- Captain Albert's Blog -

Stories from the Sea, Past and Present

08 Dec. 2007, At Sea and going home.

Tomorrow we are in Tampa and I will be going home for a four month leave period. Normally my colleague and I are doing three on, three off, but due to the scheduling of the yearly captains conference we have changed it this time to 4 on 4 off and then 2 on, two off. In that way it also works out that I will be on board for Christmas 2008 after having had the previous two holiday periods off.

I will be relieved by Captain James Russell-Dunford who has been alternating with me on the Veendam since 2004.

I would like to thank all the readers for taking their time to follow my daily escapades on the high seas. My apologies for not always answering your queries and questions. Some I could not answer as they would involve company policy and statements. As a captain I do not make company policy, I only execute it. For the rest I have tried to in coorperate as many answers in my blogs as possible. I hope you enjoyed it.

Please check the website later in the New Year; I hope to add two sections to it during my leave. One with history of the company and the Holland America Line ships and items of life on board the Veendam including of who is Who.

Happy holidays



  1. Happy holidays to you, too, Captain. Enjoy your leave. I’ll be looking for your journal entries and return in April.

  2. Capt. Albert,

    Just wanted to let you know how much I’ve been enjoying your blog.

    I hope you have a fantastic vacation, a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and I look forward to your return in a few months.

    It is nice to hear you will be on board over the 2008 holidays as my family is looking to take a holiday cruise and the VEENDAM is one of hte ships we are looking at. Will you be on the New Year’s cruise 2008-2009? It would be great to sail with you and as you know, I like the ship very much!

    All the Best,
    Doug Newman

  3. Thank you for taking all of us along with you. Enjoy your holidays and time off. I know that you deserve it. I’ve marked my calendar for April when we can rejoin you and your ship – virtually.


  4. A very Happy Holiday to you and your family, Captain. Thank you so much for all the work in bringing us these interesting posts. I will keep a close eye on your blog and look forward to hearing from you again soon.

  5. Willem Stevense

    December 9, 2007 at 9:38 am

    To You and Leslie.. A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year of course. Enjoy your time off. It looks like you’ll be back just in time to sail the Veendam to Vancouver.

  6. We wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
    We will miss your posts and look forward to your return.
    Linda and Jerry Bento
    10/21-10/28/07 Western Caribe

  7. Kapitein Albert, wij wensen u en Leslie ook een vrolijk kerstfeest en een gelukkig nieuwjaar toe! All the best for 2008 and enjoy your four months of well deserved vacation! Many thanks for your daily blog and giving us that have no clue an opportunity om even in de keuken van de Veendam te kijken/to look behind the scenes of Veendam!

    Looking forward to the return of your blog on 01 April 08 (which happens to be April Fools day but you already knew that one! 😉

    Tot ziens!
    John en Maria P

  8. Wishing you and the compliments of the Veendam crew and further passengers a Warm and Happy Christmas. It was certainly a pleasure sailing with you Captain aboard a beautiful ship named ‘Veendam’… “A Ship With a Soul” ………… I only wish to be “Welcomed Home” again very soon.

    Cabin 212 – Panama/Amazon River Cruise. September 2006

  9. Beste Kapitein.

    Ik wens u een behouden thuis komst en een mooie tijd aan de wal.
    Wens u en uw familie Prettige Kerstdagen en een voorspoedig 2008. Ik kijk uit naar uw nieuwe website, ik zelf onderhoud ook een website over de Holland Amerika Lijn. Met vele foto’s een complete vloot overzicht van de passagiers schepen die onder de HAL vlag voeren. Filmpjes enz.

    Vriendelijke groet.
    Ben van Zeijl.

    ps wish all a/b ms Veendam and all readers Marry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  10. Merry Christmas and Happy New year to you and your family. As a current cadet (with another company) I have enjoyed reading your daily blog and found it interesting to relate to my, so far limited experiences.

    Best Wishes

  11. Captain Albert,
    I am having withdrawal not reading your daily blog. It was in September, 2007, that I became aware of it. I became hooked the first day. Cruising from Montreal to Tampa on the Veendam in October just made it all that more personal. I got to know those fine folks you talk about as well as learned of all the good things that Holland America does for poorer countries. I look forward to your return to captain the neatest ship along with the friendliest crew ever. Enjoy your holiday. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and Lesley!!

  12. Charles Helsby, RAF Rtd

    December 21, 2007 at 6:46 am

    You will be looking forward to spending Christmas at home with your family but, like we Brits, I’m sure that you will be feeling the cold in the UK after your recent time in the Caribbean. We left the Veendam in Tampa after the repositioning cruise from Montreal, rather envying those going to warmer temperatures. However, reading your blog, the Caribbean was rather untypical for your first couple of weeks!
    Anyway, here’s wishing you and your family – and all those on Veendam who might read this – a very happy and safe Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.

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