Holland America Line Exhibit at Ellis Island Officially Open

Holland America Line posters at Ellis Island exhibit.

Holland America Line partnered with The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, the 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the eponymous landmarks, to celebrate the cruise line’s 150-year journey from immigrant carrier to consumer ocean liner fleet. An element of the partnership includes a curated exhibit at Ellis Island detailing the brand’s historical prominence in bringing one in 10 immigrants from Europe to the United States.

View of people at Ellis Island ribbon-cutting presentation celebrating Holland America Line's 150th anniversary.

The American Family Immigration History Center team cuts the ribbon to officially open the Holland America Line exhibit at Ellis Island. Featured above: Greg Karnes, Assistant Manager;  Stephen Lean, Director; and Kathryn Marks, Manager.

From 1880 until 1920, nearly 2 million people boarded Holland America Line ships in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, bound for the “New World,” many landing in New York. The Holland America Line exhibit brings this story to life, displaying passenger manifests — including ones with famous faces such as Albert Einstein, Frank Oz and Max Beckmann — as well as historic photos, past ship information, classic Holland America Line posters and Dutch-themed memorabilia. Photographs taken by Ellis Island Clerk Augustus Sherman, who took around 200 photos of immigrants on Ellis Island, are part of the exhibition and show the emigration experience.

Holland America Line history displayed at Ellis Island exhibit.

A centerpiece of the exhibit is a display with ship models of Rotterdam I, Rotterdam II and Rotterdam III made by Rotterdam VII Captain Werner Timmers. Captain Timmers discovered that models of these ships did not exist, so he set out to make his own. They are created from scrap wood, toothpicks, chopsticks and other materials he found on board. The completed models were presented to Lean and The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation at Holland America Line’s 150th Anniversary Event in New York City aboard Rotterdam Oct. 15, 2022.

View of Holland America Line ship models at Ellis Island exhibit.

The exhibit is open through early May 2023. Learn more about Holland America Line’s 150-year history.


Join the Discussion


  1. John van Kuijk April 3, 2023 at 10:56 pm - Reply

    Good morning to you all!
    Could there be a mistake about the duration of this exposition?
    Will it only last from april till the beginning of may 2023???
    That is a pity for all the time and effort to design and put things up.
    Or is this just a matter of modern efficiency??
    You could as well announce the closing in the heading of this article.

    Yours sincerily,

    John van Kuijk

    • Julie April 7, 2023 at 12:59 pm - Reply

      Hi John, May 2023 is correct. It’s a temporary exhibition.

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