Explore Passenger Lists from the Early 1900s

View of historical cruise passenger list.

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.

Step 1

Once on the website, use the translate feature to switch from Dutch to English.

Step by step instructions to review historical cruise passenger lists.

Step 2

Type first and/or last name in search bar and click search.

Step by step instructions to review historical cruise passenger lists.

Step 3

A list will populate with names, departure place and departure date.

Step by step instructions to review historical cruise passenger lists.

Step 4

Select a name to see more detailed information about the voyage.

Step by step instructions to review historical cruise passenger lists.

Advanced Search Features:

– A dollar sign ($) before a search term will search for words that are similar (Example: $Einstein).
– A question mark (?) replaces a letter (Example: Ein?tein).
– An asterisk (*) replaces several letters (Example: Einste**). If you are unsure of the spelling used by your family member, start with the first letter and asterisk. This will provide many names and you can narrow the search.
– Quotation marks (“”) around a search item will only search for that exact name (Example: “Einstein”).
– In many cases, you will need to review several names from a search until you find the name you are looking for.

Learn more about Holland America Line’s history as we celebrate 150 years of sailing.

Article by Carl Hensley


Join the Discussion


  1. Taryn Jamieson May 7, 2023 at 10:10 am - Reply

    Our cruise was amazing and we loved it. However, I got food poisoning on Friday night from the breaded shrimp served in the Lido dining room. We asked for my clothes to be washed and we’re told we had to pay for it, I feel as though this should have been the responsibility of Holland America as this was something caused by the food on board. I was disappointed that the cruise line would not take responsibility for their error.

    • Julie May 16, 2023 at 7:17 am - Reply

      We are sorry to hear you became unwell on board. If you would like to email guestrelations@hollandamerica.com about your dry cleaning, please include your booking number and details.

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