As Holland America Line celebrates its 150th anniversary, people from all over the world can now get a personal look at its role in immigration stories for thousands of families. Back in 2018, CBG | Center for Family History teamed up with Rotterdam City Archives to start digitizing Holland America Line’s passenger lists. These lists are now available on the Rotterdam City Archives website, where anyone can search for a family member who traveled or emigrated with Holland America Line between 1900 and 1969.
This three-year project could not have been completed without the help of volunteers from the Dutch crowdsourcing platform Many Hands. Those volunteers scanned approximately 150,000 passenger logs and documents and entered them into the database.
The oldest preserved list in the database dates to May 3, 1900, beginning with a passenger who left for New York. The last passenger recorded in the database is a traveler who left New Orleans on December 29, 1969. The database includes some surprising information, including children being born onboard and even a dog that travelled all by itself. One notable passenger was a stowaway. On June 30, 1917, the Nieuw Amsterdam departed Rotterdam with one extra passenger. During the trip, the crew found passenger Pieter Kuit did not pay for his trip. The passenger list is marked with a red pen “A stowaway was on board”.
There are also some famous passengers found on the passenger lists, including Albert Einstein. He sailed between Rotterdam and New York on the S.S. Rotterdam on March 23, 1921. His name appears on the passenger lists several times over the years.
Anyone who is interested in looking up a name in the database can find it here.*
We’ve included steps below to help you navigate the site.
*By clicking the link above, you will leave the Holland America Line website and navigate to a third-party website that is not owned, operated, or controlled by Holland America Line or any of its affiliates.