- 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

1922 Veendam (II)

TONNAGE: BRT: 15,450 NRT: 9,202 DWT: 13,503
BUILT AT: Harland & Wolff Limited, Govan, Glasgow, Scotland.
BUILT IN: 1922 YARD NO: 650
ENGINES: Two sets of double reduction geared Brown – Curtiss steam turbines by yard.
ENGINE OUTPUT: 8000 Shaft horse power. PROPS: Two (fixed, diameter 5.56 Meters)
SERVICE SPD: 15 Knots. MAX.SPD: (Said to be 16.5 Knots)
LENGTH OVER ALL: 175.60 Meters.
BEAM OVER ALL: 20.43 Meters. DEPTH: (Maindeck to Keel) 13.72 Meters.
DRAFT: 28 feet, 2 inches with a displacement in seawater of 26.030 tons.
PASSENGER CAPACITY: Designed for 263 First, 435 Second and 1200 Third Class.
CREW: 328
REMARKS: Bunker capacity 3568 tons of oil, with a consumption of 102 tons a day.
Constructed of steel as a passenger ship with four full decks and six hatches. Launched on 18 November 1922 and delivered by the yard on 29 March 1923. By the time the ship was delivered the quota system of the American immigration laws reduced the need for a large third class capacity so the actual figures on delivery were 296 first, 396 second and 292 Third class.


The ss Veendam of 1922, Holland America

She commenced her maiden voyage on 18 April 1923 with a sailing from Rotterdam via Boulogne sur Mer and Plymouth to New York. In May 1926 the name Tourist class was introduced for what used to be the Third Class accommodation. In the same year the ship makes the first Holland America cruise to the Caribbean Sea from New York. She would continue to do this each winter between 1926 and 1930.

On 20 May 1928 the ship finds itself partially sunk while docked at the company’s pier in Hoboken New Jersey. She had left the evening before bound for Europe. At 12.54 the anchor was dropped in the river Hudson near Hoffman Island due to fog. 6 minutes later at 13.00 hrs, the ship is hit on the portside on bridge/engine line under an straight angle by the Castrico. This results in damage above and under the water line causing the engine room to flood. Although all watertight doors were closed, the boiler room and passenger deck number four still flooded. However the ingress of water is not causing a direct danger to the ship and it is decided to return to Hoboken with the aid of tugs. Here the ship docks at 23.21 hrs and disembarkation of the passengers starts. Also the mail is offloaded with both jobs completed at 06.15 am. The next day the holds are emptied of grain and general cargo. On 25th of May the ship left Hoboken with seven tugboats in attendance heading for the Erie Basin where it is dry-docked on the 27th. for repairs. While these repairs were going on the chance is taken to change the layout of the passenger accommodation to 262 First, 430 Second and 480 tourist Class. The ship returned to regular service on 16 June, sailing from New York with passengers and cargo for Rotterdam.

The ss Veendam (II) low in the water at the company pier in Hoboken, New York

On 26 February 1930 a charter for the Bermuda line (Bermuda & West Indies Steamship Company Ltd. of New York, managers Furness & Withy) is announced, for two summers due to the sinking of their own ship the Fort Victoria. The Veendam departs for it first voyage on 2 July 1930 and spends the whole summer on round-trips between New York and Bermuda. The funnels carry the colors of the Furness Bermuda Line.

In 1932 the layout of the ship is changed again. This time due to the depression which demanded drastic price-cutting and as the fares were class related (regulated by the North Atlantic Conference system) the only way to lower them was to change the naming of the classes. The layout became 263 First, 633 Tourist and 555 Third Class. An unusual occurrence was that the ship had to be laid up on 13 September 1932 at Rotterdam, as the crew went on strike. Reason was the refusal to sail a round-trip on the ship without calling at Rotterdam. After a while the labor dispute is settled and the ship returns to service. In June 1936 First and Third class are omitted and the ship now has Cabin and Tourist Class only.
In September 1939 neutral lettering is added to the ship’s hull, due to the threatening war.
On 17 September 1939 it saves part of the crew of the torpedoed aircraft carrier H.M.S. Courageous.

Rotterdam, May 1940. Company ships caught in the cross fire during the invasion. The Statendam of 1929 can be seen burning in the background.

When the Netherlands are invaded on 10 May 1940 the ship is docked at Rotterdam and sustains damage on the first day. During this invasion the company buildings and ships get in the crossfire between Dutch and German para troops. A falling dock crane hits the ship and causes damage to davits and lifeboats. A small fire starts up but is quickly extinguished. The ship remains laid up at the dock until January 1941. Then the ship is seized by the German occupier and sails on 30 May 1941 to Germany. Here she is handed over on 24 July 1941 to the German Navy for use as an accommodation ship. Workers for the “Organisation Todt” (Volunteer Labor Organization) are living on board in the port of Gothenhafen. The ship is managed by the Hamburg Amerika Linie. From Gotenhafen the ship is transferred on 28 April 1942 to Hamburg and renamed on 1 May in: Marine Stutzpunkt Tolleort. Now she is used as an accommodation ship for submarine crews on leave.

The ss Veendam (II) in use as an accommodation ship in Germany. Although painted gray, the company funnel colors are still faintly visible.

By 1943, the Allied Bombs raids from England can reach past the German border and the big cities become more and more targeted. On 25 July 1943 the ship is hit by four incendiary bombs during one of these air raids. One bomb hits the boat deck and enters the engine room where it explodes. During following air raids on 18 and 23 June, 29 July and 4 November the ship is hit again and some more damage sustained. On 26 December another direct hit sets the ship on fire and severely damages the engine room. This is followed by another direct hit on 31 December 1944 the ship and catches fire. However the fire can be controlled and only the First class smoking room burns out. Shortly after a near miss causes the overboard valves to crack open and the stern sinks to the bottom. As the allied forces keep bombing Hamburg the ship continues to takes hits again and again, most notably on 30 March and 8 April 1945. As a result of these further hits there is damage at hatch I and II, which causes the bow to settle as well.

On 4 May 1945 the ship is boarded by the English when Hamburg is liberated. By that time the ship is partly sunk and burnt out. Some of the accommodation can still be used however and therefore the ship is temporarily used as hotel ship for Dutch crew arriving in the port to collect the various Dutch ships that were seized. Raised in October 1945 and drydock at Blohm and Voss on 14 November 1945 for hull inspection. When made watertight she departs in tow on 7 January 1946 from Hamburg by the Dutch tugs Zwarte Zee and Tyne owned by L. Smit & Co. Sleepdiensten of Rotterdam. Bad weather forces to tow to wait in Elbe estuary until the 14th. On the 16th the two arrives in Amsterdam and the ship is repaired at the Nederlandsche Droogdok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij.


The ss Veendam (II) late in her career. Carrying post war emigrants across the North Atlantic

The passenger accommodation becomes 195 First and 357 Tourist Class and 362 Crew. Commences her first post war sailing on 21 February 1947 from Rotterdam to New York. The ship is extensively used by Dutch emigrants moving to North America in the period 1948 to 1952. On 30th. October 1953 the last voyage is made with 600 passengers and upon arrival in New York the ship is sold for scrap to the Bethlehem Steel Company of Baltimore. The demolition starts in November 1953.


  1. Captain interesting article about the Veendam. She and here sister ship Volendam where beautiful liners . They where not the biggest liners and rather slow and expensive to run they where among the most popular and successful liners HAL ever owned. On my site you find some interior pictures of the two.

    But the Veendam after WW2 was not a emigrant ship. She and the beloved flagship tss Nieuw Amsterdam 2 run the luxury liner service between Rotterdam and New York (terminal New Jersey) Although in this role she transported emigrants as Nieuw Amsterdam dith. She also made Holland America’s first cruise after WW2. Here sister Volendam became a full time emigrant ship after WW2. She suffered mechanically to much to return to normal liner service on the main route Rotterdam, New York.

    High regards Ben van Zeijl Rotterdam the Netherlands.

  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to research and write this essay. It’s a facinating history.

  3. Great site. Please take a look at Cruising The Past (www.cruisingthepast.com) where a 1928 cruise aboard the Veendam is featured with Captain Albert’s website linked.

  4. Please take a look at the youtube video I did on coastal vessels that use to serve Catalina. Im going to to some on Matson, Alaska SS, etc. Would like to do something on HAL. Mac makes it easy and fun. One of the first ships I sailed on was the DINTLEDYKE as a child with my parents. I sailed on the Ryndamn 3 years ago and the Purser/Hotel Manager was one of the few people I’ve met recently on any ship who had some idea of the great tradition of HAL. Obviously you do. Great site.
    Here is the video:

  5. As a child I sailed with my brother and parents to Europe on the Ryndam and back to New York on the Veendam 2. This was 1952/53.
    As boys we greatly enjoyed the adventure. Sailing back to NY we encountered a hurricane and that was a great experience. Wind, waves and lots of up and down by the ship. It took about 13 days to return to NY.
    What I enjoyed most was the great food served every day on the ship, even in rough weather.

  6. Dear Captain Albert:
    I was a 4- year old passenger on the Veendam, embarking Southhampton 2/01/1949, arriving in NYC on 2/14/1949. We were English citizens emigrating to the US. I have a few very old and special photos standing on the promenade deck with my parents, and at what appears to be the bow of the ship in New York Harbor. I remember the trip as being very rough, everyone was seasick. Running on the deck was fun. I think we had a tourist cabin because I remember it had a sink and bunk beds and I remember Ellis Island (my name is on the wall). To this day ships are a passion, HAL gave me Mariner status when I told them of my crossing so I hope to sail again on a “Veendam” very soon. I will be sure to bring my Veendam photos.

  7. Hallo,

    As a collector off paper ships-money, specialy jused on board from troopships to Nederlandsch Indië, do I no that There was also money on board of the Veendam.
    The Veendam makes some trips from Rotterdam to New York and back to Rotterdam in 1947. On trip 136 there was also ships-money and perhaps there will be people who knows about that money. Ik like to have information about that money and I will also make contact with people who have that money.
    Please thake a look on my website.

    Regards Ab Verhoef Rotterdam

  8. I am interested in finding out about a particular voyage of the veendam from rotterdam to NY. It landed on February 5, 1940. I would like to know how long the journey took and what the accomodations were like. I would greatly appreciate if you were able to help me.
    Thank you!

  9. Kathryn Van Valkenburg

    March 3, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    I believe I was on the S.S. Veendam on a rough crossing of the English Channel for the purpose of being in London for the Coronation in June 1953. Is this the same one that was subsequently scrapped in Nov. of that year?

  10. I was on the Veendam voyage that landed in Hoboken on February 5, 1940 and was surprised to read Tammy Hess’ reply above. We were both on it at the same time, and a very dangerous time at that! It was most interesting to read the history of the ship.

  11. My grandfather and his sister came to America on board the SS Veendam, June 27, 1926 from Rotterdam to New York city. My grandfather Martin Fising was 17 years old and his sister Maria Fising 20, they came from a small village in Transylvania, Romania.

    I have a photograph of them on the deck of the SS Veendam on the Atlantic crossing on my blog.


    Tom Fesing

  12. I have an original brochure on the Veendam in question. I can try to scan it and send it to you if you wish.

  13. Looking for information for a friend who sailed from Rotterdam to New York in 1937 right before Rotterdam was bombed by Germany. She was 12 and met other little girls on the ship and wanted to contact them any ideas?
    thanks you’ll make someone really happy
    Margina Hardenbol

  14. Carla Scheer Merritt

    June 10, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    It was wonderful to read about the ship we traveled on. My parents, three of us girls and one brother made the trip. I was almost 7 when we took the voyage to move from Amsterdam to America arriving at Ellis Island on 7 February 1950. Mom was sea sick all 14 days of the trip and was very glad to see land. Dad loved the sea and took us two oldest girls to the bow of the ship during a stormy day and held our hands as we kept running back and forth laughing to keep from getting wet… it was a great game to us. The crew were all very kind and helpful when we would get a little lost on the ship at first. Dad always had us order ice cream when we ate, even when we didn’t feel like it because then he could eat it…. WONDERFUL MEMORIES!

  15. Ancestry {dot} com has scanned and indexed many “New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957”.

    • Thank you,

      I did know that, I have used it quite often to check on arrival times for the ships. It is amazing how the inpsectors sometimes managed to muddle up names. We had a captain called Brouwer in the 1880’s and he appeared as Brufen on the landing manifest. It is no wonder that it is sometimes hard for people to trace their ancestors back.
      Thank you for reading my blog

      Capt. Albert

  16. As a boy of 12 I sailed on the Veendam , with my parents to immigrate to the USA.
    We left Rotterdam mid January 1952 arrived in Hoboken, NJ. On January 23, 1952.
    I would like to see a passenger list of that sailing. Can someone help me find it, Please
    Frits de Knegt

    • Good morning,

      I am at the HAL archives next week, so I will have a look. A pax list might be difficult but I should be able to find the passage registration of all who sailed. Most important thing is that I hope that the spelling of your name is still the same as b4 entering the USA. As there are sometimes variations in the records

      I will try.
      Best regards

      Captain Albert

    • Good morning,

      I had a look in the archives yesterday. there is no passenger list available but I found the sailing ticket contract.
      it is nbr. 50537 and lists: Knegt Miss & Master. No mention of other names. Did you sail with only your sister, or was
      there family under a different name ??

      Best regards

      Captain Albert

  17. Hello. Do you have any information about the Veendam that sailed from Rotterdam in 1939, arriving at New York on approximately Dec. 22, 1939? I have a friend who was a Jewish refugee who traveled on the ship. She was a young girl at the time, but has fond memories of the African-American musicians who performed on the ship, who went above and beyond to make the refugees feel comfortable. I haven’t been able to find much information about the ship, other than a short piece in the New York Times on Dec. 23, 1939.

    Thank you,

    • Good morning,

      Ooooooooooooooiee that is a difficult one. Things are very muddled in the archives for that period. I will see what I can do but I might have to keep you waiting until Jan 2015, when I will be back in the archvies in Holland. I will revert back with an update.

      thanks you forr eading my blog

      Capt. albert

  18. I sailed on the Veendam from somewhere in Europe (I think it was Le Havre, but I could be wrong; I was only seven) to New York in March of 1950. We encountered a massive storm with 50-foot waves, I believe four passengers died when their portholes burst and they were trapped in their rooms. I remember standing at the entrance to the dining hall watching sea water pour down the broad stone steps onto the red carpet below. The tables and plates were anchored down, but cups, glasses, spoons, bread rolls and many other items were sliding and rolling back and forth across the floor, following the pitch of the ship, as the waiters did their best to feed us.

    In my party were Joseph J. Thorndike, Virginia Lemont Thorndike, Alan Thorndike, Imogene Graves and myself. We sailed into New York around the middle of March, four days behind schedule, and I’ve been convinced for years that after that voyage the Veendam was taken up the Hudson to be repaired, but the damages were too great and it was scrapped. From what I read on this site that is clearly not the case.

    I write this after a walk I took this morning around Key West, FL, in which I found the current Veendam of the Holland American Lines, a massive cruise ship tied up to the local docks.

    Thanks to all for their comments on this ship, which to this day feels to me like a talisman of youth, adventure, and family togetherness.

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      yes I heard about that storm and I am still trying to find proof about those people dying on board. The archives are not complete but I have not yet delved into the voyage reports of those years to see if there is anything there from that voyage.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

    • Yes, my mother was on that voyage. It departed from Rotterdam. She had kept a piece of port glass broken during the trip from another part of the ship. She thinks the captain said the waves were 40 feet.

  19. Anna Teeuwen Davis

    October 23, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Hello, I enjoyed your blog and also various questions. My family, father Peter, mother Hendrika Teeuwen with six children (3 boys and 3 girls aged 2 – 16 yr traveled (immigrated) from Rotterdam to Hoboken NJ in April 1952. We left Holland April 4 the day after my youngest brother turned 2 yr. I was 5 yr old and remember the ship being elegant and the US a very strange place with strange food.

    • Good morning,

      thank you for reading my blog.

      I had a quick look in my files: Your trans atlantic crossing was Veendam voyage 180:

      With the schedule: 4 April ;Rotterdam, 5 April calling at Le Havre, 6 April calling at Southampton, Ocean Crossing, and 16 April arrival New York.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  20. Dear Captain,

    Thank you for your excellent and continuing archival research on the history of the Veendam. My grandparents, mother and aunt sailed on the Veendam as refugees from Nazism, arriving in Hoboken, NJ on January 27, 1939. I believe they embarked at Rotterdam. Can you shed any more light on this journey, e.g. passenger lists, ports of call? The passengers’ surname is Loewenstein (Erich, Greta, Doris, Vera). They later changed it to Livingston but I presume they did not yet travel under their Anglicized name.

    Thank you very much!

  21. Hi there,
    My mum has left me her autobiography and in it she says that she sailed on the ss Veendam 11 from Southampton to New York in 1946. Her name was Janet Carisle. Can you confirm this please. Do you have any record of this? Any info would be great, ie cabin type, weather etc.
    Many thanks
    Barbara meikle

  22. I’ve just made a mistake with the above post! Her name was not Janet Carlisle, it was Janet Johnstone or Jenny Johnstone (as she was known) She was making the journey from Southampton to New York to get married to Sam Carlisle in 1946. In her autobiography she mentions this trip on the ss Veendam. Can u confirm this journey please? Any info would be great ie ticket number, weather, cabin type etc.
    Barbara Meikle

    • Good morning,

      I read both your posts. To confirm anything I will need as a minimum the month of the year in which she sailed, and if possible
      the departure date of the ship or the arrival date in NY. in 1946. The manifests in the HAL archives are by sailing date, so a year
      alone it too vague to go by. If you can give me some more detail I can do a dig later in the year.

      thank you for reading my blog

      Capt. Albert

  23. Good day.
    I have been interested in looking into some of my genealogy. My parents and I sailed on the Veedam from the Hoek of Holland to New York in May of 1953. We disembarked at Hoboken.
    I am trying to locate any passenger manifests from the trip. Do you have a location I can look to obtain any information?
    Any assistance would be appreciated.

    Peter J Wessels

    • Good morning,

      if you are in Holland or can reach Holland. Visit the HAL archives, held by the Rotterdam Municipal archives “Stadsarchief” at Katsedijk 651 rotterdam. they have them on file, more or less complete from 1900 until 1960. I can look for you, but only later in the year, as I am at sea.

      so let me know how you get on

      thank you for reading my blog

      Capt. Albert

  24. Philip Frankland

    May 27, 2015 at 9:54 am

    My parents, Grandmother and I took this vessel from Southampton England to New York in March 1947. I was 4 years old. We took the train from NY to Montreal and became Canadians.


  25. I am curious as to whether there are records of all of the Veendam’s voyages (dates, ports of call, etc.)? Thanks!

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      To answer your question, yes there are. I have not put them on line yet, as I have not traced all the voyages yet, but if you let me
      know what you are looking for I will try to oblige.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  26. Excellent Blog. So interesting.

    My parents and three children ( me included) and other family members left Rotterdam, Holland and arrived in Hoboken, New Jersey. August of 1948.

    Under the name Wilhelm Fikse.

    Is there a manifest to e-mail me. I do have a picture of my Uncle standing in front of the Veendam. How long was the trip?

    In 1957 our family took another trip from New York to Salais, France. Do you also have the manifest of that.

    Thank you for all your assistance.

    • Good morning,

      thank you for reading my blog. A manifest is not so easy as the records are incomplete just after the war. Your best chance would be to check with the Ellis island records as I believe they also collated the records there after WWII, even if the ships went straight to the dock.
      A typical crossing would take 12 days. The Veendam was by this time only used for emigrant trips and was old and tired after heavy usage during the war, so she did not go that fast anymore. A regular crossing would only take 6 days.

      For you 1957 query I would need the name of the ship and the sailing date before I could even attempt to find something.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  27. My parents Karl and Elisabeth Paquee and myself sailed in June of 1953 from Rotterdam to Hoboken NJ; is it possible to see/obtain a list of passengers? We were in tourist class; I recently came across menus and newspapers from the voyage.

    • Thank you for reading my blog,

      If sailed in June then you were on voyage 183. Which left Rotterdam on 27 june and called at LeHavre – Southampton – New York, arrival 09 July.
      If you arrived in New York in June, then you were on voyage 182 which left on 30 may from Rotterdam following the same route except also calling at Halifax before New York.

      Passenger records in the HAL archives stop in 1950, thus you would have to be lucky to find a real passenger list per chance on Ebay or somewhere else.
      Sorry that I can not help you any further with that.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  28. Hans Viergever

    March 6, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    What a great read.
    My Mom, Dad and myself (age 9) were on the last journey of the Veendam.
    We left Rotterdam Oct 2, 1953, around 11 am. Le Havre the next day…(those squared hats on the police on the dock will always be in my memories)… then over to Southampton the next day, then off to North America.
    We landed in Halifax Oct 11, 1953.
    My dad had been called up to the bridge because our CRATES were overweight.. $150.00 please.
    Because we were subsidized and were not allowed to take any money with us, my dad had to telegraph my Uncle in Hamilton, Ontario to have the money in HAL hands before we landed or our belongings would not be coming off the ship, and who knows what would have happened to our stuff.
    I remember vividly a priest who was in our Lifeboat and each drill he would entertain us with magic.
    The thing I remember well is my upset mother never coming up for anything. She was seasick and homesick.
    There were some rough seas, and I remember my dad losing a meal overboard.
    Shuffleboard was always fun, but the 3 minute eggs were not!!!!
    Meals I guess were adequate, but sure not fancy, and NOT Dutch 😉
    The Veendam was reputed to be very stable along its long axis.. it didn’t roll much side to side. Being in the lower levels, we had no window in our room, which had twin bunk-beds (four sleeping in 1 room) to the right and left of the door. I think there was only a common washroom.
    Two years ago we were on the Princess Line Royal Princess, and when I opened the door to our Balcony stateroom, I had this flashback to opening our Veendam room. It was quite the experience.
    It’s still a plan to go to Pier 21 in Halifax Canada which is now a historic site, much like Ellis Island. Our names should be there, although seeing them on the ship log/documents would be cool also.
    I can only imagine what it took for young families to uproot and start a new life so far away.
    It seemed to have worked out for most.
    Best wishes, Capt. Albert.
    Dr. Hans Viergever
    (my dad was Albert Viergever, the captain of our journey, a courageous man of great vision as it turned out)

  29. Thank you for maintaining this interesting website. As with other commenters, my family and I came to the US from Southampton on the Veendam (II). That was in Dec, 1947. Happily I still have the passenger list, some menus and even a steamer trunk bearing the HAL stateroom assignment label.
    Lately, I’ve been thinking about making a small model of the Veendam but with no kits or drawings available, it will have to be an approximation. My first challenge is deciding where to locate the six hatches she carried. Based on your knowledge of ships of that era, how do you think they would be arranged? Two forward, four aft? And would they be side-by-side or in line?
    Trivial stuff, I know, but your advice would be most useful.
    Best regards.

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      I checked an air photo of the ship docked in Rotterdam:

      The six hatches were located as follows: 1 large, 2 large, 3 small.Then the main superstructure, 4 small, 2nd superstructure, 5 small, end superstructure to stern with hatch 6 small inside it. All hatches in line. The large ones forward were for general cargo, the smaller ones for valuable cargo and for the mail.

      There are small scale 1 to 1250 water line models for sale from specialist model shops and there is a V- ship model from that size out there.

      I have seen at a friend who had nearly the whole hal fleet complete, and although some were home made, the V ships and the Statendam from 1929 were bought in Germany. A good google would no doubt bring up the model company’s.

      I hope this helps

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  30. Many thanks for your quick and helpful response. I will definitely work on my internet search skills to see if I can find one of those 1/1250 models.

  31. Loretta Grantman

    July 30, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    I am doing some research on a packet of photos I found. The Photos are black and white and are numbered with a short description of the photo. The photos are approximately 11″x13″. They came in a leather binder with four flaps to hold them in. On the front of the Binder embossed with gold lettering is “SS Veendam, Cruise to the West Indies, 1927). There is also a name or two embossed on the lower right hand corner. I can Make out W. G. Weber. I am just looking to see if anyone would have any info of where the photos may have originated. Thank you.

    • Good morning,

      Thank you for reading my blog. The Veendam made one West Indies cruise in 1927: Voyage 36 leaving New York on 29 January and returning on 14 February.
      To provide more back ground information I would need to see some scans of the photos and the folder. I think, subject to confirmation, that these photos were
      sold on board by the ships photographer but I will only know for sure when I see the cover. My hobby email is Captalbert1@aol.com. Send me some scans and I will try to be of assistance.

      Best regards
      Capt. Albert

  32. Patricia A Averbach

    December 3, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    I would be grateful to anyone with memories or memorabilia related to any Veendam sailing in the years immediately after WWII. I am writing a novel in which several characters cross from Southampton to New York on the Veendam in 1948 and I’d like to include as many factual details and stories as possible. I’m interested in the appearance of the ship, entertainment, art work, food, comfort, class distinctions, nationalities of passengers and crew, pretty much everything and anything. Thank you.

  33. Andre Scharroo

    August 4, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    Thank you Captain Albert for keeping this blog. My Father of the same name worked on the Veendam just before WWII and for several years after. He was a steward and also played Trumpet and String Base in a band on board. He made numerous crossings and I have heard stories of him and friends smuggling nylons back for the ladies in Holland. He is currently 96 years of age. I have been collecting menus, postcards, photos and other paper items from the ship. In 1953, he my mother and sister immigrated to the USA on that ship. I enjoy reading about others experiences on the Veendam and continue to look for photos. Thanks again Captain!

  34. I just found a photo on the deck of this ship may 1939, leaving Hamburg for NY. Can’t imagine what it was like to leave at that time in history.

  35. I just found a photo of my Mom on deck f this ship, on the back of the photo is the name of the ship along with Hamburg to NY, May 1939. Leaving Germany while they could, never to return.

  36. Tietje German

    May 17, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    My parents immigrated from Holland in1950. I have the official Passenger booklet listing their names; the booklet shows they left from Rotterdam on June 2, 1950 on the Veendam. Can you tell me how long the voyage was and where they exactly landed when they arrive in the USA? The Commander of the ship was Captain C.N. Kleijn. My parents are listed as Mr W Hoogeveen and Mrs W Hoogeveen. My parents are now deceased, however, my mom once told me they actually came through Hoboken instead of NY. Is that true?

    • Captain Albert

      May 19, 2019 at 9:31 pm

      Thank you for reading my blog.

      Yes, I can confirm what your mother told you is correct. The ms Veendam left on 02 june 1950 from Rotterdam, this was voyage 161 of the ship. In commmand Capt. Kleyn. The ship called at Le Havre in France and then sailed for New York where it arrived on 13 June. It stayed here until 16 June and then returned to Rotterdam via Southampton. These were mainly immigrant voyages and the ship called at Le Havre to collect additional emigrants who came from middle Europe. So I assume that you will find a number of German names in the passenger list as well from that voyage.
      It is correct that you parents disembarked from Hoboken. A town in New jersey where the Holland America Line piers were located. Exactly opposite Manhattan. Holland America docked there from 1881 until 1964 when it finally moved to downtown Manhattan. Reason was quite simple. Leasing the piers in Hoboken was much cheaper than doing so in Manhattan.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

      • Phyllis Zylstra Comstock

        August 2, 2021 at 8:04 pm

        My father immigrated on the Veendam under Tourist Class, leaving Rotterdam on 4 April 1952 and arriving in New York, NY on 16 April 1952. This is according to manifest no. 32 which I downloaded from a genealogy site.
        This date is within the range of dates you list above for landing at Hoboken, NJ.
        So, did he actually set foot in Hoboken instead of New York?

        • Thank you for your comment and query.

          Yes he would have stepped ashore in Hoboken as that was were the Holland America Lines ships docked until 1964. He would NOT have gone to Ellis Island as after 1924, emigrants were processed on board. When coming off the ship, there would have been three options, either taking the train to a final destination, (there was a train station a few blocks down the road) or being collected by relatives or friends, or go across to Manhattan and continue from there.

          I hope this helps

          Best regards

          Capt. Albert

  37. David Gilbert Chappelone

    September 2, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    My name is David Chappelone. My Brother in-law came to America on the Veendam on September 2 1939. Luckily to get here before the rest of his family were lost in death camps. Today is a special day for him and a sad one too. May all understand.

  38. My family and I escaped Hitler Germany and arrived in the U.S.S. on the Veendam II on September 2, 1939, the day after the beginning of WWII.
    I still have the passenger list, naming me as Miss. Salomon, along with my sister. I can still remember the promenade and our cabin, in which my mother was constantly seasick.

  39. This blog post has been very interesting. Thank you for maintaining it. My mother came to America from The Netherlands on the Veendam leaving on March 15, 1949. From reading your blog it probably took 12-14 days to arrive in Hoboken. My questions are many but I will ask two. Would they have gone to Ellis Island as Emigrants? and Is their a way to find out whether they traveled first class or Tourist class? Her name was Marry Annie de Wit. Many Thanks

    • Thank you for reading my blog.
      The ship left indeed on 15 march and called at Southampton before arriving in New York on 25 March. This was voyage 149 and the Captain Cornelis H.P Coster. After disembarking the ship embarked tourists and made two cruises to Bermuda before returning to Rotterdam. I do not think that your mother would have gone to Ellis Island. After 1924 it was mainly used for those who had to be detained and the emigration inspection would have been done on board or in the terminal. In 1949 already many emigrants were processed in Holland at the US Consulate in Amsterdam or Rotterdam and would have been pre-approved already. There are booking records in the Dutch Hal archives but they are being digitised at the moment and should be fully on line by 2021 and then your family should be in those records.

      I hope this helps

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  40. Wilhelmus Vandenbosch

    December 1, 2019 at 12:21 am

    Thank you for this blog Captain Albert. My parents, brother, and sister sailed on the Veendam from Rotterdam Friday May 5, 1950. They emigrated here from the Netherlands. I was born here in America. I have the List of passengers booklet that lists the Commander as Captain C. N. Kleijn. They only had First Class and Tourist Class on this voyage.

  41. I find your blog very interesting. We were post war immigrants sailing in June 1952 on the Veendam from Rotterdam to Halifax. I was 6 at the time and still recall that only my Dad did not get seasick for the entire trip. The rest of our family spent almost 7 days in bed.

  42. My family took the Veendam from New York to Holland in June 1949. I was 11 years old. I have color movies of the leaving of NY and the 10 day voyage, ending with the unloading of my fathers 1948 green Buick from the ship, which we drove through Europe ending in Oslo, when my father gave the car to his brother living there (a Holocaust survivor). Fond memories of a trip now 71 years ago!
    Gene Meieran

    • Thank you for your comment.

      That must be great memories. Please ensure that you have a good home for those color movies. Color shots and film from the ships just after WWII is very scarce and historically seen very important. If I was somewhere in your area I would love to have asked permission to make a copy.

      Best Regards

      Capt. Albert

  43. In 1952 my mother ,two little sisters and I sailed from New York to Le Harve (via Southampton) we were in 3rd. class. I was nine , one sister 8 and the other six. We had a blast.. Came back two years later on The Constitution operated by American Export lines. Cannes to NYC, Liked the Veendam better..

  44. Thank you so much for all this information. I am writing a family history. My parents Foppe and Jetske de Jong and me, Jeltje, departed from Rotterdam on the SS Veendam on Sept. 30 1949, and arrived in New York October 11. Would we have disembarked in Hoboken, N.J.? I have a letter that my parents wrote back to Holland while on board ship; the letterhead reads N.A.S.M. Holland-America Line. I have translated it, so would be happy to share with anyone who is looking for details of the voyage. I also have some photos of Dad and me…Mom was too sick to make much of an appearance, a combination of seasickness and morning sickness.

    • Thank you for reading my blog.

      If the left on 30 Sep. 1949 they were on voyage 154, captain C.N Kleyn in command. From Rotterdam they sailed directly to New York and arrived there on 11 October. The ship sailed on 13 October back to Holland. The ship would have docked at Hoboken. If you were travelling first class then you would have been processed at the Hoboken Pier. If you were in the 3rd or Tourist class there would have been a chance that from Hoboken you would be ferried over to Ellis Island for processing. It depended on how much money you had as garantee of if you had a sponsor who would provide a work so you would not be a burden on the economy.

      If any of the photos you have show also the ship, then I would love to have a copy (Captalbert1@aol.com), as there are not many photos out there that show emigrants (especially those with names) in their ships environment.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  45. Dear Captain Albert,
    Could you think of a ‘reason why’ I come across a 1920’s photo of ss. Veendam in an old photo album of the Potjer-family?

    • Thank you for reading my blog. There were in total 5 Potjers who sailed for the company. The two captains who are on my captains list (full bio still to follow) Then two sons of Aldert Potjer. And an unrelated (?) one. Look at the biography of that 2nd son. He sailed on the ss Volendam in 1926. SEE BELOW.

      If you have any photos of Andries and Aldert Potjer as captains, or with their family, then I would be really interested, as I have not uploaded their full bios yet, due to lack of family / background information

      Aldert Paul (born 1891) and sailed for Hal between 1912 and 1925.
      Born: Rotterdam 17 May 1891
      sailed first for the Kon. Hollandsche Llloyd
      Joined the Holland Amrica Line as 4th. Officer on 26 june 1912
      He resigned as 2nd officer on 01 aug 1926 and then transferred to the Hotel dept.
      Reason unkown. My records stop on 26 May 1930 when he was Adjunct Purser on the Nieuw Amsterdam.

      Son 2:
      Willem Frederik Adriaan Potjer
      Born: Rotterdam 11 Sept. 1896
      Joined the Holland America Line as Cadet Officer on 15 May 1915
      He was dismissed from the company due to over complete (time of the recession and depression holland)
      on 6 Sept. 1931 a 2nd Officer. As Holland America tried to kept the married men in service, it can be assumed (subject to verification) that he was single. The records to not indicate what he did afterwards.

      Then there is also Eduard Potjer
      Born: Urum (Groningen) on 5 May 1889
      Joined the Holland America Line on 19 apr. 1909 as 4th. Officer.
      The records indicate that he jumped ship in New york on 30 Sep. 1909. There is a notation on his file Leaying:
      Went ashore in N.Y. and did not return. Most likley deserted. Hehad already requested that upon return to Rotterdam to be dismissed.

      The 2nd son, Willem Frederik sailed from 3 November 1926 onwards for a period on the ss Volendam, so maybe that is the connection.

      Best regards



  46. Alida Fitzpatrick

    May 1, 2020 at 5:54 am

    Dear Captain Albert,

    I am so thankful for your blog.

    My parents Klaas and Minke deJong sailed from the Netherlands on the ss Veendam and arrived in New York on Feb. 7, 1950.

    My parents spoke of severe weather conditions and sea sickness experienced during their cruise.

    What more can you tell me about their voyage departure date / duration / location and arrival location/process, accommodations, weather conditions, number of passengers, etc.?

    Thank you in advance for anything more you can share about their voyage.

    • Captain Albert

      May 3, 2020 at 5:57 pm

      Thank you for reading my blog.

      As you the arrival date I can give the rest of the information. This was voyage 157 of the ss Veendam. In command was Captain Cornelis Kleyn. The ship left Rotterdam on 25 January and arrived in New Yok on 07 Feb. On the way over the ship called at Southampton and Bermuda. As it was February, the weather would have been bad as a standard. The Veendam did not have any stabelizers so she would be rocked and rolled all over the place. A normal crossing would take 10 days and in this case it took 13 days but it included a call at Bermuda, so the weather can not have been that bad that it greatly lengthened the voyage. as the ship was on a scheduled service it would have kept up the speed as much as possible (as long as the weather did not damage the ship) and the comfort of the passengers on board would have been of secondary concern. Contrary of what we do in the modern cruise world.

      The ship had two classes and depending on how much you wanted or could pay, you made a choice. Also there was a sponsor plan in plan by the dutch government helping with the cost of a ticket. So if your parents had some money they would probably gone first class as the accommodation was not that luxurious that it would have costed an arm and a leg. If they were first time immigrants then they would have been processed at Ellis Island so you will find their records there, it is free to consult their website. https://www.libertyellisfoundation.org/passenger

      In about two years you also should be able to find their names on: https://www.openarch.nl/indexen/27/passagierslijsten-holland-amerika-lijn
      not yet as they have only digitized up and until 1920.

      I hope this helps.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  47. Dear Captain Albert,

    This website is fascinating. I found it while researching my grandfather’s voyage from Europe to Ellis Island. He and his older brother sailed as accompanied minors, arriving on the December 22, 1939.

    The story goes that he was a “puny sized kid” at 6-years-old and almost blew off the boat. Reading the comments above, it seems like a not-so-crazy question: Do you know anything about the weather on that voyage, or anything else about that trip? Photos or other logs? (My grandfather’s passenger number is listed on Liberty Ellis as 9011990127941.)

    I found the manifest, but I’m curious to know what else there is, especially about that story.

    Thank you very much,
    Moshe Berman
    New York

    • Captain Albert

      May 13, 2020 at 8:52 am

      Thank you for reading my blog.

      As he arrived on 22 Dec. 1939 I can find the voyage. And it was a long one due to the fact that the war had already broken out between UK, France and Nazi Germany. The ships were sailing full as Holland America was involved in sailing over large numbers of displaced persons and forced refugees. A normal crossing would take 10 days, this time it took 14 days. The ms Veendam (Captain Abraham Filippo in command) left Rotterdam on 08 December and then sailed for the Downs. This is an anchorage on the south coast of England where all neutral ships had to stop to be inspected by the British authorities. Passengers were questioned to rout out spies etc. This took 2 days and then the ship sailed for New York where it arrived on the 22nd. First and 2nd class passengers would have left the ship in Hoboken and emigrants would been taken by the Ellis Island ferry to Ellis Island for processing. The weather was bad and the ship was delayed by a further 2 days. Also there were heavy snow storms blowing on occasion and England went through its coldest December month since 1900.

      I hope this helps

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  48. Geoffrey Courchaine

    June 8, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    Dear Capt. Albert,
    I am very happy to find your blog and many interesting stories about the Veendam.
    I am writing a book about my mother, C.A.Ph.C. Douglas Broers, born 1919, and I found two letters from her, written on sea on board of the Veendam, dated 26 mei 1948 .
    She was on her way from Rotterdam to Southampton. In het letter she wrote “I expect to land in Southampton at 1 oçlock.
    Her next letter is dated 29 may and she wrote “we are now a couple of days at sea again…..”
    I know that she was going to visit her Canadian husband in Kirkland Lake.
    But I could not find any details about this trip, no passengerlist.
    Could you help me out by informing me where she landed, could it be Montreal and at what date?
    Maybe she used the name C.A.Ph.C Courchaine-Douglas Broers and I forgot to mention that I was also present on this trip, being 9 months old.
    Thank you in advance!

    Kind regards,
    Geoffrey Courchaine

    • Captain Albert

      June 9, 2020 at 9:06 pm

      thank you for reading my blog.

      The passenger lists for this voyage (if available in the archives) might be on line in about two years, as they are currently being scanned in. the Archives have just past 1920. so quite a few years to go. there might be a passenger list out there, which was issued on board, but they are not in the archives so it would be a lucky find on Ebay or related. What I can tell you is the following: This was voyage 141 of the Veendam with in command Captain Cornelis van Beek. The ship had sailed on 22 May from Antwerp for Rotterdam, where it left on the 25th. Then there were the sea days before the ship arrived on 04 June in New York. From there it returned on the 11th.via Southampton to Rotterdam. The Veendam never sailed to Quebec or Montreal but did on occasion call at Halifax. But not on this voyage. But the company offered train tickets as part of the voyage ticket which connected directly to train going up to Canada which was used extensively as Holland America offered great rates.

      So at the moment the passenger / manifests as held by the HAL archives are not available for the later years yet, otherwise we would most likely have been able to reconstruct her whole voyage.

  49. Dear Captain Albert,
    Thank you so much for your detailed information. It helped me to complete the timeline of my mother Journey to Canada.
    Kindest regards,
    Geoffrey Courchaine

  50. My father was a passenger on the Veendam when it left Rotterdam the same day that the big flood of 1953 hit The Netherlands; I believe it was January 31. He spoke often about how rough the voyage to Hoboken was. He mentioned that at one point during the voyage the system that made fresh water broke down. He also mentioned that there was a tug boat strike in New York harbor that delayed his arrival, which I believe was a February 12. Are those stories real and accurate?

    • Captain Albert

      August 3, 2020 at 8:03 am

      Good morning,

      thank you for reading my blog. To answer your questions, yes the weather was bad, was the ship sailed straight into the storm which caused the floodings as, all departing ships tried to get out of Rotterdam while the storm was building up and before pilotage was suspended.So the run down the English channel would have been very uncomfortable due to the wave motion caused by the North Sea (heavy storm on shallow water) then on the crossing they caught the next storm. The Veendam was built for bad North Atlantic weather sailing so Captain Oldenburger (voyage 187 Rotterdam – Le Havre – Southampton – Halifax – New York) would not have been in a hurry to slow down. The ship was not that full, so the passengers would have had some space to spread out. I do not know about a fresh water pipe breakdown, but I would not be amazed if this would have happened. The Veendam had been built in 1922 and spent the war in Germany for the submarine crews so the ship can not have been in that great a state. As a matter of fact the ship was scrapped in November 1953. As far as the tugboat strike went, it was solved on February 10, but it had caused a considerable delay in ships movements to and from the docks. The ship still docked on the 12th. but later than anticipated.

      I hope this helps

      Beset regards

      Capt. Albert

  51. Would love to hear if anyone sailed 1938 Holland to New York..

    I have Dutch wood shoe that was used as an autograph book for sociable woman who sailed. This shoe tells a great story of her time on this vessel. I wish I could find someone who has the full story.

  52. The Veendam was supposed to set sail from Rotterdam on 10 AM May 10, 1940 for the USA. My grandfather was ready to board with his ticket in hand. But that morning Holland was invaded by the Nazis and the ship never set sail. Here is a brief excerpt from my grandfather’s writings about his experiences.

    The quick background is that he was a Jewish German teenager who came to Holland aboard a kindertransport arranged to save Jewish youths from Nazi Germany. Holland welcomed the refugee children and set up refugee camps for them, though did not allow them to get jobs, as they feared it might disrupt the local economy with the influx of workers. Here is my grandfather’s story with the Veendam:

    “In the year 1938 when it was impossible to emigrate to the the USA, my family and I myself separately asked for a waiting number and 2 years laters when financial support was assured to the US Consulate I got my American visa in April 1940. Now all I needed was a booking for the next ship to leave Holland, but I had no money.

    There was no organization who could distribute funds, for this type of help – actually all I wanted was a loan of $190 to pay for my ticket. My distress was great when I saw all the US ships leaving and my visa being invalid after 3 months. I had the card of a working class Dutchman whom I met on the street and decided to get in touch with him. Without hesitation, he gave me $100 – that was all he could afford. The rest of $90 I got somehow together & I was happy to book my passage on the Veendam for May 10, 1940. I was envied by many people to be able to leave Holland.

    So in the morning of May 10th, I started out at 4 o’clock in the morning to the ship which was to leave Rotterdam at 10AM. My trip was another story. I never reached the port because the German airforce started to bomb the town and the army was invading Holland.

    Here I was, was my visa and ticket in hand and the world started to crumple in front of my eyes. Within a year I was in a concentration camp and all of my future was gloomy. With me were thousands of others and I was one of the few who survived among 100,000 Dutch Jews who were transported to the Death Camps.”

    This is an excerpt from his writing. Of course, he survived the war. Unfortunately, the same can not be said of his parents. During the war he was a slave prisoner and was liberated from Westerbork by Canadian forces in April 1945. He came so close to sailing out of Rotterdam aboard the Veendam in 1940. It was only a matter of hours, but it drastically changed the course of his life.

    • Good morning,

      thank you for sharing this, as there are hardly any records about the passengers who were trying to go on that voyage. Your Grand father was supposed to board in the afternoon after emigration in the morning and then sail at midnight. The crew was also on its way to the ship and also got stuck as the German parachutists set up roadblocks at the bridges over the Maas, stopping all traffic. Some crew and office people made it later across by ferry boat, but the ships boilers had not yet been started up, so nothing could be done.

      Once again thank you

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  53. Thank you Captain for publishing this information and conversation. Originally from Groningen, my family emigrated from the Netherlands aboard the Veendam, leaving Rottersdam 10/10/23 and arriving New York 10/20/23. I have a copy of the manifest page listing their names, ages, places of birth, occupation, etc. thanks to Ancestry.com. My Great Grandparents travelled with their 4 children ages 2-9 – my Grandfather was 7. My Great Grandmother was very pregnant with their 5th at the time of travel and our family lore has it that Great Grandpa paid someone a little extra to get on an earlier crossing than they were originally scheduled for so that they would not have to make the trip with a newborn. If there is any additional information about that passage I would greatly appreciate hearing your research and narrative around my family’s emigration journey and this ship that is special to me for it’s place in our family history. So pleased to have found your blog. Thank you so much for what is here already!

    Jeff Koster

    • Good morning,

      This was voyage 05 of the ship with in command Captain B.C van Walraven who was one of the most senior captains in the fleet and who had a also brought the ship out, when new on 18 April 1923. The ship left Rotterdam on 10 October (around midnight) called at Boulogne Sur Mer on the same day and then also stopped at Southampton. It did not dock there but used a local tender to transfer passengers and goods. then it sailed straight for New York where it arrived on 20 October after having made a regular crossing of 10 days, with good weather. Now it would depend in which class your family was sailing for what would happen next. If they were in first or second class they would have been cleared by customs while alongside the company dock in Hoboken. (Holland America did not have docks in downtown Manhattan until 1964) If they were in 3rd or emigrant class, they would have been collected by the Ellis Island ferry and taken to Ellis Island for processing. Please see that website for more details about how that went. In about 2 years from now the booking details of your family will also be on line at this website https://www.openarch.nl/indexen/27/passagierslijsten-holland-amerika-lijn. they have just finished the records until 1920 and are now busy with scanning the rest. Once your family were cleared, the next step would depend on their arrangements. If they did not have any money, then there must have been a sponsor who garanteed them, maybe a family member or a company who had hired your grandfather. If they had money they could have made their own way to their final destination either by own transport or having bought a ticket through Holland America who sold train tickets to any destination in the USA.

      I hope this helps. Any other questions, please ask.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  54. Thank you very much. Was that the typical schedule – emigration in the morning, boarding at noon, and then sailing at night? Was it ever different?

    What do you think happened to the records – were they destroyed? Are any available for public viewing? Are there any pictures of what a passenger ticket might have looked like?

    Thank you

    • As far as sailing was concerned, the ships sailed often at midnight so they could get to BSM during day time. Apart from booking records there is nothing in the archives pertaining to on board paperwork for individual voyages.

      I have not been able to locate a photos of a passenger ticket yet. I know that they are out there in collections, but I have not seen them

      Best regards

      Capt. albert

  55. Hello ,
    I’ve come across your page while searching for more information on a invitation :/farewell dinner menu card,I found while going through my grandparents old treasures.:) ….It is stating the names(not sure of whom) of their “children in remembrance of the pleasant voyage on board S.S Veendam- Sunday,17th of May1925.” Also along with , a set dinner menu, and signatures of the names .. which are , Kousi,John and Ma Mullighan , Mr.&Mrs. Jean Vanophem and Mr & Mrs. Sam Shaw JR. I’m hoping you can shed some light on to these people , names I don’t recognize.It would be extremely neat if I can put this mystery together. . Thank you , VC’S

    • Good morning,

      thank you for your comment.

      I will not be able to help you with who these people are as this happened to be an eastbound crossing and there are no records for tickets purchased eastbound. However This was voyage 21 Eastbound of the ss Veendam with Captain Watze Krol in command. The voyage had started on 09 may in new York and the ship sailed via Plymouth to Rotterdam where it arrived on the 19th. of May. Hence this must have been a sort of farewell dinner with the names of the table mates as the 18th. the ship would have been in Plymouth and in Rotterdam by the 19th.

      I hope this helps

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  56. Captain,
    I enjoyed reading the information you posted about the Veendam. My father worked on the Veendam from 1947 through 1949 as assistant and 4th engineer. On one journey in 1948, he met a young lady who was traveling with her parents to visit relatives in the Netherlands. They fell in love and ended up getting married in 1949. This effectively ended his nautical career, after which he emigrated to the United States. I still have the scrap book that my mother made to document her trip. It contains passenger lists, menus, on-board entertainment, and even a large diagram of the ship. Thanks for keeping up this great site.

  57. Riccardo Jonker

    January 3, 2022 at 11:11 am

    Verry interesting to read. I just discovered my uncle john (johannes)hameetman started working on this ship as of 1948 at the age of 16 on a journey to new york. According to my mother hé wanted to stay there at some point but my grandmother made him Come back.

  58. Found your interesting history and background on the Veendam II while doing research for my mother. In 1939 she was an eight year old girl living in Dublin, Ireland, when her father, a retired US Naval Officer, was instructed to return to the United States. According to my mother, in December 1939, he took his family; his Irish wife and three daughters on a small steamer across the Irish Sea to Southampton, England. She remembers the crossing was rough and she and her sisters were very sea sick. While in Southhampton, they waited for a ship to take them to America. They found passage on the Veendam out of Rotterdam, but the ship was crowded with people fleeing the impending invasion of Europe. The only room available was in the hold of the ship being very cramped and full of people sleeping on cots. She remembers the ship was followed by U-Boats while steaming through the channel to the Atlantic. Can you describe where the hold would have been in the ship? I imagine it was used for the ship’s supplies. My mother and her sister are over 90 years old and both remember this trip very well. Thank you .

    • Captain Albert

      June 24, 2022 at 8:02 pm

      Thank you for your command. the Veendam (II) had 4 holds but most likely your mothers “sleeping quarters” would have been in Hold I or II in the bows, as these areas could take passengers if needed. For this purpose the ship had “collapsible cabins” on board which created small and large sleeping quarters. Varying from 4 bed cabins (bunkbeds 2 x 2) to dormitories shared by up to 20 people of the same sex. These collapsible cabins were originally meant for the emigrant trade and only used westbound. When the ship returned to Holland they were dismantled and then hold could used for cargo or loose grain. When the war came closer the system was used again to be able to accommodate larger numbers of passengers, hastily returning to the US. There would have been some wash basins and a few bathrooms room in the area but water consumption would have been severely restricted with these high numbers of passengers on board. You mentioned that you left in December which means you were on voyage 127 of the ship with captain Abraham Filippo in command. The ship had left Rotterdam on 08 December and called at Cowes just outside Southampton on 10/ 11 December and arrived in New York on 22 December). I hope this helps Best regards Capt. Albert

  59. On 10/12/2020 “Aaron” shared his grandfathers story., grateful this blog exists I am because this content support a bit of family history.. as a young lad I recall my grandparents basement with a wall of canned food, a generator and a radio stored there until my grandma passed away (early 1990’s. My grandparents did not speak much about the war, family tragically divided , however my father did mention that when Holland was taken by the nazi’s the Veendam was docked due to depart but was seized and that my grandfather was forced to work for the nazi’s.

    Proud to share that he was the chef cook! “Joseph “Joep” Jost. a few photos and his business card in my possession and he worked for HAL postwar until his retirement.

    Thanks again

  60. Hanno Weisbrod (now Kirk)

    October 27, 2022 at 5:52 pm

    Captain Albert,
    This is an amazing blog. I am so glad I came across it. I am writing my autobiography, and wanted to nail down what date we sailed from Rotterdam in June 1953.
    I had searched several other sites., but could not nail down the sailing dates in 1953. Now I know that we sailed on voyage 183 on June 27 and arrived in Hoboken on July 9. It was an uneventful trip, no storms that I can remember. As 13 year old I had a lot of fun, playing with other kids on deck. The day after our arrival we went sight seeing in Manhattan on the hottest day of the year with the temperature right around 100.
    Again thank you for keeping this blog going for so many years and helping immigrants like our family to recall that momentous journey to America.

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