Holland America Line Reflects on History and Resilience on Its 147th Anniversary

Holland America Line Reflects on History and Resilience on Its 147th Anniversary

Holland America Line is commemorating its 147th anniversary Saturday, April 18, 2020, by honoring its rich legacy, taking care of each other in the present and looking forward to its next chapter. With travel paused globally, the premium cruise line is reflecting on the resilience that has been exhibited throughout the company’s history, enduring challenging times many times before and emerging even stronger thanks to loyal guests, dedicated crew and employees, and the support of travel advisors.

Nieuw Statendam celebrates Holland America Line's 147 Anniversary.

Nieuw Statendam honors Holland America Line’s 147 Anniversary.

Founded April 18, 1873, as the Netherlands-American Steamship Company, the brand has welcomed more than 150 ships throughout the years. A third Pinnacle-class ship, Ryndam, is under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy and scheduled for delivery in late spring 2021. While the cruise line has paused its global operations through June 30, only one other time in company history did operations cease. During World War II, all passenger voyages stopped, and ships were called to serve in the Allied war effort.

“It’s important during these challenging times to still celebrate important milestones, and our 147th anniversary reminds us that Holland America Line has one of the deepest histories and richest legacies in the cruise industry,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “We stand on a solid foundation built by those that came before us over nearly a century and a half, and just as they weathered uncertain times, we will as well. Holland America Line will be back taking guests around the world as soon as we can, and we can’t wait to welcome everyone back on board.”

Happy 147th Anniversary from Rotterdam.

Since 1873, Holland America Line has traveled to all seven continents, offered decades of world cruises and explored Alaska for more than 70 years. Each time a new ship joins the fleet it’s a celebration of this legacy and marks the next chapter in the company’s history. Learn more about the company’s history at https://youtu.be/BCdm7usWixI.

To help our loyal guests look forward their next cruise, new short-term Book with Confidence cancellation policies are available for cruise bookings with departure dates through Oct. 15, 2020, and a generous Cancellation Protection Plan (CPP) is always available for purchase right up until the cancellation policy for a booking is in effect. CPP permits cancelling for any reason and provides cash refunds. Additional offers that feature perks and savings will have cruisers dreaming of travel in 2021 and beyond.

Veendam celebrates Holland America Line's 147th.

Veendam celebrates Holland America Line’s 147th.

A special 147th Anniversary Edition Gift Card is available for a limited time at hollandamerica.com. When purchased by May 31, 2020, a bonus $100 will be added with purchase of a $500 gift card or a $200 bonus with the purchase of a gift card for $1,000 or more.

147th gift card

To see the commemorative tributes to Holland America Line’s 147th Anniversary, visit all of Holland America Line’s social media channels: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Zuiderdam is decked out with 147 for Holland America Line.

Zuiderdam is decked out with 147 for Holland America Line.


Join the Discussion


  1. Marjorie Gordon April 17, 2020 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    Happy Anniversary, Holland America Line!
    Congratulations on 147 successful years, and may there there be many,
    many more to come!
    Sincerest good wishes to all our friends at Holland America Line, both
    on ship and on shore, and we look forward to sailing with you again as soon as possible!

  2. Kathy April 17, 2020 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    Happy Birthday to my special ladies of the sea. I look forward to sailing in the future, and to the Ryndam next year. ??❤️

  3. Jonathan Jones April 17, 2020 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    Happy 147 Anniversary, HAL! Soon, we all will celebrating together on the high seas. Here’s to 147 more!

  4. Pieter van der Ham April 18, 2020 at 6:44 am - Reply

    We miss you all very much. Congratulations for 147 years and all the best for the crews presently stucked at sea. Our thoughts are with you.

    We will be on board again as soon as possible.

    Pieter van der Ham
    The Netherlands

  5. Cornelis Hoogeveen April 18, 2020 at 8:37 am - Reply

    During these difficult times for everyone, it is good to see that the crew left on board continue to smile.
    Congratulations Holland America Line, this latest obstacle is not the only one you have survived.
    To Management and all the Smiling faces we have become used to on board, hang in, there will be better times ahead and TOGETHER we shall all be back ON BOARD one of these DAM ships in the near future.

  6. Cornelis Hoogeveen April 18, 2020 at 8:46 am - Reply

    During these difficult times for everyone, it is good to see that the crew left on board continues to smile.
    Congratulations to Holland America Line, this latest obstacle is not the only one you have survived.
    To Management and all the Smiling faces we have become used to on board, hang in, there will be better times ahead and TOGETHER we shall all be back ON BOARD one of these DAM ships in the near future.

  7. Jaap Lievisse Adriaanse April 18, 2020 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    My father worked for HAL from 1948 until 1990 . He started out as apprentice engineer on the Veendam and retired as VP Technical Affairs. He has been part of HAL’s history for 42 years and so has our family of course . HAL played a major role in our family life.
    He passed away in 2003 and has not seen the company it is today . My wife and I love cruising, of course only on HAL ships ! Too bad we have sit out the corona crisis …
    Hopefully HAL can start sailing soon and add many more years to those 147, Congratulations or Gefeliciteerd as we say in Dutch.

  8. John Edinger April 18, 2020 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    As Platinum 5-Star Mariners, both my wife and I were greatly disappointed to have our South America cruise aboard ms Koningsdam cancelled. But we fully understand, and we eagerly look forward to our October 2020 Iberian Adventure aboard ms Rotterdam and then our Mexican & Sea of Cortez voyages aboard ms Maasdam in March 2021. If either of these must be cancelled, so be it. But we will be back! We truly cannot wait for our next voyage with Holland America Line. And we will no doubt book more while onboard. The safest place to be is on a Holland America ship at sea!

  9. Patricia April 18, 2020 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    Congratulations on 147 years! Thanks for the great photos, always a treat to see the ships and crew.

    We’ll be back as soon as HAL starts sailing again!


  10. MICHAEL RYAN & DEB POWELL April 18, 2020 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    Hello Holland America,

    We have cruised with you numerous times and we have attained 4 star status.
    If you weren’t doing it right we would never have return. We offer our full support
    and we will be back when Covid- 19 settles down.
    Happy 147 and may you survive another 147 years.
    Great ships. great company.

  11. Ann Marie Forster April 19, 2020 at 11:40 am - Reply

    Although have not been cruising for 147, wishing you many more years as I have enjoyed at least 50 years of Holland hosting great cruises. Wonderful crew members enhance the adventures.
    Thank you.
    Ann Marie

  12. bunkin eto April 19, 2020 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    my family and i love taking holland america for ocean cruises. the type of people this cruise line attracts always makes for a delightful, educational and fun trip. we look forward to the seas to be reopened after this pandemic and will not hesitate to book a memorable cruise. thank you for always being consistent with your service, food and friendly staff. i would like to add, it’d be great to have an african cruise that is not part of the world cruises :) the world cruise sounds epic, if i was retired, but alas thats not for many moons.

  13. Yvonne Morris-Edinger April 19, 2020 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    Congratulations to Holland America Line on its 147th anniversary! And a grand “Thank You” to the staff and ship’s crews!! We have been celebrating sailing with Holland America for thirty of those 147 years, starting on the old Grand Dame, the ss Rotterdam. Having attained our Platinum Medallions and 5-Star Mariner status, we look forward to many more cruises for the future. Holland America ships are our home away from home. We cannot wait to begin cruising again.

  14. Lisa April 19, 2020 at 6:06 pm - Reply


  15. David Gitt April 19, 2020 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    I recently got the email explaining the history of Holland America and watched
    Holland America Line Origin Stories – This is Rotterdam youtube
    In the clip, it was noted that the immigration was so big a business for HA that they even built a hotel for the immigrates to stay before boarding. It was erected in the 1890s and I am wondering if I can find out if my grandfather, named Chaim Gitt aka Hyman Gitt or Gut, who traveled from Rotterdam to Halifax in 1909 stayed there?
    He took the ship Raglan Castle which sailed on June 6, 1909 and arrived in Halifax, NS June 19, 1909.
    As I am interested in genealogy, I am hopeful lodging records at that hotel or boarding house are still in existence. I would appreciate your help.
    David Gitt
    St. Louis, MO dgtt34@hotmail.com

  16. Belinda April 20, 2020 at 10:28 am - Reply

    Glad to know my husband and I share our anniversary, 4/18, with Holland!

  17. Gregory Day April 20, 2020 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the new Picture Front-page of the website…..saw a lot of familiar faces!!! Can’t wait to get back “on board,” do our lifeboat drills, Happy Hours at the Ocean Bar, walking endlessly on the Promenade, and just being at sea exploring old haunts and new destinations!

    Happy 147th Birthday..
    Greg and Linda Day

  18. 'Sir' Gordon May 11, 2020 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    A belated happy anniversary to you HAL. Can’t wait to be back on board again.
    See you in 2021.

  19. Lynn Hawkes May 31, 2020 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    Congratulations. We miss cruising with Hal. We can’t wait. Booked a 50 day South Pacific 2021.. Then llooking forward to a world cruise in 2023. Love HOLLAND AMERICA.

  20. George I. Daszko, September 11, 2020 at 2:42 am - Reply

    What protocols are you instrumenting for your future cruises in this Covid-19 era?

  21. Barbara Gordon September 25, 2020 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    Congratulations on 147 years of providing excellent Worldwide travel! I’m ready to come aboard!

  22. Ralph Gross December 10, 2020 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    Congratulations on your 147 year. My wife and I dearly miss the crews of your wonderful ships. They truly do make are voyages wonderful and memorable. Can’t wait to see all of you again soon.

  23. Walter M Randall December 20, 2020 at 3:52 am - Reply

    Congratulations Holland America
    Lines . My wife and I began our
    life together in 1975 traveling to Bermuda aboard a Holland America
    ship . Over 35 years we traveled in
    luxury on your great ships. We introduced our son in 2000 to the New Amsterdam on one of her last cruises. My wife was the niece of Ian
    Bjyale alegendary captain in your fleet. The man who installed the balance gyro which made your ships the safest and steadiest in all weather conditions.

  24. Neil Magalong February 27, 2021 at 8:07 am - Reply

    Id like to thank and celebrate resiliency with HAL amidst these times…i trust the process and goal to keep everyone afloat and ready to sail again enthusiastically…let us continue the wonderful and time tested relationship amongst HAL,it’s team members and our dear guests…LONG LIVE HAL STRONG….

  25. Jolanda Hallensleben-Bethlehem April 3, 2021 at 7:09 am - Reply

    congratulations holland america line on the 147th anniversary. We hope to be able to cruise one of your great ships again soon as soon as the corona time is over. sweet greetings from the Hallensleben family from the Netherlands

  26. FRANS W EVERS April 17, 2021 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    Happy birthday HAL especially to all the workers on the fleet who are as desperate as us to set sail again. Checking our bookings on Westerdam and Zuiderdam for September and February help us through these health threatening times. Margreeth and Frans , 5 star mariners

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