- Captain Albert's Blog -

Stories from the Sea, Past and Present

Current Captains and Their Schedules

Under this sub directory you will find a series of biographies of current HAL captains and their schedules.

I have also listed below the current and future assignments.

Please note this dates and assignments are subject to “extremely” much change, dates will vary as captains have to attend many more training classes than was usual in the past and those trainings are sometimes assigned at the last minute when space is available at the training centres.

Last Updated: 28 April 2020

I have left the schedule as is: but all sailings will greatly change in the future. At the moment Captains can not be relieved because their relieves cannot reach the ships due to travel restrictions.


Capt. Jonathan Mercer 04 Jan. 2020 – 12 May 2020

Captain Mercer will retire after the 2020 world cruise

Captain Jeroen Schuchman  09 May 2020 – 10 Aug. 2020


Captain Jeroen Schuchman 08 Oct. 2020 – 21 Dec. 2021


Captain Jeroen Schuchman 03 Jan. 2021 – 06 May 2021


Captain  Eric Barhorst 04 Jan. 2020 – 05 Apr. 2020

Captain Henk Draper 05 Apr. 2020 –  23 May. 2020

Captain Arno Jutten  23 May. 2020 – 11 Jul. 2020

Captain Eric Barhorst 11 Jul.2020 – 18 Oct. 2020

Captain Arno Jutten 18 Oct. 2020 – 10 Jan. 2021

Captain Eric Barhorst 10 Jan. 2021 – 04 Apr. 2021


Captain Werner Timmers 12 Feb. 2020 – 28 Apr. 2020

Captain Wouter van Hoogdalem  28 Apr. 2020 – 11 Jul. 2020

Captain Werner Timmers 11 Jul. 2020 – 03 Oct. 2020

Captain Wouter van Hoogdalem  03 Oct. 2020 – 12 Dec. 2020


Captain Pieter van Maurik  06 Jan. 2020 – 04 Apr. 2020

Captain Ryan Whittaker 04 Apr. 2020 – 29 Jun. 2020

Captain Pieter Bant 29 Jun. 2020 – 21 Sep. 2002

Captain Ryan Whitaker 21 Sep. 2020 – 22 Dec. 2020

Captain Pieter Bant 22 Dec. 2020 – 28 Mar. 2021

Nieuw Amsterdam:

Captain Jeroen van Donselaar 29 Feb. 2020 – 03 Jun. 2020

Captain Jeroen Baijens   03 Jun. 2020 – 07 Sep. 2020

Captain Jeroen van Donselaar 07 Sep. 2020 – 05 Dec. 2020

Captain Jeroen Baijens 05 Dec. 2020 – 27 Feb. 2021

Nieuw Statendam 

Captain Noel O’Driscoll 16 Feb. 2020 – 15 Mar. 2020

Captain Sijbe de Boer 15 Mar. 2020 –  19 Apr.. 2020

Captain Kevin Beirnart  19 Apr.2020  – 03 May 2020

Captain Darin Bowland 03 May  2020 – 07 Jun. 2020

Captain Noel O’Driscoll 07 Jun. 2020 – 16 Aug. 2020

Captain Darin Bowland 16 Aug. 2020 – 27 Oct. 2020

Captain Noel O’Driscoll 27 Oct. 2020 – 017 Jan. 2021


Captain Eric van de Wal 13 Feb. 2020 – 12 May 2020

Captain Mark Rowden 10 May. 2020 – 07 Jun. 2020

Captain Vincent Smit 07 Jun. 2020 – 13 Sep. 2020

Captain Mark Rowden 13 Sep. 2020 – 19 Dec. 2020

Captain Vincent Smit 19 Dec. 2020 – 13 Mar. 2021

Captain Mark Rowden  13 Mar. 2021 – 13 Jun. 2021

Captain Vincent Smit 13 Jun. 2021 – 05 Sep. 2021

Captain Mark Rowden 05 Sep. 2021 – 03 Dec. 2021


Captain Rens van Eerten  07 Dec. 2019 – 07 Mar. 2020

Captain Michiel Willems 07 Mar. 2020 – 25 Apr. 2020


Captain Bart Vaartjes  19 Jun. 2020 – 30 Aug. 2020

Captain Chris Norman 30 Aug. 2020 – 05 Dec. 2020

Captain Bart Vaartjes  05 Dec. 2020 – 27 Feb. 2021


Captain Bas van Dreumel  24 Feb. 2020 – 23 May 2020

Captain Robert Jan Kan 23 May 2020 – 22  Aug. 2020

Captain Bas van Dreumel 15 Aug. 2020 – 23 Nov. 2020

Captain Rens van Eerten  23 Nov. 2020 – 21 Feb. 2021


Captain Steve Macbeath 06 Feb. 2020 – 09 May. 2020

Captain Marek Zoll 09 May. 2020 – 08 Aug. 2020

Captain Steve Macbeath 08 Aug. 2020 – 06 Oct. 2020

Captain Marek Zoll 06 Oct. 2020 – 06 Dec. 2020

Captain Steve Macbeath 06 Dec. 2020 – 06 Mar. 2021


Captain Friso Freher 15 Feb. 2020 – 06 May. 2020

Captain Frank van der Hoeven 06 May. 2020 – 20 Jul. 2020

Captain Friso Freher 20 Jul. 2020 – 06 Oct. 2020

Captain Frank van der Hoeven 06 Oct. 2020 – 21 Dec. 2020

Captain Friso Freher 21 Dec. 2020 – 20 Mar. 2021


Captain Vincent Smit 07 Dec. 2020 –  08 Mar. 2020

Captain Mark Rowden  08 Mar. 2020 – 10 May. 2020

Captain Fred Eversen 10 May 2020 – 26 Jul. 2020

Captain Michiel Willems 26 Jul. 2020 – 30 Oct. 2020

Captain Fred Eversen 30 Oct. 2020 – 29 Jan. 2021


Captain Fred Eversen 24 Apr. 2021 – 13 Jul. 2021


Captain Chris Norman 04 Dec. 2019 – 06 Mar. 2020

Captain Ane Smit 05 Mar. 2020 – 30 May. 2020

Captain Joost Eldering  30 May 2020 – 20 Aug. 2020

Captain Ane Smit 20 Aug. 2020 – 31 Oct. 2020

Captain Joost Eldering 31 Oct. 2020 – 23 Jan. 2021


Captain Bart Vaartjes 03 Jan. 2020 – 29 Mar. 2020

Captain Paul Adams 29 Mar. 2020 – 01 Jun. 2020

Captain Henk Draper 01 Jun. 2020 – 14 Jun. 2020

Captain Pieter van Maurik 14 Jun.. 2020 –  07 Sep. 2020

Captain Henk Draper 07 Sep. 2020- 09 Dec. 2020

Captain Pieter van Maurik 09 Dec. 2020 – 07 Mar. 2021


  1. Captain Hans Mateboer, Captain Peter Bos  have been appointed Ice Pilots, for when the HAL & Seabourn ships go to Greenland and Antarctica. Sailing in those regions requires a 2nd specialized captain on board. Out of season they take training assignments at our training Center C-Smart in Almere.

2. Captain Tim Roberts is currently assigned to Seabourn.

3.  Captains not listed are on extended leave to work down their leave days.

4. Captain Marco Carsjens has left the company and joined Virgin Cruises.

Captain Rik Krombeen is Senior Director Marine Services in our Seattle Office

Captain Emiel de Vries  is Director Safety Operations in the Safety & Environmental Compliance Depart. in Seattle.

Captain Colm Ryan has been assigned to the OBTSO program as 2nd Fleet Master.

For me, Captain Albert Schoonderbeek, Fleet Master, I am everywhere so please see separate page on the right hand side of the blog window.




  1. I am Looking for Capt. John Scott, thank you.
    Sincerely, John T. Schmidt

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      Information will eventually appear on the blog sub directory. For the time being, subject to change, he should be on the Eurodam, sometime in October.
      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  2. HAL history ships past and present.
    Should be made available onboard I would really like to read it but there does not appear to be a Kindle edition which would be great for onboard reading

  3. Captain Scott was amazing took the time to go through his career starting with the Union Steamship Co. NZ. His random act of kindness will never be forgotten by both my wife and I whilst on a Caribbean cruise, wonderful PR.

  4. Missed Career at Sea

    November 16, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    It’s as good as filling in the blanks on the “Current Captains and their schedules” blog sub directory, Captain! How nice to know a little more about Captain Rens van Eerten who also had been in the flying business for a short while. Did you know that, Captain? I testify that he flew at the speed of light when I saw him come back to Vancouver one Alaska season with 4 stripes on his epaulette instead of 3. Next thing I saw in the HAL blog is that he had 5 stripes on his shoulders! Is he holding up well, Captain after his travel at the speed of light?
    And, may I please one more time, Captain?? It is too tempting to pass on this opportunity … Have you been blogging since 2004 or thereabouts?

    • I started in March 2007, but first for a magazine called the Avid Cruiser. Then Holland America pulled me in house. All the blogs are in the archives, right from the beginning.

      Best regards
      Capt. Albert

  5. Will you still be on the Westerdam on the 5 Dec 2015 cruise? Enjoy every one of your posts. They are so informative and give insight to things that most passengers do not know.

  6. Hi Captain Albert, I am still enjoying your daily blog and it makes me feel as if I am travelling with you.

    I , all being well , will be joining Rotterdam on 31 January 16 for cruise to Singapore. Looking forward to the experience as have previously sailed on Amsterdam.

    Are you able to advise me as a matter of interest who will be the Master of Rotterdam.

    Best regards

    Ted Dixon

    • Thank your continious support.

      If nothing changes then the captain should be Marco Carsjens. Together with Capt. Hans Mateboer he is one of the two regular captains of the ship.

      Safe sailing.

      Capt. Albert

  7. Hi Captain Albert, thanks for the information. Time is now running down fast for me as it is only 59 days before I embark on Rotterdam. This means 56 days before I leave Cape Town for Dubai. Really looking forward to the cruise and visiting the interesting destinations especially Yangon.

    Thanks again for all the most informative blogs, really part of my daily routine.
    Good sailing,
    Best regards

    Ted Dixon

  8. Antonius Feenstra

    June 25, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Hello Captain Albert , I always enjoy reading your blogs , the subjects you talk about and explain add so much to our total cruise experience . We will be back on the Volendam late September and all of October , could you tell me please who will be her Captain . Thank you , Tony

    • Thank you for reading my blog. I had a schedule on my website but with the recent turbulence in the HAL Blog world, that section
      has not been restored yet.
      But if nothing changes: until 15 October it will be Capt. Frank van der Hoeven. after that it is not know yet, as we have another musical chair situation coming up with captains moving ship. If they revive that part of the blog again I will keep updating it. So please have a look late summer.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  9. Gerard Lucacevich

    August 20, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    Hi Captain Albert, I have in my possession my father’s ‘Monsterboekje’ (Zeemansboek). It only has a few entries in it, but it states that he crewed on the Veendam as a Koksmaat/butcher 22 April 1938 and again 3 Juni 1938. I assume it was on the Rotterdam to New York route based on what he told us.
    Is there anywhere I can find out more about his service with HAL or other companies? A history of employment seems to indicate he was with HAL Sept 1937 to Feb 1940.
    His father also crewed on HAL, but I have no records of his service other than what my father mentioned years ago.
    In Sept this year I’ll be sailing on the Ms Nieuw Amsterdam from Vancouver, maybe one day I’ll get on the Veendam.

    • Good morning,

      thank you for reading my blog. Yes it is possible to find out more things, as he will have a personal file which should be held in the HAL archives. If you can send me a email on Captalbert1@aol.com with the exact names of your father and grand father, as spelled in their seamans books or other hal paper work, and roughly their sailing dates, I can have a look for you during my next visit to the archives.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  10. Henricus Roestenberg

    September 1, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    Was a. student at the Ruyter Merchant
    Navy Academy in Vlissingen The Netherlands as several HAL captains did.I am booked on the Eurodam for a cruise on September the 30 th 2017. Captain John Scott is o/b but is there a chsncce that Captain Werner Timmers would be o/b at the end of the month ? Captain Albert thanks a lot for your information H.Roestenberg

  11. Together with my husband Henk Rosenquist I had a wonderful cruise on MS Koningsdam (stateroom 5028) leaving Rome October 3r. arriving in FLL on Oct. 18th. 2017. Our captain (mr. Darrin Bowland) informed us on the last day of some funny details regarding this trip (o.a. how many bottles of wine, pizza’s, toiletpaper etc.) were used. At that very moment we were on deck and I had no pen/paper to register all this info. On earlier cruises we found this info on the day of departure in our cabin. As I am in the process of making a digital photoalbum of this unforgettable journey I hope you can inform me about as much info as possible. Thank you very much. With kind regards Maria Rosenquist-Veen.

  12. As of today I have not found Sybe de Boer’s assignment. I will be on the Prinsendam March 12 through May 5, 2018. I would love to meet you as I enjoy your daily descriptions of all the different ports. Already signed up for Antartic 80 day trip in 2019. Just not read your article on the Panama Canal, going on that cruise Dec. 20 thru Jan 4 in a few days.

  13. With our cruise to the Pacific on the Noordam ending on March 28 we will complete six cruises with Holland America, the only line we have cruised with. For four of those six cruises we will have had Captain Peter Bos. I can already hear him saying “Wash those hands!” I know they all say it, but no one can say it quite as he does. Although we only catch a glimpse of the captain occasionally, and may hear him speak to a group on just a couple of occasions, we like him as Captain and are looking forward to seeing (or at least hearing) him again.

  14. David Morrison

    April 1, 2018 at 2:56 am

    Being on the last cruise captained by Peter Bos was a great pleasure.

  15. I enjoy reading about whatever Captain may be guiding the ship that I will sail on, but I can’t find this one. Captain Arno Jutten 11 Augustus 208 – 15 October 2018. We will be on the Maasdam, joining in Montreal on August 18, 2018. It would be interesting to know something about him. We have sailed with Holland America many times beginning in summer 2000 on the Statendam, which we learned was her last season before being sent elsewhere. Now we are pleased that this fall our arrival in Fort Lauderdale on the Maasdam will complete a circumnavigation of North America for us. Last summer we were lucky to traverse the Northwest Passage (with a competitor), thus making this circumnavigation possible.

    In 2007 we were on the Veendam’s spring repositioning from Ft. Lauderdale to Venice, which I believe was the occasion of your first blog. It was fun to read about our trip when got home, from a different perspective.

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      Your wish is my command and I have uploaded a short bio under Current Captains. A more elaborate Biography will come when I sail with Captain Arno, which should be sometime next year.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

      • eugene ten Berge

        February 9, 2020 at 7:07 pm

        Geachte Captain Schoonderbeek, bij toeval ontdekte ik Uw blog aangaande de actuele plaatsing van HAL kapiteins op de verschillende HAL schepen.
        Al geruime tijd zoek ik het schip waarop kapitein Emiel de Vries het bevel voert. Wij kennen hem als een zeer innemend iemand en volmaakt gastheer tijdens de “doop-reis” van de Koningsdam. Wij weten dat er een confrontatie is geweest met zijn uiterst sympathieke echtgenote en een passagiere die regelmatig volstrekt ongepast gedrag vertoonde tijdens deze reis en meerdere malen ook met andere passagiers conflicteerde. Wij willen al langer een reis boeken en zoeken dan steeds het schip waarop kapitein de Vries het bevel voert. Dit is niet gelukt en onze vrees is dat hij het slachtoffer is geworden van de zeer onaangename situatie waaraan hij en zijn lieftallige echtgenote part noch deel had. Hierin past de situatie dat hij thans in Seattle een “kantoorfunctie” heeft, maar ik hoop van niet!!

        • Mijn dank voor de interesse voor mijn blog.

          Kapitein Emiel besloot verleden jaar om een positie op kantoor tenemen, om wat meer thuis te zijn met de opgroeiende familie. Dus voor de komende tijd is hij niet meer op de schepen te vinden. De situatie die u beschrijft heeft daar gelukkig niets mee vandoen. We komen als kapiteins in zoveel vreemde en bizarre situaties terecht, met leuke, nare, vreemde en exentrieke mensen dat de rederij altijd aan de kant van de kapitein zal staan. Hopeluk vindt U een alsnog een cruise die naar genoegen zal bevallen.


          Capt. Albert

  16. Fr. Roman Dusanowskyj

    June 15, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    Greetings Captain!

    Would you (could you) confirm that Captain Harm-Jan Arnold will be the Master on the ms Rotterdam for the Voyage of the Vikings (July 18th – August 25th, 2018)? I am assigned as the priest/chaplain for that cruise. I have a question for the good Captain and Master. Would it be proper for me to contact him by e-mail? And if so, would you be able to assist me with his correct e-mail address?

    I enjoy following you on your travels via your blog.

    Safe travels and God speed,
    (Fr.) Roman

  17. Where is Captain Baijens?

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      Captain Baijens is currently at our simulator in Holland in Almere as an instructor.
      He will return to sea again later this year.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  18. I love reading your blog. Glad to see you’re back for a while.
    Is Captain Van Der Loo still around? He was the Captain on both of my Oosterdam cruises in 2008 and in 2011.

    • thank you for reading my blow.

      Yes he is, he is in the office as Director compliance responsible for controlling the company safety database.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  19. Where is Captain John Scott? (He doesn’t appear to be on the Eurodam anymore, or anywhere on your list.)

    Who will be the Captain of the Zuiderdam from April 2019-June 2019?

    • Good morning

      thank you for reading my blog.

      Captain Scott is on leave, and I do not have his next sailing dates yet, hence the listing is incomplete.

      On the Zuiderdam you will have Capt. Wouter van Hoogdalem.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

      • Thank you for the information on Captain Scott & Captain Wouter van Hoogdalem.

        We enjoy reading your blog. You are currently on the Zuiderdam sailing on the same cruise that we will be doing in April ( plus a couple of more on a back-to-back cruise). It is interesting reading about the cruise we will be on before we’re on it! (We learned that for us to go through the locks going both ways, we need to stay on the ship & not get off on a tender.)
        Thank You!

      • LaMar Kruckenberg

        April 15, 2019 at 1:47 pm

        Capt. Wouter van Hoogdalem is my favorite Captain. Friendly, and so charming.

  20. I think this page reverted to an older version. When may we expect an update?

    Thanks for your hard work!

    • thank you for reading my blog.

      At the moment I can only update who is currently on board. so I am waiting for the future schedules to be listed again in our internal system and as soon as that happens, you will get the whole thing again.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  21. Mary Beth Burns

    March 21, 2019 at 11:50 pm

    Yes. I am waiting for the newest assignments. Anxious about the July 30 trip “Voyage of the Vikings”, and also back on the Nieuw Statendam middle of October. Thanks (you do a great job my friend)

  22. Hello Captain
    On my 31st Wedding Anniversary my wife and
    I will be on MS Volendam on the penultimate day of our first Alaskan Cruise .
    My wife’s maiden / family name was CURME and I understand that the Curme Islands AND Ray Rock are located in Desolation Sound. Can you please let me know if ( assuming we are standing in the right place on deck ) we will be able to see either or both sites from MS Volendam .
    It would be a wonderful surprise particularly for Paulette , my wife , if she could see the Curme Islands and ( I think ) an added bonus if she can see how close they are to Ray Rock – A twinning that was obviously preordained in the mists of time.

    Your reply to this inquiry is eagerly anticipated and will be greatly appreciated .Thank you once again .
    Ray John

    • Captain Albert

      May 19, 2019 at 10:00 pm

      thank you for reading my blog.

      Unfortunately you will not be able to see the islands. If you do a google search for the Curme Islands and then click on the map which will appear then you can see that these little islands are obscured by Mink island which in turn is obscured by some other islands. For the exact time, you have to listen to the announcements of the captain. He normally announces what time the ship goes through Seymour Narrows. Northbound you will then pass the area 90 minutes before that time and southbound approx. at the same time, maybe a little bit earlier. Northbound on the starboard side, Southbound on the portside.

      I hope this helps, sorry to dissapoint you but I hope that you will have a wonderful cruise and congratulations with you anniversary.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  23. Peter Huijgen

    June 22, 2019 at 5:56 am

    We are sailing on 24 June with the Koningsdam nice to see Captain Werner.
    We see him several times on the Eurodam.

    Regards ,Peter and Sylvia Huijgen.

  24. Hello Captain Albert,
    I noticed that the newly promoted Captain Paul Adams (he was on the Eurodam for a short while as Staff Captain while we were on board) has not been assigned to any of the ships. Has he transferred to another cruise line in our bloc ?

    • Captain Albert

      July 24, 2019 at 12:29 am

      No he is on leave, and will then return to the Staff Captains function waiting for the next opening. We just retired the Prinsendam and one cndaptain from there has to be re-assigned (Captain Schuchman) and our last captain on loan has returned from P&O Australia and is now also assigned to the HAL Fleet. So Paul is in the waiting room.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  25. Don’t see Fred Everson on the schedule in the future. What gives?

    • Captain Albert

      July 24, 2019 at 3:26 am

      Thank you for reading my blog.

      Captain Eversen is on leave reducing his accumulated leave days. And will eventually return into the rotation.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  26. Of the 9 cruises I’ve done with HAL I can remember the captain I sailed with on all but one of them. Is it possible to find out who was the captain of the Eurodam on 1 December 2013?

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      the captain who was on board on 01 Dec. 2013 on the Eurodam was Captain Emiel de Vries.

      best regards

      Capt. Albert

      • Thank you Captain Albert.

        I do remember that you were our captain on the Statendam for a Panama Canal transit in October 2012. We had the honor of sitting at your table for a luncheon on one occasion, and it was a most enjoyable experience, as was the entire voyage.

        We are sailing on the Zuiderdam this coming October, which if nothing changes should be under the command of Captain van Hoogdalem. I am looking forward to meeting him.


  27. Who will be captain on Zaandam for the 12/18/20 sailing Buenos Aires to San Antonio?

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      This is a difficult one as it is close to Christmas and the captains might to decided a adjustment at the last minute, also due to travel. At the moment you should have as your captain, Ane Smit, but it could be Chris Norman as the sailing is just on the edge of two contracts. Please have a look in October when I have the latest schedules.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  28. I find no mention of Captain Dag Dvergastein (I think I’m spelling that correctly). We did a transatlantic crossing on the Prinsendam in 2015 under the command of Captain Tim Roberts, and Captain Dvergastein was also onboard for a handover that was to take place on our arrival in Ft. Lauderdale. Captain Roberts did us the honor of inviting us to the captain’s table one evening, where we had the double honor of dining with both captains, and had interesting and enjoyable conversations with them both.

    You mention that Capt. Roberts has since been assigned to Seabourn. Has Captain Dvergastein also been assigned elsewhere, or is he on leave and returning to the HAL fleet?

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      With the end of the Prinsendam Captain Dag decided to leave Holland America. He is currently captain on the Europa of Hapag Lloyd.

      Best regards

      Captain Albert

  29. Kaelie Cochran Engelhart

    August 21, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    Greetings Sir!

    Having just returned from a cruise of Alaska’s Inside Passage aboard the Nieuw Amsterdam on 17 August, I cannot adequately express my appreciation for the mind-bending logistics involved behind the scenes, or for the crew’s commitment to excellence in all they do. My sincerest gratitude.
    I would have loved to have been able to access information regarding the history of HAL available while onboard, as well as more technical information about the basics of the ship’s technology (ie, propulsion and guidance systems). Perhaps these could be made available as reading material via the Navigator app? I found myself fascinated with this incredible vessel and wanting to know more about her from every point of view.
    Kind Regards,
    Kaelie Engelhart

    • Thank you for your kind words.

      The blog is accessible while on board as there is a free link under the http://www.hollandamerica.com. It is called Holland America Line blog and my blog and historical information is a subdirectory of that.
      At home you can just type in Captainalbert.com and it will all come up/

      best regards

      Capt. Albert

  30. We are a 5 Star Mariner & a 4 Star Mariner. We really enjoy your blog. You give us a lot of interesting information to read.

    I’m cruising on the Eurodam, once again, to Alaska on 9/21/2019, still no Captain listed for that cruise… Any ideas? Thank You!

  31. Dear Captain Albert,
    I know you well deserve your time off and I hope “the boss” isn’t working you too hard, but I do so miss your daily reportage of all things nautical. Back on board in October I think ?
    Kind regards

  32. Hello Captain Michiel Willems,
    My wife and I will be sailing to Alaska, on your ship, on the 8’th Sept.. Jackie and I are Ham radio operators. We are wondering, if you, might allow us to, use battery operated, low power radio’s on your ship. Or if there is a time, that we might be able too? Also, is it possible, to see the ship’s radio room, as radio communications is our hobby, and would greatly appreciate, your help and input. WE look forward to our, sailing with you! This is our first, cruise. Thank you, for your time.

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      You are allowed to bring HAM radio’s on board. Your are NOT allowed to use them on board as they are not covered by a Dutch flag license. You are allowed to use them ashore in alaska provided that your HAM radio license is valid for alaska. the ships do not have radio rooms anymore, only GMDSS stations which are located on the bridge. So the best thing to do is either write a letter to the Captain to request a special visit or sign up for the Behind the Scenes tour.

      Have a great cruise.

      Capt. Albert

  33. Hello Capt Albert.
    I have just returned from Voyage of the Vikings and somehow I am not getting recent information on your daily blog.
    Also I am now a member of Ancient Order of the Blue Nose and I have a certificate to prove it signed by Bart Vaartjes. One of the nicest captains I’ve had during the 854 days with HAL
    Thanks, Mary Beth Burns

    • Glad to hear you had a good cruise.

      There is not much happening at the moment as I am on vacation. My blogging will start again on October 08, when I will be on the Zuiderdam.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  34. Excited to see that Capt. John Scott will be on the Noordam when it leaves drydock in Victoria.

  35. Cpt Albert: is Bayens still fleet captain and where will Eversen be, since he’s no longer on A’dam?

    • Good morning,

      Captain Bayens is rotating out of the Fleet Captain schedule in due course. Captain Fred Eversen is on a long leave to work his accumulated leave days down.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  36. We sailed on the Amsterdam with Captain Daniel Bolton this summer and don’t see him listed. Is he still with HAL? Also our favorite Captain of all time is Captain Van Der Loo. I understood he was now at the main office. Is he also still with the company.

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      Captain Daniel Bolton recently returned from P&O Australia and I will have his schedule in October after I have returned to sea. Capt. Van der Loo is still in the office and that is a permanent assignment.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  37. We will miss sailing with Captain Timmers in January’s he is wonderful. We had the good fortune to sail with him last year.

  38. Thank you for all your blogs. I really enjoy reading them. I am going on the Volendam’s Grand Voyage in January 2020 around South America, to Antarctica and up the Amazon River. I am looking to see who may be our Captain and think there may a typo in your dates for the Volendam Captains. Here is what it says:

    Captain Friso Freher 28 Aug. 2019 – 20 Nov.. 2020 ????

    Captain Frank van der Hoeven 20 Nov. 2019 – 15 Feb. 2020

    Perhaps this voyage will be shared between two Captains?
    Thanks for clarifying….

  39. Dear Cpt Albert,

    Last year i cruised on the Nieuw Amsterdam with the very friendly Cpt Van Zaane. I see he is not scheduled anymore on the N Amsterdam?

    Thks for clarifying


    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      Captain van Zaane is currently on extended leave and I have no return date yet.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

      • Dankjewel. Ik kijk er naar uit, nadat ik al jaren je blog lees, om je in de Caribbean te ontmoeten. Ik scheep in op 13 nov 😉


  40. Captain Albert,

    How would one go about getting permission from the captain of the Zuiderdam to operate low power ham radio while at sea ? I have seen where this has been allowed in the past but cannot get a clear approval from ships services.


    Lance Wolken

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      I can understand that ship services has an issue with a clear answer, simply because there is not one. Too many factors involved.
      1. What license do you operate under. Is it domestic USA or domestic from another country, or do you have an international license?
      Because that will limit or increase where you can use the Ham radio. A USA license does not mean anything to anybody outside the USA
      Same as a Dutch or British license does not mean anything in the USA.
      2. If you want to transmit from the ship, then your license needs to be acceptable under Dutch law as the ship flies the dutch flag. The captain
      can approve you bringing it on board, not using it. That is a Dutch license issue.
      3. Many ports / places have a restriction on the power of the transmission and if caught the fines are quite hefty.
      4. Many ports would not allow you walking ashore with it without you proving to them that you are allowed to do so. (International License with
      endorsement for the country you are visiting.)

      Please review the above. If you think you comply with everything listed, then in principle you can take it on board as it is not a restricted item.
      Once on board you would have to obtain permission from the captain to use it, as it would not be a ships owned piece of equipment, and show the
      Dutch Law approval for the equipment

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  41. We will be cruising on the ms Zuiderdam 10-20 December, 2019. The captain listed is Captain Wouter van Hoogdalem, but there is no biography about him. Will this be added in the future?

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      I certainly hope that there will be one and I keep pushing to get one. So in due course…………

      Best regards

      Capt Albert

  42. Why is there no bio for Darin Bowland? I see that he will be our captain on Koningsdam next month. Also, why do they have shorter contracts on that ship than on the others? Seems like many of them are only two months instead of three. Thanks for posting this, it is useful.

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      For Captain Bowland, I do not have a bio for him yet, as I have not sailed with him yet, and I talked to each captain personally first/

      For the schedules, each captain sails 6 months a year. So If they want to do 2-2 or 3-3 that is more or less up to themselves. Then they have to attend training and refresher courses
      and that takes up time as well. So the schedules can vary greatly.

      Enjoy your cruise

      Capt. Albert

      • F YI, I was on Koningsdam last week and asked Captain Bowland about this. He said that he has met you several times. Also, he announced that he is leaving Koningsdam after this contract and moving to Nieuw Statendam. So I’m guessing you need to update the schedule for both of those ships.

        He has an interesting history, worked for Royal and took out some of their new ships before moving to HAL 12 (?) years ago (I sense there may be some bad feelings with Royal). He is the only Canadian captain in HAL (maybe all of Carnival?) and was involved in the process redesign effort following the Costa Concordia disaster. Very nice guy.

        • Thank you for your comment.

          There is a complete “musical chair” happening going with several captains moving and at least one retiring. So I will update the schedule as soon as the ” dust has settled” and everybody has found their new pigeon hole.

          Best regards

          Capt. Albert

  43. Merry Christmas Captain Albert and a happy and healthy 2020 ! (Can you believe it,2020 !)

  44. Agreed! We love him!

  45. Our 7th cruise with HAL, aboard the Nieuw Amstream, was canceled this past week, but our family is excited to have re-booked for the Koningsdam for the first cruise of 2020! My boys are looking forward to meeting Captain Albert and exploring this beautiful ship! MERRY Christmas!

  46. Hello Captain,
    Happy New Year and thank you for keeping this blog.

    I was wondering if there is a way to find out who the cruise director on K’dam is for January 2020 cruise.

    Thank you

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      Your Cruise and Travel Director n Jan. 2020 will be a Dutch Lady called Karlijn Verpalen.

      best regards

      Capt. Albert

  47. Goodafternoon Captain, I was under the impression that Captain P.J. had gone in retirement, but recently I spotted him on video from Maasdam in January and also noticed him in your schedule. Will he continue to sail for HAL? I understand he currently is, or was the only Navy Reserve Captain, flying his special flag in port.



    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      Captain van Maurik spent some time at our training center and has now returned to sea. I think he will sail another year or so before retiring.

      Best regards
      Capt. Albert

  48. Dear Captain Albert:

    I’m a longtime reader who greatly appreciates your wonderful blog! (And had the pleasure of hearing your excellent presentation as few years ago when you were guest speaker on our voyage.)

    Q1: Did the Westerdam get her dry dock update last month?

    Q2: Is Colin Jacob Westerdam Hotel Director now through June?

    Many thanks!

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      Colin Jacobs is scheduled to be on board from 06 March to 06 June. (but please remember our schedules are subject to extremely much change at times)

      The Westerdam was in Dry dock from 04 Jan. to 16 Jan. 2020 in Singapore. But I do not know what was exactly done on board.

      best regards

      Capt. Albert

  49. Always enjoy your blog, such vivid descriptions along with bits of other information.
    My attention was drawn to the Nieuw Statendam, Capt de Boer is scheduled for only 1 month March to April 2020. After that he is not scheduled that I can locate. Has he retired or do you have any further information. For the last 12 years I have sailed with him on the old Statendam.
    Thanks, Mary Beth Burns

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      He is indeed not on the schedule at the moment, being on a long leave. As soon as I know what his next assignment is, I will update.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  50. Captain Albert very nice to receive this captain’s list and very helpful to figure out who is where. I am sure captain Vincent Smit will take some time off after his many attempts to dock his ship the Westerdam –what a story –we were watching it for days hoping that he could secure a port which he finally was bale to do in Cambodia. I am sure HAL and its corporate staff were involved in the outcome and glad that that saga ended without anyone contracting the disease.

    What a nightmare this must be for the Princess still stuck in port. We are off to Hawaii/Tahiti and the Marquesas on 3/21/20 and hope that the disease does not spread any further. but I heard a few ports have stopped receiving cruise ships in French Caledonia, including Isles des Pins which is one of my favorite stops.

    Anyway, thanks for your continued input, it was certainly a lot of fun when we met on the Zaandam last June and had some great dinners.

  51. Do you know when Capt. Jan Smit will return, to which ship he will be assigned , and the dates he will be in service there? Thank you!

    • Captain Albert

      March 28, 2020 at 7:44 pm

      Thank you for reading my blog

      Captain Jan Smit is currently serving as Staff Captain and is thus not on my current captain schedule. But when he pops up again, he will be on the list.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  52. Ryan Greenstein

    April 28, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    Hello Captain Albert!

    My name is Ryan. We got off the Koningsdam on the Nov. 24 2019 to Dec. 4 2019 cruise. I later realized you went off the ship the day we got on! We may be going on the Nieuw Statendam on Nov. 22 2020, is Karlijn going to be the cruise director, she was on the Koningsdam, and I heard somewhere she may be going to the Nieuw Statendam.

    Thank you for a wonderful blog, by the way!

  53. Gerdina Olson

    July 14, 2020 at 5:49 am

    Hello Captain Albert, We are certainly missing your blog as you are missing your beloved oceans. What a state the world is in ! I do hope that you are keeping well and send you greetings!
    Kindest regards, Gerdina

  54. sorry the blog is out?

    • Blog will come back in due course. Currently at home with the fleet in lay up. so not much to report.
      But HAL and I will be back

      best regards

      Capt. Albert

  55. Captain, how much notice do you think the teammembers will get when cruising actually is set to resume. With all the difficulty in getting the crew home, it seems like everybody on board will have to pitch in duri g the early going. Perhaps you will be our room steward on our Jan. 6 cruise to the Carribean. I hope it goes. I’ll even make my own bed if it’ll help. Bob T

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      The company estimates that it will take at least a month, to get sufficient crew on board to provide the normal service. The question we can not answer is when the shore side protocols will allow for this to make it a smooth operation to get to the ship.
      I also hope to be back on the ships soon again, but theie are a lot of external factors which are really challenging.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  56. A pleasant day Captain… Allow me to introduce myself. Im Rea Almaden from.the Philippines,just want to verify something from you hope you dont mind Sir. I just saw an ad in Facebook about a job opening in Holland America Line,and a certain Captain Friso Albert is the contact person saying he is the Recruiting Captain on the said line. He even sent me a copy of his company identification card. Just want to.make sure about this and hope you can enlighten me about this before i proceed with the application. He is using whatsapp as a media of our conversation and hiring process. Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you very much.

    • Hallo Rea

      Thank you for contacting me. This is a Scam. There is NO Captain Friso Albert who is involved in hiring. There is a captain Friso and there is a captain Albert, but not in combination and we are both at sea and not in de office. If you are looking for a job, please contact UPL in Manilla which is our hiring agent. I hope it will work out. Best regards Capt. albert

  57. Hello Captain Albert,
    Here is hoping you are doing well and I am sure that you have long finished the “to do” list that was awaiting you upon your return home from seas. I much enjoyed reading your biography and noticed that you have written several books (one co-authored) Is there any chance these books are still obtainable ? I know it said one is still in print but goodness knows how to get one’s hand on a copy, through Amazon perhaps? I was sorry to hear that some of our officers are being let go, together with H.D.s and so on, down the line . I knew it was going to be inevitable, but it still hurts to hear it. My daughter Tessa and I have made several good friends among the crews.
    The airlines are suffering also and many of our Air Canada crews are laid-off (my late husband was a Captain with Air Canada, so it hits close to home.) His contemporaries are all long retired but I feel so badly for the younger fellows who trained so long in order to achieve their goals. Same of course with the cruise line officers and crews. Sad state of affairs, the whole world is in a mess. I hope I am not going to be too old to cruise once if and when operations will resume.
    All the best to you and kindest regards, Gerdina

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