- Captain Albert's Blog -

Stories from the Sea, Past and Present

Captains from the Past.

Under this subdirectory you will find a series of biographies of the old Hal Captains. Those Captains who have since departed for their final voyage towards the horizon.  This is very much a work in progress and it will take a long time to come even near completion. Most pages only have just a photo as of this moment. Various tidbits of information will be added in the coming periods. The more input and feedback I will receive from my readers, the more I can add to each entry. So please the more you respond, the more I can do.

Please note that I am only listing with captain’s from the long and illustrious past of the company. Not those still in function or enjoying their retirement. That might come later but I would need the individual approval from each and all of them.

I have started with listing those captain’s that I have a photo from. Some captain’s also already have a bio. For others it will starts with snippets that I have collected thusfar. You might find that some names are missing. Either I do not have a photo yet or I do not know of their existence (yet). I am slowly going through the company’s voyage books, musterings books and personell books but that will take some time to complete.

On the right hand side of this page, you will find in alphabetical order the listing as of those names that I am aware off as now.  There will be more coming once I get the total voyage listings together off all the ships. Currently I am trying to piece together each voyage made by any ship in the fleet. Comparing that with the Personell books reveals those who only took command during fill on voyages and then left the company before they were fully promoted.

The challenge is that before 1881, there are no voyage books in the archives and the voyage books that we have from later years are not all complete. The company’s archive was flood damaged in the 1950’s and a lot of material was lost then.

As off today, I have the voyages of the ships more or less complete to 1920 and thus still a long way to go.

I have received in the past year a lot of photos from the captin’s relatives and I will start to upload those in the near future. A heartfelt thank you to all who have done so. I will be in contact again.

Updated 21 september 2014

Update 10 Oct. 2014 update. 3 more captains where added to the list:

Capt. D.K Schoo ( 1926), Capt. C.H. Gast (1926) and Capt. G.W.C. Landman (1893)

Update: 12 Oct. 2014 1 more captain added to the list:

Capt. J.H.K Moliere (1926)

Update: 16 Oct 2014  2 more captains added to the list:

Capt. V. O. S Lambert (1927) and Capt. H.K.L. Veldheer (1927)

Update: 20 Oct 2014  1 one captain added to the list:

Capt. V.H. Augspurg (1929)




  1. I am pleased to see that your blog is now starting to have information about your great deceased Captains. Over the years, I have looked on Google many times, hoping to find information about Captain Folkert Dobbinga, Sr. I am familiar with his great exploit and initiative in preventing his ship from falling into Nazi hands at the start of World War II. He certainly deserves to be remembered.

  2. Captain Reedijk was indeed my father. If necessary i can supply additional information.
    From 1930 until 1972 : functions, ships, wages etc.
    I sailed with HAL as engineer from 1962-1966 mainly on the ss Rotterdam.

  3. I believe that Captain Johan Diehl was my uncle. I think he lived in Gouda. I can remember meeting him a few times when I was younger, he was a true gentleman.

  4. I have a menu from 1971, Holland American Lines. It has Captain J.V. Diehl Commander at the top.

  5. Who was the Saban Captain of the HAL who wrote the poem on the plaque at Windwardside overlooking the airport?

  6. Captain Albert,
    Deze kapitein van de HAL kwam ik nog tegen op:


    Ooster, CHP Gezagvoerder ter koopvaardij

    Kruis van Verdienste; KB no 2 van 20 juli 1944,

    die als kapitein achtereenvolgens van het ss Breedijk, het ss Leerdam en het ms Sloterdijk gedurende de periode van maart 1941 tot december 1943 op moedige wijze het bevel over deze schepen voerde in gebieden, waar door de oorlogsomstandigheden voortdurend groote gevaren van vijandelijke handelingen werden geloopen.

    bron: ARA 2.16.32 inv, nr. 230

  7. What happened to captain vancouverden??

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      Capt. Van Coevorden retired in 2004 and is since then spending his time fishing in Alaska.
      He lives in Seattle.

      best regards

      Capt. Albert

  8. David L. Czirr

    April 16, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    I so much enjoy your writings, always looking forward to more.

    The captain on one of my HAL cruises was a Captain Leo van Lanschot-Hubrecht, and I don’t see him listed anywhere. Perhaps I’ve misspelled his name? He was Captain on a Panama Canal cruise I took on Rotterdam V in 1997 I believe.


    • Captain Albert

      April 16, 2019 at 6:12 pm

      Thank you for reading my blog.

      Captain Leo is doing really well in his retirement. I have asked him a few times to submit his biography and he is still working on it.
      The moment he comes forward with his stories…………… and he has stories to tell, he will join the ranks of the “immortals” on my blog.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  9. Surprised to see my cousin, Richard Barnard on here. Internet makes for a small world. Very early 50’s I spent a fair bit of time with Jan and his wife Rene, at the time living In Hoekenburglaan ? In Voorburg. My sister had some old photo’s, don’t know if they’re still about.

  10. Captain Albert,
    Could it be captain Roelof ten Kate, who delivered the dss Nieuw Amsterdam at the brookers in Kaohsiung, is missing from ´Captains from the Past´ ?

    Also see: http://www.vandaagenmorgen.nl/kunst-cultuur/4984-ten-kate-een-zeevarend-zondagskind.html

    • Thank you for pointing it out. no I am not forgetting Capt. Ten Kate. But as he only died last year I have not yet uploaded his bio.

      Will be done around Christmas.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

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