- Captain Albert's Blog -

Stories from the Sea, Past and Present

24 June 2014; Holland America Line, Head Office Seattle.

24 June 2014; Holland America Line, Head Office Seattle.

This will be my last blog before I will venture out to the fleet. Tomorrow I will join the Volendam for 14 days (25 June to 09 July) followed by the Amsterdam for another 14 days. (10 July – 27 July) This is all to help out with the implementation of the upgraded Lifeboat drill system.  

In the mean time we can continue our round through the office.  Most of the corridors have posters on display, some from the past some contemporary. A number of the ones from the ancient days are reprints but there are a number of originals as well.  Then there is of course what gets produced now and some of them finally end up in an office or a hall way when no longer needed.

Holland America visual Time Line

Holland America visual Time Line

A  more unusual item in a hall way on the 4th. Floor is a poster in the form of a time line of the company. Somebody with a lot of artistic insight and graphical skills made a collage of the company’s history from 1873 to just into 2000.  Very nicely done and I do see people stopping and looking at it when passing by.

It is hanging close to a conference room with an unusual mural on the wall.  It immediately lays a link with the Explorer Lounges on our ships, where we have something similar on display. I have not been able to find out if this 17th century sea-view is a copy of a real painting from that period or an imaginary scene dreamed up by a painter from our age. I will try to find out in the future.

4th. Floor conference room

4th. Floor conference room

At the opposite end of the 4th. Floor is the Finance department which looks totally different as there are less cubicles and more open space.  I took this shot on a Saturday morning when nobody was counting money and thus the main thing that catches the eye are the balloons.  These balloons are not for a birthday but are an appreciation system. If somebody does something for somebody in another department, you can send a thank you note with a balloon attached.  If you count the number of balloons, you can see that Finance is quite popular.

Finance Dept. and not a dollar to be seen.

Finance Dept. and not a dollar to be seen.


As long as they do not shred Dollars it will all e good

As long as they do not shred Dollars it will all be good










What is also really clearly visible is a whole bank of shredders. No company secret will make it out of our doors.





Some sort office planning reasoning resulted in the interior department being located in a corner of the Finance Dept. But it leans against the wall with Technical to whom it reports so they are not that far away. Ships need constant refurbishment and apart from just renewing the same soft furnishings on board, there are also upgrades to the ships and sometimes a whole new theme is introduced. As a result the area is strewn with samples and design, all done to keep the interior of our ships looking nice and up-to-date.


I should be back in Seattle for another visit sometime in October, and then we will continue our journey. There are still lots more interesting things to show.


  1. Missed Career at Sea

    June 24, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    Wonderful Captain ! I could comment to every entry you made while exploring the Headquarters of Holland America but, especially to your blog about “the Grand Dame of the Seas”. My dad had the honour to be on board after his furlough from the Netherlands back to the Netherlands East Indies, which I believe took 30 days in “those days”. But, I have a picture of her visiting Vancouver during the Expo days in 1986 docked on the same Westside of the Canada Place where the HAL ships dock these days.
    I hope to greet you tomorrow with what the Zaandam’s Captain says every Friday – “goeie morgen” ! [Talking about the Zaandam, I wonder if you will cross with her to Hawaii for the upgraded Lifeboat drill system this September?]

  2. Robina Herrington

    June 25, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    I have just seen your latest post, I expect you will be pleased to be back at sea again, you must have missed it. I am enjoying seeing and hearing about the office, but there is nothing to compare with being at sea, thank you again for your writings, Robina

  3. Because you’ll be on the ms Amsterdam, will you be ablle to be a ‘fly on the wall’ for the Victoria or Seattle docking or departures? I’ve always been curious if Seattle is relatively simple to dock at or depart from, or if there is some ‘hidden’ complication…such as the ferry captains being very strict about their routes, compulsory tugs, or narrow channels that require very precise navigation. Or perhaps ‘sunday boaters’ 😉 (the wind could be another complication–but probably not at this time of year).
    The Explorer Lounge-type painting in the conference room might be from the Amsterdam or Westerdam. I feel like I’ve seen it recently on a ship that departs from Seattle or Vancouver.

  4. Good morning
    I am having difficulty in South Africa, trying to access the contact details for Holland America Line’s head office, as I have an urgent query/complaint.

    I wish to report something about which I am very concerned. Last year I travelled with HAL to the South Pacific in order to write an article for newspaper purposes. It was duly published in three of our major Sunday newspapers in South Africa, as well as on-line and I submitted a copy to your head office, which seemed to meet with their approval.
    On May 20 this year, I sailed with HAL to Bermuda to do the same i.e. write an article.
    After leaving the Veendam, in America I tried to use my debit card (Cash Passport) but it was blocked due to insufficient funds. I was informed that HAL had inadvertently debited my card twice with $420 held in reserve on 22 May and again $420 on 25 May. Both were listed as Veendam Seattle.
    When I left the ship, I was duly credited with $420 less the obligatory daily gratuity i.e. an amount of $325,50.
    I am informed, though, that the additional $420 reserved by HAL has not been returned.
    It was embarrassing for me in the USA when I tried to make payments, only to be declined. It was also difficult as I had to set up another line of payment.
    Please look into this as a matter of urgency
    Many thanks
    Myrtle Ryan
    Sunday Tribune newspaper

  5. Asep Saepulrahman

    July 5, 2019 at 6:53 am

    Holland America Line is the best… Unfortunately, I resigned from HAL because of family problem in my country. Could I rejoin, captain?

    • Captain Albert

      July 8, 2019 at 8:43 pm

      Thank you for reading the blog.

      Yes, people are always welcome back. And we are looking for people. Easiest thing to do is go to HollandAmerica.com webpage and look for careers. There are a number of links that you can follow. Good luck.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

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