Holland America Line

Holland America Line

Infobox Company
company_name = Holland America Line
company_type = Public (Owned by Carnival Corporation)
foundation = 1873 as the Netherlands-America Steamship Company
location = Seattle, USA
key_people = Stein Kruse (President and CEO) Richard D. Meadows (Executive Vice President, Marketing, Sales and Guest Programs) Larry D. Calkins (Senior Vice President, Finance and Information Technology)
area_served =
industry = Transportation
products = Cruises
revenue =
operating_income =
net_income =
num_employees =
parent =
subsid =
homepage = http://www.hollandamerica.com/ | footnotes =
The Holland America Line was founded in 1873 as the "Dutch-America Steamship Company", a shipping and passenger line. Because it was headquartered in Rotterdam and provided service to the Americas, it became known as "Holland America Line" (HAL).

Within 25 years, HAL owned a fleet of six cargo and passenger ships, and operated between the Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies via the newly constructed Suez Canal. The line was a principal carrier of immigrants from Europe to the United States until well after the turn of the century, carrying 850,000 to new lives in the New World.

Though transportation and shipping were the primary sources of revenue, in 1895 the company offered its first vacation cruise. Its second leisure cruise, from New York to the Holy Land, was first offered in 1910. In 1971, HAL suspended its transatlantic passenger trade and, in 1973, the company sold its cargo shipping division.

In 1989, HAL became a wholly owned subsidiary of Carnival Corp., the largest cruise line in the world. Today, the premium cruise leader operates 13 ships to seven continents and carries nearly 700,000 cruise passengers a year.


Holland America Line produced some noted ships from the 36,000 gross ton "Nieuw Amsterdam" of 1938, probably the only large passenger liner at the time that was not completed with any expectation of serving for the military, and the beautiful "Rotterdam" of 1959, one of the first ships on the North Atlantic to be equipped for two class transatlantic crossing and one class luxury cruising. By the late sixties, the golden era of profitable trans-Atlantic ships was over, and the remaining routes were siphoned off by the airlines. The early seventies saw the end of the trans-Atlantic service, leaving the North Atlantic for Cunard's "Queen Elizabeth 2".

In 1971, Holland America abandoned its passenger transportation service and switched to running cruise ships full time. Since then, the company has become known for wide variety of destinations it sails to. After obtaining government approval to visit Antarctica in the 1980s, the line now visits all seven continents. Its ms "Prinsendam" makes annual "Grand Voyages" that usually last more than 60 days. These explore and circle more exotic destinations such as South America and Africa. Due to the increasing popularity of the exotic and rarely-visited ports of call featured on Grand World Voyages, the ms "Amsterdam" will offer the Grand World Voyage in addition to the Prinsendam's Grand Voyages in 2007 and 2008. 2008 is also the 50th anniversary of Holland America Line's Grand World Voyage and will feature a true circumnavigation of the globe. In 2009, the sister-ship to the ms Amsterdam, ms Rotterdam will complete the Grand World Voyage.


As of July 2008, the line operates fourteen ships, ranging from the smaller and older S-Class vessels; the mid-range R-Class; the Vista class; the newest and largest Signature class and the small 793-passenger "Prinsendam" (originally the "Royal Viking Sun", then "Seabourn Sun" until HAL's purchase of the vessel in 2002). All HAL ships have a dark blue hull with white superstructure, with the line's logo featured prominently on the functional smoke stacks.

In addition to its fleet of cruise ships, Holland America also owns the Westmark hotel chain which operates in Alaska and the Yukon, the bus companies Gray Line of Seattle and Gray Line of Alaska, and Worldwide Shore Services, which provides warehouse and logistical support for the company. HAL shares its headquarters in Seattle's Lower Queen Anne district with the above mentioned subsidiaries. Finally, HAL owns "Half Moon Cay" (its own private island in the Caribbean, officially known as Little San Salvador Island); nearly all of the line's cruises through the region spend at least a day there.

On April 3, 2008 Micky Arison, the chairman of Carnival Corporation & plc, stated that due to the low value of the US dollar, inflation and high shipbuilding costs, the company would not be ordering any new ships for their US-based brands (Holland America, Carnival Cruise Lines and Princess Cruises) before the economic situation improves. [cite web |url=http://www.cruisebusiness.com/news.php?u=20080403224002 |title=No newbuildings for Carnival's US brands at current dollar-euro rate - Arison |accessdate=2008-04-03 |date=2008-04-04 |format= |work=Cruise Business Review |publisher=Cruise Media Oy Ltd ]


tatendam class (S-class)

* ms "Statendam" - 1993 - Signature of Excellence (SOE) upgrades occurred in May 2005
* ms "Maasdam" - 1993 - SOE Upgrades occurred in April 2006
* ms "Ryndam" - 1994 - SOE Upgrades occurred in October 2004
* ms "Veendam" - 1996 - SOE Upgrades occurred in January 2006

Rotterdam class (R-class)

* ms "Rotterdam" - 1997 - SOE Upgrades occurred in April 2005
* ms "Volendam" - 1999 - SOE Upgrades occurred in December 2005
* ms "Zaandam" - 2000 - SOE Upgrades occurred in January 2005
* ms "Amsterdam" - 2000 - SOE Upgrades occurred in October 2005

Vista class

* ms "Zuiderdam" - 2002 - SOE Upgrades occurred in December 2005 - Aft expansion took place in April 2008.
* ms "Oosterdam" - 2003 - SOE Upgrades occurred in October 2006 - Aft expansion will take place in 2009.
* ms "Westerdam" - 2004 - SOE Upgrades occurred in April 2005 - Aft expansion took place in May 2007.
* ms "Noordam" - 2006 - Built with SOE standards already in place - Aft expansion on other Vista class ships is designed to mimic the Noordam.

In 2006, the Vista class cruise ships were awarded the 2006 Green Planet Award for outstanding environmental standards by Kuoni Switzerland. [ [http://www.planyourmeetings.com/newsbrief/2007/01/03/sailing-the-seas-of-green/ Sailing the Sea's of Green] ]

Signature class

* ms "Eurodam" - Entered service on July 5, 2008
* ms "Nieuw Amsterdam" [cite web |url=http://www.cruisebusiness.com/news.php?u=20080910213810 |title=Holland America names 2010 Signature-class ship "Nieuw Amsterdam" |accessdate=2008-09-11 |last= |first= |coauthors= |date=2008-09-11 |work=Cruise Business Review |publisher=Cruise Media Oy Ltd] - A second Signature class ship was announced on June 11 2007. Slated for a 2010 delivery this ship is being built by Fincantieri, yard number 6181. [ [http://www.faktaomfartyg.se/eurodam_2008.htm M/S EURODAM (2008) ] ]

"The Elegant Explorer"

* ms "Prinsendam" - 1988 - Obtained by Holland America Line in 2002 - SOE Upgrades occurred in January 2005

ee also

* Carnival Corporation & plc


External links

* [http://www.hollandamerica.com/ Official Holland America Line website]
* [http://www.halpostcards.com/unofficial/ Unofficial Holland America Line website]

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