Holland America Line is celebrating its 145th anniversary today, April 18, 2018, marking its place in history as one of the most experienced cruise lines in the world. What started as shipping and passenger line Netherlands-American Steamship Company in 1873, is today an award-winning premium cruise line taking guests to more than 400 ports around the world, sailing on all seven continents.
Within 25 years of its founding, the company owned a fleet of six cargo and passenger ships and operated between Holland and the Dutch East Indies. Because it was headquartered in Rotterdam and provided service to the Americas, over time the company became known as Holland America Line.
“Holland America Line proudly honors the rich and rare legacy of our past while exceeding the expectations of today’s traveler with the very best experience at sea,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “Throughout the history of the company, our purpose has remained the same: to bring to life the dreams of those who sail with us, discovering new places, cultures and people along the journey. We look forward to the next 145 years.”
Though transportation and shipping were the primary sources of revenue, in 1895 the company offered its first vacation cruise. The line was primarily a carrier of immigrants from Europe to the United States until well after the turn of the century, bringing nearly one million people to new lives in the New World. It supported the Allied cause during two world wars and several ships served as troop carriers. In 1973, the company sold its cargo shipping division.
Through the early ‘70s, Holland America Line was the first to establish schools in Indonesia and the Philippines to train future employees, thereby making its shipboard service renowned in the industry. Holland America Line has been headquartered in Seattle since 1983. Purchased by Carnival Corporation in 1989, the company grew to new heights, embarking upon a shipbuilding path that has seen the introduction of 16 new vessels over the years to the line’s fleet so far.
Today, the premium cruise leader operates 14 ships sailing to all seven continents. Throughout its history Holland America Line has carried more than 16 million passengers to vacation destinations across the globe.
The Legacy Continues with Nieuw Statendam
In December 2018, Holland America Line will welcome Nieuw Statendam to the fleet. Nieuw Statendam is the second Pinnacle Class ship for Holland America Line, joining Koningsdam, which launched in April 2016. A third Pinnacle Class ship will set sail for the cruise line in 2021.
The new 99,500-ton ship will reflect the ongoing evolution of the company. Holland America Line’s first ship to be called Statendam sailed in 1898, and this will be the sixth ship in the company’s history to carry the name. In combining the Dutch word for “new” with the classic Statendam, Holland America Line is celebrating the company’s past, present and future.