America Line ships were sailing at top capacity. Such was the relieve, when they arrived home safely that at the end of such a crossing, the grateful passengers offered a plaque to the captain and the company out of appreciation.

NA 1906 Plaquette ww1web The plaque presented to Captain Baron in 1914 by grateful passengers. This plaque is now in the collection of the Maritime Museum in Rotterdam

The Kingdom of the Netherlands was neutral during this conflict of the world’s greatest powers and it meant that as long as trading was neutral as well, e.g. not favoring any of the feuding countries, Dutch flag ships could continue to sail. What was exactly meant to be neutral was often confusing and in 1915 the ship was stopped by the French auxiliary cruiser La Savoye for inspection to enforce these neutrality rules. 650 Germans and Austrians are taken off. Holland America was convinced that carrying these people was not against the rules as they were civilians but the French thought different. The La Savoye was also a passenger ship and the 650 could at least be carried in a certain comfort to France for internment.

NA1906 boatdrill web During those scary days of the First World War, boatdrill were a regular occurence and here we can see the crew in participating in one. It brought some diversion to the passengers as well.

The United States entered the war on the 21 March 1917 and as it needed transport to get the US troops to Europe it started requisitioning the foreign passenger ships that were laid up in the various American ports. The Nieuw Amsterdam was exempt from this as it carried vital quantities of grain during each Eastbound crossing. The Dutch had a great shortage of grain as it normally bought this commodity in Germany. Due to its neutrality the German border was now closed so this grain had to come from across the Ocean. While on such a crossing, the ship left New York on 28 March 1918 with about 2300 Dutch men on board, all crew of some of the 134 Dutch ships that were requisitioned when the USA entered the war. Again with the country being neutral, the crews could not stay with their ships and for the remainder of the conflict the HAL ships sailed under American flag with USA crews.

The Nieuw Amsterdam came unscathed through the war as far as avoiding the U boats but it was less successful in avoiding the Dutch mud. On the 11th of April 1918 it ran aground near Maasluis (West of Rotterdam) in thick fog. To get everybody home quickly the company sent out all its tenders and harbour craft and these landed all the passengers safely at the Passenger terminal at the Wilhelmina Kade. The war ended on the 11 November 1918 (Armistice) and the ship could now safely cross the ocean again without the treat of war danger. During its first post war crossing it also carried 1715 French fugitives on board who were leaving their home country behind. Apart from those the ship had on this 21 December departure as regulars 149 First, 62 Second, and 35 Third class passengers on board.

NA 1906 stern view in dry dock web Here we see the Nieuw Amsterdam during one’s of its regular dry docks. Lifted out of the water by means of a floating dry dock, the underwater ship would be cleaned, inspected and repainted. At the same time all sorts of repairs, that can not be done while there are passengers on board, are taken care off during this period. Note the big flag at the stern with the anchor in the middle. This indicates that the captain in command was a Royal Navy Reserve Officer. This was quite common in those days, as the ship carried the Royal Dutch Mail and the ship could be turned into a troopship while the companies captain could remain in command.

With the reduction of the emigrant trade, caused by the American quota acts, the company had to change the occupancy configurations several times. This resulted by May 1926 in a configuration of 300 Cabin and 860 Tourist Class. The large emigrant capacity was now completely gone. In February 1928 Cabin is renamed in Tourist and Tourist in Third class to offer the most favorable passage fares under the existing Atlantic Pool rules. These rules had come in existence a long time ago to ensure that all the company’s would trade fairly on the North Atlantic and also that the class name covering a certain accommodation was in reasonable in relation to the quality of that accommodation.

NA 1906 Halifax 8 march 1928 presentation to captain The ship also called on occasion at Halifax Canada and here we see a photo of a presentation to the commander of the ship Captain de Jong, for landing the first emigrants at the new emigration Pier 21 8 march 1928. He received a walking cane as a present. (Picture taken from a newspaper produced by the Pier 21 Museum in Halifax)

During the winter season of 1928 the ship made a series of cruises from Boston to Havana and only sails the north Atlantic during the high season in the summer. However the ship is getting older and with the new flagship, the Statendam (III) in the offing, it is getting harder for the company to market the ship. There is a final try in 1930, as a result of the depression which lowers the prices, to try a ships lay-out of 442 First, 202 Second, 636 Third and 1284 in temporary bunks. Basically back to the old days but now marginal accommodation makes it possible to travel very very cheaply if needed but it is all to no avail.

The Nieuw Amsterdam arrives on 2 Oct. 1931 for the last time in Rotterdam and is then laid up. The ship is sold for scrap on 27 Jan. 1931 for a price of 137,600 Dutch Guilders to Japan. On 26 February 1931, it departs from Rotterdam for Japan to be scrapped at the Torazo Hashimoto, scrap yard in Osaka. On the last voyage, going around the Cape to Japan, it carries a full cargo of coal in her holds to help pay for the trip.

47 Comments

  1. My grandmother Carolina Maria Geertruida Ziekman, was apparently on of the first stewardesses on this line about 1905. On the ship she met her husband Casper Johannes Ziekman who was the ships barber.
    I was wondering if you perhaps have any more details for me, such as on which ship/s they worked?
    Help much appreciated

    • Hi Peter, at the blog we don’t have access to any of that kind of information. You might want to check the City Archives in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, that has the largest collection of HAL history in the world. They might be able to assist. Best, Julie, HAB editor

  2. My entire family on my mother’s side, te Groen, came over on the ship and landed in New York on Aug 4, 1907.
    They got out of Transvaal, South Africa when the wars were going on. Made their new life in Long Beach, CA

  3. Is there more information about the commander Captain de Jong? Is there a way to find out his full name and/or initials plus background?

    • Good morning,

      Thank you for your interest in the HAL history. Yes there is much more. His name was Sieverts Jans de Jong. Born on 23 nov 1873 in Den Helder. I am finalizing at the moment all the voyages of the NA of 1906 and of the other earlier ships that he sailed on. As soon as that has been completed, I will upload his whole career onto the blog. Hopefully by New year. After that the challenge will start to find out more about the man himself. So I will have to try to trace the family.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  4. is it possible to search passenger rolls from 1906/ Iam trying to determine if my family arrived on this ship.

    • Good morning,

      yes it is. I need to know what the correct family name is under which they entered the country at Ellis Island. Sometimes the names were
      misspelt when being processed and sometimes the family decided to make it more English themselves. Muller became Miller, Dijk became Dyke etc. But if you know the correct names, then I will be most willing to try and check if the passenger lists are there. Some of this information
      can also be found on the Ellis Island website. Have a google there and let me know if you still require my help. I will be visiting the Dutch HAL archives on 16 jan. 2015.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  5. Shirley Griffin

    January 17, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    My Great, Great Grandfather came to Ellis Island on the Nieuw Amsterdam 1906. His name was Moses Tubiansky. He was 42 years old. There is no mention of any other family with him. Is it possible to find out if he traveled alone or with family?

    • Good morning,

      thank you for reading my blog. To try and find your GGG I will need to know the month that he arrived in the States as the HAL archives go by voyage. If you can pin point that a bit better, I will try to find the manifest in the HAL archives later this year. In the mean time you could visit the Ellis Island archives. Everything is on line, it is free and it has all the landing manifests. You might have to go through all the manifests for 1906 to find him.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  6. My grandma Agnes Ondrasik was on the voyage with arrival date Nov. 20, 1906. Since she was 3 year old toddler, could not travel alone. Is there other passenger with her last name?
    Thank you.

    • Good morning,

      thank you for reading my blog. I will put your name on my list and I will check on the manifests when I get back to the archives.

      In the mean time what you could do is look at the Ellis Island files. They are all on line and can be searched free of charge.
      The manifest of the NA will be there and you know your grandma’s maiden name and the arrival date in New York.
      Other information that I can give you: This was voyage nbr 7 of the ship and in command was Captain F.H Bonjer. (see his biography under the captains section)
      The ship left Rotterdam on 10 November and sailed via Boulogne Sur Mer (France) to New York where it arrived on the 19th. of November. Disembarkation took place on the 2oth. The NA departed from New York on the 28th of Nov. for Rotterdam

      Best regards
      Capt. Albert

    • Good Morning,

      This is a very much delayed answer to your query and gave me a lot of challenges.
      The bad news is that I could not find any Agnes Ondrasik on the pax. list.
      In the archives we do not have the passenger list but only the booking manifests.
      Which list the name of the family who made the booking. So the big question is
      who made the booking. I also checked for any independants, as this happened as well, and
      the ships then assigned a chaperone or guardian, but that was in vain as well.
      My suggestion is, can you check Ellis Island for her records? Then the companion might
      show up or a cabin number. Then I can try again.

      Apologies for the long wait, but this was difficult.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  7. My great-grandmother and her family came to America on this ship–their’s was an adventure.

    From The Evening World (NY) Feb 19, 1914 Final Edition 2

    HURRICANES HIT BIG SHIPS; ONE JUST MISSES ICEBERG Seven Persons, Three injured on New Amsterdam Voyage’s Reported Roughest Ever Known.

    The Holland American liner New Amsterdam docked in Hobeken today, three days late from Rotterdam, which she left on Feb 7, and bearing the marks of what Capt. J. Baron and Chief Officer Van Den Ent declared was the roughest voyage they had ever experience. Other ships which have arrived in the last few days reported stormy passages, but none have had tales of excitement and danger to compare with those told by the officers and passengers of the New Amsterdam.

    For two days the ship steamed through a hurricane, in the course of which four passengers and three members of the crew were injured. Albert Bakker, a second cabin passenger, had his left leg broken by being thrown down a passageway. Fourteen-year-old Lena Levy was sent tumbling down a companionway and had her scalp cut, while Miss Mildred Chase and Miss J. Ingram-Smith were thrown out of their berths, badly knocked about and bruised, and Miss Chase had a wrist sprained.

    TWO LIFEBOATS HAULED INTO THE SEA

    It was on Thursday night that the worst damage was done. Then a mountain high wave came aboard over the port bow, sent two lifeboats flying from their davits into the sea, and smashed five more as though they had been made of pasteboard. Three sailors who had lashed themselves to the deck while they tried to make the lifeboats fast were knocked unconscious and were saved only when other members of the crew risked death to scramble on deck and drag them to shelter.

    This ship still hung—staggered and trembling from the shock of the first wave—when a second giant sea passed completely over it. The crest of this wave smashed down on the skylight of the smoking-room, burst through it and flooded the room beneath, sending a dozen or more drenched passengers flying for safety. It was when these waves struck that the injured were tossed about.

    The hurricane started on Wednesday night and it was Thursday noon before it blew itself out. The wind

    (Continued on Second Page.)

    HURRICANES HIT BIG SHIP: ICEBERG NEARLY SMASHES ONE

    (Continued from First Page.)

    shrieked through the rigging and the seas which it sent aboard twisted iron railing into weird fantastic shapes though the rails would have withstood almost any normal strain.

    GIANT WATER SPOUT ONLY TWO MILES AWAY.

    Even when the hurricane died down a fearful wind still raged and this with the tremendous seas so held back the New Amsterdam that she made only a mile an hour, although her normal speed is eighteen or nineteen knots. On Friday a water spout passed two miles to the north.

    “ It was a great funnel-shaped cloud like a water spout,” said Chief Officer Van Den Ent, who had the bridge. “It shrieked and wailed as it passed like some live thing. It was horrible. I don’t know what would have become of the ship if it had touched us. I am certain nothing that [unreadable] could have lived in it.”

    An iceberg which appeared within less that two miles of the ship was another threatened danger which was passed, but every day of the trip demanded constant watchfulness on the part of the officers and they landed here almost exhausted.

    “ It was the worst trip I ever had,” said Capt. Baron. “The ship is a big one and stanch and usually rolls very little, but she rocked like a cradle almost throughout the voyage and strained and shook frightfully. The storm started in the southwest, but veered into the northwest after a while. There was no let up, however, no matter from what point of the compass it came.”

    The New Amsterdam carried fifty-five first cabin passengers and two hundred and forty-nine in the second cabin, and it is safe to say that there wasn’t one who was not glad to set foot on shore.

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      I have heard about that storm as it also mentioned in the memoires of Capt. van de Heuvel who was on one of the other ships in the area.
      Must have been some sort “storm of the century”. Not uncommon in the days, when there was no weather forecast, but only the nose and skills of the captain and the ships sometimes plunged straight into the biggest waves without knowing about it.

      Thank you for sharing

      Capt. Albert

  8. My grandmother came over to the USA on the Nieuw amsterdam From the port of Rottrdam on Feb 19, 1927 in new york . My question was the ships route through the english channel or did the ship take another route to the USA ? Is there any place that would have an it in art on this trip or other information on it. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you Diana S.

    • Good morning,

      Thank you for reading my blog, Your Grand mother came over on voyage 171. The ship left Rotterdam on 08 February. The ship sailed south through the English Channel for France as it called at the French port of Boulogne Sur Mer. This was only a service call for collecting passengers and mail. Then the ship continued to Halifax for a short stop to land emigrants. From there it sailed to New york where it arrived on the 19th. of February. Here it stayed for 7 days and commenced the return voyage on February 26. the captain during that voyage was Capt. Sievert Jans de Jong.

      I do not understand your next sentence: Is there any place that would have an it in art on this trip or other information on it

      But let me know if you have more questions and I will try to help.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  9. Hello Captain Albert,
    I have found an image of a “List of United States Citizens” for the “Nieuw – Amsterdam” (the photocopy is fuzzy). My great-grandfather and great-grandmonther are on the list. I would just like to confirm that they did in fact travel on The Nieuw Amsterdam (I) of 1906. Their names were Cornelius and Suzanna De Block. The ship left Rotterdam on August 17, 1926, arriving at Port of New York, August 28, 1926. They were both born in Holland, but became US citizens on April 7, 1898(?)
    Can you confirm that they did in fact travel back to the US on the The Nieuw Amsterdam (I) of 1906?
    Also assuming they used an HAL ship to travel from the US to Holland, can you easily find out when they travel back to Holland?
    Thank you for any assistance you can provide.
    Joel DeBlock, Edmonton, Canada

    • Good morning,

      thank you for reading my blog.

      If this was their emigration voyage then the entry lists are available at Ellis Island (free to search on line). If this was a regular voyage, then I will need to check in the archives in Holland but I will not be able to do this until September when I am back in Holland again.
      So let me know if this was their emigration voyage or not and I will be happy to follow up
      (Please send email with all details to Captalbert1@aol.com)

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  10. Hi Capt. Albert,

    Thanks for writing this blog! According to records, my great-grandmother sailed on the Nieuw Amsterdam. The passenger list I got from libertyellisfoundation.org is stamped that the ship left Rotterdam on Jul 1, 1911 (I think, it’s a little blurry) and arrived in New York Jul 10, 1911. Does this sound correct? Is there anything else you can share about this specific voyage? Do you know if it stopped anywhere else?

    Thanks!!!

    • Good morning,

      thank you for reading my blog.

      Yes you are correct, the ship left on 01 July 1911. The captain during that voyage was Adriaan Roggeveen, it was his final voyage before retiring. It was voyage nbr 42 and the ship called at Rotterdam – Boulogne Sur Mer (service stop at anchor for mail and passengers) arrived at New York on 10 July, left from New York on 18 July and called at Plymouth England and Boulogne Sur Mer, France on the way back, arriving in Rotterdam on 28 July.
      There are no remarks in the voyage reports so it must have been a nice and quiet summer crossing.

      I hope this helps

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  11. I am looking for C Dorfman. Departed Rotterdam on the Nieuw Amsterdam Nov. 9 1907

  12. Hello and thank you for the tremendous article.

    I just discovered that my great-great grandparents sailed from Rotterdam to Ellis Island on the maiden voyage of the Nieuw Amsterdam. I was actually at Ellis Island yesterday and found all of this out. I was wondering if you could give me any further information on them (maybe the voyage’s journey, whether they were 1st, 2nd, or 3rd class, anything at all). They were Johan and Anna Uderman and they had a child named Hans that was 6 months old. ANY information you can give me would be incredibly appreciated. Thank you!

    Sean Vargo, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      For finding out what class they travelled in, I have to check the archives in Holland. I will be there in January and I will have a look. I will put it on my to do list. For the rest: The Captain was Frederik Hendrik Bonjer, who was the Commodore of the line and thus sailing on the newest and largest ship in the fleet. The official travel days: the ship left on 07 April and sailed via Boulogne Sur Mer in France to New York. It arrived there on the 16th. and disembarked the first class and 2nd class passengers. The 3rd class emigrants were landed later. That could coincide with your date of the 18th. If the dates fit it means that your fore fathers came over in 3rd class, but I will try to verify. The Rotterdam left New York on the 25th again and sailed back via Boulogne Sur Mer to Rotterdam.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

    • Good morning,

      It took awhile but I checked the archives but I could not find the names on the lists of the maiden voyage listing of the NA. Could you please check their arrival date at Ellis Island and then we can see if it might have been another voyage than the maiden voyage.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  13. Sorry to exclude this, I forgot to mention. Ellis Island had them officially arriving on April 18, 1906. Hope this helps!

  14. My grandfather Pieter Postuma (24 years old), left Rotterdan, August 27, 1920, on this ship. Immigrating to the United States. He arrived at New York Ellis Island September 7, 1920. Later married, settled in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and had 8 children.

  15. Stephen Weinstein

    January 18, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    Dear Captain Albert,
    Greatly enjoyed reading your blog. My grandfather, Isaac Weinstein, from Kishinev, Bessarabia, Russia, came to New York on the Nieuw Amsterdam, arriving in April or May 1907 (we have this info from the Ellis Island records). Would there be any records, photos, passenger lists or other mementos of that voyage? Unlike today, the young man did not have a camera, or keep a diary.
    Thank you again for your interesting site.
    Sincerely,
    Stephen Weinstein

    • Good morning,

      Thank you for reading my blog. I can check the HAL archives as the sailing date is after 1900, so the manifest information (cost and cabin number, passenger list) might be there. However I will not be able to do this until July when I go back to the archives. Entry records would be held at Ellis Island and those records you can access directly on line by searching for Ellis Island.
      I can help you with putting you in the right direction:

      The captains name was Frederik Hendrik Bonjer and the voyage number was either 9 or 10.
      Voyage dates:

      9 06 apr – 04 may Rotterdam – Bouloge Sur Mer – New York (16 – 24 april) – Boulogne Sur Mer – Rotterdam
      10 11 may – 08 jun Rotterdam – Boulogne Sur Mer – New York (21 – 29 may ) – Boulogne Sur Mer – Rotterdam

      The company archives do not hold any mementos of this voyage and photos are few and far in between from those days.
      The crossing was like a bus service over the ocean, so nobody thought it was anything special.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

      Submitted on 2016/01/18 at 11:34 pm

      Dear Captain Albert,
      Greatly enjoyed reading your blog. My grandfather, Isaac Weinstein, from Kishinev, Bessarabia, Russia, came to New York on the Nieuw Amsterdam, arriving in April or May 1907 (we have this info from the Ellis Island records). Would there be any records, photos, passenger lists or other mementos of that voyage? Unlike today, the young man did not have a camera, or keep a diary.
      Thank you again for your interesting site.
      Sincerely,
      Stephen Weinstein

      Unapprove | Reply | Quick Edit | Edit | History | Spam | Trash

    • Good morning,

      Thank you for reading my blog. I can check the HAL archives as the sailing date is after 1900, so the manifest information (cost and cabin number, passenger list) might be there. However I will not be able to do this until July when I go back to the archives. Entry records would be held at Ellis Island and those records you can access directly on line by searching for Ellis Island.
      I can help you with putting you in the right direction:

      The captains name was Frederik Hendrik Bonjer and the voyage number was either 9 or 10.
      Voyage dates:

      9 06 apr – 04 may Rotterdam – Bouloge Sur Mer – New York (16 – 24 april) – Boulogne Sur Mer – Rotterdam
      10 11 may – 08 jun Rotterdam – Boulogne Sur Mer – New York (21 – 29 may ) – Boulogne Sur Mer – Rotterdam

      The company archives do not hold any mementos of this voyage and photos are few and far in between from those days.
      The crossing was like a bus service over the ocean, so nobody thought it was anything special so nobody kept any specific records

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  16. Love your very informative blog! My grandfather, Gerardus W. de Roth emigrated to the US aboard the Noordam which sailed from Rotterdam on May 15, 1917. I have the passenger list and have confirmed this through Ellis Island. I also have a passenger list which includes my grandfather’s name for the Niew Amsterdam which was to have sailed Jan. 31, 1917. I have his menus for dinner and supper Feb 1, 1917, but I cannot confirm that the ship completed it’s crossing to the U.S. I found a newspaper article dated 1/2/17 mentioning that the ship was to leave Falmouth on Tues, but was recalled to Rotterdam due to the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare. I noticed that a large number of the 2nd cabin passengers listed for the 1/31/17 sailing were also listed on the Noordam for the 5/15/17 sailing . Can you confirm that the Niew Amsterdam did not sail for the U.S. Jan. 31, 1917?

    • Thank you for reading my blog.
      Your records are absolutely correct.

      The Nieuw Amsterdam commenced voyage 95 on 31 jan 1917 under the command of Captain Pieter van den Heuvel.
      Due to unlimited u boat war all ships sailed North through the north sea (where there was protection from the Royal British Navy) and would then come down through the Irish Sea to call at Falmouth for more passengers and mail. Then the ship would start the crossing to New York.
      For this voyage the ship just made it north of the Doggersbank (shallow area in the North sea just south of Edinburgh) and was then recalled to Rotterdam where it arrived on 02 Feb. 1917. The ship remained in lay up until 30 June 1917 when it made a succesfull crossing via Halifax to NY.

      I hope this helps

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  17. Dear Captain Albert,

    Thank you for your post on the Nieuw Amsterdam I, that sailed from Rotterdam to Halifax in 1929. I found the photos and the content very helpful.

    I am writing a historical fiction based on my grandmother’s story of the time she left Ukraine (then Poland) in 1929, landed in Danzig, from which she took a Polish steamer to Rotterdam. She was a third class passenger. She boarded on August 13 and arrived on August 21 in Halifax. The Captain did very well getting across the ocean in 8 days as a storm blew them off course 150 miles.

    I wonder if you can provide me with more information:

    Where did the immigrants store their belongings? My grandmother and her three children (they shared a cabin with bunk beds). They carried a blue metal trunk stuffed with their clothes, handiwork, and comforters, two saws protected by boards, a sewing machine head, and a bag full of kitchen pots, utensils, and a basin. I can’t imagine all this fitting under the bunk beds.

    My grandmother was also sick on the voyage. She probably used the sink in the room to clean up but I understand there was a ladies’ room down the hall with toilets (flush?) and a bathtub. Was there only one bathtub for all the third class passengers on that deck? How many third class passengers were there? I’m assuming towels were supplied in the room.

    Would she have had any help cleaning up the vomit? I know there were medical personnel on board. Would they have been available to the third class passengers as well? And these days, anti-nausea meds are provided by ship personnel. Were there any back then?

    As far as my research goes, my understanding is that there were only two classes on this voyage, third and tourist. Were the third class passengers allowed to see where the tourist ones hung out?

    My mother, who was a teenager at the time, said she danced every night and there was a bank or orchestra on board. Did the two classes mix or were the dances separate for each class.

    Also, ship announcements. Could third class passengers hear them on their deck or would they be communicated somehow by ship personnel or fellow passengers after they’d heard it on the main deck. Was there a loudspeaker?

    And lastly, was there a safety drill when they left the port? I know after the Titanic disaster shipping lines became more conscientious.

    Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing back.

    Best,
    Diana

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      Those are a lot of questions, so I will answer them from my hobby email address, there will be Nieuw Amsterdam I in the header in case it goes into Spam.

      Best regards

      Capt. albert

  18. Capt Sieverts Jans de Jong. Born on 23 nov 1873 in Den Helder refers.

    My father Willem de Jong Snr was the son of the above Captain, my grandfather.
    We emigrated to South Africa in 1952.
    Willem de Jong Snr had 2 sons Willem 12/3/1947 and Adam 12/2/1949.
    There are 4 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren all living in South Africa.
    We have 2 water colour paintings done by Capt de Jong depicting scenes when he rescued all crew and passengers without loss of life of the steamer “Mecklenburg” torpedoed by a German submarine in 1916 near “Galloper Light Ship”. At that stage he was Captain of the “Westerdyk”

    Hope this assists in your effort to produce the records of the history of Capt de Jong at HAL.

    Kind regards,
    Wim

  19. Dear Captain Albert,

    I would just like to say that this blog is extremely impressive and a grand documentation for something that would probably not be as well-documented otherwise, so thank you.

    Aside from that, I have a question. Do you know what the name is of the first ship to transport passengers from Rotterdam to New York after World War I? I suspect it might be the Nieuw Amsterdam I of 1906, but I am unsure.

    Thank you,
    Rose

    • Thank you for reading my blog and the compliment.
      You are correct it was the Nieuw Amsterdam as she really did never stopped her crossings during the war. The first postwar voyage, if we count 11 November the end of the war was the return voyage 99 East bound which left New York on 20 November. The first one from Rotterdam was then voyage 100 departing Rotterdam on 21 December.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  20. Frances Luttikhuizen

    December 11, 2017 at 6:08 am

    my great-grandparents emigrated in 1910. They took the NA on November 10, 1910, Rotterdam-New York. Two of their sons left earlier, one in 1900 and the other in 1902. I’m not sure what month, but very likely in the winter months since they were farmers and would have waited for after harvest. Which ships could they have taken in 1900 and 1902? the Potsdam? was that a steamship? My grandmother left the Netherlands in 1911. would she have taken the Ryndam?

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      Most likely the Potsdam, the noordam or the Ryndam, as they were just in service and assigned for carrying most of the emigrants.
      These were all steamships, see my information on the blog. If you grand mother left in 1911, then in addition to these three ships
      she might have been on the Nieuw Amsterdam of the Rottterdam of 1908. I you have a departure date from Rotterdam, then I can tell you
      which ship it is.

      Best regards

      Capt. albert

  21. My father-in law George Donswijk came to USA with his mother & family November 6, 1923. We will be visiting Holland next year where would the archives be to find out more information.

    • Good morning,

      thank you for reading my blog. The Holland America line archives are being held by the City council archives.

      The address is:
      Gemeente Archief Rotterdam
      Hofkade 651
      Rotterdam.
      (it is right in the center of Rotterdam about 10 minutes walking east of central station)

      The are open from Tuesday to friday from 08.30 to 16.45.

      When you arrive there, you have to sign in at the entry desk, then you will be directed to the 2nd floor.
      Through the glass doors and there is a desk with a gentleman and a lady. They both speak very good English
      and they will be happy to show you how to access to the manifest files on the computer.
      For the NA in 1923 it should be no problem as all the records are there.

      Good hunting

      Capt. albert

  22. Bonjour
    Thank you for all the information about the Nieuw-Amsterdam. More about the capture and the internment of the German and Austrian passengers from the Nieuw-Amsterdam in the firstdays of September 1914 can be read on the Web site of our Association http://www.ilelongue14-18.eu/?-The-Dutch-passenger-ship-Nieuw-&lang=en.
    With regards from Brest (France)
    Monique Drévillon

  23. Do you have any information on a departure on September 19, 1919 from Plymouth England? My father was on board with my aunt and grandmother. Surname was Winton. I’ve been to Ellis island but they said they did not get off there. I’m not sure where else they would have disenbarked. Any help is appreciated.

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      We have a real mystery here. Your father should have been on voyage 105 with captain Pieter van den Heuvel in command. The ship sailed on 12 September from Rotterdam, called at Boulogne sur Mer and then anchored overnight at Plymouth on 13/14 September. Then she sailed straight to New York where she arrived on 23 September. She left on 04 October again going home via Plymouth and Boulogne Sur Mer arriving in Rotterdam on 14 October.
      If your parents are not there according to Ellis Island then we have several possibilities. So I checked if they might have been on another Dam ship that called on the 19th sept. in Plymouth, but there is not one. None of the HAL ships had a call at Plymouth on the 19th in any of the years between 1915 and 1925. Are you sure of the month ?? If so, there is the question, how did they travel. If they were regular passengers they will not be in the Ellis Island Records. If they emigrated in First or Second class, they might also not be in the records, as posh passengers where often processed while the ship was going to the regular berth. Also 3rd class and steerage was landed at Ellis Island without exception.
      One last option: the name was spelled wrong in the Ellis island records. Winton is unusual for an American immigration officer, they might have written it down as Winston or Wiston something similar………….. Please review the options and the dates and let me know if you have any idea what might be different and I will look again.

      Best regards

      Captain Albert

  24. would like to find out more information regarding my great grandmother and grandmothers voyage in 1920 to Ellis island

  25. Beatrice van Donkelaar

    August 22, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    My Grandfather was an Officer at 18 yrs. old on the Nieuw Amsterdam in 1918 J.R.Leijenaar in Holland. I’m his Granddaughter who immigrated to the U.S.A. via New York in 1962. This was the first time I got to see pictures of the liner from those days. It was a true Blessing to see them. Thank You.

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