- 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

HAL History and its ships Past and Present

On this page you will find the history of the Holland America Line in six parts.

Also individual histories of various company ships.

It starts with the Ariadne, which was the ship that HAL chartered for its first voyage, as the Rotterdam and Maas were delayed at the builders.



  1. It’s good to see you back. I’ll enjoy your articles, and I hope you have had a great time away from your ship.

  2. Eileen Kettrick

    March 7, 2008 at 11:31 am

    Welcome back. We enjoyed sailing with you in November and look forward to reading about your time at sea. Very informative. And hope to sail with you in the future.

  3. Dear Albert,
    My father in law immigrated to the US in November 1920 aboard the Ryndam. I have been trying to get a photo of the ship. Would you be able to locate a photo or drawing?

  4. Dear Captain,
    You have a very interesting site!
    I have made a few years ago a painting of the Veendam (1973). It can be seen on my website. Recently I have painted the Nieuw Amsterdam (1938).

    Kind regards,
    Willem Johan Hoendervanger

  5. Missed Career at Sea

    March 13, 2009 at 11:51 am

    There’s a big grin on my face scooting through your latest 4-part input. I’ll have to take a day off and make a print-out to enjoy the reading part 🙂

    In the meantime, I’ve also found the website with the sequence of company logos used on the funnels of the HAL ships (while you were still sailing the coast of beautiful BC).

    It won’t be long before you’ll have a hands-on practice on your new ship ! Enjoy the spring on land . . .

  6. Phillis Mack — If you click on Images on a Google search page and enter Ryndam, you’ll be surprised at how many come up. Good luck, my Dad came over on it in 1922.

  7. Catherine Stewart

    May 4, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Thoroughly enjoyed my first HAL experience on Volendam sailing Australia to New Zealand. Beautifully laid out ship and wonderful crew. Very scenic cruise. Looking forward to my next HAL experience!
    Catherine Stewart New Zealand (way down under)

  8. First, is the previous E mail list not used to receive you postings?
    Second, I read it somewhere on one of the ships but be “dam” if I can fine it anywhere,
    What are the name of the ships and their history on H A logo?


    • Good morning,

      the IT guru’s are still wrestling with the email notification.

      a simpler link to the blog is http://www.captainalbert.com

      The ships on the hal logo are the nieuw Amsterdam II from 1938 and the HAelve Maen (Half Moon) from Henry Huson who was sent on a exploraiton voyage by dutch interests.

      thank you for reading my blog

      Captain Albert

  9. Hi Capt; would you happen to know who the godmothers were when Veendam II (ex-Argentina) and Volendam II (ex-Brasil) came into the HAL fleet? Thanks/vriendelijk bedankt/Much obliged!

    • Hello Copper,

      There were no god mothers when the ships came to us. They were bought and straightaway laid up. then rebuilt. When they came to Rotterdam in 1973 from the German shipyard, there was a viewing for the press and some parties but no official God mothers. This whole re dedicating and re christening which we now see in the cruising world, was much less prevalent in those days.

      HAL management (Mr. van der Vorm) was very conservative, so all this Press stuff was only grudgingly approved off.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  10. Thanks for the enlightenment Kaptein! 🙂 Enjoy your vac!

  11. What becomes of the ship’s logs? Are they stored in warehouses or have they all been put on discs? I assume they are kept for awhile.
    Linda Olsen

  12. What happens to the crews of the former Statendam and Ryndam?

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      It depends on what the crew wants to do. If they want to stay with HAL, they will transfer or rotate in again after a vacation, but if they would like to stay with the new owners (we are all one family anyway) then that is possible as well. there will also be a number of officers and crew staying for awhile to help with the transition, as these ships are new to P&O Australia and the need to be manned. So the choice is up to the crew in principle. Holland America will look after them unless they want to change themselves.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert.

  13. S. Dean Herrero

    June 24, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    Hi Captain,
    My grandfather immigrated from Poland to Cuba. He sailed aboard the S.S. Leerdam ll in Oct or November 1924 from Rotterdam to Havana. I believe he also left Gdansk aboard the S.S. Warszawa to Rotterdam in ‘24. How can I find a passenger list from these ships with his name ?
    Thanks for any help with my research.

    • Captain Albert

      June 25, 2019 at 3:33 pm

      Thank you for reading my blog.
      This would have been voyage 14 of the Leerdam Captain in command was Jan Klaas Lieuwen. The ship left Rotterdam on 08 October and called at the following ports Boulogne Sur Mer – Bilbao – Santiago – Coruna – Vigo – Havana – Vera Cruz – Tampico – New Orleans – Vera Cruz – Havana and was back in Rotterdam on 08 December. I assume he would have left the ship at the first call Havana. The Leerdam II arrived on 20 October at 04.30 in the morning and stayed until 01 November before continuing the voyage.
      Finding passenger lists is going to be much more complicated. There are booking records in the archives but they are at the moment digitized and will not be available for about 2 years. In Rotterdam they are busy with creating an emigrant museum and they are supposed to house these records. So I suggest to google this place when it is up and running in about two years.
      I checked the voyages of the Warszawa but the ship did not make a Poland voyage at all in 1924, so either your family was already awhile in Rotterdam and had come over in 1923 or they came by train which most emigrants did.
      I hope this helps

      Best Regards
      Capt. Albert

      • S Dean Herrero

        June 25, 2019 at 6:05 pm

        Thank you for your reply.
        This is truly helpful in my research. I assumed that he would have taken the Warszawa and I thought I read that it made one trip from Danzig to Rotterdam on June 16, 1924 with Captain Jan Burger?
        Perhaps he went in 1923 or ‘25.
        The dates are not certain but around ‘23-‘25.
        Thank you Captain

      • Segundo Herrero

        July 2, 2019 at 7:16 pm

        Hi Captain,
        Can you tell me all the departure dates of the SS Leerdam2 from Rotterdam to Havana from 1923 to early 1925?
        I would really be appreciative .
        Research my grandfather’s journey.
        Thanks for all your efforts.

        S. Dean Herrero

        • Captain Albert

          July 3, 2019 at 2:51 pm

          I can do that, but it will take a while as I am travelling. I will reflect in due course

          best regards

          Capt. albert

          • S. Dean Herrero

            July 4, 2019 at 5:57 am

            I had some luck contacting the Rotterdam city archives, they sent me the Hal passenger list that are now digitalized to links that have the Leerdam passenger list and I found his name . I turns out the date he left Rotterdam for Havana was Nov 3 1923. Almost cried when I saw his name.
            They just don’t have a list for the Warszawa from Danzig to Rotterdam 1923. The trip to get to Rotterdam. Maybe like you mentioned he went by train from Wilnos ,Poland where he booked the trip according to ships manifest.
            Thanks so much Captain.
            I appreciate it.
            Dean Herrero

          • Captain Albert

            July 4, 2019 at 2:33 pm

            Very good to hear.

            03 nov 1923 that was voyage nbr 10. Also Captain Lieuwen. The ship returned to Rotterdam on 10 jan 1924

            Rdam – BSM – Bilbao – Sant – Coru – Vigo – Hava – VC – Tampi – NewO – Hava – Vigo – Rdam

            He arrived in Havanna on 27 november

            The last voyage the Warszawa made in 1923 was nbr 43 16 sep – 23 sep Rdam – Danzig – Antw – Rdam so if he came with that ship then he must have waited a month in Rotterdam. Possible but it is a long time. So if you can find out where he came from in Poland then we will also know how he came to Rotterdam as train was cheaper than boat, and thus the agents would have looked for the easiest transport.

            Best regards

            Capt. Albert

  14. S Dean Herrero

    July 4, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    According to the Leerdam Passenger list it notes that the trip was booked by (Geboekt Door “ “Nasm. Wilno” with a fee $.
    Does that mean he left from Wilno (now it’s Vilnius) ? By rail? Or might he have gone to Danzig to go by ship to Rotterdam? He was a farmer 3rd klasse. On the link page 8 is his info Albin Zielenkievich https://www.archieven.nl/nl/zoeken?mivast=0&mizig=210&miadt=184&miaet=1&micode=318-04&minr=1625736&miview=inv2&milang=nl
    Thanks Captain 👩‍✈️

    • Captain Albert

      July 9, 2019 at 10:41 pm

      That would be hard to say. Vilnius is not that far from Gdansk so it could be yes but the Warszawa arrived in Rotterdam for the last time in 1923 on 23 september so your forefather would have had to spend over a month waiting in Rotterdam. Possible especially if the costs of staying in the company hotel was included. I am not aware that there are manifests from the ship in the archives = only the ticket list which you received from the archives. So it will be hard to tell whether he came by train, sometime in October or by ship in September.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

      • Segundo Dean Herrero

        July 10, 2019 at 6:20 pm

        Hi Captain,
        So the ships kept a ticket list and a separate manifest? I tried to translate the notes written in red ink and it does mention something about european rail freight fees? Its in Dutch so a little hard for me to understand.
        Thanks for your insight.


        • Captain Albert

          July 11, 2019 at 12:31 am

          No the office kept a ticket list. The ships kept a passenger list / manifest. There are very few passenger manifests saved from those days. So the ticket list is the only thing to go by. I have not seen a ticket list from the Warszawa in the archives yet and that makes it so difficult to find out, how the company did ALL the transport or that the passenger arranged some of it themselves.

          Best regards

          Capt. Albert

          • Segundo Dean Herrero

            July 14, 2019 at 4:38 pm

            Hi Captain,

            Can you translate what the notes in red ink state on my grandfathers (Albin Zelenkowitz)? He is on page 8 , line 5.


            Thanks , this means so much to me.


          • Captain Albert

            July 15, 2019 at 2:51 am

            Well I tried. but it is not easy, as some of the scribbles are abbreviations in book keepers jargon from 1920’s which I do not understand,

            But what I can figure out is that all that is a running total of the costs (red) and income (black) between the company and the agent in Vilnus.
            It looks that your grandfather traveled in a group including younger people hence the 90 guilder entry on the page. So he paid 187.50 up front in cash (column Hand geld) and the total passage price (colomn zeepassage) was 200,- The red entry scribbles are about travel costs (vervoerskosten) probably 3rd class carriages as it is no more than 1 guilder 30 or something on average. 1 guilder 30 was a days wage in those days so you could travel quite a distance on it, plus with large numbers there would be discounts. 200 – 187.50 leaves 12.50 so somewhere there would have been a balance payment. Maybe in Rotterdam, maybe on board.

            That is all I can do. Hopefully it helps

            Best regards
            Capt. Albert

  15. Segundo Dean Herrero

    July 16, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    Thanks so much, I love to see all these details,
    Much appreciated

    Thank you Captain


  16. Hi Captain,

    So you mentioned he traveled with a group of younger passengers perhaps under a certain age and they pay only 90g instead of 187.5 g.?.
    My gf was 21.

    Thanks again

    • Captain Albert

      July 19, 2019 at 9:57 pm

      Hallo Dean,

      I have the impression with the way it was accounted for that with a reduction in travel cost, it was for childeren. Which would mean under 16 if I remember the rules for the Trans Atlantic fare setting. By the North Atlantic Conference System.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

      • Hi Captain,
        I’m trying to figure out if my now deceased grandmother left Poland for France by train or by ship. Here are her details. Sorry it’s CGT not HAL.
        Her passport is stamped 1st in Tczew and 2nd in Le Havre then 3rd in St Nazaire bound for Havana. I know the French Line had a ship named SS Pologne that made regular trips from Gdynia to Havre but why is her passport stamped in Tczew? Is it possible they stamped passengers in Tczew and then transported to Gdynia by train or by tender up the Vistula River? The Tczew and Le Havre stamps are 4 days apart. I can’t imagine train from Tczew to Havre. I believe she took the SS Cuba to Havana.

        Thanks for any insight.


        • Captain Albert

          August 1, 2019 at 8:16 am

          Good morning,

          I am not that well versed in the CGT as in HAL. But all companies followed the same system as it was an approved system based on a agreement between the steamship companies (in the transatlantic pool) and the polish government. Thus the local agents gathered emigrants together and dispatched them in groups to the various ships waiting in Gdynia. 4 days in between stamps makes sense if there was no delay in the transport. Tczew to Gydnia = one day. Then the sea journey would take 3 days. (Gydnia – Kieler Kanal – Le Havre) so the 4 days in between are very well feasible. I do not know what local transport was used in Poland. I have only heard about train transport but a river ferry should have been feasible. That would be something for a local historical society in Poland to answer.

          Best regards

          Capt. Albert

  17. Hi Captain, I am a student from Indonesia and I plan to conduct research for my thesis on the history of Indonesian crew in HAL, from the perspective of transnational American Studies. Is there any book that you would recommend for my research? Both in Dutch or English is fine, or is there anyone in HAL that I could contact regarding this matter? I have tried to search for anyone who has conducted this research in Indonesia and I get no result so far. Thank you in advance, Captain.

  18. Hello Captain Albert:

    I attended both of your talks on march 10/20 . I approached you after your history talk that my mother may well have come to Canada via hal and low and behold I think she did. Ship was the SS Kota Inten family’s name Vundertuin.

    • Captain Albert

      March 14, 2020 at 2:56 am

      Thank you for your comment.

      I will send you some information about the Kota Inten. She was not a HAL ship. (Belonged to Rotterdam Lloyd) but HAL did the management thus all the paperwork was in Hal logo. It made 8 voyages under hal management all in 1948. More will follow from my CaptAlbert email in the coming days.

      I hope you enjoyed the cruise

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  19. I am curious, Captain. When we cruised through the Panama Canal on the Zaandam in the spring of 2019 I immexiayely grabbed the book about the history of the canal and read it. Is there a history of Holland American Lines available on the ships that we could read? It’s 5 sea days between Hawaii and Seattle. Love your blog. Bob T

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      I wrote some books which were available on board every time I brought some with me, but it is still very challenging to get books on board for sale, as the shops do not seem to be much interested. Although this might change in the future as I have just submitted a manuscript for a book-a-zine which is a complete book but in the form of a glossy magazine. It will be published by Ships Monthly in england and hopefully we can get it on the ships. It will be less expensive than a book and give the shops a good profit margin. So keeping my fingers crossed.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  20. My husband’s grandmother sailed from Rotterdam January 1917 on the Noordam. Steerage class. How do I find out what the conditions were like? What the voyage was like?

  21. Dear Captain good day,

    i am interesting on your blog, and visiting it i understood that you wrote a official book on yhe 125 anniversary of HAL.
    It is the truth?
    May I have a link where i can purchase it?
    I would like to get lost in the pages of the book with the story of this glorious company.
    thanks in advance

  22. Johann Schüsseleder

    October 25, 2022 at 4:59 am

    Dear Captain Albert, the present is to tell how much I appreciate your information about Holland America Line. June 8th, 1968, I was on one of the last regular trips of the SS Statendam from New York to Le Havre. It was a very nice experience I never forgot. The captain was Dirk van Dalen.
    Taking the opportunity, I would like to ask you as an expert on Dutch shipping and its history, year 1965, I worked in Doordrecht living in Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht. My neighbour was Ger Hoekwater. The uncle of Ger was during that time the Captain of the Rotterdam harbour. I was visiting the harbour and the offices of the administration. Have you ever heard about captain Hoekwater?
    With kind regards from Mexico,

    • Thank you for your comment.

      I am afraid that I can not help you. The name Hoekwater is not listed among the Sr. Officers of Holland America, so I doubt that he came from our company. If people moved to the shore side to something like the Port of Rotterdam office then they would have had at least their master license and often a few years in command or as staff captain. So I assume that he must have come from another company, as he definitely would have been at sea.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  23. Has HAL had any passenger/cruise ships sink in the last 100 and also 50 years?

    • Thank you for your query. In the period 1922 – 2022 so the last 100 years we lost some ships in the second world war due to enemy action. They are in the history of the company on this website. In the last 50 years we lost the ms Prinsendam (I) in 1980 due to an engine room fire. all passengers and crew were saved.
      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

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