- Captain Albert's Website and Blog -

Ocean Liner History and Stories from the Sea, Past and Present. With an In Depth focus on Holland America Line

Captains from the Past.

Under this sub directory 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  the captain’s from the long and illustrious past of the company. There is a sub directory  for the current captains and some of my colleagues have graciously consented to have en extended biography to be uploaded. (Some are quite shy and then there is only the company biography) Then there are those  enjoying their retirement. Those  might come later but I would need the individual approval and thus far I have not gotten around to that part of the website.

Most captain’s have now a photo but not everybody yet. Some captain’s also already have a biography. For others I am still searching and compiling. In the old days before the internet and face book, There was not much of publicity unless you were the Master of the largest ships. And even then some captains were very good in remaining under the radar.  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, mustering books and personnel 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 Personnel 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 1950 and thus still a long way to go. Especially as the current cruise ships generate about 600 cruises a year.

I have received in the past year a lot of photos from the captain’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.

November 2019 update:

Captain de Korver

Captain Filppo




  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.

    • Yes, please

      I will contact you from my private email. As I do not have much information to put on the blog yet.

      Most appreciated

      Capt. Albert

    • Jenny Jacob Veerman

      October 7, 2021 at 5:14 am

      Hello my father Gerrit Veerman was a steward on the Veendam 1936 -1939, I have photos of him on the ship in Alcund Norway, he came home September 39, from New York to Rotterdam, he loved his time on the ships and spoke of them often.

    • Barbara Crichton

      July 4, 2023 at 5:14 am

      My father was chief mate – on many ships including the Altair that wrecked off the coast of South America . His name was Willem van Heere – he was the youngest first mate officer with the company. Born 1928 – I would imagine not many people alive from this era but would love to hear from anyone who might have known him.

  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

    • Mijn dank.

      Ik loop vreselijk achter met de kapiteins bio’s. De informative blijft binnen stromen en ik heb op het ogenblik zo wenig tijd.


      Capt. Albert

      • Captain Albert,
        Nu begrijp ik het, want ik kwam zelf nogal wat informatie over deze kapitein tegen in delpher.nl kranten. Er zijn zelfs foto’s.
        Dank voor uw blog. Ik vind die heel interessant al weet ik niets van de scheepvaart. Heb over een aantal kapiteins in oorlogstijd gelezen.
        Fijn dat u dit voor belangstellenden hebt gemaakt.

        Vriendelijke groet uit Suriname

    • Laurens van der Laan

      February 26, 2022 at 10:41 am

      De juiste spelling is Coster.

  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

  11. We sailed from Port Canaveral transiting the Panama Canal aboard Zaandam in April 16, 2003. The Captain was Ture Lura. His name is not on your list of past masters with HAL. Why is he not listed. His Chief Officer was Sybe de Boer.

    Best regards for a Happy New Year


    • Captain Ture Lura came over together with Captain Halle Gundersen with the Seabourn Sun to Holland America. This then became our Prinsendam. To ensure that Holland America Line standards were introduced and maintained The Prinsendam kept one Norwegian Captain and one Dutch Captain. Capt. Ture Lura was assigned to the Zaandam. He only made a few voyages before he decided to retire as the Holland America Line way of sailing was not what he felt comfortable with. As far as I know, he is not dead yet and thus he is not on the list of Past Captains.

      Best regards

      CApt. Albert

  12. I have a cool pic of my parents meeting the Captain of the SS Statendam when my dad performed on the ship in 1969, but unfortunately there is no way to post a pic 🙁

  13. Hi Captain Albert. We are looking for Captain Wouter van Hoogdalem , one of the good guys. Whilst is was captain of the Zuiderdam, December 2017, he allowed us to have a picture with him at the treasured island of Curacao, as he was taking a well deserved ‘land’ break. He took time to talk with us, showing a real interest in where we were from and wanting to know something about our hobbies. He is not listed in your current and past Captain Listings, so hopefully he is just on leave.

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      Please look again in 3 weeks. I will update the listing then, as by then all captains should have their final schedules for this year.

      Best Regards

      Capt. Albert

  14. Interesting to read Captains from the Past.

    I notice that Christopher Turner is listed there and it shows that he is only retired?

    Had some great cruises on the Zuiderdam with him at the helm.

  15. Dear captain Albert,
    In 1910 and 1913 a great-uncle twice made the crossing from Rotterdam to New York with the New Amsterdam. Do you perhaps know how long the crossing took at the time?
    Thank you very much for your response.
    Kind regards,
    Arthur van Thiel

    • thank you for reading by blog.

      Average time was 8 to 9 days to New York via Boulogne Sur Mer, a 7 to 10 day lay over in New York depending the time of the year and the number of travelers
      and then an 8 to 9 day back, calling at Plymouth and Boulogne Sur Mer again.

      The lay over in New York was quite long, as the ship had to be re-coaled and re-provisioned by hand. And that did not go very fast.

      I hope this helps

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  16. Hi Kaptein; hope you are enjoying your well-earned vacation! Lots of “honey-do’s” no doubt! Question please; is a bio on Captain Eelcko Ypma in the works for the future? I think that this is a such a very cool (Frisian?) name! Thanks, take care and be safe!

    • Captain Albert

      April 28, 2020 at 5:30 pm

      Hallo Copper,

      Thank you for asking. Yes, Capt. Ypma is also in the works, but I have not reached that era yet. I am still “muddling” through those who retired in the period 1950 to 1960, and then it slowly moves on to 60-70’s, and then 70,80 90. So Yes, in the planning but it will be awhile.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  17. Bill and Ginger Hastings

    May 20, 2020 at 2:10 am

    One of our long time favorite Captains: Frans Consen. After sailing with him numerous times we were fortunate to be on his retirement voyage and what a send off by the crew. He and his wife Karen were living in the Netherlands. Was hoping to see him on your list.

    • Captain Albert

      May 21, 2020 at 12:35 pm

      Thank you for reading my blog.

      Frans is enjoying a nice retirement in Holland. He is not on the captains from the past as he is not dead yet, he is very much alive. I do not have a “retired” captains list as several of those captains are not interested in seeing their biography on line.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  18. Jessica Salonna

    July 18, 2020 at 10:50 pm

    I was wondering if you knew the doctor of the Rotterdam in 1974. My mom was treated by him and spoke very highly of him.

    • Captain Albert

      July 20, 2020 at 9:00 pm

      thank you for reading my blog.

      Unfortunately, I do not know and I can also not find it, as the HAL Crew records stop after 1973 when the operational department moved to New York.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  19. Captain Albert,
    In my possession is a certificate of a member of my family named Philippe van der Land.
    Dated 1925. He was believed to transport animals Fromm Afrika to Blijdorp zoo.
    The certificate is for Blijdorp.
    The information I have is that’s he was a captain on the SS Rotterdam during that time or earlier.
    Do you have confirmation on that? Do you have any record with the name Van der Land?

    I am donating this to Blijdorp on October 10, it would be great to hear from you.

    • Thank you for inquiring.

      Unfortunately there is no Captain with the last name of Van der Land in the company history, nor a staff captain who could have stepped in.
      Also Holland America never sailed on Africa. If Holland America Line ships were involved, then it was because they were in charter with the VNS. Maybe there was a Van der Land in service there. VNS stands for Vereenigde Nederlandsche Scheepvaart Maatschappij (OR United Shipping in English) founded in 19121 as a joint venture between various Dutch company’s because there was no Dutch company serving South Africa. Because each participating company, including HAL, brought in some ships there is a lot of confusions about which company and which captain/crew belonged where. There is website http://www.vns-voe.nl/ and maybe they would recognize the name.

      Sorry that I can not help anymore.

      Best regards

      Capt. albert

  20. Do you have list of captains and staff around 1983 to 1987

  21. Mary Beth Beth (my email is cowboys backwards)

    March 2, 2021 at 5:58 am

    I cannot wait to “go sailing” again with HAL. Getting my second shot of vaccine March 4th, and then I am ready. Would love to do another round trip to Antarctica, the blue continent.
    Of all my cruises with HAL I have never met you , but maybe someday. Stay safe, stay well and God bless.
    When you see my email, tell Sybe de Boer “hello” Met him on the former Statendam.

  22. Esther Ruth Brill

    April 27, 2021 at 3:19 am

    Would be interested in knowing the Captain of the ship my grandmother sailed on May 15, to May 31 on the Rotterdam. I think it was wonderful that HAL provided meals and accommodations for those emigrants trying to get to America.

    About 50 years ago I went to Bermuda on a Holland America line . It was so very elegant — seemed like every time I looked there was another meal, buffet, tea etc. . My more recent trip was right was a 51 day trip to the South Pacific – before Covid (in fact it was a world tour and the passengers had to get off at Australia) While not as elegant I had a very good time except for the weight my husband and I gained. I was much more disciplined 50 years ago

    • Captain Albert

      April 27, 2021 at 2:49 pm

      Good morning,

      I just found the 2nd post. which gives the Noordam as the ship. I will send you an email from my hobby account, as I just found the booking details for your grand mother.
      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  23. During March/April 1997, during our first cruise together – our honeymoon cruise on the Ryndam, we met Captain Peter J. van Maurik. Our paths never crossed again, unfortunately. I do not see him on your list of current, nor past Captains. What do you know of him?

    Louise Fugier

    • Thank you for your comment.

      Captain Peter van Maurik retired from the company just before the fleet came to a grinding halt due to Covid. He is now enjoying his retirement with his wife in California.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  24. Captain Albert

    What is the situation with Captain Jeroen Schunchmann. I don’t see him listed as either a current or past Captain. Steve MacBeath is listed as a current Captain. Did he rejoin the company? Thanks

  25. Gerard Borremans

    April 20, 2022 at 1:10 pm

    The same question as John Stahl, what happened to Jeroen Schuchman? I heard Seabourn, but not sure.

    • Captain Albert

      April 21, 2022 at 1:08 pm


      Jeroen Schuchman is boarding the Seabourn Quest on 27 April to relieve Captain Siebe de Boer.
      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  26. Dear Captain Albert By chance I came upon this blog. I am doing some research on the war experiences of my late grandfather, Captain Willem van den Donker, RNethN. Part of his war (1943 and 1944) he served in the RNR as a Commodore 2nd class in charge of convoys. He sailed in mostly British ships, but the one Dutch vessel was the SS Delftdyk with Convoy HX 282 New York to Liverpool in March 1944. Who was the captain at the time? And to research more on the ship, I should go to the Rotterdam Museum ‘Prins Hendrik’? One day I also will visit Kew to do more research there on the British ships he sailed on and the convoys in general.

    • Good afternoon, thank you for your comment.

      In march 1944 the captain of the ss Delftdyk was Captain Jacob Asmus Liebau who was assigned to the ship between 01 oct. 1943 until 31 may 1944. The convoy period for the HX 282 was from 06 march, departing New York to 21 march arriving Liverpool. This was voyage 11 for the ship. The ship then left again on 07 April from Liverpool to return to New York (24 Apr) in convoy ON. 231.

      The Maritime museum in Rotterdam might have something but I doubt if it is very much. Best thing to do is call the Library /museum on friday morning and the staff will be glad to help you,or go for a visit and ask for Mr. Ron Brands.
      However the Holland America Archives are held by “Het Gemeente / Stads Archief” Rotterdam op de Hofdijk.
      In this archive is a collection of ship log books. the Delftdijk log for this voyage is also there Plaatsingslijst / toegangs nummer 318.05 Inventaris nummer 3811
      Due to the Covid they work at the moment with a appointment system so the best thing is to do is to check the website and take it from there.
      If you have anymore questions, need for photos etc. send me an email on Captalbert1@aol.com and I will send some more information.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  27. Beste Capt. Albert,

    Ik heb u een mail gestuurd maar krijg een foutmelding. Zou u wellicht mij een mail kunnen sturen zodat ik het juiste mailadres heb?


  28. Who was the captain on the bear mat in early 2000s who came from Troms but left to be a captain with a independent person

    • thank you for your comment. If you could send me a picture of the beer matt, then I can have a look. I have never seen HAL captains on beer matts, only with Cunard. Please sent to CaptAlbert1@aol.com and I will do my best.

      best regards

      Capt. Albert

  29. Anna Wiebes van den Brink

    May 25, 2023 at 11:59 pm

    What was the name of the Captain of the Maasdam June 1962 . The ship that brought Lee Harvey Oswald back to the USA.
    Any information in the books about the immigrants to the USA , on Holland America ships.

    • Captain Albert

      May 26, 2023 at 8:55 am

      Good Morning,

      Thank you for your question: this was voyage 104 and captain in command was Jan van Roosendaal (see biography on my blog) the ship left Rotterdam on 04 June and called Southampton – Cobh before arriving in New York on June 14.

      for the books, yes the general story of the emigration with HAL is very much documented. The system of booking and travelling to Rotterdam, Life on board and then also the Jewish situation in 1939 is covered extensively.

      I hope this helps

      best regards

      Capt. Albert

  30. Josh Huntington

    October 30, 2023 at 7:58 pm

    Who was the Captain of Zuiderdam in late January and early February 2019? Thank you!
    Josh Huntington

    • Thank you for reading my blog and visiting my website.

      Captain on the Zuiderdam at that time was Captain Baart Vaartjes.

      best regards

      Capt. albert

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