About Us

The Holland America Blog web site serves as the primary portal for all news and information, images and video, gossip and discussion about the 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet. Visitors to Holland America Blog get the latest news from the ships, meet the people who work on board, travel around the world through video and photos from various ports, and hear from guests and fans of Holland America Line.

With nearly 140 years of experience, Holland America Line is recognized as the undisputed leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. With the introduction of a new 2,660-passenger, 99,000-ton ship in fall 2015, Holland America Line’s fleet will grow to 16 ships, offering nearly 500 cruises from more than 25 home ports. Itineraries range from two-day samplers to extended cruises of more than 100 days, and the ships visit all seven continents, including Australia/New Zealand and Asia sailings, a World Cruise, extravagant Grand Voyages and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, South America, Mexico and Europe.

If you have a question about Holland America or if there is a topic that you would like to see us cover, send us an e-mail or leave us a comment.

32 Comments

  1. Thanks for the ‘blog’, I will read it all later as I am about to go to bed, it looks really interesting

    best wishes from

    Robina

  2. Hello

    Great blog site

    Good luck with it for the future, we will be logging in regularly to find out what you are up to.

    We cannot wait to join you aboard in May

    All the best

    Kev and Jan

  3. Hello Captain,

    It has been a long time since we sailed together. Occasionally I see the old Holland America Line vessels around and it brings back great memories. I’m working as a superintendent here in Cyprus, been here 11 years now can you believe?

    Great website, Robina dropped me the link.

    All the best,

    David Shewan

  4. Hello there,

    I’m really enjoying your blog. Almost makes me feel like I’m sailing with you.

    I’m sorry you won’t be aboard the Veendam when I’m sailing on her on 8/22. It would have been wonderful to see you and Leslie again.

    Any chance you’ll be aboard the Eurodam for her maiden voyage next July. I’ve already booked and I’m trying to talk our friend Liz into coming with me.

    Love to Leslie.

    Regards,
    Joyce

  5. We traveled with you from Venice to Venice ; May19th to the 29th. I have enjoyed reading your blog and will keep it with my momentos. It is nice to know we were in capable hands. You Rock! Thanks Again.

  6. Dear Captain. I like to continue in Dutch, if you don’t mind.
    Via “Hallo” ben ik opmerkzaam gemaakt op uw Weblog. Wat is het allemachtig interessant om te lezen en wat boeiend, maar ook veileisend, de job van een cruis-ship captain wel is. Als voormalig filmoperateur op de enige echte Rotterdam (V) heb ik ook een tijd mogen ruiken aan het leven op een schip en later heb ik hetzelfde als passagier mogen beleven, maar er is toch wel veel veranderd. Passsagiers zijn veeleisender geworden, maar ook de schepen hebben een geheel andere uitstraling dat de voormalige transatlantische zeekastelen.
    Nietemin heb ik met veel plezier uw dagboek gelezen en beloof, dat ik dit zal blijven doe. U doet mij – en velen met mj, daar ben ik zeker van- er een geweldig plezier mee en ik hoop van harte dat wij uw bijdragen in Hallo nog lang zullen mogen lezen.
    Een warme en vriendelijke groet van uit Landgraaf, gelegen in het bronsgroenen eikenhout,
    Frank Doomen
    Namiddagse Driessen 42
    6374MP Landgraaf
    f.doomen@orange.nl

  7. Beste Kaptein Schoonderbeek,

    In HALLO van juli-aug. las ik over uw web blog. Met veel plezier heb ik er al veel van gelezen. Zal zeker regelmatig terugkomen. Aangezien ik geen e-mail adres van u kan vinden, verzoek ik u langs deze weg mij toestemming te verlenen op mijn website over de HAL een link te mogen plaatsen naar uw web blog.

    met vriendelijke groet,

    Ruud Mudde

  8. hallo kapitein Schoonderbeek,
    alvast wil ik u en uw vrouw een fijne vakantie toewensen
    lees graag uw blog op het internet als ik daar de kans voor krijgkan zelf geen internet betalen ben op het moment100% afgekeurd stuurman rijnvaart afgekeurd door een eenzijdige verlamming na een beroerte, in 2000, liep na 13 dagen al weer door dijkzigt en na 6 – 8 weken ging het praten weer
    helaas was dit een 5e beroerte, omdat ik bij de eerste een verkeerde diagnose kreeg/10 dagen in coma/ kreeg ik er dus 5 maar het is bekend na 5 keer wat de oorzaak is,dik bloed, danklonterd je bloed en dan heb je pech maar bij die eerste kee was is na 2 jaar volledig hersteld en liep ook nog in nijmegen 200 KM dit is de vijfe duurt het wat langer maar herstellen zal ik enzodra ik door de keuring ben wil ik naar de zeevaartschool en studeren voor maritiem officier het is misschien hoog gegrepen maar ik geloof erin dat ik dat gaat redden.met hartelijke maritieme groet,
    Staney RenonZeekadetofficier Public Relations/zkkrotterdam.nl

  9. Your web blog is very enjoyable and brings back many pleasant memories of our Alaskan cruise aboard the Veendam in 1997. What a wonderful cruise on such a beautiful and elegant ship.
    You mentioned some changes taking place in the way in which the captains now interact with the guests, such as shorter speeches/receptions. I can certainly understand why that may be necessary, especially these days when the new ships are so large and have a huge passenger complement. I do hope that you will still manage to take some opportunities to address the guests. I have always enjoyed the captain’s reception, especially to hear the updates and news about new ships, the company’s plans and the opportunity to ask a few questions.
    I wish you pleasant sailing and many thanks for giving us a chance to sail with you vicariously!

  10. Just discovered your Blogs and they are wonderful. My husband and I will join you in Montreal on Sept. 9 along with 6 of our friends. It will be about our 35th HAL cruise so you can tell we are “sold”.

    Will look forward to seeing you at a suite or Mariner party — Smooth Sailing!!!

    Elinor Corley

    (Will be fun to depart the ship just 1 hour from our home in Sarasota!!)

  11. Oct. 23, 2007

    Thanks, again, Captain, for the great cruise & especially the photographs of the New Amsterdam ship (troopship) that I sailed from New York to Glascow; June 2nd to June 14th, 1944. Even though we were packed about 15-20 to a small cabin, (5-6 bunks deep on 3 sides) we had a pleasant voyage over. It took 12 days; probably because we zigzaged across (enemy submarines?). Not sure you would call it a Great Circle route!

    I forgot whether it was the 5th largest ocean liner or the 5th fastest ocean liner (maybe both).

    I did want to send a picture of the Dutch pennant they gave us, but can’t attach it to this message. (could if it was email).

    Thanks again,

    Richard St. John, cabin 594; Montreal to Tampa cruise ending Oct. 21, 2007

  12. Dear Albert,

    By coincidence I found you web log. Very nice and informative. From time to time I think back to my own sailing days with Holland America. I also met my wife on board (the Rotterdam V). Over the years many things have changed on board, in shipping and at sea. But sailing still is an adventure in my book. Continue writing, take care,

    Richard Schiferli, General Secretary, Paris MoU on Port State Control

  13. Hoi Albert,
    Dat is lang gelden dat wij met elkaar hebben gevaren, 1984,85.86. Jij als 3e en ik als leerling en 4e stuurman. Leuk om te zien dat jij nu kapitein bent. Ik heb de scheepvaart verlaten eind jaren 80 en hou mij nu bezig met Blauwe vliegtuigen, als Duty maintenance manager.
    Wel maak ik af en toe nog een cruise, het bloed gaat daar waar de zeeman zout water heeft zitten. Dat raak je nooit meer kwijt.
    Je site is erg leuk, oude tijden herleven. Leuk om te lezen.
    Groet Theo Hin

  14. Capt. Albert,

    How serendipitous that I came upon your blog recently. I am in the recruitment process with Holland America Line as we speak. It has always been a dream of mine to work shipboard and I am very excited that I may set out to sea with HAL. I certainly couldn’t have hoped for any better. Your blog has been a source of great information for me as it not only provides insight into the crew life on a cruise ship, but also a little bit of information about how HAL does things. I am very excited at the prospect of working for Holland America Line. Perhaps I will have the pleasure of signing on to ms Veendam in the future! Keep up the great blog and enjoy the remainder of your vacation!

    Best Regards,
    Anthony

  15. Capt. Albert,

    As a follow up to my last post, I have some great news! I have just been offered a position with Holland America Line. And, what’s even more interesting is that I am tentatively slated to sign onto ms Veendam as the first Crew Purser on 30 March 2008! It will certainly be a pleasure to be aboard Veendam and I look forward to working with you.

    Best,
    Anthony Garofalo

  16. Captain: I just purchased a copy of your book “125 years of
    Holland America Lines”
    I will be on the Veendam Apr. 29, San Diego to Vancouver.
    I would appreciate very much if you could autograph it.
    I will contact reception with my cabin #.
    Thank you and I look forward to meeting you.

    Greg Haller

  17. Kapitein;

    4 jaar geleden stonden we in Vancouver oog in oog met de MS Veendam, dit was een hele verrassing, gezien ik geboren ben in Veendam, dus foto’s maken.

    Nu 4 jaar later gaan we op 5 september dit jaar terug om een Cruise te maken op Uw schip, Wat ons ontzettend leuk lijkt.
    mogelijk dat we elkaar nog kunnen zien en spreken.

    groetjes Johan& Ria.

  18. Dear Captain Albert,

    I just discovered your blog and have enjoyed exploring all of the links. We will be following you up the coast on Ryndam leaving San Diego on Saturday, 3 May. This will be our second sailing on HAL and we are looking forward to this short 4 night getaway.

    A number of years ago a friend, Jim Button, was the Security Officer on Rotterdam for the maiden world cruise. His wife, Martha, was in the peace Corps with me in Costa Rica and traveled with him. My 7th grade students followed “Aunt Martha and Uncle Jim” around the world through e-mail, letters and postcards. When the cruise was over they came to visit with each class. The students were in AWE of Jim in his uniform! Several even asked for his autograph. HAL got some very good PR out of that experience.

    Best,

    Frank in Santa Barbara, California

  19. Beste Albert,

    In de scheepvaartnieuwsbrief van Piet Sinke las ik dat de Veendam in Alaska is.
    In september hopen wij cees en yvon( dan net getrouwd) in Vancouver aan boord te gaan van de Veendam voor wat wij denken gezien de vele mooie verhalen gelezen op het internet onze mooist cruise tot nu toe zal zijn
    Wij doen het andersom , hebben eerst de cruisegeboekt en daarna besloten dat dit een hele mooie huwelijksreis zou zijn
    Hopelijk bent u in september nog of weer aan boord.
    Met plezier uw weblog gelezen , tot september, en tot dan vele mooie reizen voor u en de rest van de bemanning toegewenst
    Tot ziens in september, en vr. groeten

    cees kloppenburg en yvon kloppenburg -jonker (zal wel even wennen worden die naam voor Yvonne)

  20. Greetings again Captain

    My husband and I will be cruising with you on June 13th. We have read your writings and are getting very excited about the cruise.
    We are amateur photographers and plan on getting lots of pictures while we cruise. If we take pictures on the Veendam, where are we prohibited to take pictures? We want to respect any wishes you have on the matter.
    Thank you, have a great day. Kathy

  21. This Aug is our first cruise to Alaska (our second on HAL0
    We are sailing on the Veendam on Aug 22 on a 14 day nb/sd with my
    dad. It’s his first cruise , he is currently 91 years old.

  22. Captain Albert,
    It was wonderful to cruise with you in April and May from Tampa to Vancouver and for the first Alaska Inside Passage this year. Thank you, also for the wonderful Mariner’s luncheon. We are joining the Maasdam on July 5th for a 35 day “Voyage of the Vikings” from Boston to Rotterdam and back to Boston. Could you please tell us who the Captain, Hotel Manager, Guest Relations Manager, and Cruise Director will be? We currently have our gold medallions, and chances are we will already know some of these people. Thank you.

  23. Dear Captain,

    I went to this website searching for infos about “old days” working on MS. PRINSENDAM as a Tour Manager. This is back in 1976… As I could not find any relevant infos, I went on your blog and enjoyed very much finding again the spirit of those days on sea.

    Is there any chance you could tell me how to contact the formal staff members sailing on MS. PRINSENDAM as I would be very keen in finding out, after all those years, where everyone is today. I am still in contact with 2 of the formal staff members, but no one seems to know anything about the rest of the crew?

    In the meantime, wishing you all the best on smooth waters.

    Looking forward to hear from you

    Kind regards, et “bon vent”!
    Marie-Louise Dillinger

    Moulin Vollach
    F-67340 INGWILLER/France
    marielouise.dillinger@polyglotte.fr

  24. Greetings Captain Albert!
    Thank you for providing our staff and clientele an opportunity to share your, “Stories of the Seas” as well as have access to your expertise, personal insights and day-by-day account of life aboard the ms Veendam. It’s good to be aboard. I plan to visit your blog often and look forward to encountering massive glaciers, beautiful bays and incredible wildlife. I’ll also look forward to reading the messages from past guests, repeat guests and soon to be guests, who are now “linked” to amazing journeys of discovery.
    Best Regards and as always … Good voyage!
    Cathy Stucker, Travel Marketing – AAA Auto Club South

  25. Hello,
    I’ve just come across your interesting blog. My husband and I are cruising on the Veendam, Aug 22. We did the Panama canal cruise in April/May this year on the Amsterdam and enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to Alaska!

  26. Would it be at all possible for your company to start a monthly or two monthly Atlantic crossing E/B and W/B for people who are absolutely fed-up with plane crossings to Europe. I’d love the old days whereby you can plan a holiday in Europe which includes getting there from N. America by ship rather than having to squeeze aboard an airplane where you’ve had to stand for hours just to check in.

    I’d like to see some shipping company start up – perhaps limited at first just to try it out – to see if people would take to ship travel to get to their destination. As the old Cunard byword was “Getting there is half the fun”.

    Thanks

  27. Dear Capitain Albert:

    Ruth and I cruised on the sweet little SS Veendam to Bermuda in 1982. It was the first of many fabulous HAL cruises, but this precious yacht-like boat is still one of our favorites. (“Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina!”) Service? Perfect. Food? Perfect. Shore Arrangements? Perfect. Engine Room Tour? Unbelievible- Every valve, pump, boiler, driveshaft- our Dutch Engineer host left nothing out and we couldn’t get enough. Unfortunately, we just missed the beloved SS Statendam. Naturally, becoming instant steamship buffs, we sailed the Rotterdam V to Alaska in 1996, but that’s another great story.

    Regards, Scott and Ruth Raswyck

  28. Dear Captain,

    In de periode 70/71 heb ik gevaren op de Statendam en de Nieuw Amsterdam. Ik las, dat u uw loopbaan bent begonnen op de Statendam in 1981. Ik ben in het bezit van wat scheepsdocumenten uit die tijd. Mag ik u vragen welke functie u in de periode 81/82 vervulde op de Statendam? Wellicht kan ik u dan nog verblijden met wat leuke documenten, als mijn vermoedens juist zijn tenminste.

    Gerrit geb 1951

  29. Dear Captain Albert,I enjoy reading your blogs.  They bring back many memories of HAL.  I sure do miss them.  I had a copy of you 125 years of HAL and when I left Ft. Lauderdale I must have left it in my office. Do you know where I might obtain another one? Thank you.
    May you and Lesley have a Happy and Healthy New Year. Good luck on the Prinsendam.
    Florrie Elmnren
    Retired, Assistant Manager
    FLL Shore Operations

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About Us

The Holland America Blog web site serves as the primary portal for all news and information, images and video, gossip and discussion about the 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet. Visitors to Holland America Blog get the latest news from the ships, meet the people who work on board, travel around the world through video and photos from various ports, and hear from guests and fans of Holland America Line.

With nearly 140 years of experience, Holland America Line is recognized as the undisputed leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. With the introduction of a new 2,660-passenger, 99,000-ton ship in fall 2015, Holland America Line’s fleet will grow to 16 ships, offering nearly 500 cruises from more than 25 home ports. Itineraries range from two-day samplers to extended cruises of more than 100 days, and the ships visit all seven continents, including Australia/New Zealand and Asia sailings, a World Cruise, extravagant Grand Voyages and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, South America, Mexico and Europe.

If you have a question about Holland America or if there is a topic that you would like to see us cover, send us an e-mail or leave us a comment.

32 Comments

  1. Thanks for the ‘blog’, I will read it all later as I am about to go to bed, it looks really interesting

    best wishes from

    Robina

  2. Hello

    Great blog site

    Good luck with it for the future, we will be logging in regularly to find out what you are up to.

    We cannot wait to join you aboard in May

    All the best

    Kev and Jan

  3. Hello Captain,

    It has been a long time since we sailed together. Occasionally I see the old Holland America Line vessels around and it brings back great memories. I’m working as a superintendent here in Cyprus, been here 11 years now can you believe?

    Great website, Robina dropped me the link.

    All the best,

    David Shewan

  4. Hello there,

    I’m really enjoying your blog. Almost makes me feel like I’m sailing with you.

    I’m sorry you won’t be aboard the Veendam when I’m sailing on her on 8/22. It would have been wonderful to see you and Leslie again.

    Any chance you’ll be aboard the Eurodam for her maiden voyage next July. I’ve already booked and I’m trying to talk our friend Liz into coming with me.

    Love to Leslie.

    Regards,
    Joyce

  5. We traveled with you from Venice to Venice ; May19th to the 29th. I have enjoyed reading your blog and will keep it with my momentos. It is nice to know we were in capable hands. You Rock! Thanks Again.

  6. Dear Captain. I like to continue in Dutch, if you don’t mind.
    Via “Hallo” ben ik opmerkzaam gemaakt op uw Weblog. Wat is het allemachtig interessant om te lezen en wat boeiend, maar ook veileisend, de job van een cruis-ship captain wel is. Als voormalig filmoperateur op de enige echte Rotterdam (V) heb ik ook een tijd mogen ruiken aan het leven op een schip en later heb ik hetzelfde als passagier mogen beleven, maar er is toch wel veel veranderd. Passsagiers zijn veeleisender geworden, maar ook de schepen hebben een geheel andere uitstraling dat de voormalige transatlantische zeekastelen.
    Nietemin heb ik met veel plezier uw dagboek gelezen en beloof, dat ik dit zal blijven doe. U doet mij – en velen met mj, daar ben ik zeker van- er een geweldig plezier mee en ik hoop van harte dat wij uw bijdragen in Hallo nog lang zullen mogen lezen.
    Een warme en vriendelijke groet van uit Landgraaf, gelegen in het bronsgroenen eikenhout,
    Frank Doomen
    Namiddagse Driessen 42
    6374MP Landgraaf
    f.doomen@orange.nl

  7. Beste Kaptein Schoonderbeek,

    In HALLO van juli-aug. las ik over uw web blog. Met veel plezier heb ik er al veel van gelezen. Zal zeker regelmatig terugkomen. Aangezien ik geen e-mail adres van u kan vinden, verzoek ik u langs deze weg mij toestemming te verlenen op mijn website over de HAL een link te mogen plaatsen naar uw web blog.

    met vriendelijke groet,

    Ruud Mudde

  8. hallo kapitein Schoonderbeek,
    alvast wil ik u en uw vrouw een fijne vakantie toewensen
    lees graag uw blog op het internet als ik daar de kans voor krijgkan zelf geen internet betalen ben op het moment100% afgekeurd stuurman rijnvaart afgekeurd door een eenzijdige verlamming na een beroerte, in 2000, liep na 13 dagen al weer door dijkzigt en na 6 – 8 weken ging het praten weer
    helaas was dit een 5e beroerte, omdat ik bij de eerste een verkeerde diagnose kreeg/10 dagen in coma/ kreeg ik er dus 5 maar het is bekend na 5 keer wat de oorzaak is,dik bloed, danklonterd je bloed en dan heb je pech maar bij die eerste kee was is na 2 jaar volledig hersteld en liep ook nog in nijmegen 200 KM dit is de vijfe duurt het wat langer maar herstellen zal ik enzodra ik door de keuring ben wil ik naar de zeevaartschool en studeren voor maritiem officier het is misschien hoog gegrepen maar ik geloof erin dat ik dat gaat redden.met hartelijke maritieme groet,
    Staney RenonZeekadetofficier Public Relations/zkkrotterdam.nl

  9. Your web blog is very enjoyable and brings back many pleasant memories of our Alaskan cruise aboard the Veendam in 1997. What a wonderful cruise on such a beautiful and elegant ship.
    You mentioned some changes taking place in the way in which the captains now interact with the guests, such as shorter speeches/receptions. I can certainly understand why that may be necessary, especially these days when the new ships are so large and have a huge passenger complement. I do hope that you will still manage to take some opportunities to address the guests. I have always enjoyed the captain’s reception, especially to hear the updates and news about new ships, the company’s plans and the opportunity to ask a few questions.
    I wish you pleasant sailing and many thanks for giving us a chance to sail with you vicariously!

  10. Just discovered your Blogs and they are wonderful. My husband and I will join you in Montreal on Sept. 9 along with 6 of our friends. It will be about our 35th HAL cruise so you can tell we are “sold”.

    Will look forward to seeing you at a suite or Mariner party — Smooth Sailing!!!

    Elinor Corley

    (Will be fun to depart the ship just 1 hour from our home in Sarasota!!)

  11. Oct. 23, 2007

    Thanks, again, Captain, for the great cruise & especially the photographs of the New Amsterdam ship (troopship) that I sailed from New York to Glascow; June 2nd to June 14th, 1944. Even though we were packed about 15-20 to a small cabin, (5-6 bunks deep on 3 sides) we had a pleasant voyage over. It took 12 days; probably because we zigzaged across (enemy submarines?). Not sure you would call it a Great Circle route!

    I forgot whether it was the 5th largest ocean liner or the 5th fastest ocean liner (maybe both).

    I did want to send a picture of the Dutch pennant they gave us, but can’t attach it to this message. (could if it was email).

    Thanks again,

    Richard St. John, cabin 594; Montreal to Tampa cruise ending Oct. 21, 2007

  12. Dear Albert,

    By coincidence I found you web log. Very nice and informative. From time to time I think back to my own sailing days with Holland America. I also met my wife on board (the Rotterdam V). Over the years many things have changed on board, in shipping and at sea. But sailing still is an adventure in my book. Continue writing, take care,

    Richard Schiferli, General Secretary, Paris MoU on Port State Control

  13. Hoi Albert,
    Dat is lang gelden dat wij met elkaar hebben gevaren, 1984,85.86. Jij als 3e en ik als leerling en 4e stuurman. Leuk om te zien dat jij nu kapitein bent. Ik heb de scheepvaart verlaten eind jaren 80 en hou mij nu bezig met Blauwe vliegtuigen, als Duty maintenance manager.
    Wel maak ik af en toe nog een cruise, het bloed gaat daar waar de zeeman zout water heeft zitten. Dat raak je nooit meer kwijt.
    Je site is erg leuk, oude tijden herleven. Leuk om te lezen.
    Groet Theo Hin

  14. Capt. Albert,

    How serendipitous that I came upon your blog recently. I am in the recruitment process with Holland America Line as we speak. It has always been a dream of mine to work shipboard and I am very excited that I may set out to sea with HAL. I certainly couldn’t have hoped for any better. Your blog has been a source of great information for me as it not only provides insight into the crew life on a cruise ship, but also a little bit of information about how HAL does things. I am very excited at the prospect of working for Holland America Line. Perhaps I will have the pleasure of signing on to ms Veendam in the future! Keep up the great blog and enjoy the remainder of your vacation!

    Best Regards,
    Anthony

  15. Capt. Albert,

    As a follow up to my last post, I have some great news! I have just been offered a position with Holland America Line. And, what’s even more interesting is that I am tentatively slated to sign onto ms Veendam as the first Crew Purser on 30 March 2008! It will certainly be a pleasure to be aboard Veendam and I look forward to working with you.

    Best,
    Anthony Garofalo

  16. Captain: I just purchased a copy of your book “125 years of
    Holland America Lines”
    I will be on the Veendam Apr. 29, San Diego to Vancouver.
    I would appreciate very much if you could autograph it.
    I will contact reception with my cabin #.
    Thank you and I look forward to meeting you.

    Greg Haller

  17. Kapitein;

    4 jaar geleden stonden we in Vancouver oog in oog met de MS Veendam, dit was een hele verrassing, gezien ik geboren ben in Veendam, dus foto’s maken.

    Nu 4 jaar later gaan we op 5 september dit jaar terug om een Cruise te maken op Uw schip, Wat ons ontzettend leuk lijkt.
    mogelijk dat we elkaar nog kunnen zien en spreken.

    groetjes Johan& Ria.

  18. Dear Captain Albert,

    I just discovered your blog and have enjoyed exploring all of the links. We will be following you up the coast on Ryndam leaving San Diego on Saturday, 3 May. This will be our second sailing on HAL and we are looking forward to this short 4 night getaway.

    A number of years ago a friend, Jim Button, was the Security Officer on Rotterdam for the maiden world cruise. His wife, Martha, was in the peace Corps with me in Costa Rica and traveled with him. My 7th grade students followed “Aunt Martha and Uncle Jim” around the world through e-mail, letters and postcards. When the cruise was over they came to visit with each class. The students were in AWE of Jim in his uniform! Several even asked for his autograph. HAL got some very good PR out of that experience.

    Best,

    Frank in Santa Barbara, California

  19. Beste Albert,

    In de scheepvaartnieuwsbrief van Piet Sinke las ik dat de Veendam in Alaska is.
    In september hopen wij cees en yvon( dan net getrouwd) in Vancouver aan boord te gaan van de Veendam voor wat wij denken gezien de vele mooie verhalen gelezen op het internet onze mooist cruise tot nu toe zal zijn
    Wij doen het andersom , hebben eerst de cruisegeboekt en daarna besloten dat dit een hele mooie huwelijksreis zou zijn
    Hopelijk bent u in september nog of weer aan boord.
    Met plezier uw weblog gelezen , tot september, en tot dan vele mooie reizen voor u en de rest van de bemanning toegewenst
    Tot ziens in september, en vr. groeten

    cees kloppenburg en yvon kloppenburg -jonker (zal wel even wennen worden die naam voor Yvonne)

  20. Greetings again Captain

    My husband and I will be cruising with you on June 13th. We have read your writings and are getting very excited about the cruise.
    We are amateur photographers and plan on getting lots of pictures while we cruise. If we take pictures on the Veendam, where are we prohibited to take pictures? We want to respect any wishes you have on the matter.
    Thank you, have a great day. Kathy

  21. This Aug is our first cruise to Alaska (our second on HAL0
    We are sailing on the Veendam on Aug 22 on a 14 day nb/sd with my
    dad. It’s his first cruise , he is currently 91 years old.

  22. Captain Albert,
    It was wonderful to cruise with you in April and May from Tampa to Vancouver and for the first Alaska Inside Passage this year. Thank you, also for the wonderful Mariner’s luncheon. We are joining the Maasdam on July 5th for a 35 day “Voyage of the Vikings” from Boston to Rotterdam and back to Boston. Could you please tell us who the Captain, Hotel Manager, Guest Relations Manager, and Cruise Director will be? We currently have our gold medallions, and chances are we will already know some of these people. Thank you.

  23. Dear Captain,

    I went to this website searching for infos about “old days” working on MS. PRINSENDAM as a Tour Manager. This is back in 1976… As I could not find any relevant infos, I went on your blog and enjoyed very much finding again the spirit of those days on sea.

    Is there any chance you could tell me how to contact the formal staff members sailing on MS. PRINSENDAM as I would be very keen in finding out, after all those years, where everyone is today. I am still in contact with 2 of the formal staff members, but no one seems to know anything about the rest of the crew?

    In the meantime, wishing you all the best on smooth waters.

    Looking forward to hear from you

    Kind regards, et “bon vent”!
    Marie-Louise Dillinger

    Moulin Vollach
    F-67340 INGWILLER/France
    marielouise.dillinger@polyglotte.fr

  24. Greetings Captain Albert!
    Thank you for providing our staff and clientele an opportunity to share your, “Stories of the Seas” as well as have access to your expertise, personal insights and day-by-day account of life aboard the ms Veendam. It’s good to be aboard. I plan to visit your blog often and look forward to encountering massive glaciers, beautiful bays and incredible wildlife. I’ll also look forward to reading the messages from past guests, repeat guests and soon to be guests, who are now “linked” to amazing journeys of discovery.
    Best Regards and as always … Good voyage!
    Cathy Stucker, Travel Marketing – AAA Auto Club South

  25. Hello,
    I’ve just come across your interesting blog. My husband and I are cruising on the Veendam, Aug 22. We did the Panama canal cruise in April/May this year on the Amsterdam and enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to Alaska!

  26. Would it be at all possible for your company to start a monthly or two monthly Atlantic crossing E/B and W/B for people who are absolutely fed-up with plane crossings to Europe. I’d love the old days whereby you can plan a holiday in Europe which includes getting there from N. America by ship rather than having to squeeze aboard an airplane where you’ve had to stand for hours just to check in.

    I’d like to see some shipping company start up – perhaps limited at first just to try it out – to see if people would take to ship travel to get to their destination. As the old Cunard byword was “Getting there is half the fun”.

    Thanks

  27. Dear Capitain Albert:

    Ruth and I cruised on the sweet little SS Veendam to Bermuda in 1982. It was the first of many fabulous HAL cruises, but this precious yacht-like boat is still one of our favorites. (“Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina!”) Service? Perfect. Food? Perfect. Shore Arrangements? Perfect. Engine Room Tour? Unbelievible- Every valve, pump, boiler, driveshaft- our Dutch Engineer host left nothing out and we couldn’t get enough. Unfortunately, we just missed the beloved SS Statendam. Naturally, becoming instant steamship buffs, we sailed the Rotterdam V to Alaska in 1996, but that’s another great story.

    Regards, Scott and Ruth Raswyck

  28. Dear Captain,

    In de periode 70/71 heb ik gevaren op de Statendam en de Nieuw Amsterdam. Ik las, dat u uw loopbaan bent begonnen op de Statendam in 1981. Ik ben in het bezit van wat scheepsdocumenten uit die tijd. Mag ik u vragen welke functie u in de periode 81/82 vervulde op de Statendam? Wellicht kan ik u dan nog verblijden met wat leuke documenten, als mijn vermoedens juist zijn tenminste.

    Gerrit geb 1951

  29. Dear Captain Albert,I enjoy reading your blogs.  They bring back many memories of HAL.  I sure do miss them.  I had a copy of you 125 years of HAL and when I left Ft. Lauderdale I must have left it in my office. Do you know where I might obtain another one? Thank you.
    May you and Lesley have a Happy and Healthy New Year. Good luck on the Prinsendam.
    Florrie Elmnren
    Retired, Assistant Manager
    FLL Shore Operations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

About Us

The Holland America Blog web site serves as the primary portal for all news and information, images and video, gossip and discussion about the 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet. Visitors to Holland America Blog get the latest news from the ships, meet the people who work on board, travel around the world through video and photos from various ports, and hear from guests and fans of Holland America Line.

With nearly 140 years of experience, Holland America Line is recognized as the undisputed leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. With the introduction of a new 2,660-passenger, 99,000-ton ship in fall 2015, Holland America Line’s fleet will grow to 16 ships, offering nearly 500 cruises from more than 25 home ports. Itineraries range from two-day samplers to extended cruises of more than 100 days, and the ships visit all seven continents, including Australia/New Zealand and Asia sailings, a World Cruise, extravagant Grand Voyages and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, South America, Mexico and Europe.

If you have a question about Holland America or if there is a topic that you would like to see us cover, send us an e-mail or leave us a comment.

32 Comments

  1. Thanks for the ‘blog’, I will read it all later as I am about to go to bed, it looks really interesting

    best wishes from

    Robina

  2. Hello

    Great blog site

    Good luck with it for the future, we will be logging in regularly to find out what you are up to.

    We cannot wait to join you aboard in May

    All the best

    Kev and Jan

  3. Hello Captain,

    It has been a long time since we sailed together. Occasionally I see the old Holland America Line vessels around and it brings back great memories. I’m working as a superintendent here in Cyprus, been here 11 years now can you believe?

    Great website, Robina dropped me the link.

    All the best,

    David Shewan

  4. Hello there,

    I’m really enjoying your blog. Almost makes me feel like I’m sailing with you.

    I’m sorry you won’t be aboard the Veendam when I’m sailing on her on 8/22. It would have been wonderful to see you and Leslie again.

    Any chance you’ll be aboard the Eurodam for her maiden voyage next July. I’ve already booked and I’m trying to talk our friend Liz into coming with me.

    Love to Leslie.

    Regards,
    Joyce

  5. We traveled with you from Venice to Venice ; May19th to the 29th. I have enjoyed reading your blog and will keep it with my momentos. It is nice to know we were in capable hands. You Rock! Thanks Again.

  6. Dear Captain. I like to continue in Dutch, if you don’t mind.
    Via “Hallo” ben ik opmerkzaam gemaakt op uw Weblog. Wat is het allemachtig interessant om te lezen en wat boeiend, maar ook veileisend, de job van een cruis-ship captain wel is. Als voormalig filmoperateur op de enige echte Rotterdam (V) heb ik ook een tijd mogen ruiken aan het leven op een schip en later heb ik hetzelfde als passagier mogen beleven, maar er is toch wel veel veranderd. Passsagiers zijn veeleisender geworden, maar ook de schepen hebben een geheel andere uitstraling dat de voormalige transatlantische zeekastelen.
    Nietemin heb ik met veel plezier uw dagboek gelezen en beloof, dat ik dit zal blijven doe. U doet mij – en velen met mj, daar ben ik zeker van- er een geweldig plezier mee en ik hoop van harte dat wij uw bijdragen in Hallo nog lang zullen mogen lezen.
    Een warme en vriendelijke groet van uit Landgraaf, gelegen in het bronsgroenen eikenhout,
    Frank Doomen
    Namiddagse Driessen 42
    6374MP Landgraaf
    f.doomen@orange.nl

  7. Beste Kaptein Schoonderbeek,

    In HALLO van juli-aug. las ik over uw web blog. Met veel plezier heb ik er al veel van gelezen. Zal zeker regelmatig terugkomen. Aangezien ik geen e-mail adres van u kan vinden, verzoek ik u langs deze weg mij toestemming te verlenen op mijn website over de HAL een link te mogen plaatsen naar uw web blog.

    met vriendelijke groet,

    Ruud Mudde

  8. hallo kapitein Schoonderbeek,
    alvast wil ik u en uw vrouw een fijne vakantie toewensen
    lees graag uw blog op het internet als ik daar de kans voor krijgkan zelf geen internet betalen ben op het moment100% afgekeurd stuurman rijnvaart afgekeurd door een eenzijdige verlamming na een beroerte, in 2000, liep na 13 dagen al weer door dijkzigt en na 6 – 8 weken ging het praten weer
    helaas was dit een 5e beroerte, omdat ik bij de eerste een verkeerde diagnose kreeg/10 dagen in coma/ kreeg ik er dus 5 maar het is bekend na 5 keer wat de oorzaak is,dik bloed, danklonterd je bloed en dan heb je pech maar bij die eerste kee was is na 2 jaar volledig hersteld en liep ook nog in nijmegen 200 KM dit is de vijfe duurt het wat langer maar herstellen zal ik enzodra ik door de keuring ben wil ik naar de zeevaartschool en studeren voor maritiem officier het is misschien hoog gegrepen maar ik geloof erin dat ik dat gaat redden.met hartelijke maritieme groet,
    Staney RenonZeekadetofficier Public Relations/zkkrotterdam.nl

  9. Your web blog is very enjoyable and brings back many pleasant memories of our Alaskan cruise aboard the Veendam in 1997. What a wonderful cruise on such a beautiful and elegant ship.
    You mentioned some changes taking place in the way in which the captains now interact with the guests, such as shorter speeches/receptions. I can certainly understand why that may be necessary, especially these days when the new ships are so large and have a huge passenger complement. I do hope that you will still manage to take some opportunities to address the guests. I have always enjoyed the captain’s reception, especially to hear the updates and news about new ships, the company’s plans and the opportunity to ask a few questions.
    I wish you pleasant sailing and many thanks for giving us a chance to sail with you vicariously!

  10. Just discovered your Blogs and they are wonderful. My husband and I will join you in Montreal on Sept. 9 along with 6 of our friends. It will be about our 35th HAL cruise so you can tell we are “sold”.

    Will look forward to seeing you at a suite or Mariner party — Smooth Sailing!!!

    Elinor Corley

    (Will be fun to depart the ship just 1 hour from our home in Sarasota!!)

  11. Oct. 23, 2007

    Thanks, again, Captain, for the great cruise & especially the photographs of the New Amsterdam ship (troopship) that I sailed from New York to Glascow; June 2nd to June 14th, 1944. Even though we were packed about 15-20 to a small cabin, (5-6 bunks deep on 3 sides) we had a pleasant voyage over. It took 12 days; probably because we zigzaged across (enemy submarines?). Not sure you would call it a Great Circle route!

    I forgot whether it was the 5th largest ocean liner or the 5th fastest ocean liner (maybe both).

    I did want to send a picture of the Dutch pennant they gave us, but can’t attach it to this message. (could if it was email).

    Thanks again,

    Richard St. John, cabin 594; Montreal to Tampa cruise ending Oct. 21, 2007

  12. Dear Albert,

    By coincidence I found you web log. Very nice and informative. From time to time I think back to my own sailing days with Holland America. I also met my wife on board (the Rotterdam V). Over the years many things have changed on board, in shipping and at sea. But sailing still is an adventure in my book. Continue writing, take care,

    Richard Schiferli, General Secretary, Paris MoU on Port State Control

  13. Hoi Albert,
    Dat is lang gelden dat wij met elkaar hebben gevaren, 1984,85.86. Jij als 3e en ik als leerling en 4e stuurman. Leuk om te zien dat jij nu kapitein bent. Ik heb de scheepvaart verlaten eind jaren 80 en hou mij nu bezig met Blauwe vliegtuigen, als Duty maintenance manager.
    Wel maak ik af en toe nog een cruise, het bloed gaat daar waar de zeeman zout water heeft zitten. Dat raak je nooit meer kwijt.
    Je site is erg leuk, oude tijden herleven. Leuk om te lezen.
    Groet Theo Hin

  14. Capt. Albert,

    How serendipitous that I came upon your blog recently. I am in the recruitment process with Holland America Line as we speak. It has always been a dream of mine to work shipboard and I am very excited that I may set out to sea with HAL. I certainly couldn’t have hoped for any better. Your blog has been a source of great information for me as it not only provides insight into the crew life on a cruise ship, but also a little bit of information about how HAL does things. I am very excited at the prospect of working for Holland America Line. Perhaps I will have the pleasure of signing on to ms Veendam in the future! Keep up the great blog and enjoy the remainder of your vacation!

    Best Regards,
    Anthony

  15. Capt. Albert,

    As a follow up to my last post, I have some great news! I have just been offered a position with Holland America Line. And, what’s even more interesting is that I am tentatively slated to sign onto ms Veendam as the first Crew Purser on 30 March 2008! It will certainly be a pleasure to be aboard Veendam and I look forward to working with you.

    Best,
    Anthony Garofalo

  16. Captain: I just purchased a copy of your book “125 years of
    Holland America Lines”
    I will be on the Veendam Apr. 29, San Diego to Vancouver.
    I would appreciate very much if you could autograph it.
    I will contact reception with my cabin #.
    Thank you and I look forward to meeting you.

    Greg Haller

  17. Kapitein;

    4 jaar geleden stonden we in Vancouver oog in oog met de MS Veendam, dit was een hele verrassing, gezien ik geboren ben in Veendam, dus foto’s maken.

    Nu 4 jaar later gaan we op 5 september dit jaar terug om een Cruise te maken op Uw schip, Wat ons ontzettend leuk lijkt.
    mogelijk dat we elkaar nog kunnen zien en spreken.

    groetjes Johan& Ria.

  18. Dear Captain Albert,

    I just discovered your blog and have enjoyed exploring all of the links. We will be following you up the coast on Ryndam leaving San Diego on Saturday, 3 May. This will be our second sailing on HAL and we are looking forward to this short 4 night getaway.

    A number of years ago a friend, Jim Button, was the Security Officer on Rotterdam for the maiden world cruise. His wife, Martha, was in the peace Corps with me in Costa Rica and traveled with him. My 7th grade students followed “Aunt Martha and Uncle Jim” around the world through e-mail, letters and postcards. When the cruise was over they came to visit with each class. The students were in AWE of Jim in his uniform! Several even asked for his autograph. HAL got some very good PR out of that experience.

    Best,

    Frank in Santa Barbara, California

  19. Beste Albert,

    In de scheepvaartnieuwsbrief van Piet Sinke las ik dat de Veendam in Alaska is.
    In september hopen wij cees en yvon( dan net getrouwd) in Vancouver aan boord te gaan van de Veendam voor wat wij denken gezien de vele mooie verhalen gelezen op het internet onze mooist cruise tot nu toe zal zijn
    Wij doen het andersom , hebben eerst de cruisegeboekt en daarna besloten dat dit een hele mooie huwelijksreis zou zijn
    Hopelijk bent u in september nog of weer aan boord.
    Met plezier uw weblog gelezen , tot september, en tot dan vele mooie reizen voor u en de rest van de bemanning toegewenst
    Tot ziens in september, en vr. groeten

    cees kloppenburg en yvon kloppenburg -jonker (zal wel even wennen worden die naam voor Yvonne)

  20. Greetings again Captain

    My husband and I will be cruising with you on June 13th. We have read your writings and are getting very excited about the cruise.
    We are amateur photographers and plan on getting lots of pictures while we cruise. If we take pictures on the Veendam, where are we prohibited to take pictures? We want to respect any wishes you have on the matter.
    Thank you, have a great day. Kathy

  21. This Aug is our first cruise to Alaska (our second on HAL0
    We are sailing on the Veendam on Aug 22 on a 14 day nb/sd with my
    dad. It’s his first cruise , he is currently 91 years old.

  22. Captain Albert,
    It was wonderful to cruise with you in April and May from Tampa to Vancouver and for the first Alaska Inside Passage this year. Thank you, also for the wonderful Mariner’s luncheon. We are joining the Maasdam on July 5th for a 35 day “Voyage of the Vikings” from Boston to Rotterdam and back to Boston. Could you please tell us who the Captain, Hotel Manager, Guest Relations Manager, and Cruise Director will be? We currently have our gold medallions, and chances are we will already know some of these people. Thank you.

  23. Dear Captain,

    I went to this website searching for infos about “old days” working on MS. PRINSENDAM as a Tour Manager. This is back in 1976… As I could not find any relevant infos, I went on your blog and enjoyed very much finding again the spirit of those days on sea.

    Is there any chance you could tell me how to contact the formal staff members sailing on MS. PRINSENDAM as I would be very keen in finding out, after all those years, where everyone is today. I am still in contact with 2 of the formal staff members, but no one seems to know anything about the rest of the crew?

    In the meantime, wishing you all the best on smooth waters.

    Looking forward to hear from you

    Kind regards, et “bon vent”!
    Marie-Louise Dillinger

    Moulin Vollach
    F-67340 INGWILLER/France
    marielouise.dillinger@polyglotte.fr

  24. Greetings Captain Albert!
    Thank you for providing our staff and clientele an opportunity to share your, “Stories of the Seas” as well as have access to your expertise, personal insights and day-by-day account of life aboard the ms Veendam. It’s good to be aboard. I plan to visit your blog often and look forward to encountering massive glaciers, beautiful bays and incredible wildlife. I’ll also look forward to reading the messages from past guests, repeat guests and soon to be guests, who are now “linked” to amazing journeys of discovery.
    Best Regards and as always … Good voyage!
    Cathy Stucker, Travel Marketing – AAA Auto Club South

  25. Hello,
    I’ve just come across your interesting blog. My husband and I are cruising on the Veendam, Aug 22. We did the Panama canal cruise in April/May this year on the Amsterdam and enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to Alaska!

  26. Would it be at all possible for your company to start a monthly or two monthly Atlantic crossing E/B and W/B for people who are absolutely fed-up with plane crossings to Europe. I’d love the old days whereby you can plan a holiday in Europe which includes getting there from N. America by ship rather than having to squeeze aboard an airplane where you’ve had to stand for hours just to check in.

    I’d like to see some shipping company start up – perhaps limited at first just to try it out – to see if people would take to ship travel to get to their destination. As the old Cunard byword was “Getting there is half the fun”.

    Thanks

  27. Dear Capitain Albert:

    Ruth and I cruised on the sweet little SS Veendam to Bermuda in 1982. It was the first of many fabulous HAL cruises, but this precious yacht-like boat is still one of our favorites. (“Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina!”) Service? Perfect. Food? Perfect. Shore Arrangements? Perfect. Engine Room Tour? Unbelievible- Every valve, pump, boiler, driveshaft- our Dutch Engineer host left nothing out and we couldn’t get enough. Unfortunately, we just missed the beloved SS Statendam. Naturally, becoming instant steamship buffs, we sailed the Rotterdam V to Alaska in 1996, but that’s another great story.

    Regards, Scott and Ruth Raswyck

  28. Dear Captain,

    In de periode 70/71 heb ik gevaren op de Statendam en de Nieuw Amsterdam. Ik las, dat u uw loopbaan bent begonnen op de Statendam in 1981. Ik ben in het bezit van wat scheepsdocumenten uit die tijd. Mag ik u vragen welke functie u in de periode 81/82 vervulde op de Statendam? Wellicht kan ik u dan nog verblijden met wat leuke documenten, als mijn vermoedens juist zijn tenminste.

    Gerrit geb 1951

  29. Dear Captain Albert,I enjoy reading your blogs.  They bring back many memories of HAL.  I sure do miss them.  I had a copy of you 125 years of HAL and when I left Ft. Lauderdale I must have left it in my office. Do you know where I might obtain another one? Thank you.
    May you and Lesley have a Happy and Healthy New Year. Good luck on the Prinsendam.
    Florrie Elmnren
    Retired, Assistant Manager
    FLL Shore Operations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

About Us

The Holland America Blog web site serves as the primary portal for all news and information, images and video, gossip and discussion about the 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet. Visitors to Holland America Blog get the latest news from the ships, meet the people who work on board, travel around the world through video and photos from various ports, and hear from guests and fans of Holland America Line.

With nearly 140 years of experience, Holland America Line is recognized as the undisputed leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. With the introduction of a new 2,660-passenger, 99,000-ton ship in fall 2015, Holland America Line’s fleet will grow to 16 ships, offering nearly 500 cruises from more than 25 home ports. Itineraries range from two-day samplers to extended cruises of more than 100 days, and the ships visit all seven continents, including Australia/New Zealand and Asia sailings, a World Cruise, extravagant Grand Voyages and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, South America, Mexico and Europe.

If you have a question about Holland America or if there is a topic that you would like to see us cover, send us an e-mail or leave us a comment.

32 Comments

  1. Thanks for the ‘blog’, I will read it all later as I am about to go to bed, it looks really interesting

    best wishes from

    Robina

  2. Hello

    Great blog site

    Good luck with it for the future, we will be logging in regularly to find out what you are up to.

    We cannot wait to join you aboard in May

    All the best

    Kev and Jan

  3. Hello Captain,

    It has been a long time since we sailed together. Occasionally I see the old Holland America Line vessels around and it brings back great memories. I’m working as a superintendent here in Cyprus, been here 11 years now can you believe?

    Great website, Robina dropped me the link.

    All the best,

    David Shewan

  4. Hello there,

    I’m really enjoying your blog. Almost makes me feel like I’m sailing with you.

    I’m sorry you won’t be aboard the Veendam when I’m sailing on her on 8/22. It would have been wonderful to see you and Leslie again.

    Any chance you’ll be aboard the Eurodam for her maiden voyage next July. I’ve already booked and I’m trying to talk our friend Liz into coming with me.

    Love to Leslie.

    Regards,
    Joyce

  5. We traveled with you from Venice to Venice ; May19th to the 29th. I have enjoyed reading your blog and will keep it with my momentos. It is nice to know we were in capable hands. You Rock! Thanks Again.

  6. Dear Captain. I like to continue in Dutch, if you don’t mind.
    Via “Hallo” ben ik opmerkzaam gemaakt op uw Weblog. Wat is het allemachtig interessant om te lezen en wat boeiend, maar ook veileisend, de job van een cruis-ship captain wel is. Als voormalig filmoperateur op de enige echte Rotterdam (V) heb ik ook een tijd mogen ruiken aan het leven op een schip en later heb ik hetzelfde als passagier mogen beleven, maar er is toch wel veel veranderd. Passsagiers zijn veeleisender geworden, maar ook de schepen hebben een geheel andere uitstraling dat de voormalige transatlantische zeekastelen.
    Nietemin heb ik met veel plezier uw dagboek gelezen en beloof, dat ik dit zal blijven doe. U doet mij – en velen met mj, daar ben ik zeker van- er een geweldig plezier mee en ik hoop van harte dat wij uw bijdragen in Hallo nog lang zullen mogen lezen.
    Een warme en vriendelijke groet van uit Landgraaf, gelegen in het bronsgroenen eikenhout,
    Frank Doomen
    Namiddagse Driessen 42
    6374MP Landgraaf
    f.doomen@orange.nl

  7. Beste Kaptein Schoonderbeek,

    In HALLO van juli-aug. las ik over uw web blog. Met veel plezier heb ik er al veel van gelezen. Zal zeker regelmatig terugkomen. Aangezien ik geen e-mail adres van u kan vinden, verzoek ik u langs deze weg mij toestemming te verlenen op mijn website over de HAL een link te mogen plaatsen naar uw web blog.

    met vriendelijke groet,

    Ruud Mudde

  8. hallo kapitein Schoonderbeek,
    alvast wil ik u en uw vrouw een fijne vakantie toewensen
    lees graag uw blog op het internet als ik daar de kans voor krijgkan zelf geen internet betalen ben op het moment100% afgekeurd stuurman rijnvaart afgekeurd door een eenzijdige verlamming na een beroerte, in 2000, liep na 13 dagen al weer door dijkzigt en na 6 – 8 weken ging het praten weer
    helaas was dit een 5e beroerte, omdat ik bij de eerste een verkeerde diagnose kreeg/10 dagen in coma/ kreeg ik er dus 5 maar het is bekend na 5 keer wat de oorzaak is,dik bloed, danklonterd je bloed en dan heb je pech maar bij die eerste kee was is na 2 jaar volledig hersteld en liep ook nog in nijmegen 200 KM dit is de vijfe duurt het wat langer maar herstellen zal ik enzodra ik door de keuring ben wil ik naar de zeevaartschool en studeren voor maritiem officier het is misschien hoog gegrepen maar ik geloof erin dat ik dat gaat redden.met hartelijke maritieme groet,
    Staney RenonZeekadetofficier Public Relations/zkkrotterdam.nl

  9. Your web blog is very enjoyable and brings back many pleasant memories of our Alaskan cruise aboard the Veendam in 1997. What a wonderful cruise on such a beautiful and elegant ship.
    You mentioned some changes taking place in the way in which the captains now interact with the guests, such as shorter speeches/receptions. I can certainly understand why that may be necessary, especially these days when the new ships are so large and have a huge passenger complement. I do hope that you will still manage to take some opportunities to address the guests. I have always enjoyed the captain’s reception, especially to hear the updates and news about new ships, the company’s plans and the opportunity to ask a few questions.
    I wish you pleasant sailing and many thanks for giving us a chance to sail with you vicariously!

  10. Just discovered your Blogs and they are wonderful. My husband and I will join you in Montreal on Sept. 9 along with 6 of our friends. It will be about our 35th HAL cruise so you can tell we are “sold”.

    Will look forward to seeing you at a suite or Mariner party — Smooth Sailing!!!

    Elinor Corley

    (Will be fun to depart the ship just 1 hour from our home in Sarasota!!)

  11. Oct. 23, 2007

    Thanks, again, Captain, for the great cruise & especially the photographs of the New Amsterdam ship (troopship) that I sailed from New York to Glascow; June 2nd to June 14th, 1944. Even though we were packed about 15-20 to a small cabin, (5-6 bunks deep on 3 sides) we had a pleasant voyage over. It took 12 days; probably because we zigzaged across (enemy submarines?). Not sure you would call it a Great Circle route!

    I forgot whether it was the 5th largest ocean liner or the 5th fastest ocean liner (maybe both).

    I did want to send a picture of the Dutch pennant they gave us, but can’t attach it to this message. (could if it was email).

    Thanks again,

    Richard St. John, cabin 594; Montreal to Tampa cruise ending Oct. 21, 2007

  12. Dear Albert,

    By coincidence I found you web log. Very nice and informative. From time to time I think back to my own sailing days with Holland America. I also met my wife on board (the Rotterdam V). Over the years many things have changed on board, in shipping and at sea. But sailing still is an adventure in my book. Continue writing, take care,

    Richard Schiferli, General Secretary, Paris MoU on Port State Control

  13. Hoi Albert,
    Dat is lang gelden dat wij met elkaar hebben gevaren, 1984,85.86. Jij als 3e en ik als leerling en 4e stuurman. Leuk om te zien dat jij nu kapitein bent. Ik heb de scheepvaart verlaten eind jaren 80 en hou mij nu bezig met Blauwe vliegtuigen, als Duty maintenance manager.
    Wel maak ik af en toe nog een cruise, het bloed gaat daar waar de zeeman zout water heeft zitten. Dat raak je nooit meer kwijt.
    Je site is erg leuk, oude tijden herleven. Leuk om te lezen.
    Groet Theo Hin

  14. Capt. Albert,

    How serendipitous that I came upon your blog recently. I am in the recruitment process with Holland America Line as we speak. It has always been a dream of mine to work shipboard and I am very excited that I may set out to sea with HAL. I certainly couldn’t have hoped for any better. Your blog has been a source of great information for me as it not only provides insight into the crew life on a cruise ship, but also a little bit of information about how HAL does things. I am very excited at the prospect of working for Holland America Line. Perhaps I will have the pleasure of signing on to ms Veendam in the future! Keep up the great blog and enjoy the remainder of your vacation!

    Best Regards,
    Anthony

  15. Capt. Albert,

    As a follow up to my last post, I have some great news! I have just been offered a position with Holland America Line. And, what’s even more interesting is that I am tentatively slated to sign onto ms Veendam as the first Crew Purser on 30 March 2008! It will certainly be a pleasure to be aboard Veendam and I look forward to working with you.

    Best,
    Anthony Garofalo

  16. Captain: I just purchased a copy of your book “125 years of
    Holland America Lines”
    I will be on the Veendam Apr. 29, San Diego to Vancouver.
    I would appreciate very much if you could autograph it.
    I will contact reception with my cabin #.
    Thank you and I look forward to meeting you.

    Greg Haller

  17. Kapitein;

    4 jaar geleden stonden we in Vancouver oog in oog met de MS Veendam, dit was een hele verrassing, gezien ik geboren ben in Veendam, dus foto’s maken.

    Nu 4 jaar later gaan we op 5 september dit jaar terug om een Cruise te maken op Uw schip, Wat ons ontzettend leuk lijkt.
    mogelijk dat we elkaar nog kunnen zien en spreken.

    groetjes Johan& Ria.

  18. Dear Captain Albert,

    I just discovered your blog and have enjoyed exploring all of the links. We will be following you up the coast on Ryndam leaving San Diego on Saturday, 3 May. This will be our second sailing on HAL and we are looking forward to this short 4 night getaway.

    A number of years ago a friend, Jim Button, was the Security Officer on Rotterdam for the maiden world cruise. His wife, Martha, was in the peace Corps with me in Costa Rica and traveled with him. My 7th grade students followed “Aunt Martha and Uncle Jim” around the world through e-mail, letters and postcards. When the cruise was over they came to visit with each class. The students were in AWE of Jim in his uniform! Several even asked for his autograph. HAL got some very good PR out of that experience.

    Best,

    Frank in Santa Barbara, California

  19. Beste Albert,

    In de scheepvaartnieuwsbrief van Piet Sinke las ik dat de Veendam in Alaska is.
    In september hopen wij cees en yvon( dan net getrouwd) in Vancouver aan boord te gaan van de Veendam voor wat wij denken gezien de vele mooie verhalen gelezen op het internet onze mooist cruise tot nu toe zal zijn
    Wij doen het andersom , hebben eerst de cruisegeboekt en daarna besloten dat dit een hele mooie huwelijksreis zou zijn
    Hopelijk bent u in september nog of weer aan boord.
    Met plezier uw weblog gelezen , tot september, en tot dan vele mooie reizen voor u en de rest van de bemanning toegewenst
    Tot ziens in september, en vr. groeten

    cees kloppenburg en yvon kloppenburg -jonker (zal wel even wennen worden die naam voor Yvonne)

  20. Greetings again Captain

    My husband and I will be cruising with you on June 13th. We have read your writings and are getting very excited about the cruise.
    We are amateur photographers and plan on getting lots of pictures while we cruise. If we take pictures on the Veendam, where are we prohibited to take pictures? We want to respect any wishes you have on the matter.
    Thank you, have a great day. Kathy

  21. This Aug is our first cruise to Alaska (our second on HAL0
    We are sailing on the Veendam on Aug 22 on a 14 day nb/sd with my
    dad. It’s his first cruise , he is currently 91 years old.

  22. Captain Albert,
    It was wonderful to cruise with you in April and May from Tampa to Vancouver and for the first Alaska Inside Passage this year. Thank you, also for the wonderful Mariner’s luncheon. We are joining the Maasdam on July 5th for a 35 day “Voyage of the Vikings” from Boston to Rotterdam and back to Boston. Could you please tell us who the Captain, Hotel Manager, Guest Relations Manager, and Cruise Director will be? We currently have our gold medallions, and chances are we will already know some of these people. Thank you.

  23. Dear Captain,

    I went to this website searching for infos about “old days” working on MS. PRINSENDAM as a Tour Manager. This is back in 1976… As I could not find any relevant infos, I went on your blog and enjoyed very much finding again the spirit of those days on sea.

    Is there any chance you could tell me how to contact the formal staff members sailing on MS. PRINSENDAM as I would be very keen in finding out, after all those years, where everyone is today. I am still in contact with 2 of the formal staff members, but no one seems to know anything about the rest of the crew?

    In the meantime, wishing you all the best on smooth waters.

    Looking forward to hear from you

    Kind regards, et “bon vent”!
    Marie-Louise Dillinger

    Moulin Vollach
    F-67340 INGWILLER/France
    marielouise.dillinger@polyglotte.fr

  24. Greetings Captain Albert!
    Thank you for providing our staff and clientele an opportunity to share your, “Stories of the Seas” as well as have access to your expertise, personal insights and day-by-day account of life aboard the ms Veendam. It’s good to be aboard. I plan to visit your blog often and look forward to encountering massive glaciers, beautiful bays and incredible wildlife. I’ll also look forward to reading the messages from past guests, repeat guests and soon to be guests, who are now “linked” to amazing journeys of discovery.
    Best Regards and as always … Good voyage!
    Cathy Stucker, Travel Marketing – AAA Auto Club South

  25. Hello,
    I’ve just come across your interesting blog. My husband and I are cruising on the Veendam, Aug 22. We did the Panama canal cruise in April/May this year on the Amsterdam and enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to Alaska!

  26. Would it be at all possible for your company to start a monthly or two monthly Atlantic crossing E/B and W/B for people who are absolutely fed-up with plane crossings to Europe. I’d love the old days whereby you can plan a holiday in Europe which includes getting there from N. America by ship rather than having to squeeze aboard an airplane where you’ve had to stand for hours just to check in.

    I’d like to see some shipping company start up – perhaps limited at first just to try it out – to see if people would take to ship travel to get to their destination. As the old Cunard byword was “Getting there is half the fun”.

    Thanks

  27. Dear Capitain Albert:

    Ruth and I cruised on the sweet little SS Veendam to Bermuda in 1982. It was the first of many fabulous HAL cruises, but this precious yacht-like boat is still one of our favorites. (“Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina!”) Service? Perfect. Food? Perfect. Shore Arrangements? Perfect. Engine Room Tour? Unbelievible- Every valve, pump, boiler, driveshaft- our Dutch Engineer host left nothing out and we couldn’t get enough. Unfortunately, we just missed the beloved SS Statendam. Naturally, becoming instant steamship buffs, we sailed the Rotterdam V to Alaska in 1996, but that’s another great story.

    Regards, Scott and Ruth Raswyck

  28. Dear Captain,

    In de periode 70/71 heb ik gevaren op de Statendam en de Nieuw Amsterdam. Ik las, dat u uw loopbaan bent begonnen op de Statendam in 1981. Ik ben in het bezit van wat scheepsdocumenten uit die tijd. Mag ik u vragen welke functie u in de periode 81/82 vervulde op de Statendam? Wellicht kan ik u dan nog verblijden met wat leuke documenten, als mijn vermoedens juist zijn tenminste.

    Gerrit geb 1951

  29. Dear Captain Albert,I enjoy reading your blogs.  They bring back many memories of HAL.  I sure do miss them.  I had a copy of you 125 years of HAL and when I left Ft. Lauderdale I must have left it in my office. Do you know where I might obtain another one? Thank you.
    May you and Lesley have a Happy and Healthy New Year. Good luck on the Prinsendam.
    Florrie Elmnren
    Retired, Assistant Manager
    FLL Shore Operations

Leave a Reply

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About Us

The Holland America Blog web site serves as the primary portal for all news and information, images and video, gossip and discussion about the 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet. Visitors to Holland America Blog get the latest news from the ships, meet the people who work on board, travel around the world through video and photos from various ports, and hear from guests and fans of Holland America Line.

With nearly 140 years of experience, Holland America Line is recognized as the undisputed leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. With the introduction of a new 2,660-passenger, 99,000-ton ship in fall 2015, Holland America Line’s fleet will grow to 16 ships, offering nearly 500 cruises from more than 25 home ports. Itineraries range from two-day samplers to extended cruises of more than 100 days, and the ships visit all seven continents, including Australia/New Zealand and Asia sailings, a World Cruise, extravagant Grand Voyages and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, South America, Mexico and Europe.

If you have a question about Holland America or if there is a topic that you would like to see us cover, send us an e-mail or leave us a comment.

32 Comments

  1. Thanks for the ‘blog’, I will read it all later as I am about to go to bed, it looks really interesting

    best wishes from

    Robina

  2. Hello

    Great blog site

    Good luck with it for the future, we will be logging in regularly to find out what you are up to.

    We cannot wait to join you aboard in May

    All the best

    Kev and Jan

  3. Hello Captain,

    It has been a long time since we sailed together. Occasionally I see the old Holland America Line vessels around and it brings back great memories. I’m working as a superintendent here in Cyprus, been here 11 years now can you believe?

    Great website, Robina dropped me the link.

    All the best,

    David Shewan

  4. Hello there,

    I’m really enjoying your blog. Almost makes me feel like I’m sailing with you.

    I’m sorry you won’t be aboard the Veendam when I’m sailing on her on 8/22. It would have been wonderful to see you and Leslie again.

    Any chance you’ll be aboard the Eurodam for her maiden voyage next July. I’ve already booked and I’m trying to talk our friend Liz into coming with me.

    Love to Leslie.

    Regards,
    Joyce

  5. We traveled with you from Venice to Venice ; May19th to the 29th. I have enjoyed reading your blog and will keep it with my momentos. It is nice to know we were in capable hands. You Rock! Thanks Again.

  6. Dear Captain. I like to continue in Dutch, if you don’t mind.
    Via “Hallo” ben ik opmerkzaam gemaakt op uw Weblog. Wat is het allemachtig interessant om te lezen en wat boeiend, maar ook veileisend, de job van een cruis-ship captain wel is. Als voormalig filmoperateur op de enige echte Rotterdam (V) heb ik ook een tijd mogen ruiken aan het leven op een schip en later heb ik hetzelfde als passagier mogen beleven, maar er is toch wel veel veranderd. Passsagiers zijn veeleisender geworden, maar ook de schepen hebben een geheel andere uitstraling dat de voormalige transatlantische zeekastelen.
    Nietemin heb ik met veel plezier uw dagboek gelezen en beloof, dat ik dit zal blijven doe. U doet mij – en velen met mj, daar ben ik zeker van- er een geweldig plezier mee en ik hoop van harte dat wij uw bijdragen in Hallo nog lang zullen mogen lezen.
    Een warme en vriendelijke groet van uit Landgraaf, gelegen in het bronsgroenen eikenhout,
    Frank Doomen
    Namiddagse Driessen 42
    6374MP Landgraaf
    f.doomen@orange.nl

  7. Beste Kaptein Schoonderbeek,

    In HALLO van juli-aug. las ik over uw web blog. Met veel plezier heb ik er al veel van gelezen. Zal zeker regelmatig terugkomen. Aangezien ik geen e-mail adres van u kan vinden, verzoek ik u langs deze weg mij toestemming te verlenen op mijn website over de HAL een link te mogen plaatsen naar uw web blog.

    met vriendelijke groet,

    Ruud Mudde

  8. hallo kapitein Schoonderbeek,
    alvast wil ik u en uw vrouw een fijne vakantie toewensen
    lees graag uw blog op het internet als ik daar de kans voor krijgkan zelf geen internet betalen ben op het moment100% afgekeurd stuurman rijnvaart afgekeurd door een eenzijdige verlamming na een beroerte, in 2000, liep na 13 dagen al weer door dijkzigt en na 6 – 8 weken ging het praten weer
    helaas was dit een 5e beroerte, omdat ik bij de eerste een verkeerde diagnose kreeg/10 dagen in coma/ kreeg ik er dus 5 maar het is bekend na 5 keer wat de oorzaak is,dik bloed, danklonterd je bloed en dan heb je pech maar bij die eerste kee was is na 2 jaar volledig hersteld en liep ook nog in nijmegen 200 KM dit is de vijfe duurt het wat langer maar herstellen zal ik enzodra ik door de keuring ben wil ik naar de zeevaartschool en studeren voor maritiem officier het is misschien hoog gegrepen maar ik geloof erin dat ik dat gaat redden.met hartelijke maritieme groet,
    Staney RenonZeekadetofficier Public Relations/zkkrotterdam.nl

  9. Your web blog is very enjoyable and brings back many pleasant memories of our Alaskan cruise aboard the Veendam in 1997. What a wonderful cruise on such a beautiful and elegant ship.
    You mentioned some changes taking place in the way in which the captains now interact with the guests, such as shorter speeches/receptions. I can certainly understand why that may be necessary, especially these days when the new ships are so large and have a huge passenger complement. I do hope that you will still manage to take some opportunities to address the guests. I have always enjoyed the captain’s reception, especially to hear the updates and news about new ships, the company’s plans and the opportunity to ask a few questions.
    I wish you pleasant sailing and many thanks for giving us a chance to sail with you vicariously!

  10. Just discovered your Blogs and they are wonderful. My husband and I will join you in Montreal on Sept. 9 along with 6 of our friends. It will be about our 35th HAL cruise so you can tell we are “sold”.

    Will look forward to seeing you at a suite or Mariner party — Smooth Sailing!!!

    Elinor Corley

    (Will be fun to depart the ship just 1 hour from our home in Sarasota!!)

  11. Oct. 23, 2007

    Thanks, again, Captain, for the great cruise & especially the photographs of the New Amsterdam ship (troopship) that I sailed from New York to Glascow; June 2nd to June 14th, 1944. Even though we were packed about 15-20 to a small cabin, (5-6 bunks deep on 3 sides) we had a pleasant voyage over. It took 12 days; probably because we zigzaged across (enemy submarines?). Not sure you would call it a Great Circle route!

    I forgot whether it was the 5th largest ocean liner or the 5th fastest ocean liner (maybe both).

    I did want to send a picture of the Dutch pennant they gave us, but can’t attach it to this message. (could if it was email).

    Thanks again,

    Richard St. John, cabin 594; Montreal to Tampa cruise ending Oct. 21, 2007

  12. Dear Albert,

    By coincidence I found you web log. Very nice and informative. From time to time I think back to my own sailing days with Holland America. I also met my wife on board (the Rotterdam V). Over the years many things have changed on board, in shipping and at sea. But sailing still is an adventure in my book. Continue writing, take care,

    Richard Schiferli, General Secretary, Paris MoU on Port State Control

  13. Hoi Albert,
    Dat is lang gelden dat wij met elkaar hebben gevaren, 1984,85.86. Jij als 3e en ik als leerling en 4e stuurman. Leuk om te zien dat jij nu kapitein bent. Ik heb de scheepvaart verlaten eind jaren 80 en hou mij nu bezig met Blauwe vliegtuigen, als Duty maintenance manager.
    Wel maak ik af en toe nog een cruise, het bloed gaat daar waar de zeeman zout water heeft zitten. Dat raak je nooit meer kwijt.
    Je site is erg leuk, oude tijden herleven. Leuk om te lezen.
    Groet Theo Hin

  14. Capt. Albert,

    How serendipitous that I came upon your blog recently. I am in the recruitment process with Holland America Line as we speak. It has always been a dream of mine to work shipboard and I am very excited that I may set out to sea with HAL. I certainly couldn’t have hoped for any better. Your blog has been a source of great information for me as it not only provides insight into the crew life on a cruise ship, but also a little bit of information about how HAL does things. I am very excited at the prospect of working for Holland America Line. Perhaps I will have the pleasure of signing on to ms Veendam in the future! Keep up the great blog and enjoy the remainder of your vacation!

    Best Regards,
    Anthony

  15. Capt. Albert,

    As a follow up to my last post, I have some great news! I have just been offered a position with Holland America Line. And, what’s even more interesting is that I am tentatively slated to sign onto ms Veendam as the first Crew Purser on 30 March 2008! It will certainly be a pleasure to be aboard Veendam and I look forward to working with you.

    Best,
    Anthony Garofalo

  16. Captain: I just purchased a copy of your book “125 years of
    Holland America Lines”
    I will be on the Veendam Apr. 29, San Diego to Vancouver.
    I would appreciate very much if you could autograph it.
    I will contact reception with my cabin #.
    Thank you and I look forward to meeting you.

    Greg Haller

  17. Kapitein;

    4 jaar geleden stonden we in Vancouver oog in oog met de MS Veendam, dit was een hele verrassing, gezien ik geboren ben in Veendam, dus foto’s maken.

    Nu 4 jaar later gaan we op 5 september dit jaar terug om een Cruise te maken op Uw schip, Wat ons ontzettend leuk lijkt.
    mogelijk dat we elkaar nog kunnen zien en spreken.

    groetjes Johan& Ria.

  18. Dear Captain Albert,

    I just discovered your blog and have enjoyed exploring all of the links. We will be following you up the coast on Ryndam leaving San Diego on Saturday, 3 May. This will be our second sailing on HAL and we are looking forward to this short 4 night getaway.

    A number of years ago a friend, Jim Button, was the Security Officer on Rotterdam for the maiden world cruise. His wife, Martha, was in the peace Corps with me in Costa Rica and traveled with him. My 7th grade students followed “Aunt Martha and Uncle Jim” around the world through e-mail, letters and postcards. When the cruise was over they came to visit with each class. The students were in AWE of Jim in his uniform! Several even asked for his autograph. HAL got some very good PR out of that experience.

    Best,

    Frank in Santa Barbara, California

  19. Beste Albert,

    In de scheepvaartnieuwsbrief van Piet Sinke las ik dat de Veendam in Alaska is.
    In september hopen wij cees en yvon( dan net getrouwd) in Vancouver aan boord te gaan van de Veendam voor wat wij denken gezien de vele mooie verhalen gelezen op het internet onze mooist cruise tot nu toe zal zijn
    Wij doen het andersom , hebben eerst de cruisegeboekt en daarna besloten dat dit een hele mooie huwelijksreis zou zijn
    Hopelijk bent u in september nog of weer aan boord.
    Met plezier uw weblog gelezen , tot september, en tot dan vele mooie reizen voor u en de rest van de bemanning toegewenst
    Tot ziens in september, en vr. groeten

    cees kloppenburg en yvon kloppenburg -jonker (zal wel even wennen worden die naam voor Yvonne)

  20. Greetings again Captain

    My husband and I will be cruising with you on June 13th. We have read your writings and are getting very excited about the cruise.
    We are amateur photographers and plan on getting lots of pictures while we cruise. If we take pictures on the Veendam, where are we prohibited to take pictures? We want to respect any wishes you have on the matter.
    Thank you, have a great day. Kathy

  21. This Aug is our first cruise to Alaska (our second on HAL0
    We are sailing on the Veendam on Aug 22 on a 14 day nb/sd with my
    dad. It’s his first cruise , he is currently 91 years old.

  22. Captain Albert,
    It was wonderful to cruise with you in April and May from Tampa to Vancouver and for the first Alaska Inside Passage this year. Thank you, also for the wonderful Mariner’s luncheon. We are joining the Maasdam on July 5th for a 35 day “Voyage of the Vikings” from Boston to Rotterdam and back to Boston. Could you please tell us who the Captain, Hotel Manager, Guest Relations Manager, and Cruise Director will be? We currently have our gold medallions, and chances are we will already know some of these people. Thank you.

  23. Dear Captain,

    I went to this website searching for infos about “old days” working on MS. PRINSENDAM as a Tour Manager. This is back in 1976… As I could not find any relevant infos, I went on your blog and enjoyed very much finding again the spirit of those days on sea.

    Is there any chance you could tell me how to contact the formal staff members sailing on MS. PRINSENDAM as I would be very keen in finding out, after all those years, where everyone is today. I am still in contact with 2 of the formal staff members, but no one seems to know anything about the rest of the crew?

    In the meantime, wishing you all the best on smooth waters.

    Looking forward to hear from you

    Kind regards, et “bon vent”!
    Marie-Louise Dillinger

    Moulin Vollach
    F-67340 INGWILLER/France
    marielouise.dillinger@polyglotte.fr

  24. Greetings Captain Albert!
    Thank you for providing our staff and clientele an opportunity to share your, “Stories of the Seas” as well as have access to your expertise, personal insights and day-by-day account of life aboard the ms Veendam. It’s good to be aboard. I plan to visit your blog often and look forward to encountering massive glaciers, beautiful bays and incredible wildlife. I’ll also look forward to reading the messages from past guests, repeat guests and soon to be guests, who are now “linked” to amazing journeys of discovery.
    Best Regards and as always … Good voyage!
    Cathy Stucker, Travel Marketing – AAA Auto Club South

  25. Hello,
    I’ve just come across your interesting blog. My husband and I are cruising on the Veendam, Aug 22. We did the Panama canal cruise in April/May this year on the Amsterdam and enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to Alaska!

  26. Would it be at all possible for your company to start a monthly or two monthly Atlantic crossing E/B and W/B for people who are absolutely fed-up with plane crossings to Europe. I’d love the old days whereby you can plan a holiday in Europe which includes getting there from N. America by ship rather than having to squeeze aboard an airplane where you’ve had to stand for hours just to check in.

    I’d like to see some shipping company start up – perhaps limited at first just to try it out – to see if people would take to ship travel to get to their destination. As the old Cunard byword was “Getting there is half the fun”.

    Thanks

  27. Dear Capitain Albert:

    Ruth and I cruised on the sweet little SS Veendam to Bermuda in 1982. It was the first of many fabulous HAL cruises, but this precious yacht-like boat is still one of our favorites. (“Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina!”) Service? Perfect. Food? Perfect. Shore Arrangements? Perfect. Engine Room Tour? Unbelievible- Every valve, pump, boiler, driveshaft- our Dutch Engineer host left nothing out and we couldn’t get enough. Unfortunately, we just missed the beloved SS Statendam. Naturally, becoming instant steamship buffs, we sailed the Rotterdam V to Alaska in 1996, but that’s another great story.

    Regards, Scott and Ruth Raswyck

  28. Dear Captain,

    In de periode 70/71 heb ik gevaren op de Statendam en de Nieuw Amsterdam. Ik las, dat u uw loopbaan bent begonnen op de Statendam in 1981. Ik ben in het bezit van wat scheepsdocumenten uit die tijd. Mag ik u vragen welke functie u in de periode 81/82 vervulde op de Statendam? Wellicht kan ik u dan nog verblijden met wat leuke documenten, als mijn vermoedens juist zijn tenminste.

    Gerrit geb 1951

  29. Dear Captain Albert,I enjoy reading your blogs.  They bring back many memories of HAL.  I sure do miss them.  I had a copy of you 125 years of HAL and when I left Ft. Lauderdale I must have left it in my office. Do you know where I might obtain another one? Thank you.
    May you and Lesley have a Happy and Healthy New Year. Good luck on the Prinsendam.
    Florrie Elmnren
    Retired, Assistant Manager
    FLL Shore Operations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

About Us

The Holland America Blog web site serves as the primary portal for all news and information, images and video, gossip and discussion about the 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet. Visitors to Holland America Blog get the latest news from the ships, meet the people who work on board, travel around the world through video and photos from various ports, and hear from guests and fans of Holland America Line.

With nearly 140 years of experience, Holland America Line is recognized as the undisputed leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. With the introduction of a new 2,660-passenger, 99,000-ton ship in fall 2015, Holland America Line’s fleet will grow to 16 ships, offering nearly 500 cruises from more than 25 home ports. Itineraries range from two-day samplers to extended cruises of more than 100 days, and the ships visit all seven continents, including Australia/New Zealand and Asia sailings, a World Cruise, extravagant Grand Voyages and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, South America, Mexico and Europe.

If you have a question about Holland America or if there is a topic that you would like to see us cover, send us an e-mail or leave us a comment.

32 Comments

  1. Thanks for the ‘blog’, I will read it all later as I am about to go to bed, it looks really interesting

    best wishes from

    Robina

  2. Hello

    Great blog site

    Good luck with it for the future, we will be logging in regularly to find out what you are up to.

    We cannot wait to join you aboard in May

    All the best

    Kev and Jan

  3. Hello Captain,

    It has been a long time since we sailed together. Occasionally I see the old Holland America Line vessels around and it brings back great memories. I’m working as a superintendent here in Cyprus, been here 11 years now can you believe?

    Great website, Robina dropped me the link.

    All the best,

    David Shewan

  4. Hello there,

    I’m really enjoying your blog. Almost makes me feel like I’m sailing with you.

    I’m sorry you won’t be aboard the Veendam when I’m sailing on her on 8/22. It would have been wonderful to see you and Leslie again.

    Any chance you’ll be aboard the Eurodam for her maiden voyage next July. I’ve already booked and I’m trying to talk our friend Liz into coming with me.

    Love to Leslie.

    Regards,
    Joyce

  5. We traveled with you from Venice to Venice ; May19th to the 29th. I have enjoyed reading your blog and will keep it with my momentos. It is nice to know we were in capable hands. You Rock! Thanks Again.

  6. Dear Captain. I like to continue in Dutch, if you don’t mind.
    Via “Hallo” ben ik opmerkzaam gemaakt op uw Weblog. Wat is het allemachtig interessant om te lezen en wat boeiend, maar ook veileisend, de job van een cruis-ship captain wel is. Als voormalig filmoperateur op de enige echte Rotterdam (V) heb ik ook een tijd mogen ruiken aan het leven op een schip en later heb ik hetzelfde als passagier mogen beleven, maar er is toch wel veel veranderd. Passsagiers zijn veeleisender geworden, maar ook de schepen hebben een geheel andere uitstraling dat de voormalige transatlantische zeekastelen.
    Nietemin heb ik met veel plezier uw dagboek gelezen en beloof, dat ik dit zal blijven doe. U doet mij – en velen met mj, daar ben ik zeker van- er een geweldig plezier mee en ik hoop van harte dat wij uw bijdragen in Hallo nog lang zullen mogen lezen.
    Een warme en vriendelijke groet van uit Landgraaf, gelegen in het bronsgroenen eikenhout,
    Frank Doomen
    Namiddagse Driessen 42
    6374MP Landgraaf
    f.doomen@orange.nl

  7. Beste Kaptein Schoonderbeek,

    In HALLO van juli-aug. las ik over uw web blog. Met veel plezier heb ik er al veel van gelezen. Zal zeker regelmatig terugkomen. Aangezien ik geen e-mail adres van u kan vinden, verzoek ik u langs deze weg mij toestemming te verlenen op mijn website over de HAL een link te mogen plaatsen naar uw web blog.

    met vriendelijke groet,

    Ruud Mudde

  8. hallo kapitein Schoonderbeek,
    alvast wil ik u en uw vrouw een fijne vakantie toewensen
    lees graag uw blog op het internet als ik daar de kans voor krijgkan zelf geen internet betalen ben op het moment100% afgekeurd stuurman rijnvaart afgekeurd door een eenzijdige verlamming na een beroerte, in 2000, liep na 13 dagen al weer door dijkzigt en na 6 – 8 weken ging het praten weer
    helaas was dit een 5e beroerte, omdat ik bij de eerste een verkeerde diagnose kreeg/10 dagen in coma/ kreeg ik er dus 5 maar het is bekend na 5 keer wat de oorzaak is,dik bloed, danklonterd je bloed en dan heb je pech maar bij die eerste kee was is na 2 jaar volledig hersteld en liep ook nog in nijmegen 200 KM dit is de vijfe duurt het wat langer maar herstellen zal ik enzodra ik door de keuring ben wil ik naar de zeevaartschool en studeren voor maritiem officier het is misschien hoog gegrepen maar ik geloof erin dat ik dat gaat redden.met hartelijke maritieme groet,
    Staney RenonZeekadetofficier Public Relations/zkkrotterdam.nl

  9. Your web blog is very enjoyable and brings back many pleasant memories of our Alaskan cruise aboard the Veendam in 1997. What a wonderful cruise on such a beautiful and elegant ship.
    You mentioned some changes taking place in the way in which the captains now interact with the guests, such as shorter speeches/receptions. I can certainly understand why that may be necessary, especially these days when the new ships are so large and have a huge passenger complement. I do hope that you will still manage to take some opportunities to address the guests. I have always enjoyed the captain’s reception, especially to hear the updates and news about new ships, the company’s plans and the opportunity to ask a few questions.
    I wish you pleasant sailing and many thanks for giving us a chance to sail with you vicariously!

  10. Just discovered your Blogs and they are wonderful. My husband and I will join you in Montreal on Sept. 9 along with 6 of our friends. It will be about our 35th HAL cruise so you can tell we are “sold”.

    Will look forward to seeing you at a suite or Mariner party — Smooth Sailing!!!

    Elinor Corley

    (Will be fun to depart the ship just 1 hour from our home in Sarasota!!)

  11. Oct. 23, 2007

    Thanks, again, Captain, for the great cruise & especially the photographs of the New Amsterdam ship (troopship) that I sailed from New York to Glascow; June 2nd to June 14th, 1944. Even though we were packed about 15-20 to a small cabin, (5-6 bunks deep on 3 sides) we had a pleasant voyage over. It took 12 days; probably because we zigzaged across (enemy submarines?). Not sure you would call it a Great Circle route!

    I forgot whether it was the 5th largest ocean liner or the 5th fastest ocean liner (maybe both).

    I did want to send a picture of the Dutch pennant they gave us, but can’t attach it to this message. (could if it was email).

    Thanks again,

    Richard St. John, cabin 594; Montreal to Tampa cruise ending Oct. 21, 2007

  12. Dear Albert,

    By coincidence I found you web log. Very nice and informative. From time to time I think back to my own sailing days with Holland America. I also met my wife on board (the Rotterdam V). Over the years many things have changed on board, in shipping and at sea. But sailing still is an adventure in my book. Continue writing, take care,

    Richard Schiferli, General Secretary, Paris MoU on Port State Control

  13. Hoi Albert,
    Dat is lang gelden dat wij met elkaar hebben gevaren, 1984,85.86. Jij als 3e en ik als leerling en 4e stuurman. Leuk om te zien dat jij nu kapitein bent. Ik heb de scheepvaart verlaten eind jaren 80 en hou mij nu bezig met Blauwe vliegtuigen, als Duty maintenance manager.
    Wel maak ik af en toe nog een cruise, het bloed gaat daar waar de zeeman zout water heeft zitten. Dat raak je nooit meer kwijt.
    Je site is erg leuk, oude tijden herleven. Leuk om te lezen.
    Groet Theo Hin

  14. Capt. Albert,

    How serendipitous that I came upon your blog recently. I am in the recruitment process with Holland America Line as we speak. It has always been a dream of mine to work shipboard and I am very excited that I may set out to sea with HAL. I certainly couldn’t have hoped for any better. Your blog has been a source of great information for me as it not only provides insight into the crew life on a cruise ship, but also a little bit of information about how HAL does things. I am very excited at the prospect of working for Holland America Line. Perhaps I will have the pleasure of signing on to ms Veendam in the future! Keep up the great blog and enjoy the remainder of your vacation!

    Best Regards,
    Anthony

  15. Capt. Albert,

    As a follow up to my last post, I have some great news! I have just been offered a position with Holland America Line. And, what’s even more interesting is that I am tentatively slated to sign onto ms Veendam as the first Crew Purser on 30 March 2008! It will certainly be a pleasure to be aboard Veendam and I look forward to working with you.

    Best,
    Anthony Garofalo

  16. Captain: I just purchased a copy of your book “125 years of
    Holland America Lines”
    I will be on the Veendam Apr. 29, San Diego to Vancouver.
    I would appreciate very much if you could autograph it.
    I will contact reception with my cabin #.
    Thank you and I look forward to meeting you.

    Greg Haller

  17. Kapitein;

    4 jaar geleden stonden we in Vancouver oog in oog met de MS Veendam, dit was een hele verrassing, gezien ik geboren ben in Veendam, dus foto’s maken.

    Nu 4 jaar later gaan we op 5 september dit jaar terug om een Cruise te maken op Uw schip, Wat ons ontzettend leuk lijkt.
    mogelijk dat we elkaar nog kunnen zien en spreken.

    groetjes Johan& Ria.

  18. Dear Captain Albert,

    I just discovered your blog and have enjoyed exploring all of the links. We will be following you up the coast on Ryndam leaving San Diego on Saturday, 3 May. This will be our second sailing on HAL and we are looking forward to this short 4 night getaway.

    A number of years ago a friend, Jim Button, was the Security Officer on Rotterdam for the maiden world cruise. His wife, Martha, was in the peace Corps with me in Costa Rica and traveled with him. My 7th grade students followed “Aunt Martha and Uncle Jim” around the world through e-mail, letters and postcards. When the cruise was over they came to visit with each class. The students were in AWE of Jim in his uniform! Several even asked for his autograph. HAL got some very good PR out of that experience.

    Best,

    Frank in Santa Barbara, California

  19. Beste Albert,

    In de scheepvaartnieuwsbrief van Piet Sinke las ik dat de Veendam in Alaska is.
    In september hopen wij cees en yvon( dan net getrouwd) in Vancouver aan boord te gaan van de Veendam voor wat wij denken gezien de vele mooie verhalen gelezen op het internet onze mooist cruise tot nu toe zal zijn
    Wij doen het andersom , hebben eerst de cruisegeboekt en daarna besloten dat dit een hele mooie huwelijksreis zou zijn
    Hopelijk bent u in september nog of weer aan boord.
    Met plezier uw weblog gelezen , tot september, en tot dan vele mooie reizen voor u en de rest van de bemanning toegewenst
    Tot ziens in september, en vr. groeten

    cees kloppenburg en yvon kloppenburg -jonker (zal wel even wennen worden die naam voor Yvonne)

  20. Greetings again Captain

    My husband and I will be cruising with you on June 13th. We have read your writings and are getting very excited about the cruise.
    We are amateur photographers and plan on getting lots of pictures while we cruise. If we take pictures on the Veendam, where are we prohibited to take pictures? We want to respect any wishes you have on the matter.
    Thank you, have a great day. Kathy

  21. This Aug is our first cruise to Alaska (our second on HAL0
    We are sailing on the Veendam on Aug 22 on a 14 day nb/sd with my
    dad. It’s his first cruise , he is currently 91 years old.

  22. Captain Albert,
    It was wonderful to cruise with you in April and May from Tampa to Vancouver and for the first Alaska Inside Passage this year. Thank you, also for the wonderful Mariner’s luncheon. We are joining the Maasdam on July 5th for a 35 day “Voyage of the Vikings” from Boston to Rotterdam and back to Boston. Could you please tell us who the Captain, Hotel Manager, Guest Relations Manager, and Cruise Director will be? We currently have our gold medallions, and chances are we will already know some of these people. Thank you.

  23. Dear Captain,

    I went to this website searching for infos about “old days” working on MS. PRINSENDAM as a Tour Manager. This is back in 1976… As I could not find any relevant infos, I went on your blog and enjoyed very much finding again the spirit of those days on sea.

    Is there any chance you could tell me how to contact the formal staff members sailing on MS. PRINSENDAM as I would be very keen in finding out, after all those years, where everyone is today. I am still in contact with 2 of the formal staff members, but no one seems to know anything about the rest of the crew?

    In the meantime, wishing you all the best on smooth waters.

    Looking forward to hear from you

    Kind regards, et “bon vent”!
    Marie-Louise Dillinger

    Moulin Vollach
    F-67340 INGWILLER/France
    marielouise.dillinger@polyglotte.fr

  24. Greetings Captain Albert!
    Thank you for providing our staff and clientele an opportunity to share your, “Stories of the Seas” as well as have access to your expertise, personal insights and day-by-day account of life aboard the ms Veendam. It’s good to be aboard. I plan to visit your blog often and look forward to encountering massive glaciers, beautiful bays and incredible wildlife. I’ll also look forward to reading the messages from past guests, repeat guests and soon to be guests, who are now “linked” to amazing journeys of discovery.
    Best Regards and as always … Good voyage!
    Cathy Stucker, Travel Marketing – AAA Auto Club South

  25. Hello,
    I’ve just come across your interesting blog. My husband and I are cruising on the Veendam, Aug 22. We did the Panama canal cruise in April/May this year on the Amsterdam and enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to Alaska!

  26. Would it be at all possible for your company to start a monthly or two monthly Atlantic crossing E/B and W/B for people who are absolutely fed-up with plane crossings to Europe. I’d love the old days whereby you can plan a holiday in Europe which includes getting there from N. America by ship rather than having to squeeze aboard an airplane where you’ve had to stand for hours just to check in.

    I’d like to see some shipping company start up – perhaps limited at first just to try it out – to see if people would take to ship travel to get to their destination. As the old Cunard byword was “Getting there is half the fun”.

    Thanks

  27. Dear Capitain Albert:

    Ruth and I cruised on the sweet little SS Veendam to Bermuda in 1982. It was the first of many fabulous HAL cruises, but this precious yacht-like boat is still one of our favorites. (“Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina!”) Service? Perfect. Food? Perfect. Shore Arrangements? Perfect. Engine Room Tour? Unbelievible- Every valve, pump, boiler, driveshaft- our Dutch Engineer host left nothing out and we couldn’t get enough. Unfortunately, we just missed the beloved SS Statendam. Naturally, becoming instant steamship buffs, we sailed the Rotterdam V to Alaska in 1996, but that’s another great story.

    Regards, Scott and Ruth Raswyck

  28. Dear Captain,

    In de periode 70/71 heb ik gevaren op de Statendam en de Nieuw Amsterdam. Ik las, dat u uw loopbaan bent begonnen op de Statendam in 1981. Ik ben in het bezit van wat scheepsdocumenten uit die tijd. Mag ik u vragen welke functie u in de periode 81/82 vervulde op de Statendam? Wellicht kan ik u dan nog verblijden met wat leuke documenten, als mijn vermoedens juist zijn tenminste.

    Gerrit geb 1951

  29. Dear Captain Albert,I enjoy reading your blogs.  They bring back many memories of HAL.  I sure do miss them.  I had a copy of you 125 years of HAL and when I left Ft. Lauderdale I must have left it in my office. Do you know where I might obtain another one? Thank you.
    May you and Lesley have a Happy and Healthy New Year. Good luck on the Prinsendam.
    Florrie Elmnren
    Retired, Assistant Manager
    FLL Shore Operations

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About Us

The Holland America Blog web site serves as the primary portal for all news and information, images and video, gossip and discussion about the 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet. Visitors to Holland America Blog get the latest news from the ships, meet the people who work on board, travel around the world through video and photos from various ports, and hear from guests and fans of Holland America Line.

With nearly 140 years of experience, Holland America Line is recognized as the undisputed leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. With the introduction of a new 2,660-passenger, 99,000-ton ship in fall 2015, Holland America Line’s fleet will grow to 16 ships, offering nearly 500 cruises from more than 25 home ports. Itineraries range from two-day samplers to extended cruises of more than 100 days, and the ships visit all seven continents, including Australia/New Zealand and Asia sailings, a World Cruise, extravagant Grand Voyages and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, South America, Mexico and Europe.

If you have a question about Holland America or if there is a topic that you would like to see us cover, send us an e-mail or leave us a comment.

32 Comments

  1. Thanks for the ‘blog’, I will read it all later as I am about to go to bed, it looks really interesting

    best wishes from

    Robina

  2. Hello

    Great blog site

    Good luck with it for the future, we will be logging in regularly to find out what you are up to.

    We cannot wait to join you aboard in May

    All the best

    Kev and Jan

  3. Hello Captain,

    It has been a long time since we sailed together. Occasionally I see the old Holland America Line vessels around and it brings back great memories. I’m working as a superintendent here in Cyprus, been here 11 years now can you believe?

    Great website, Robina dropped me the link.

    All the best,

    David Shewan

  4. Hello there,

    I’m really enjoying your blog. Almost makes me feel like I’m sailing with you.

    I’m sorry you won’t be aboard the Veendam when I’m sailing on her on 8/22. It would have been wonderful to see you and Leslie again.

    Any chance you’ll be aboard the Eurodam for her maiden voyage next July. I’ve already booked and I’m trying to talk our friend Liz into coming with me.

    Love to Leslie.

    Regards,
    Joyce

  5. We traveled with you from Venice to Venice ; May19th to the 29th. I have enjoyed reading your blog and will keep it with my momentos. It is nice to know we were in capable hands. You Rock! Thanks Again.

  6. Dear Captain. I like to continue in Dutch, if you don’t mind.
    Via “Hallo” ben ik opmerkzaam gemaakt op uw Weblog. Wat is het allemachtig interessant om te lezen en wat boeiend, maar ook veileisend, de job van een cruis-ship captain wel is. Als voormalig filmoperateur op de enige echte Rotterdam (V) heb ik ook een tijd mogen ruiken aan het leven op een schip en later heb ik hetzelfde als passagier mogen beleven, maar er is toch wel veel veranderd. Passsagiers zijn veeleisender geworden, maar ook de schepen hebben een geheel andere uitstraling dat de voormalige transatlantische zeekastelen.
    Nietemin heb ik met veel plezier uw dagboek gelezen en beloof, dat ik dit zal blijven doe. U doet mij – en velen met mj, daar ben ik zeker van- er een geweldig plezier mee en ik hoop van harte dat wij uw bijdragen in Hallo nog lang zullen mogen lezen.
    Een warme en vriendelijke groet van uit Landgraaf, gelegen in het bronsgroenen eikenhout,
    Frank Doomen
    Namiddagse Driessen 42
    6374MP Landgraaf
    f.doomen@orange.nl

  7. Beste Kaptein Schoonderbeek,

    In HALLO van juli-aug. las ik over uw web blog. Met veel plezier heb ik er al veel van gelezen. Zal zeker regelmatig terugkomen. Aangezien ik geen e-mail adres van u kan vinden, verzoek ik u langs deze weg mij toestemming te verlenen op mijn website over de HAL een link te mogen plaatsen naar uw web blog.

    met vriendelijke groet,

    Ruud Mudde

  8. hallo kapitein Schoonderbeek,
    alvast wil ik u en uw vrouw een fijne vakantie toewensen
    lees graag uw blog op het internet als ik daar de kans voor krijgkan zelf geen internet betalen ben op het moment100% afgekeurd stuurman rijnvaart afgekeurd door een eenzijdige verlamming na een beroerte, in 2000, liep na 13 dagen al weer door dijkzigt en na 6 – 8 weken ging het praten weer
    helaas was dit een 5e beroerte, omdat ik bij de eerste een verkeerde diagnose kreeg/10 dagen in coma/ kreeg ik er dus 5 maar het is bekend na 5 keer wat de oorzaak is,dik bloed, danklonterd je bloed en dan heb je pech maar bij die eerste kee was is na 2 jaar volledig hersteld en liep ook nog in nijmegen 200 KM dit is de vijfe duurt het wat langer maar herstellen zal ik enzodra ik door de keuring ben wil ik naar de zeevaartschool en studeren voor maritiem officier het is misschien hoog gegrepen maar ik geloof erin dat ik dat gaat redden.met hartelijke maritieme groet,
    Staney RenonZeekadetofficier Public Relations/zkkrotterdam.nl

  9. Your web blog is very enjoyable and brings back many pleasant memories of our Alaskan cruise aboard the Veendam in 1997. What a wonderful cruise on such a beautiful and elegant ship.
    You mentioned some changes taking place in the way in which the captains now interact with the guests, such as shorter speeches/receptions. I can certainly understand why that may be necessary, especially these days when the new ships are so large and have a huge passenger complement. I do hope that you will still manage to take some opportunities to address the guests. I have always enjoyed the captain’s reception, especially to hear the updates and news about new ships, the company’s plans and the opportunity to ask a few questions.
    I wish you pleasant sailing and many thanks for giving us a chance to sail with you vicariously!

  10. Just discovered your Blogs and they are wonderful. My husband and I will join you in Montreal on Sept. 9 along with 6 of our friends. It will be about our 35th HAL cruise so you can tell we are “sold”.

    Will look forward to seeing you at a suite or Mariner party — Smooth Sailing!!!

    Elinor Corley

    (Will be fun to depart the ship just 1 hour from our home in Sarasota!!)

  11. Oct. 23, 2007

    Thanks, again, Captain, for the great cruise & especially the photographs of the New Amsterdam ship (troopship) that I sailed from New York to Glascow; June 2nd to June 14th, 1944. Even though we were packed about 15-20 to a small cabin, (5-6 bunks deep on 3 sides) we had a pleasant voyage over. It took 12 days; probably because we zigzaged across (enemy submarines?). Not sure you would call it a Great Circle route!

    I forgot whether it was the 5th largest ocean liner or the 5th fastest ocean liner (maybe both).

    I did want to send a picture of the Dutch pennant they gave us, but can’t attach it to this message. (could if it was email).

    Thanks again,

    Richard St. John, cabin 594; Montreal to Tampa cruise ending Oct. 21, 2007

  12. Dear Albert,

    By coincidence I found you web log. Very nice and informative. From time to time I think back to my own sailing days with Holland America. I also met my wife on board (the Rotterdam V). Over the years many things have changed on board, in shipping and at sea. But sailing still is an adventure in my book. Continue writing, take care,

    Richard Schiferli, General Secretary, Paris MoU on Port State Control

  13. Hoi Albert,
    Dat is lang gelden dat wij met elkaar hebben gevaren, 1984,85.86. Jij als 3e en ik als leerling en 4e stuurman. Leuk om te zien dat jij nu kapitein bent. Ik heb de scheepvaart verlaten eind jaren 80 en hou mij nu bezig met Blauwe vliegtuigen, als Duty maintenance manager.
    Wel maak ik af en toe nog een cruise, het bloed gaat daar waar de zeeman zout water heeft zitten. Dat raak je nooit meer kwijt.
    Je site is erg leuk, oude tijden herleven. Leuk om te lezen.
    Groet Theo Hin

  14. Capt. Albert,

    How serendipitous that I came upon your blog recently. I am in the recruitment process with Holland America Line as we speak. It has always been a dream of mine to work shipboard and I am very excited that I may set out to sea with HAL. I certainly couldn’t have hoped for any better. Your blog has been a source of great information for me as it not only provides insight into the crew life on a cruise ship, but also a little bit of information about how HAL does things. I am very excited at the prospect of working for Holland America Line. Perhaps I will have the pleasure of signing on to ms Veendam in the future! Keep up the great blog and enjoy the remainder of your vacation!

    Best Regards,
    Anthony

  15. Capt. Albert,

    As a follow up to my last post, I have some great news! I have just been offered a position with Holland America Line. And, what’s even more interesting is that I am tentatively slated to sign onto ms Veendam as the first Crew Purser on 30 March 2008! It will certainly be a pleasure to be aboard Veendam and I look forward to working with you.

    Best,
    Anthony Garofalo

  16. Captain: I just purchased a copy of your book “125 years of
    Holland America Lines”
    I will be on the Veendam Apr. 29, San Diego to Vancouver.
    I would appreciate very much if you could autograph it.
    I will contact reception with my cabin #.
    Thank you and I look forward to meeting you.

    Greg Haller

  17. Kapitein;

    4 jaar geleden stonden we in Vancouver oog in oog met de MS Veendam, dit was een hele verrassing, gezien ik geboren ben in Veendam, dus foto’s maken.

    Nu 4 jaar later gaan we op 5 september dit jaar terug om een Cruise te maken op Uw schip, Wat ons ontzettend leuk lijkt.
    mogelijk dat we elkaar nog kunnen zien en spreken.

    groetjes Johan& Ria.

  18. Dear Captain Albert,

    I just discovered your blog and have enjoyed exploring all of the links. We will be following you up the coast on Ryndam leaving San Diego on Saturday, 3 May. This will be our second sailing on HAL and we are looking forward to this short 4 night getaway.

    A number of years ago a friend, Jim Button, was the Security Officer on Rotterdam for the maiden world cruise. His wife, Martha, was in the peace Corps with me in Costa Rica and traveled with him. My 7th grade students followed “Aunt Martha and Uncle Jim” around the world through e-mail, letters and postcards. When the cruise was over they came to visit with each class. The students were in AWE of Jim in his uniform! Several even asked for his autograph. HAL got some very good PR out of that experience.

    Best,

    Frank in Santa Barbara, California

  19. Beste Albert,

    In de scheepvaartnieuwsbrief van Piet Sinke las ik dat de Veendam in Alaska is.
    In september hopen wij cees en yvon( dan net getrouwd) in Vancouver aan boord te gaan van de Veendam voor wat wij denken gezien de vele mooie verhalen gelezen op het internet onze mooist cruise tot nu toe zal zijn
    Wij doen het andersom , hebben eerst de cruisegeboekt en daarna besloten dat dit een hele mooie huwelijksreis zou zijn
    Hopelijk bent u in september nog of weer aan boord.
    Met plezier uw weblog gelezen , tot september, en tot dan vele mooie reizen voor u en de rest van de bemanning toegewenst
    Tot ziens in september, en vr. groeten

    cees kloppenburg en yvon kloppenburg -jonker (zal wel even wennen worden die naam voor Yvonne)

  20. Greetings again Captain

    My husband and I will be cruising with you on June 13th. We have read your writings and are getting very excited about the cruise.
    We are amateur photographers and plan on getting lots of pictures while we cruise. If we take pictures on the Veendam, where are we prohibited to take pictures? We want to respect any wishes you have on the matter.
    Thank you, have a great day. Kathy

  21. This Aug is our first cruise to Alaska (our second on HAL0
    We are sailing on the Veendam on Aug 22 on a 14 day nb/sd with my
    dad. It’s his first cruise , he is currently 91 years old.

  22. Captain Albert,
    It was wonderful to cruise with you in April and May from Tampa to Vancouver and for the first Alaska Inside Passage this year. Thank you, also for the wonderful Mariner’s luncheon. We are joining the Maasdam on July 5th for a 35 day “Voyage of the Vikings” from Boston to Rotterdam and back to Boston. Could you please tell us who the Captain, Hotel Manager, Guest Relations Manager, and Cruise Director will be? We currently have our gold medallions, and chances are we will already know some of these people. Thank you.

  23. Dear Captain,

    I went to this website searching for infos about “old days” working on MS. PRINSENDAM as a Tour Manager. This is back in 1976… As I could not find any relevant infos, I went on your blog and enjoyed very much finding again the spirit of those days on sea.

    Is there any chance you could tell me how to contact the formal staff members sailing on MS. PRINSENDAM as I would be very keen in finding out, after all those years, where everyone is today. I am still in contact with 2 of the formal staff members, but no one seems to know anything about the rest of the crew?

    In the meantime, wishing you all the best on smooth waters.

    Looking forward to hear from you

    Kind regards, et “bon vent”!
    Marie-Louise Dillinger

    Moulin Vollach
    F-67340 INGWILLER/France
    marielouise.dillinger@polyglotte.fr

  24. Greetings Captain Albert!
    Thank you for providing our staff and clientele an opportunity to share your, “Stories of the Seas” as well as have access to your expertise, personal insights and day-by-day account of life aboard the ms Veendam. It’s good to be aboard. I plan to visit your blog often and look forward to encountering massive glaciers, beautiful bays and incredible wildlife. I’ll also look forward to reading the messages from past guests, repeat guests and soon to be guests, who are now “linked” to amazing journeys of discovery.
    Best Regards and as always … Good voyage!
    Cathy Stucker, Travel Marketing – AAA Auto Club South

  25. Hello,
    I’ve just come across your interesting blog. My husband and I are cruising on the Veendam, Aug 22. We did the Panama canal cruise in April/May this year on the Amsterdam and enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to Alaska!

  26. Would it be at all possible for your company to start a monthly or two monthly Atlantic crossing E/B and W/B for people who are absolutely fed-up with plane crossings to Europe. I’d love the old days whereby you can plan a holiday in Europe which includes getting there from N. America by ship rather than having to squeeze aboard an airplane where you’ve had to stand for hours just to check in.

    I’d like to see some shipping company start up – perhaps limited at first just to try it out – to see if people would take to ship travel to get to their destination. As the old Cunard byword was “Getting there is half the fun”.

    Thanks

  27. Dear Capitain Albert:

    Ruth and I cruised on the sweet little SS Veendam to Bermuda in 1982. It was the first of many fabulous HAL cruises, but this precious yacht-like boat is still one of our favorites. (“Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina!”) Service? Perfect. Food? Perfect. Shore Arrangements? Perfect. Engine Room Tour? Unbelievible- Every valve, pump, boiler, driveshaft- our Dutch Engineer host left nothing out and we couldn’t get enough. Unfortunately, we just missed the beloved SS Statendam. Naturally, becoming instant steamship buffs, we sailed the Rotterdam V to Alaska in 1996, but that’s another great story.

    Regards, Scott and Ruth Raswyck

  28. Dear Captain,

    In de periode 70/71 heb ik gevaren op de Statendam en de Nieuw Amsterdam. Ik las, dat u uw loopbaan bent begonnen op de Statendam in 1981. Ik ben in het bezit van wat scheepsdocumenten uit die tijd. Mag ik u vragen welke functie u in de periode 81/82 vervulde op de Statendam? Wellicht kan ik u dan nog verblijden met wat leuke documenten, als mijn vermoedens juist zijn tenminste.

    Gerrit geb 1951

  29. Dear Captain Albert,I enjoy reading your blogs.  They bring back many memories of HAL.  I sure do miss them.  I had a copy of you 125 years of HAL and when I left Ft. Lauderdale I must have left it in my office. Do you know where I might obtain another one? Thank you.
    May you and Lesley have a Happy and Healthy New Year. Good luck on the Prinsendam.
    Florrie Elmnren
    Retired, Assistant Manager
    FLL Shore Operations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

About Us

The Holland America Blog web site serves as the primary portal for all news and information, images and video, gossip and discussion about the 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet. Visitors to Holland America Blog get the latest news from the ships, meet the people who work on board, travel around the world through video and photos from various ports, and hear from guests and fans of Holland America Line.

With nearly 140 years of experience, Holland America Line is recognized as the undisputed leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. With the introduction of a new 2,660-passenger, 99,000-ton ship in fall 2015, Holland America Line’s fleet will grow to 16 ships, offering nearly 500 cruises from more than 25 home ports. Itineraries range from two-day samplers to extended cruises of more than 100 days, and the ships visit all seven continents, including Australia/New Zealand and Asia sailings, a World Cruise, extravagant Grand Voyages and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, South America, Mexico and Europe.

If you have a question about Holland America or if there is a topic that you would like to see us cover, send us an e-mail or leave us a comment.

32 Comments

  1. Thanks for the ‘blog’, I will read it all later as I am about to go to bed, it looks really interesting

    best wishes from

    Robina

  2. Hello

    Great blog site

    Good luck with it for the future, we will be logging in regularly to find out what you are up to.

    We cannot wait to join you aboard in May

    All the best

    Kev and Jan

  3. Hello Captain,

    It has been a long time since we sailed together. Occasionally I see the old Holland America Line vessels around and it brings back great memories. I’m working as a superintendent here in Cyprus, been here 11 years now can you believe?

    Great website, Robina dropped me the link.

    All the best,

    David Shewan

  4. Hello there,

    I’m really enjoying your blog. Almost makes me feel like I’m sailing with you.

    I’m sorry you won’t be aboard the Veendam when I’m sailing on her on 8/22. It would have been wonderful to see you and Leslie again.

    Any chance you’ll be aboard the Eurodam for her maiden voyage next July. I’ve already booked and I’m trying to talk our friend Liz into coming with me.

    Love to Leslie.

    Regards,
    Joyce

  5. We traveled with you from Venice to Venice ; May19th to the 29th. I have enjoyed reading your blog and will keep it with my momentos. It is nice to know we were in capable hands. You Rock! Thanks Again.

  6. Dear Captain. I like to continue in Dutch, if you don’t mind.
    Via “Hallo” ben ik opmerkzaam gemaakt op uw Weblog. Wat is het allemachtig interessant om te lezen en wat boeiend, maar ook veileisend, de job van een cruis-ship captain wel is. Als voormalig filmoperateur op de enige echte Rotterdam (V) heb ik ook een tijd mogen ruiken aan het leven op een schip en later heb ik hetzelfde als passagier mogen beleven, maar er is toch wel veel veranderd. Passsagiers zijn veeleisender geworden, maar ook de schepen hebben een geheel andere uitstraling dat de voormalige transatlantische zeekastelen.
    Nietemin heb ik met veel plezier uw dagboek gelezen en beloof, dat ik dit zal blijven doe. U doet mij – en velen met mj, daar ben ik zeker van- er een geweldig plezier mee en ik hoop van harte dat wij uw bijdragen in Hallo nog lang zullen mogen lezen.
    Een warme en vriendelijke groet van uit Landgraaf, gelegen in het bronsgroenen eikenhout,
    Frank Doomen
    Namiddagse Driessen 42
    6374MP Landgraaf
    f.doomen@orange.nl

  7. Beste Kaptein Schoonderbeek,

    In HALLO van juli-aug. las ik over uw web blog. Met veel plezier heb ik er al veel van gelezen. Zal zeker regelmatig terugkomen. Aangezien ik geen e-mail adres van u kan vinden, verzoek ik u langs deze weg mij toestemming te verlenen op mijn website over de HAL een link te mogen plaatsen naar uw web blog.

    met vriendelijke groet,

    Ruud Mudde

  8. hallo kapitein Schoonderbeek,
    alvast wil ik u en uw vrouw een fijne vakantie toewensen
    lees graag uw blog op het internet als ik daar de kans voor krijgkan zelf geen internet betalen ben op het moment100% afgekeurd stuurman rijnvaart afgekeurd door een eenzijdige verlamming na een beroerte, in 2000, liep na 13 dagen al weer door dijkzigt en na 6 – 8 weken ging het praten weer
    helaas was dit een 5e beroerte, omdat ik bij de eerste een verkeerde diagnose kreeg/10 dagen in coma/ kreeg ik er dus 5 maar het is bekend na 5 keer wat de oorzaak is,dik bloed, danklonterd je bloed en dan heb je pech maar bij die eerste kee was is na 2 jaar volledig hersteld en liep ook nog in nijmegen 200 KM dit is de vijfe duurt het wat langer maar herstellen zal ik enzodra ik door de keuring ben wil ik naar de zeevaartschool en studeren voor maritiem officier het is misschien hoog gegrepen maar ik geloof erin dat ik dat gaat redden.met hartelijke maritieme groet,
    Staney RenonZeekadetofficier Public Relations/zkkrotterdam.nl

  9. Your web blog is very enjoyable and brings back many pleasant memories of our Alaskan cruise aboard the Veendam in 1997. What a wonderful cruise on such a beautiful and elegant ship.
    You mentioned some changes taking place in the way in which the captains now interact with the guests, such as shorter speeches/receptions. I can certainly understand why that may be necessary, especially these days when the new ships are so large and have a huge passenger complement. I do hope that you will still manage to take some opportunities to address the guests. I have always enjoyed the captain’s reception, especially to hear the updates and news about new ships, the company’s plans and the opportunity to ask a few questions.
    I wish you pleasant sailing and many thanks for giving us a chance to sail with you vicariously!

  10. Just discovered your Blogs and they are wonderful. My husband and I will join you in Montreal on Sept. 9 along with 6 of our friends. It will be about our 35th HAL cruise so you can tell we are “sold”.

    Will look forward to seeing you at a suite or Mariner party — Smooth Sailing!!!

    Elinor Corley

    (Will be fun to depart the ship just 1 hour from our home in Sarasota!!)

  11. Oct. 23, 2007

    Thanks, again, Captain, for the great cruise & especially the photographs of the New Amsterdam ship (troopship) that I sailed from New York to Glascow; June 2nd to June 14th, 1944. Even though we were packed about 15-20 to a small cabin, (5-6 bunks deep on 3 sides) we had a pleasant voyage over. It took 12 days; probably because we zigzaged across (enemy submarines?). Not sure you would call it a Great Circle route!

    I forgot whether it was the 5th largest ocean liner or the 5th fastest ocean liner (maybe both).

    I did want to send a picture of the Dutch pennant they gave us, but can’t attach it to this message. (could if it was email).

    Thanks again,

    Richard St. John, cabin 594; Montreal to Tampa cruise ending Oct. 21, 2007

  12. Dear Albert,

    By coincidence I found you web log. Very nice and informative. From time to time I think back to my own sailing days with Holland America. I also met my wife on board (the Rotterdam V). Over the years many things have changed on board, in shipping and at sea. But sailing still is an adventure in my book. Continue writing, take care,

    Richard Schiferli, General Secretary, Paris MoU on Port State Control

  13. Hoi Albert,
    Dat is lang gelden dat wij met elkaar hebben gevaren, 1984,85.86. Jij als 3e en ik als leerling en 4e stuurman. Leuk om te zien dat jij nu kapitein bent. Ik heb de scheepvaart verlaten eind jaren 80 en hou mij nu bezig met Blauwe vliegtuigen, als Duty maintenance manager.
    Wel maak ik af en toe nog een cruise, het bloed gaat daar waar de zeeman zout water heeft zitten. Dat raak je nooit meer kwijt.
    Je site is erg leuk, oude tijden herleven. Leuk om te lezen.
    Groet Theo Hin

  14. Capt. Albert,

    How serendipitous that I came upon your blog recently. I am in the recruitment process with Holland America Line as we speak. It has always been a dream of mine to work shipboard and I am very excited that I may set out to sea with HAL. I certainly couldn’t have hoped for any better. Your blog has been a source of great information for me as it not only provides insight into the crew life on a cruise ship, but also a little bit of information about how HAL does things. I am very excited at the prospect of working for Holland America Line. Perhaps I will have the pleasure of signing on to ms Veendam in the future! Keep up the great blog and enjoy the remainder of your vacation!

    Best Regards,
    Anthony

  15. Capt. Albert,

    As a follow up to my last post, I have some great news! I have just been offered a position with Holland America Line. And, what’s even more interesting is that I am tentatively slated to sign onto ms Veendam as the first Crew Purser on 30 March 2008! It will certainly be a pleasure to be aboard Veendam and I look forward to working with you.

    Best,
    Anthony Garofalo

  16. Captain: I just purchased a copy of your book “125 years of
    Holland America Lines”
    I will be on the Veendam Apr. 29, San Diego to Vancouver.
    I would appreciate very much if you could autograph it.
    I will contact reception with my cabin #.
    Thank you and I look forward to meeting you.

    Greg Haller

  17. Kapitein;

    4 jaar geleden stonden we in Vancouver oog in oog met de MS Veendam, dit was een hele verrassing, gezien ik geboren ben in Veendam, dus foto’s maken.

    Nu 4 jaar later gaan we op 5 september dit jaar terug om een Cruise te maken op Uw schip, Wat ons ontzettend leuk lijkt.
    mogelijk dat we elkaar nog kunnen zien en spreken.

    groetjes Johan& Ria.

  18. Dear Captain Albert,

    I just discovered your blog and have enjoyed exploring all of the links. We will be following you up the coast on Ryndam leaving San Diego on Saturday, 3 May. This will be our second sailing on HAL and we are looking forward to this short 4 night getaway.

    A number of years ago a friend, Jim Button, was the Security Officer on Rotterdam for the maiden world cruise. His wife, Martha, was in the peace Corps with me in Costa Rica and traveled with him. My 7th grade students followed “Aunt Martha and Uncle Jim” around the world through e-mail, letters and postcards. When the cruise was over they came to visit with each class. The students were in AWE of Jim in his uniform! Several even asked for his autograph. HAL got some very good PR out of that experience.

    Best,

    Frank in Santa Barbara, California

  19. Beste Albert,

    In de scheepvaartnieuwsbrief van Piet Sinke las ik dat de Veendam in Alaska is.
    In september hopen wij cees en yvon( dan net getrouwd) in Vancouver aan boord te gaan van de Veendam voor wat wij denken gezien de vele mooie verhalen gelezen op het internet onze mooist cruise tot nu toe zal zijn
    Wij doen het andersom , hebben eerst de cruisegeboekt en daarna besloten dat dit een hele mooie huwelijksreis zou zijn
    Hopelijk bent u in september nog of weer aan boord.
    Met plezier uw weblog gelezen , tot september, en tot dan vele mooie reizen voor u en de rest van de bemanning toegewenst
    Tot ziens in september, en vr. groeten

    cees kloppenburg en yvon kloppenburg -jonker (zal wel even wennen worden die naam voor Yvonne)

  20. Greetings again Captain

    My husband and I will be cruising with you on June 13th. We have read your writings and are getting very excited about the cruise.
    We are amateur photographers and plan on getting lots of pictures while we cruise. If we take pictures on the Veendam, where are we prohibited to take pictures? We want to respect any wishes you have on the matter.
    Thank you, have a great day. Kathy

  21. This Aug is our first cruise to Alaska (our second on HAL0
    We are sailing on the Veendam on Aug 22 on a 14 day nb/sd with my
    dad. It’s his first cruise , he is currently 91 years old.

  22. Captain Albert,
    It was wonderful to cruise with you in April and May from Tampa to Vancouver and for the first Alaska Inside Passage this year. Thank you, also for the wonderful Mariner’s luncheon. We are joining the Maasdam on July 5th for a 35 day “Voyage of the Vikings” from Boston to Rotterdam and back to Boston. Could you please tell us who the Captain, Hotel Manager, Guest Relations Manager, and Cruise Director will be? We currently have our gold medallions, and chances are we will already know some of these people. Thank you.

  23. Dear Captain,

    I went to this website searching for infos about “old days” working on MS. PRINSENDAM as a Tour Manager. This is back in 1976… As I could not find any relevant infos, I went on your blog and enjoyed very much finding again the spirit of those days on sea.

    Is there any chance you could tell me how to contact the formal staff members sailing on MS. PRINSENDAM as I would be very keen in finding out, after all those years, where everyone is today. I am still in contact with 2 of the formal staff members, but no one seems to know anything about the rest of the crew?

    In the meantime, wishing you all the best on smooth waters.

    Looking forward to hear from you

    Kind regards, et “bon vent”!
    Marie-Louise Dillinger

    Moulin Vollach
    F-67340 INGWILLER/France
    marielouise.dillinger@polyglotte.fr

  24. Greetings Captain Albert!
    Thank you for providing our staff and clientele an opportunity to share your, “Stories of the Seas” as well as have access to your expertise, personal insights and day-by-day account of life aboard the ms Veendam. It’s good to be aboard. I plan to visit your blog often and look forward to encountering massive glaciers, beautiful bays and incredible wildlife. I’ll also look forward to reading the messages from past guests, repeat guests and soon to be guests, who are now “linked” to amazing journeys of discovery.
    Best Regards and as always … Good voyage!
    Cathy Stucker, Travel Marketing – AAA Auto Club South

  25. Hello,
    I’ve just come across your interesting blog. My husband and I are cruising on the Veendam, Aug 22. We did the Panama canal cruise in April/May this year on the Amsterdam and enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to Alaska!

  26. Would it be at all possible for your company to start a monthly or two monthly Atlantic crossing E/B and W/B for people who are absolutely fed-up with plane crossings to Europe. I’d love the old days whereby you can plan a holiday in Europe which includes getting there from N. America by ship rather than having to squeeze aboard an airplane where you’ve had to stand for hours just to check in.

    I’d like to see some shipping company start up – perhaps limited at first just to try it out – to see if people would take to ship travel to get to their destination. As the old Cunard byword was “Getting there is half the fun”.

    Thanks

  27. Dear Capitain Albert:

    Ruth and I cruised on the sweet little SS Veendam to Bermuda in 1982. It was the first of many fabulous HAL cruises, but this precious yacht-like boat is still one of our favorites. (“Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina!”) Service? Perfect. Food? Perfect. Shore Arrangements? Perfect. Engine Room Tour? Unbelievible- Every valve, pump, boiler, driveshaft- our Dutch Engineer host left nothing out and we couldn’t get enough. Unfortunately, we just missed the beloved SS Statendam. Naturally, becoming instant steamship buffs, we sailed the Rotterdam V to Alaska in 1996, but that’s another great story.

    Regards, Scott and Ruth Raswyck

  28. Dear Captain,

    In de periode 70/71 heb ik gevaren op de Statendam en de Nieuw Amsterdam. Ik las, dat u uw loopbaan bent begonnen op de Statendam in 1981. Ik ben in het bezit van wat scheepsdocumenten uit die tijd. Mag ik u vragen welke functie u in de periode 81/82 vervulde op de Statendam? Wellicht kan ik u dan nog verblijden met wat leuke documenten, als mijn vermoedens juist zijn tenminste.

    Gerrit geb 1951

  29. Dear Captain Albert,I enjoy reading your blogs.  They bring back many memories of HAL.  I sure do miss them.  I had a copy of you 125 years of HAL and when I left Ft. Lauderdale I must have left it in my office. Do you know where I might obtain another one? Thank you.
    May you and Lesley have a Happy and Healthy New Year. Good luck on the Prinsendam.
    Florrie Elmnren
    Retired, Assistant Manager
    FLL Shore Operations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

About Us

The Holland America Blog web site serves as the primary portal for all news and information, images and video, gossip and discussion about the 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet. Visitors to Holland America Blog get the latest news from the ships, meet the people who work on board, travel around the world through video and photos from various ports, and hear from guests and fans of Holland America Line.

With nearly 140 years of experience, Holland America Line is recognized as the undisputed leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. With the introduction of a new 2,660-passenger, 99,000-ton ship in fall 2015, Holland America Line’s fleet will grow to 16 ships, offering nearly 500 cruises from more than 25 home ports. Itineraries range from two-day samplers to extended cruises of more than 100 days, and the ships visit all seven continents, including Australia/New Zealand and Asia sailings, a World Cruise, extravagant Grand Voyages and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, South America, Mexico and Europe.

If you have a question about Holland America or if there is a topic that you would like to see us cover, send us an e-mail or leave us a comment.

32 Comments

  1. Thanks for the ‘blog’, I will read it all later as I am about to go to bed, it looks really interesting

    best wishes from

    Robina

  2. Hello

    Great blog site

    Good luck with it for the future, we will be logging in regularly to find out what you are up to.

    We cannot wait to join you aboard in May

    All the best

    Kev and Jan

  3. Hello Captain,

    It has been a long time since we sailed together. Occasionally I see the old Holland America Line vessels around and it brings back great memories. I’m working as a superintendent here in Cyprus, been here 11 years now can you believe?

    Great website, Robina dropped me the link.

    All the best,

    David Shewan

  4. Hello there,

    I’m really enjoying your blog. Almost makes me feel like I’m sailing with you.

    I’m sorry you won’t be aboard the Veendam when I’m sailing on her on 8/22. It would have been wonderful to see you and Leslie again.

    Any chance you’ll be aboard the Eurodam for her maiden voyage next July. I’ve already booked and I’m trying to talk our friend Liz into coming with me.

    Love to Leslie.

    Regards,
    Joyce

  5. We traveled with you from Venice to Venice ; May19th to the 29th. I have enjoyed reading your blog and will keep it with my momentos. It is nice to know we were in capable hands. You Rock! Thanks Again.

  6. Dear Captain. I like to continue in Dutch, if you don’t mind.
    Via “Hallo” ben ik opmerkzaam gemaakt op uw Weblog. Wat is het allemachtig interessant om te lezen en wat boeiend, maar ook veileisend, de job van een cruis-ship captain wel is. Als voormalig filmoperateur op de enige echte Rotterdam (V) heb ik ook een tijd mogen ruiken aan het leven op een schip en later heb ik hetzelfde als passagier mogen beleven, maar er is toch wel veel veranderd. Passsagiers zijn veeleisender geworden, maar ook de schepen hebben een geheel andere uitstraling dat de voormalige transatlantische zeekastelen.
    Nietemin heb ik met veel plezier uw dagboek gelezen en beloof, dat ik dit zal blijven doe. U doet mij – en velen met mj, daar ben ik zeker van- er een geweldig plezier mee en ik hoop van harte dat wij uw bijdragen in Hallo nog lang zullen mogen lezen.
    Een warme en vriendelijke groet van uit Landgraaf, gelegen in het bronsgroenen eikenhout,
    Frank Doomen
    Namiddagse Driessen 42
    6374MP Landgraaf
    f.doomen@orange.nl

  7. Beste Kaptein Schoonderbeek,

    In HALLO van juli-aug. las ik over uw web blog. Met veel plezier heb ik er al veel van gelezen. Zal zeker regelmatig terugkomen. Aangezien ik geen e-mail adres van u kan vinden, verzoek ik u langs deze weg mij toestemming te verlenen op mijn website over de HAL een link te mogen plaatsen naar uw web blog.

    met vriendelijke groet,

    Ruud Mudde

  8. hallo kapitein Schoonderbeek,
    alvast wil ik u en uw vrouw een fijne vakantie toewensen
    lees graag uw blog op het internet als ik daar de kans voor krijgkan zelf geen internet betalen ben op het moment100% afgekeurd stuurman rijnvaart afgekeurd door een eenzijdige verlamming na een beroerte, in 2000, liep na 13 dagen al weer door dijkzigt en na 6 – 8 weken ging het praten weer
    helaas was dit een 5e beroerte, omdat ik bij de eerste een verkeerde diagnose kreeg/10 dagen in coma/ kreeg ik er dus 5 maar het is bekend na 5 keer wat de oorzaak is,dik bloed, danklonterd je bloed en dan heb je pech maar bij die eerste kee was is na 2 jaar volledig hersteld en liep ook nog in nijmegen 200 KM dit is de vijfe duurt het wat langer maar herstellen zal ik enzodra ik door de keuring ben wil ik naar de zeevaartschool en studeren voor maritiem officier het is misschien hoog gegrepen maar ik geloof erin dat ik dat gaat redden.met hartelijke maritieme groet,
    Staney RenonZeekadetofficier Public Relations/zkkrotterdam.nl

  9. Your web blog is very enjoyable and brings back many pleasant memories of our Alaskan cruise aboard the Veendam in 1997. What a wonderful cruise on such a beautiful and elegant ship.
    You mentioned some changes taking place in the way in which the captains now interact with the guests, such as shorter speeches/receptions. I can certainly understand why that may be necessary, especially these days when the new ships are so large and have a huge passenger complement. I do hope that you will still manage to take some opportunities to address the guests. I have always enjoyed the captain’s reception, especially to hear the updates and news about new ships, the company’s plans and the opportunity to ask a few questions.
    I wish you pleasant sailing and many thanks for giving us a chance to sail with you vicariously!

  10. Just discovered your Blogs and they are wonderful. My husband and I will join you in Montreal on Sept. 9 along with 6 of our friends. It will be about our 35th HAL cruise so you can tell we are “sold”.

    Will look forward to seeing you at a suite or Mariner party — Smooth Sailing!!!

    Elinor Corley

    (Will be fun to depart the ship just 1 hour from our home in Sarasota!!)

  11. Oct. 23, 2007

    Thanks, again, Captain, for the great cruise & especially the photographs of the New Amsterdam ship (troopship) that I sailed from New York to Glascow; June 2nd to June 14th, 1944. Even though we were packed about 15-20 to a small cabin, (5-6 bunks deep on 3 sides) we had a pleasant voyage over. It took 12 days; probably because we zigzaged across (enemy submarines?). Not sure you would call it a Great Circle route!

    I forgot whether it was the 5th largest ocean liner or the 5th fastest ocean liner (maybe both).

    I did want to send a picture of the Dutch pennant they gave us, but can’t attach it to this message. (could if it was email).

    Thanks again,

    Richard St. John, cabin 594; Montreal to Tampa cruise ending Oct. 21, 2007

  12. Dear Albert,

    By coincidence I found you web log. Very nice and informative. From time to time I think back to my own sailing days with Holland America. I also met my wife on board (the Rotterdam V). Over the years many things have changed on board, in shipping and at sea. But sailing still is an adventure in my book. Continue writing, take care,

    Richard Schiferli, General Secretary, Paris MoU on Port State Control

  13. Hoi Albert,
    Dat is lang gelden dat wij met elkaar hebben gevaren, 1984,85.86. Jij als 3e en ik als leerling en 4e stuurman. Leuk om te zien dat jij nu kapitein bent. Ik heb de scheepvaart verlaten eind jaren 80 en hou mij nu bezig met Blauwe vliegtuigen, als Duty maintenance manager.
    Wel maak ik af en toe nog een cruise, het bloed gaat daar waar de zeeman zout water heeft zitten. Dat raak je nooit meer kwijt.
    Je site is erg leuk, oude tijden herleven. Leuk om te lezen.
    Groet Theo Hin

  14. Capt. Albert,

    How serendipitous that I came upon your blog recently. I am in the recruitment process with Holland America Line as we speak. It has always been a dream of mine to work shipboard and I am very excited that I may set out to sea with HAL. I certainly couldn’t have hoped for any better. Your blog has been a source of great information for me as it not only provides insight into the crew life on a cruise ship, but also a little bit of information about how HAL does things. I am very excited at the prospect of working for Holland America Line. Perhaps I will have the pleasure of signing on to ms Veendam in the future! Keep up the great blog and enjoy the remainder of your vacation!

    Best Regards,
    Anthony

  15. Capt. Albert,

    As a follow up to my last post, I have some great news! I have just been offered a position with Holland America Line. And, what’s even more interesting is that I am tentatively slated to sign onto ms Veendam as the first Crew Purser on 30 March 2008! It will certainly be a pleasure to be aboard Veendam and I look forward to working with you.

    Best,
    Anthony Garofalo

  16. Captain: I just purchased a copy of your book “125 years of
    Holland America Lines”
    I will be on the Veendam Apr. 29, San Diego to Vancouver.
    I would appreciate very much if you could autograph it.
    I will contact reception with my cabin #.
    Thank you and I look forward to meeting you.

    Greg Haller

  17. Kapitein;

    4 jaar geleden stonden we in Vancouver oog in oog met de MS Veendam, dit was een hele verrassing, gezien ik geboren ben in Veendam, dus foto’s maken.

    Nu 4 jaar later gaan we op 5 september dit jaar terug om een Cruise te maken op Uw schip, Wat ons ontzettend leuk lijkt.
    mogelijk dat we elkaar nog kunnen zien en spreken.

    groetjes Johan& Ria.

  18. Dear Captain Albert,

    I just discovered your blog and have enjoyed exploring all of the links. We will be following you up the coast on Ryndam leaving San Diego on Saturday, 3 May. This will be our second sailing on HAL and we are looking forward to this short 4 night getaway.

    A number of years ago a friend, Jim Button, was the Security Officer on Rotterdam for the maiden world cruise. His wife, Martha, was in the peace Corps with me in Costa Rica and traveled with him. My 7th grade students followed “Aunt Martha and Uncle Jim” around the world through e-mail, letters and postcards. When the cruise was over they came to visit with each class. The students were in AWE of Jim in his uniform! Several even asked for his autograph. HAL got some very good PR out of that experience.

    Best,

    Frank in Santa Barbara, California

  19. Beste Albert,

    In de scheepvaartnieuwsbrief van Piet Sinke las ik dat de Veendam in Alaska is.
    In september hopen wij cees en yvon( dan net getrouwd) in Vancouver aan boord te gaan van de Veendam voor wat wij denken gezien de vele mooie verhalen gelezen op het internet onze mooist cruise tot nu toe zal zijn
    Wij doen het andersom , hebben eerst de cruisegeboekt en daarna besloten dat dit een hele mooie huwelijksreis zou zijn
    Hopelijk bent u in september nog of weer aan boord.
    Met plezier uw weblog gelezen , tot september, en tot dan vele mooie reizen voor u en de rest van de bemanning toegewenst
    Tot ziens in september, en vr. groeten

    cees kloppenburg en yvon kloppenburg -jonker (zal wel even wennen worden die naam voor Yvonne)

  20. Greetings again Captain

    My husband and I will be cruising with you on June 13th. We have read your writings and are getting very excited about the cruise.
    We are amateur photographers and plan on getting lots of pictures while we cruise. If we take pictures on the Veendam, where are we prohibited to take pictures? We want to respect any wishes you have on the matter.
    Thank you, have a great day. Kathy

  21. This Aug is our first cruise to Alaska (our second on HAL0
    We are sailing on the Veendam on Aug 22 on a 14 day nb/sd with my
    dad. It’s his first cruise , he is currently 91 years old.

  22. Captain Albert,
    It was wonderful to cruise with you in April and May from Tampa to Vancouver and for the first Alaska Inside Passage this year. Thank you, also for the wonderful Mariner’s luncheon. We are joining the Maasdam on July 5th for a 35 day “Voyage of the Vikings” from Boston to Rotterdam and back to Boston. Could you please tell us who the Captain, Hotel Manager, Guest Relations Manager, and Cruise Director will be? We currently have our gold medallions, and chances are we will already know some of these people. Thank you.

  23. Dear Captain,

    I went to this website searching for infos about “old days” working on MS. PRINSENDAM as a Tour Manager. This is back in 1976… As I could not find any relevant infos, I went on your blog and enjoyed very much finding again the spirit of those days on sea.

    Is there any chance you could tell me how to contact the formal staff members sailing on MS. PRINSENDAM as I would be very keen in finding out, after all those years, where everyone is today. I am still in contact with 2 of the formal staff members, but no one seems to know anything about the rest of the crew?

    In the meantime, wishing you all the best on smooth waters.

    Looking forward to hear from you

    Kind regards, et “bon vent”!
    Marie-Louise Dillinger

    Moulin Vollach
    F-67340 INGWILLER/France
    marielouise.dillinger@polyglotte.fr

  24. Greetings Captain Albert!
    Thank you for providing our staff and clientele an opportunity to share your, “Stories of the Seas” as well as have access to your expertise, personal insights and day-by-day account of life aboard the ms Veendam. It’s good to be aboard. I plan to visit your blog often and look forward to encountering massive glaciers, beautiful bays and incredible wildlife. I’ll also look forward to reading the messages from past guests, repeat guests and soon to be guests, who are now “linked” to amazing journeys of discovery.
    Best Regards and as always … Good voyage!
    Cathy Stucker, Travel Marketing – AAA Auto Club South

  25. Hello,
    I’ve just come across your interesting blog. My husband and I are cruising on the Veendam, Aug 22. We did the Panama canal cruise in April/May this year on the Amsterdam and enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to Alaska!

  26. Would it be at all possible for your company to start a monthly or two monthly Atlantic crossing E/B and W/B for people who are absolutely fed-up with plane crossings to Europe. I’d love the old days whereby you can plan a holiday in Europe which includes getting there from N. America by ship rather than having to squeeze aboard an airplane where you’ve had to stand for hours just to check in.

    I’d like to see some shipping company start up – perhaps limited at first just to try it out – to see if people would take to ship travel to get to their destination. As the old Cunard byword was “Getting there is half the fun”.

    Thanks

  27. Dear Capitain Albert:

    Ruth and I cruised on the sweet little SS Veendam to Bermuda in 1982. It was the first of many fabulous HAL cruises, but this precious yacht-like boat is still one of our favorites. (“Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina!”) Service? Perfect. Food? Perfect. Shore Arrangements? Perfect. Engine Room Tour? Unbelievible- Every valve, pump, boiler, driveshaft- our Dutch Engineer host left nothing out and we couldn’t get enough. Unfortunately, we just missed the beloved SS Statendam. Naturally, becoming instant steamship buffs, we sailed the Rotterdam V to Alaska in 1996, but that’s another great story.

    Regards, Scott and Ruth Raswyck

  28. Dear Captain,

    In de periode 70/71 heb ik gevaren op de Statendam en de Nieuw Amsterdam. Ik las, dat u uw loopbaan bent begonnen op de Statendam in 1981. Ik ben in het bezit van wat scheepsdocumenten uit die tijd. Mag ik u vragen welke functie u in de periode 81/82 vervulde op de Statendam? Wellicht kan ik u dan nog verblijden met wat leuke documenten, als mijn vermoedens juist zijn tenminste.

    Gerrit geb 1951

  29. Dear Captain Albert,I enjoy reading your blogs.  They bring back many memories of HAL.  I sure do miss them.  I had a copy of you 125 years of HAL and when I left Ft. Lauderdale I must have left it in my office. Do you know where I might obtain another one? Thank you.
    May you and Lesley have a Happy and Healthy New Year. Good luck on the Prinsendam.
    Florrie Elmnren
    Retired, Assistant Manager
    FLL Shore Operations

Leave a Reply

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About Us

The Holland America Blog web site serves as the primary portal for all news and information, images and video, gossip and discussion about the 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet. Visitors to Holland America Blog get the latest news from the ships, meet the people who work on board, travel around the world through video and photos from various ports, and hear from guests and fans of Holland America Line.

With nearly 140 years of experience, Holland America Line is recognized as the undisputed leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. With the introduction of a new 2,660-passenger, 99,000-ton ship in fall 2015, Holland America Line’s fleet will grow to 16 ships, offering nearly 500 cruises from more than 25 home ports. Itineraries range from two-day samplers to extended cruises of more than 100 days, and the ships visit all seven continents, including Australia/New Zealand and Asia sailings, a World Cruise, extravagant Grand Voyages and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, South America, Mexico and Europe.

If you have a question about Holland America or if there is a topic that you would like to see us cover, send us an e-mail or leave us a comment.

32 Comments

  1. Thanks for the ‘blog’, I will read it all later as I am about to go to bed, it looks really interesting

    best wishes from

    Robina

  2. Hello

    Great blog site

    Good luck with it for the future, we will be logging in regularly to find out what you are up to.

    We cannot wait to join you aboard in May

    All the best

    Kev and Jan

  3. Hello Captain,

    It has been a long time since we sailed together. Occasionally I see the old Holland America Line vessels around and it brings back great memories. I’m working as a superintendent here in Cyprus, been here 11 years now can you believe?

    Great website, Robina dropped me the link.

    All the best,

    David Shewan

  4. Hello there,

    I’m really enjoying your blog. Almost makes me feel like I’m sailing with you.

    I’m sorry you won’t be aboard the Veendam when I’m sailing on her on 8/22. It would have been wonderful to see you and Leslie again.

    Any chance you’ll be aboard the Eurodam for her maiden voyage next July. I’ve already booked and I’m trying to talk our friend Liz into coming with me.

    Love to Leslie.

    Regards,
    Joyce

  5. We traveled with you from Venice to Venice ; May19th to the 29th. I have enjoyed reading your blog and will keep it with my momentos. It is nice to know we were in capable hands. You Rock! Thanks Again.

  6. Dear Captain. I like to continue in Dutch, if you don’t mind.
    Via “Hallo” ben ik opmerkzaam gemaakt op uw Weblog. Wat is het allemachtig interessant om te lezen en wat boeiend, maar ook veileisend, de job van een cruis-ship captain wel is. Als voormalig filmoperateur op de enige echte Rotterdam (V) heb ik ook een tijd mogen ruiken aan het leven op een schip en later heb ik hetzelfde als passagier mogen beleven, maar er is toch wel veel veranderd. Passsagiers zijn veeleisender geworden, maar ook de schepen hebben een geheel andere uitstraling dat de voormalige transatlantische zeekastelen.
    Nietemin heb ik met veel plezier uw dagboek gelezen en beloof, dat ik dit zal blijven doe. U doet mij – en velen met mj, daar ben ik zeker van- er een geweldig plezier mee en ik hoop van harte dat wij uw bijdragen in Hallo nog lang zullen mogen lezen.
    Een warme en vriendelijke groet van uit Landgraaf, gelegen in het bronsgroenen eikenhout,
    Frank Doomen
    Namiddagse Driessen 42
    6374MP Landgraaf
    f.doomen@orange.nl

  7. Beste Kaptein Schoonderbeek,

    In HALLO van juli-aug. las ik over uw web blog. Met veel plezier heb ik er al veel van gelezen. Zal zeker regelmatig terugkomen. Aangezien ik geen e-mail adres van u kan vinden, verzoek ik u langs deze weg mij toestemming te verlenen op mijn website over de HAL een link te mogen plaatsen naar uw web blog.

    met vriendelijke groet,

    Ruud Mudde

  8. hallo kapitein Schoonderbeek,
    alvast wil ik u en uw vrouw een fijne vakantie toewensen
    lees graag uw blog op het internet als ik daar de kans voor krijgkan zelf geen internet betalen ben op het moment100% afgekeurd stuurman rijnvaart afgekeurd door een eenzijdige verlamming na een beroerte, in 2000, liep na 13 dagen al weer door dijkzigt en na 6 – 8 weken ging het praten weer
    helaas was dit een 5e beroerte, omdat ik bij de eerste een verkeerde diagnose kreeg/10 dagen in coma/ kreeg ik er dus 5 maar het is bekend na 5 keer wat de oorzaak is,dik bloed, danklonterd je bloed en dan heb je pech maar bij die eerste kee was is na 2 jaar volledig hersteld en liep ook nog in nijmegen 200 KM dit is de vijfe duurt het wat langer maar herstellen zal ik enzodra ik door de keuring ben wil ik naar de zeevaartschool en studeren voor maritiem officier het is misschien hoog gegrepen maar ik geloof erin dat ik dat gaat redden.met hartelijke maritieme groet,
    Staney RenonZeekadetofficier Public Relations/zkkrotterdam.nl

  9. Your web blog is very enjoyable and brings back many pleasant memories of our Alaskan cruise aboard the Veendam in 1997. What a wonderful cruise on such a beautiful and elegant ship.
    You mentioned some changes taking place in the way in which the captains now interact with the guests, such as shorter speeches/receptions. I can certainly understand why that may be necessary, especially these days when the new ships are so large and have a huge passenger complement. I do hope that you will still manage to take some opportunities to address the guests. I have always enjoyed the captain’s reception, especially to hear the updates and news about new ships, the company’s plans and the opportunity to ask a few questions.
    I wish you pleasant sailing and many thanks for giving us a chance to sail with you vicariously!

  10. Just discovered your Blogs and they are wonderful. My husband and I will join you in Montreal on Sept. 9 along with 6 of our friends. It will be about our 35th HAL cruise so you can tell we are “sold”.

    Will look forward to seeing you at a suite or Mariner party — Smooth Sailing!!!

    Elinor Corley

    (Will be fun to depart the ship just 1 hour from our home in Sarasota!!)

  11. Oct. 23, 2007

    Thanks, again, Captain, for the great cruise & especially the photographs of the New Amsterdam ship (troopship) that I sailed from New York to Glascow; June 2nd to June 14th, 1944. Even though we were packed about 15-20 to a small cabin, (5-6 bunks deep on 3 sides) we had a pleasant voyage over. It took 12 days; probably because we zigzaged across (enemy submarines?). Not sure you would call it a Great Circle route!

    I forgot whether it was the 5th largest ocean liner or the 5th fastest ocean liner (maybe both).

    I did want to send a picture of the Dutch pennant they gave us, but can’t attach it to this message. (could if it was email).

    Thanks again,

    Richard St. John, cabin 594; Montreal to Tampa cruise ending Oct. 21, 2007

  12. Dear Albert,

    By coincidence I found you web log. Very nice and informative. From time to time I think back to my own sailing days with Holland America. I also met my wife on board (the Rotterdam V). Over the years many things have changed on board, in shipping and at sea. But sailing still is an adventure in my book. Continue writing, take care,

    Richard Schiferli, General Secretary, Paris MoU on Port State Control

  13. Hoi Albert,
    Dat is lang gelden dat wij met elkaar hebben gevaren, 1984,85.86. Jij als 3e en ik als leerling en 4e stuurman. Leuk om te zien dat jij nu kapitein bent. Ik heb de scheepvaart verlaten eind jaren 80 en hou mij nu bezig met Blauwe vliegtuigen, als Duty maintenance manager.
    Wel maak ik af en toe nog een cruise, het bloed gaat daar waar de zeeman zout water heeft zitten. Dat raak je nooit meer kwijt.
    Je site is erg leuk, oude tijden herleven. Leuk om te lezen.
    Groet Theo Hin

  14. Capt. Albert,

    How serendipitous that I came upon your blog recently. I am in the recruitment process with Holland America Line as we speak. It has always been a dream of mine to work shipboard and I am very excited that I may set out to sea with HAL. I certainly couldn’t have hoped for any better. Your blog has been a source of great information for me as it not only provides insight into the crew life on a cruise ship, but also a little bit of information about how HAL does things. I am very excited at the prospect of working for Holland America Line. Perhaps I will have the pleasure of signing on to ms Veendam in the future! Keep up the great blog and enjoy the remainder of your vacation!

    Best Regards,
    Anthony

  15. Capt. Albert,

    As a follow up to my last post, I have some great news! I have just been offered a position with Holland America Line. And, what’s even more interesting is that I am tentatively slated to sign onto ms Veendam as the first Crew Purser on 30 March 2008! It will certainly be a pleasure to be aboard Veendam and I look forward to working with you.

    Best,
    Anthony Garofalo

  16. Captain: I just purchased a copy of your book “125 years of
    Holland America Lines”
    I will be on the Veendam Apr. 29, San Diego to Vancouver.
    I would appreciate very much if you could autograph it.
    I will contact reception with my cabin #.
    Thank you and I look forward to meeting you.

    Greg Haller

  17. Kapitein;

    4 jaar geleden stonden we in Vancouver oog in oog met de MS Veendam, dit was een hele verrassing, gezien ik geboren ben in Veendam, dus foto’s maken.

    Nu 4 jaar later gaan we op 5 september dit jaar terug om een Cruise te maken op Uw schip, Wat ons ontzettend leuk lijkt.
    mogelijk dat we elkaar nog kunnen zien en spreken.

    groetjes Johan& Ria.

  18. Dear Captain Albert,

    I just discovered your blog and have enjoyed exploring all of the links. We will be following you up the coast on Ryndam leaving San Diego on Saturday, 3 May. This will be our second sailing on HAL and we are looking forward to this short 4 night getaway.

    A number of years ago a friend, Jim Button, was the Security Officer on Rotterdam for the maiden world cruise. His wife, Martha, was in the peace Corps with me in Costa Rica and traveled with him. My 7th grade students followed “Aunt Martha and Uncle Jim” around the world through e-mail, letters and postcards. When the cruise was over they came to visit with each class. The students were in AWE of Jim in his uniform! Several even asked for his autograph. HAL got some very good PR out of that experience.

    Best,

    Frank in Santa Barbara, California

  19. Beste Albert,

    In de scheepvaartnieuwsbrief van Piet Sinke las ik dat de Veendam in Alaska is.
    In september hopen wij cees en yvon( dan net getrouwd) in Vancouver aan boord te gaan van de Veendam voor wat wij denken gezien de vele mooie verhalen gelezen op het internet onze mooist cruise tot nu toe zal zijn
    Wij doen het andersom , hebben eerst de cruisegeboekt en daarna besloten dat dit een hele mooie huwelijksreis zou zijn
    Hopelijk bent u in september nog of weer aan boord.
    Met plezier uw weblog gelezen , tot september, en tot dan vele mooie reizen voor u en de rest van de bemanning toegewenst
    Tot ziens in september, en vr. groeten

    cees kloppenburg en yvon kloppenburg -jonker (zal wel even wennen worden die naam voor Yvonne)

  20. Greetings again Captain

    My husband and I will be cruising with you on June 13th. We have read your writings and are getting very excited about the cruise.
    We are amateur photographers and plan on getting lots of pictures while we cruise. If we take pictures on the Veendam, where are we prohibited to take pictures? We want to respect any wishes you have on the matter.
    Thank you, have a great day. Kathy

  21. This Aug is our first cruise to Alaska (our second on HAL0
    We are sailing on the Veendam on Aug 22 on a 14 day nb/sd with my
    dad. It’s his first cruise , he is currently 91 years old.

  22. Captain Albert,
    It was wonderful to cruise with you in April and May from Tampa to Vancouver and for the first Alaska Inside Passage this year. Thank you, also for the wonderful Mariner’s luncheon. We are joining the Maasdam on July 5th for a 35 day “Voyage of the Vikings” from Boston to Rotterdam and back to Boston. Could you please tell us who the Captain, Hotel Manager, Guest Relations Manager, and Cruise Director will be? We currently have our gold medallions, and chances are we will already know some of these people. Thank you.

  23. Dear Captain,

    I went to this website searching for infos about “old days” working on MS. PRINSENDAM as a Tour Manager. This is back in 1976… As I could not find any relevant infos, I went on your blog and enjoyed very much finding again the spirit of those days on sea.

    Is there any chance you could tell me how to contact the formal staff members sailing on MS. PRINSENDAM as I would be very keen in finding out, after all those years, where everyone is today. I am still in contact with 2 of the formal staff members, but no one seems to know anything about the rest of the crew?

    In the meantime, wishing you all the best on smooth waters.

    Looking forward to hear from you

    Kind regards, et “bon vent”!
    Marie-Louise Dillinger

    Moulin Vollach
    F-67340 INGWILLER/France
    marielouise.dillinger@polyglotte.fr

  24. Greetings Captain Albert!
    Thank you for providing our staff and clientele an opportunity to share your, “Stories of the Seas” as well as have access to your expertise, personal insights and day-by-day account of life aboard the ms Veendam. It’s good to be aboard. I plan to visit your blog often and look forward to encountering massive glaciers, beautiful bays and incredible wildlife. I’ll also look forward to reading the messages from past guests, repeat guests and soon to be guests, who are now “linked” to amazing journeys of discovery.
    Best Regards and as always … Good voyage!
    Cathy Stucker, Travel Marketing – AAA Auto Club South

  25. Hello,
    I’ve just come across your interesting blog. My husband and I are cruising on the Veendam, Aug 22. We did the Panama canal cruise in April/May this year on the Amsterdam and enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to Alaska!

  26. Would it be at all possible for your company to start a monthly or two monthly Atlantic crossing E/B and W/B for people who are absolutely fed-up with plane crossings to Europe. I’d love the old days whereby you can plan a holiday in Europe which includes getting there from N. America by ship rather than having to squeeze aboard an airplane where you’ve had to stand for hours just to check in.

    I’d like to see some shipping company start up – perhaps limited at first just to try it out – to see if people would take to ship travel to get to their destination. As the old Cunard byword was “Getting there is half the fun”.

    Thanks

  27. Dear Capitain Albert:

    Ruth and I cruised on the sweet little SS Veendam to Bermuda in 1982. It was the first of many fabulous HAL cruises, but this precious yacht-like boat is still one of our favorites. (“Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina!”) Service? Perfect. Food? Perfect. Shore Arrangements? Perfect. Engine Room Tour? Unbelievible- Every valve, pump, boiler, driveshaft- our Dutch Engineer host left nothing out and we couldn’t get enough. Unfortunately, we just missed the beloved SS Statendam. Naturally, becoming instant steamship buffs, we sailed the Rotterdam V to Alaska in 1996, but that’s another great story.

    Regards, Scott and Ruth Raswyck

  28. Dear Captain,

    In de periode 70/71 heb ik gevaren op de Statendam en de Nieuw Amsterdam. Ik las, dat u uw loopbaan bent begonnen op de Statendam in 1981. Ik ben in het bezit van wat scheepsdocumenten uit die tijd. Mag ik u vragen welke functie u in de periode 81/82 vervulde op de Statendam? Wellicht kan ik u dan nog verblijden met wat leuke documenten, als mijn vermoedens juist zijn tenminste.

    Gerrit geb 1951

  29. Dear Captain Albert,I enjoy reading your blogs.  They bring back many memories of HAL.  I sure do miss them.  I had a copy of you 125 years of HAL and when I left Ft. Lauderdale I must have left it in my office. Do you know where I might obtain another one? Thank you.
    May you and Lesley have a Happy and Healthy New Year. Good luck on the Prinsendam.
    Florrie Elmnren
    Retired, Assistant Manager
    FLL Shore Operations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

About Us

The Holland America Blog web site serves as the primary portal for all news and information, images and video, gossip and discussion about the 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet. Visitors to Holland America Blog get the latest news from the ships, meet the people who work on board, travel around the world through video and photos from various ports, and hear from guests and fans of Holland America Line.

With nearly 140 years of experience, Holland America Line is recognized as the undisputed leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. With the introduction of a new 2,660-passenger, 99,000-ton ship in fall 2015, Holland America Line’s fleet will grow to 16 ships, offering nearly 500 cruises from more than 25 home ports. Itineraries range from two-day samplers to extended cruises of more than 100 days, and the ships visit all seven continents, including Australia/New Zealand and Asia sailings, a World Cruise, extravagant Grand Voyages and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, South America, Mexico and Europe.

If you have a question about Holland America or if there is a topic that you would like to see us cover, send us an e-mail or leave us a comment.

32 Comments

  1. Thanks for the ‘blog’, I will read it all later as I am about to go to bed, it looks really interesting

    best wishes from

    Robina

  2. Hello

    Great blog site

    Good luck with it for the future, we will be logging in regularly to find out what you are up to.

    We cannot wait to join you aboard in May

    All the best

    Kev and Jan

  3. Hello Captain,

    It has been a long time since we sailed together. Occasionally I see the old Holland America Line vessels around and it brings back great memories. I’m working as a superintendent here in Cyprus, been here 11 years now can you believe?

    Great website, Robina dropped me the link.

    All the best,

    David Shewan

  4. Hello there,

    I’m really enjoying your blog. Almost makes me feel like I’m sailing with you.

    I’m sorry you won’t be aboard the Veendam when I’m sailing on her on 8/22. It would have been wonderful to see you and Leslie again.

    Any chance you’ll be aboard the Eurodam for her maiden voyage next July. I’ve already booked and I’m trying to talk our friend Liz into coming with me.

    Love to Leslie.

    Regards,
    Joyce

  5. We traveled with you from Venice to Venice ; May19th to the 29th. I have enjoyed reading your blog and will keep it with my momentos. It is nice to know we were in capable hands. You Rock! Thanks Again.

  6. Dear Captain. I like to continue in Dutch, if you don’t mind.
    Via “Hallo” ben ik opmerkzaam gemaakt op uw Weblog. Wat is het allemachtig interessant om te lezen en wat boeiend, maar ook veileisend, de job van een cruis-ship captain wel is. Als voormalig filmoperateur op de enige echte Rotterdam (V) heb ik ook een tijd mogen ruiken aan het leven op een schip en later heb ik hetzelfde als passagier mogen beleven, maar er is toch wel veel veranderd. Passsagiers zijn veeleisender geworden, maar ook de schepen hebben een geheel andere uitstraling dat de voormalige transatlantische zeekastelen.
    Nietemin heb ik met veel plezier uw dagboek gelezen en beloof, dat ik dit zal blijven doe. U doet mij – en velen met mj, daar ben ik zeker van- er een geweldig plezier mee en ik hoop van harte dat wij uw bijdragen in Hallo nog lang zullen mogen lezen.
    Een warme en vriendelijke groet van uit Landgraaf, gelegen in het bronsgroenen eikenhout,
    Frank Doomen
    Namiddagse Driessen 42
    6374MP Landgraaf
    f.doomen@orange.nl

  7. Beste Kaptein Schoonderbeek,

    In HALLO van juli-aug. las ik over uw web blog. Met veel plezier heb ik er al veel van gelezen. Zal zeker regelmatig terugkomen. Aangezien ik geen e-mail adres van u kan vinden, verzoek ik u langs deze weg mij toestemming te verlenen op mijn website over de HAL een link te mogen plaatsen naar uw web blog.

    met vriendelijke groet,

    Ruud Mudde

  8. hallo kapitein Schoonderbeek,
    alvast wil ik u en uw vrouw een fijne vakantie toewensen
    lees graag uw blog op het internet als ik daar de kans voor krijgkan zelf geen internet betalen ben op het moment100% afgekeurd stuurman rijnvaart afgekeurd door een eenzijdige verlamming na een beroerte, in 2000, liep na 13 dagen al weer door dijkzigt en na 6 – 8 weken ging het praten weer
    helaas was dit een 5e beroerte, omdat ik bij de eerste een verkeerde diagnose kreeg/10 dagen in coma/ kreeg ik er dus 5 maar het is bekend na 5 keer wat de oorzaak is,dik bloed, danklonterd je bloed en dan heb je pech maar bij die eerste kee was is na 2 jaar volledig hersteld en liep ook nog in nijmegen 200 KM dit is de vijfe duurt het wat langer maar herstellen zal ik enzodra ik door de keuring ben wil ik naar de zeevaartschool en studeren voor maritiem officier het is misschien hoog gegrepen maar ik geloof erin dat ik dat gaat redden.met hartelijke maritieme groet,
    Staney RenonZeekadetofficier Public Relations/zkkrotterdam.nl

  9. Your web blog is very enjoyable and brings back many pleasant memories of our Alaskan cruise aboard the Veendam in 1997. What a wonderful cruise on such a beautiful and elegant ship.
    You mentioned some changes taking place in the way in which the captains now interact with the guests, such as shorter speeches/receptions. I can certainly understand why that may be necessary, especially these days when the new ships are so large and have a huge passenger complement. I do hope that you will still manage to take some opportunities to address the guests. I have always enjoyed the captain’s reception, especially to hear the updates and news about new ships, the company’s plans and the opportunity to ask a few questions.
    I wish you pleasant sailing and many thanks for giving us a chance to sail with you vicariously!

  10. Just discovered your Blogs and they are wonderful. My husband and I will join you in Montreal on Sept. 9 along with 6 of our friends. It will be about our 35th HAL cruise so you can tell we are “sold”.

    Will look forward to seeing you at a suite or Mariner party — Smooth Sailing!!!

    Elinor Corley

    (Will be fun to depart the ship just 1 hour from our home in Sarasota!!)

  11. Oct. 23, 2007

    Thanks, again, Captain, for the great cruise & especially the photographs of the New Amsterdam ship (troopship) that I sailed from New York to Glascow; June 2nd to June 14th, 1944. Even though we were packed about 15-20 to a small cabin, (5-6 bunks deep on 3 sides) we had a pleasant voyage over. It took 12 days; probably because we zigzaged across (enemy submarines?). Not sure you would call it a Great Circle route!

    I forgot whether it was the 5th largest ocean liner or the 5th fastest ocean liner (maybe both).

    I did want to send a picture of the Dutch pennant they gave us, but can’t attach it to this message. (could if it was email).

    Thanks again,

    Richard St. John, cabin 594; Montreal to Tampa cruise ending Oct. 21, 2007

  12. Dear Albert,

    By coincidence I found you web log. Very nice and informative. From time to time I think back to my own sailing days with Holland America. I also met my wife on board (the Rotterdam V). Over the years many things have changed on board, in shipping and at sea. But sailing still is an adventure in my book. Continue writing, take care,

    Richard Schiferli, General Secretary, Paris MoU on Port State Control

  13. Hoi Albert,
    Dat is lang gelden dat wij met elkaar hebben gevaren, 1984,85.86. Jij als 3e en ik als leerling en 4e stuurman. Leuk om te zien dat jij nu kapitein bent. Ik heb de scheepvaart verlaten eind jaren 80 en hou mij nu bezig met Blauwe vliegtuigen, als Duty maintenance manager.
    Wel maak ik af en toe nog een cruise, het bloed gaat daar waar de zeeman zout water heeft zitten. Dat raak je nooit meer kwijt.
    Je site is erg leuk, oude tijden herleven. Leuk om te lezen.
    Groet Theo Hin

  14. Capt. Albert,

    How serendipitous that I came upon your blog recently. I am in the recruitment process with Holland America Line as we speak. It has always been a dream of mine to work shipboard and I am very excited that I may set out to sea with HAL. I certainly couldn’t have hoped for any better. Your blog has been a source of great information for me as it not only provides insight into the crew life on a cruise ship, but also a little bit of information about how HAL does things. I am very excited at the prospect of working for Holland America Line. Perhaps I will have the pleasure of signing on to ms Veendam in the future! Keep up the great blog and enjoy the remainder of your vacation!

    Best Regards,
    Anthony

  15. Capt. Albert,

    As a follow up to my last post, I have some great news! I have just been offered a position with Holland America Line. And, what’s even more interesting is that I am tentatively slated to sign onto ms Veendam as the first Crew Purser on 30 March 2008! It will certainly be a pleasure to be aboard Veendam and I look forward to working with you.

    Best,
    Anthony Garofalo

  16. Captain: I just purchased a copy of your book “125 years of
    Holland America Lines”
    I will be on the Veendam Apr. 29, San Diego to Vancouver.
    I would appreciate very much if you could autograph it.
    I will contact reception with my cabin #.
    Thank you and I look forward to meeting you.

    Greg Haller

  17. Kapitein;

    4 jaar geleden stonden we in Vancouver oog in oog met de MS Veendam, dit was een hele verrassing, gezien ik geboren ben in Veendam, dus foto’s maken.

    Nu 4 jaar later gaan we op 5 september dit jaar terug om een Cruise te maken op Uw schip, Wat ons ontzettend leuk lijkt.
    mogelijk dat we elkaar nog kunnen zien en spreken.

    groetjes Johan& Ria.

  18. Dear Captain Albert,

    I just discovered your blog and have enjoyed exploring all of the links. We will be following you up the coast on Ryndam leaving San Diego on Saturday, 3 May. This will be our second sailing on HAL and we are looking forward to this short 4 night getaway.

    A number of years ago a friend, Jim Button, was the Security Officer on Rotterdam for the maiden world cruise. His wife, Martha, was in the peace Corps with me in Costa Rica and traveled with him. My 7th grade students followed “Aunt Martha and Uncle Jim” around the world through e-mail, letters and postcards. When the cruise was over they came to visit with each class. The students were in AWE of Jim in his uniform! Several even asked for his autograph. HAL got some very good PR out of that experience.

    Best,

    Frank in Santa Barbara, California

  19. Beste Albert,

    In de scheepvaartnieuwsbrief van Piet Sinke las ik dat de Veendam in Alaska is.
    In september hopen wij cees en yvon( dan net getrouwd) in Vancouver aan boord te gaan van de Veendam voor wat wij denken gezien de vele mooie verhalen gelezen op het internet onze mooist cruise tot nu toe zal zijn
    Wij doen het andersom , hebben eerst de cruisegeboekt en daarna besloten dat dit een hele mooie huwelijksreis zou zijn
    Hopelijk bent u in september nog of weer aan boord.
    Met plezier uw weblog gelezen , tot september, en tot dan vele mooie reizen voor u en de rest van de bemanning toegewenst
    Tot ziens in september, en vr. groeten

    cees kloppenburg en yvon kloppenburg -jonker (zal wel even wennen worden die naam voor Yvonne)

  20. Greetings again Captain

    My husband and I will be cruising with you on June 13th. We have read your writings and are getting very excited about the cruise.
    We are amateur photographers and plan on getting lots of pictures while we cruise. If we take pictures on the Veendam, where are we prohibited to take pictures? We want to respect any wishes you have on the matter.
    Thank you, have a great day. Kathy

  21. This Aug is our first cruise to Alaska (our second on HAL0
    We are sailing on the Veendam on Aug 22 on a 14 day nb/sd with my
    dad. It’s his first cruise , he is currently 91 years old.

  22. Captain Albert,
    It was wonderful to cruise with you in April and May from Tampa to Vancouver and for the first Alaska Inside Passage this year. Thank you, also for the wonderful Mariner’s luncheon. We are joining the Maasdam on July 5th for a 35 day “Voyage of the Vikings” from Boston to Rotterdam and back to Boston. Could you please tell us who the Captain, Hotel Manager, Guest Relations Manager, and Cruise Director will be? We currently have our gold medallions, and chances are we will already know some of these people. Thank you.

  23. Dear Captain,

    I went to this website searching for infos about “old days” working on MS. PRINSENDAM as a Tour Manager. This is back in 1976… As I could not find any relevant infos, I went on your blog and enjoyed very much finding again the spirit of those days on sea.

    Is there any chance you could tell me how to contact the formal staff members sailing on MS. PRINSENDAM as I would be very keen in finding out, after all those years, where everyone is today. I am still in contact with 2 of the formal staff members, but no one seems to know anything about the rest of the crew?

    In the meantime, wishing you all the best on smooth waters.

    Looking forward to hear from you

    Kind regards, et “bon vent”!
    Marie-Louise Dillinger

    Moulin Vollach
    F-67340 INGWILLER/France
    marielouise.dillinger@polyglotte.fr

  24. Greetings Captain Albert!
    Thank you for providing our staff and clientele an opportunity to share your, “Stories of the Seas” as well as have access to your expertise, personal insights and day-by-day account of life aboard the ms Veendam. It’s good to be aboard. I plan to visit your blog often and look forward to encountering massive glaciers, beautiful bays and incredible wildlife. I’ll also look forward to reading the messages from past guests, repeat guests and soon to be guests, who are now “linked” to amazing journeys of discovery.
    Best Regards and as always … Good voyage!
    Cathy Stucker, Travel Marketing – AAA Auto Club South

  25. Hello,
    I’ve just come across your interesting blog. My husband and I are cruising on the Veendam, Aug 22. We did the Panama canal cruise in April/May this year on the Amsterdam and enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to Alaska!

  26. Would it be at all possible for your company to start a monthly or two monthly Atlantic crossing E/B and W/B for people who are absolutely fed-up with plane crossings to Europe. I’d love the old days whereby you can plan a holiday in Europe which includes getting there from N. America by ship rather than having to squeeze aboard an airplane where you’ve had to stand for hours just to check in.

    I’d like to see some shipping company start up – perhaps limited at first just to try it out – to see if people would take to ship travel to get to their destination. As the old Cunard byword was “Getting there is half the fun”.

    Thanks

  27. Dear Capitain Albert:

    Ruth and I cruised on the sweet little SS Veendam to Bermuda in 1982. It was the first of many fabulous HAL cruises, but this precious yacht-like boat is still one of our favorites. (“Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina!”) Service? Perfect. Food? Perfect. Shore Arrangements? Perfect. Engine Room Tour? Unbelievible- Every valve, pump, boiler, driveshaft- our Dutch Engineer host left nothing out and we couldn’t get enough. Unfortunately, we just missed the beloved SS Statendam. Naturally, becoming instant steamship buffs, we sailed the Rotterdam V to Alaska in 1996, but that’s another great story.

    Regards, Scott and Ruth Raswyck

  28. Dear Captain,

    In de periode 70/71 heb ik gevaren op de Statendam en de Nieuw Amsterdam. Ik las, dat u uw loopbaan bent begonnen op de Statendam in 1981. Ik ben in het bezit van wat scheepsdocumenten uit die tijd. Mag ik u vragen welke functie u in de periode 81/82 vervulde op de Statendam? Wellicht kan ik u dan nog verblijden met wat leuke documenten, als mijn vermoedens juist zijn tenminste.

    Gerrit geb 1951

  29. Dear Captain Albert,I enjoy reading your blogs.  They bring back many memories of HAL.  I sure do miss them.  I had a copy of you 125 years of HAL and when I left Ft. Lauderdale I must have left it in my office. Do you know where I might obtain another one? Thank you.
    May you and Lesley have a Happy and Healthy New Year. Good luck on the Prinsendam.
    Florrie Elmnren
    Retired, Assistant Manager
    FLL Shore Operations

Leave a Reply

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About Us

The Holland America Blog web site serves as the primary portal for all news and information, images and video, gossip and discussion about the 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet. Visitors to Holland America Blog get the latest news from the ships, meet the people who work on board, travel around the world through video and photos from various ports, and hear from guests and fans of Holland America Line.

With nearly 140 years of experience, Holland America Line is recognized as the undisputed leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. With the introduction of a new 2,660-passenger, 99,000-ton ship in fall 2015, Holland America Line’s fleet will grow to 16 ships, offering nearly 500 cruises from more than 25 home ports. Itineraries range from two-day samplers to extended cruises of more than 100 days, and the ships visit all seven continents, including Australia/New Zealand and Asia sailings, a World Cruise, extravagant Grand Voyages and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, South America, Mexico and Europe.

If you have a question about Holland America or if there is a topic that you would like to see us cover, send us an e-mail or leave us a comment.

32 Comments

  1. Thanks for the ‘blog’, I will read it all later as I am about to go to bed, it looks really interesting

    best wishes from

    Robina

  2. Hello

    Great blog site

    Good luck with it for the future, we will be logging in regularly to find out what you are up to.

    We cannot wait to join you aboard in May

    All the best

    Kev and Jan

  3. Hello Captain,

    It has been a long time since we sailed together. Occasionally I see the old Holland America Line vessels around and it brings back great memories. I’m working as a superintendent here in Cyprus, been here 11 years now can you believe?

    Great website, Robina dropped me the link.

    All the best,

    David Shewan

  4. Hello there,

    I’m really enjoying your blog. Almost makes me feel like I’m sailing with you.

    I’m sorry you won’t be aboard the Veendam when I’m sailing on her on 8/22. It would have been wonderful to see you and Leslie again.

    Any chance you’ll be aboard the Eurodam for her maiden voyage next July. I’ve already booked and I’m trying to talk our friend Liz into coming with me.

    Love to Leslie.

    Regards,
    Joyce

  5. We traveled with you from Venice to Venice ; May19th to the 29th. I have enjoyed reading your blog and will keep it with my momentos. It is nice to know we were in capable hands. You Rock! Thanks Again.

  6. Dear Captain. I like to continue in Dutch, if you don’t mind.
    Via “Hallo” ben ik opmerkzaam gemaakt op uw Weblog. Wat is het allemachtig interessant om te lezen en wat boeiend, maar ook veileisend, de job van een cruis-ship captain wel is. Als voormalig filmoperateur op de enige echte Rotterdam (V) heb ik ook een tijd mogen ruiken aan het leven op een schip en later heb ik hetzelfde als passagier mogen beleven, maar er is toch wel veel veranderd. Passsagiers zijn veeleisender geworden, maar ook de schepen hebben een geheel andere uitstraling dat de voormalige transatlantische zeekastelen.
    Nietemin heb ik met veel plezier uw dagboek gelezen en beloof, dat ik dit zal blijven doe. U doet mij – en velen met mj, daar ben ik zeker van- er een geweldig plezier mee en ik hoop van harte dat wij uw bijdragen in Hallo nog lang zullen mogen lezen.
    Een warme en vriendelijke groet van uit Landgraaf, gelegen in het bronsgroenen eikenhout,
    Frank Doomen
    Namiddagse Driessen 42
    6374MP Landgraaf
    f.doomen@orange.nl

  7. Beste Kaptein Schoonderbeek,

    In HALLO van juli-aug. las ik over uw web blog. Met veel plezier heb ik er al veel van gelezen. Zal zeker regelmatig terugkomen. Aangezien ik geen e-mail adres van u kan vinden, verzoek ik u langs deze weg mij toestemming te verlenen op mijn website over de HAL een link te mogen plaatsen naar uw web blog.

    met vriendelijke groet,

    Ruud Mudde

  8. hallo kapitein Schoonderbeek,
    alvast wil ik u en uw vrouw een fijne vakantie toewensen
    lees graag uw blog op het internet als ik daar de kans voor krijgkan zelf geen internet betalen ben op het moment100% afgekeurd stuurman rijnvaart afgekeurd door een eenzijdige verlamming na een beroerte, in 2000, liep na 13 dagen al weer door dijkzigt en na 6 – 8 weken ging het praten weer
    helaas was dit een 5e beroerte, omdat ik bij de eerste een verkeerde diagnose kreeg/10 dagen in coma/ kreeg ik er dus 5 maar het is bekend na 5 keer wat de oorzaak is,dik bloed, danklonterd je bloed en dan heb je pech maar bij die eerste kee was is na 2 jaar volledig hersteld en liep ook nog in nijmegen 200 KM dit is de vijfe duurt het wat langer maar herstellen zal ik enzodra ik door de keuring ben wil ik naar de zeevaartschool en studeren voor maritiem officier het is misschien hoog gegrepen maar ik geloof erin dat ik dat gaat redden.met hartelijke maritieme groet,
    Staney RenonZeekadetofficier Public Relations/zkkrotterdam.nl

  9. Your web blog is very enjoyable and brings back many pleasant memories of our Alaskan cruise aboard the Veendam in 1997. What a wonderful cruise on such a beautiful and elegant ship.
    You mentioned some changes taking place in the way in which the captains now interact with the guests, such as shorter speeches/receptions. I can certainly understand why that may be necessary, especially these days when the new ships are so large and have a huge passenger complement. I do hope that you will still manage to take some opportunities to address the guests. I have always enjoyed the captain’s reception, especially to hear the updates and news about new ships, the company’s plans and the opportunity to ask a few questions.
    I wish you pleasant sailing and many thanks for giving us a chance to sail with you vicariously!

  10. Just discovered your Blogs and they are wonderful. My husband and I will join you in Montreal on Sept. 9 along with 6 of our friends. It will be about our 35th HAL cruise so you can tell we are “sold”.

    Will look forward to seeing you at a suite or Mariner party — Smooth Sailing!!!

    Elinor Corley

    (Will be fun to depart the ship just 1 hour from our home in Sarasota!!)

  11. Oct. 23, 2007

    Thanks, again, Captain, for the great cruise & especially the photographs of the New Amsterdam ship (troopship) that I sailed from New York to Glascow; June 2nd to June 14th, 1944. Even though we were packed about 15-20 to a small cabin, (5-6 bunks deep on 3 sides) we had a pleasant voyage over. It took 12 days; probably because we zigzaged across (enemy submarines?). Not sure you would call it a Great Circle route!

    I forgot whether it was the 5th largest ocean liner or the 5th fastest ocean liner (maybe both).

    I did want to send a picture of the Dutch pennant they gave us, but can’t attach it to this message. (could if it was email).

    Thanks again,

    Richard St. John, cabin 594; Montreal to Tampa cruise ending Oct. 21, 2007

  12. Dear Albert,

    By coincidence I found you web log. Very nice and informative. From time to time I think back to my own sailing days with Holland America. I also met my wife on board (the Rotterdam V). Over the years many things have changed on board, in shipping and at sea. But sailing still is an adventure in my book. Continue writing, take care,

    Richard Schiferli, General Secretary, Paris MoU on Port State Control

  13. Hoi Albert,
    Dat is lang gelden dat wij met elkaar hebben gevaren, 1984,85.86. Jij als 3e en ik als leerling en 4e stuurman. Leuk om te zien dat jij nu kapitein bent. Ik heb de scheepvaart verlaten eind jaren 80 en hou mij nu bezig met Blauwe vliegtuigen, als Duty maintenance manager.
    Wel maak ik af en toe nog een cruise, het bloed gaat daar waar de zeeman zout water heeft zitten. Dat raak je nooit meer kwijt.
    Je site is erg leuk, oude tijden herleven. Leuk om te lezen.
    Groet Theo Hin

  14. Capt. Albert,

    How serendipitous that I came upon your blog recently. I am in the recruitment process with Holland America Line as we speak. It has always been a dream of mine to work shipboard and I am very excited that I may set out to sea with HAL. I certainly couldn’t have hoped for any better. Your blog has been a source of great information for me as it not only provides insight into the crew life on a cruise ship, but also a little bit of information about how HAL does things. I am very excited at the prospect of working for Holland America Line. Perhaps I will have the pleasure of signing on to ms Veendam in the future! Keep up the great blog and enjoy the remainder of your vacation!

    Best Regards,
    Anthony

  15. Capt. Albert,

    As a follow up to my last post, I have some great news! I have just been offered a position with Holland America Line. And, what’s even more interesting is that I am tentatively slated to sign onto ms Veendam as the first Crew Purser on 30 March 2008! It will certainly be a pleasure to be aboard Veendam and I look forward to working with you.

    Best,
    Anthony Garofalo

  16. Captain: I just purchased a copy of your book “125 years of
    Holland America Lines”
    I will be on the Veendam Apr. 29, San Diego to Vancouver.
    I would appreciate very much if you could autograph it.
    I will contact reception with my cabin #.
    Thank you and I look forward to meeting you.

    Greg Haller

  17. Kapitein;

    4 jaar geleden stonden we in Vancouver oog in oog met de MS Veendam, dit was een hele verrassing, gezien ik geboren ben in Veendam, dus foto’s maken.

    Nu 4 jaar later gaan we op 5 september dit jaar terug om een Cruise te maken op Uw schip, Wat ons ontzettend leuk lijkt.
    mogelijk dat we elkaar nog kunnen zien en spreken.

    groetjes Johan& Ria.

  18. Dear Captain Albert,

    I just discovered your blog and have enjoyed exploring all of the links. We will be following you up the coast on Ryndam leaving San Diego on Saturday, 3 May. This will be our second sailing on HAL and we are looking forward to this short 4 night getaway.

    A number of years ago a friend, Jim Button, was the Security Officer on Rotterdam for the maiden world cruise. His wife, Martha, was in the peace Corps with me in Costa Rica and traveled with him. My 7th grade students followed “Aunt Martha and Uncle Jim” around the world through e-mail, letters and postcards. When the cruise was over they came to visit with each class. The students were in AWE of Jim in his uniform! Several even asked for his autograph. HAL got some very good PR out of that experience.

    Best,

    Frank in Santa Barbara, California

  19. Beste Albert,

    In de scheepvaartnieuwsbrief van Piet Sinke las ik dat de Veendam in Alaska is.
    In september hopen wij cees en yvon( dan net getrouwd) in Vancouver aan boord te gaan van de Veendam voor wat wij denken gezien de vele mooie verhalen gelezen op het internet onze mooist cruise tot nu toe zal zijn
    Wij doen het andersom , hebben eerst de cruisegeboekt en daarna besloten dat dit een hele mooie huwelijksreis zou zijn
    Hopelijk bent u in september nog of weer aan boord.
    Met plezier uw weblog gelezen , tot september, en tot dan vele mooie reizen voor u en de rest van de bemanning toegewenst
    Tot ziens in september, en vr. groeten

    cees kloppenburg en yvon kloppenburg -jonker (zal wel even wennen worden die naam voor Yvonne)

  20. Greetings again Captain

    My husband and I will be cruising with you on June 13th. We have read your writings and are getting very excited about the cruise.
    We are amateur photographers and plan on getting lots of pictures while we cruise. If we take pictures on the Veendam, where are we prohibited to take pictures? We want to respect any wishes you have on the matter.
    Thank you, have a great day. Kathy

  21. This Aug is our first cruise to Alaska (our second on HAL0
    We are sailing on the Veendam on Aug 22 on a 14 day nb/sd with my
    dad. It’s his first cruise , he is currently 91 years old.

  22. Captain Albert,
    It was wonderful to cruise with you in April and May from Tampa to Vancouver and for the first Alaska Inside Passage this year. Thank you, also for the wonderful Mariner’s luncheon. We are joining the Maasdam on July 5th for a 35 day “Voyage of the Vikings” from Boston to Rotterdam and back to Boston. Could you please tell us who the Captain, Hotel Manager, Guest Relations Manager, and Cruise Director will be? We currently have our gold medallions, and chances are we will already know some of these people. Thank you.

  23. Dear Captain,

    I went to this website searching for infos about “old days” working on MS. PRINSENDAM as a Tour Manager. This is back in 1976… As I could not find any relevant infos, I went on your blog and enjoyed very much finding again the spirit of those days on sea.

    Is there any chance you could tell me how to contact the formal staff members sailing on MS. PRINSENDAM as I would be very keen in finding out, after all those years, where everyone is today. I am still in contact with 2 of the formal staff members, but no one seems to know anything about the rest of the crew?

    In the meantime, wishing you all the best on smooth waters.

    Looking forward to hear from you

    Kind regards, et “bon vent”!
    Marie-Louise Dillinger

    Moulin Vollach
    F-67340 INGWILLER/France
    marielouise.dillinger@polyglotte.fr

  24. Greetings Captain Albert!
    Thank you for providing our staff and clientele an opportunity to share your, “Stories of the Seas” as well as have access to your expertise, personal insights and day-by-day account of life aboard the ms Veendam. It’s good to be aboard. I plan to visit your blog often and look forward to encountering massive glaciers, beautiful bays and incredible wildlife. I’ll also look forward to reading the messages from past guests, repeat guests and soon to be guests, who are now “linked” to amazing journeys of discovery.
    Best Regards and as always … Good voyage!
    Cathy Stucker, Travel Marketing – AAA Auto Club South

  25. Hello,
    I’ve just come across your interesting blog. My husband and I are cruising on the Veendam, Aug 22. We did the Panama canal cruise in April/May this year on the Amsterdam and enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to Alaska!

  26. Would it be at all possible for your company to start a monthly or two monthly Atlantic crossing E/B and W/B for people who are absolutely fed-up with plane crossings to Europe. I’d love the old days whereby you can plan a holiday in Europe which includes getting there from N. America by ship rather than having to squeeze aboard an airplane where you’ve had to stand for hours just to check in.

    I’d like to see some shipping company start up – perhaps limited at first just to try it out – to see if people would take to ship travel to get to their destination. As the old Cunard byword was “Getting there is half the fun”.

    Thanks

  27. Dear Capitain Albert:

    Ruth and I cruised on the sweet little SS Veendam to Bermuda in 1982. It was the first of many fabulous HAL cruises, but this precious yacht-like boat is still one of our favorites. (“Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina!”) Service? Perfect. Food? Perfect. Shore Arrangements? Perfect. Engine Room Tour? Unbelievible- Every valve, pump, boiler, driveshaft- our Dutch Engineer host left nothing out and we couldn’t get enough. Unfortunately, we just missed the beloved SS Statendam. Naturally, becoming instant steamship buffs, we sailed the Rotterdam V to Alaska in 1996, but that’s another great story.

    Regards, Scott and Ruth Raswyck

  28. Dear Captain,

    In de periode 70/71 heb ik gevaren op de Statendam en de Nieuw Amsterdam. Ik las, dat u uw loopbaan bent begonnen op de Statendam in 1981. Ik ben in het bezit van wat scheepsdocumenten uit die tijd. Mag ik u vragen welke functie u in de periode 81/82 vervulde op de Statendam? Wellicht kan ik u dan nog verblijden met wat leuke documenten, als mijn vermoedens juist zijn tenminste.

    Gerrit geb 1951

  29. Dear Captain Albert,I enjoy reading your blogs.  They bring back many memories of HAL.  I sure do miss them.  I had a copy of you 125 years of HAL and when I left Ft. Lauderdale I must have left it in my office. Do you know where I might obtain another one? Thank you.
    May you and Lesley have a Happy and Healthy New Year. Good luck on the Prinsendam.
    Florrie Elmnren
    Retired, Assistant Manager
    FLL Shore Operations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

About Us

The Holland America Blog web site serves as the primary portal for all news and information, images and video, gossip and discussion about the 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet. Visitors to Holland America Blog get the latest news from the ships, meet the people who work on board, travel around the world through video and photos from various ports, and hear from guests and fans of Holland America Line.

With nearly 140 years of experience, Holland America Line is recognized as the undisputed leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. With the introduction of a new 2,660-passenger, 99,000-ton ship in fall 2015, Holland America Line’s fleet will grow to 16 ships, offering nearly 500 cruises from more than 25 home ports. Itineraries range from two-day samplers to extended cruises of more than 100 days, and the ships visit all seven continents, including Australia/New Zealand and Asia sailings, a World Cruise, extravagant Grand Voyages and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, South America, Mexico and Europe.

If you have a question about Holland America or if there is a topic that you would like to see us cover, send us an e-mail or leave us a comment.

32 Comments

  1. Thanks for the ‘blog’, I will read it all later as I am about to go to bed, it looks really interesting

    best wishes from

    Robina

  2. Hello

    Great blog site

    Good luck with it for the future, we will be logging in regularly to find out what you are up to.

    We cannot wait to join you aboard in May

    All the best

    Kev and Jan

  3. Hello Captain,

    It has been a long time since we sailed together. Occasionally I see the old Holland America Line vessels around and it brings back great memories. I’m working as a superintendent here in Cyprus, been here 11 years now can you believe?

    Great website, Robina dropped me the link.

    All the best,

    David Shewan

  4. Hello there,

    I’m really enjoying your blog. Almost makes me feel like I’m sailing with you.

    I’m sorry you won’t be aboard the Veendam when I’m sailing on her on 8/22. It would have been wonderful to see you and Leslie again.

    Any chance you’ll be aboard the Eurodam for her maiden voyage next July. I’ve already booked and I’m trying to talk our friend Liz into coming with me.

    Love to Leslie.

    Regards,
    Joyce

  5. We traveled with you from Venice to Venice ; May19th to the 29th. I have enjoyed reading your blog and will keep it with my momentos. It is nice to know we were in capable hands. You Rock! Thanks Again.

  6. Dear Captain. I like to continue in Dutch, if you don’t mind.
    Via “Hallo” ben ik opmerkzaam gemaakt op uw Weblog. Wat is het allemachtig interessant om te lezen en wat boeiend, maar ook veileisend, de job van een cruis-ship captain wel is. Als voormalig filmoperateur op de enige echte Rotterdam (V) heb ik ook een tijd mogen ruiken aan het leven op een schip en later heb ik hetzelfde als passagier mogen beleven, maar er is toch wel veel veranderd. Passsagiers zijn veeleisender geworden, maar ook de schepen hebben een geheel andere uitstraling dat de voormalige transatlantische zeekastelen.
    Nietemin heb ik met veel plezier uw dagboek gelezen en beloof, dat ik dit zal blijven doe. U doet mij – en velen met mj, daar ben ik zeker van- er een geweldig plezier mee en ik hoop van harte dat wij uw bijdragen in Hallo nog lang zullen mogen lezen.
    Een warme en vriendelijke groet van uit Landgraaf, gelegen in het bronsgroenen eikenhout,
    Frank Doomen
    Namiddagse Driessen 42
    6374MP Landgraaf
    f.doomen@orange.nl

  7. Beste Kaptein Schoonderbeek,

    In HALLO van juli-aug. las ik over uw web blog. Met veel plezier heb ik er al veel van gelezen. Zal zeker regelmatig terugkomen. Aangezien ik geen e-mail adres van u kan vinden, verzoek ik u langs deze weg mij toestemming te verlenen op mijn website over de HAL een link te mogen plaatsen naar uw web blog.

    met vriendelijke groet,

    Ruud Mudde

  8. hallo kapitein Schoonderbeek,
    alvast wil ik u en uw vrouw een fijne vakantie toewensen
    lees graag uw blog op het internet als ik daar de kans voor krijgkan zelf geen internet betalen ben op het moment100% afgekeurd stuurman rijnvaart afgekeurd door een eenzijdige verlamming na een beroerte, in 2000, liep na 13 dagen al weer door dijkzigt en na 6 – 8 weken ging het praten weer
    helaas was dit een 5e beroerte, omdat ik bij de eerste een verkeerde diagnose kreeg/10 dagen in coma/ kreeg ik er dus 5 maar het is bekend na 5 keer wat de oorzaak is,dik bloed, danklonterd je bloed en dan heb je pech maar bij die eerste kee was is na 2 jaar volledig hersteld en liep ook nog in nijmegen 200 KM dit is de vijfe duurt het wat langer maar herstellen zal ik enzodra ik door de keuring ben wil ik naar de zeevaartschool en studeren voor maritiem officier het is misschien hoog gegrepen maar ik geloof erin dat ik dat gaat redden.met hartelijke maritieme groet,
    Staney RenonZeekadetofficier Public Relations/zkkrotterdam.nl

  9. Your web blog is very enjoyable and brings back many pleasant memories of our Alaskan cruise aboard the Veendam in 1997. What a wonderful cruise on such a beautiful and elegant ship.
    You mentioned some changes taking place in the way in which the captains now interact with the guests, such as shorter speeches/receptions. I can certainly understand why that may be necessary, especially these days when the new ships are so large and have a huge passenger complement. I do hope that you will still manage to take some opportunities to address the guests. I have always enjoyed the captain’s reception, especially to hear the updates and news about new ships, the company’s plans and the opportunity to ask a few questions.
    I wish you pleasant sailing and many thanks for giving us a chance to sail with you vicariously!

  10. Just discovered your Blogs and they are wonderful. My husband and I will join you in Montreal on Sept. 9 along with 6 of our friends. It will be about our 35th HAL cruise so you can tell we are “sold”.

    Will look forward to seeing you at a suite or Mariner party — Smooth Sailing!!!

    Elinor Corley

    (Will be fun to depart the ship just 1 hour from our home in Sarasota!!)

  11. Oct. 23, 2007

    Thanks, again, Captain, for the great cruise & especially the photographs of the New Amsterdam ship (troopship) that I sailed from New York to Glascow; June 2nd to June 14th, 1944. Even though we were packed about 15-20 to a small cabin, (5-6 bunks deep on 3 sides) we had a pleasant voyage over. It took 12 days; probably because we zigzaged across (enemy submarines?). Not sure you would call it a Great Circle route!

    I forgot whether it was the 5th largest ocean liner or the 5th fastest ocean liner (maybe both).

    I did want to send a picture of the Dutch pennant they gave us, but can’t attach it to this message. (could if it was email).

    Thanks again,

    Richard St. John, cabin 594; Montreal to Tampa cruise ending Oct. 21, 2007

  12. Dear Albert,

    By coincidence I found you web log. Very nice and informative. From time to time I think back to my own sailing days with Holland America. I also met my wife on board (the Rotterdam V). Over the years many things have changed on board, in shipping and at sea. But sailing still is an adventure in my book. Continue writing, take care,

    Richard Schiferli, General Secretary, Paris MoU on Port State Control

  13. Hoi Albert,
    Dat is lang gelden dat wij met elkaar hebben gevaren, 1984,85.86. Jij als 3e en ik als leerling en 4e stuurman. Leuk om te zien dat jij nu kapitein bent. Ik heb de scheepvaart verlaten eind jaren 80 en hou mij nu bezig met Blauwe vliegtuigen, als Duty maintenance manager.
    Wel maak ik af en toe nog een cruise, het bloed gaat daar waar de zeeman zout water heeft zitten. Dat raak je nooit meer kwijt.
    Je site is erg leuk, oude tijden herleven. Leuk om te lezen.
    Groet Theo Hin

  14. Capt. Albert,

    How serendipitous that I came upon your blog recently. I am in the recruitment process with Holland America Line as we speak. It has always been a dream of mine to work shipboard and I am very excited that I may set out to sea with HAL. I certainly couldn’t have hoped for any better. Your blog has been a source of great information for me as it not only provides insight into the crew life on a cruise ship, but also a little bit of information about how HAL does things. I am very excited at the prospect of working for Holland America Line. Perhaps I will have the pleasure of signing on to ms Veendam in the future! Keep up the great blog and enjoy the remainder of your vacation!

    Best Regards,
    Anthony

  15. Capt. Albert,

    As a follow up to my last post, I have some great news! I have just been offered a position with Holland America Line. And, what’s even more interesting is that I am tentatively slated to sign onto ms Veendam as the first Crew Purser on 30 March 2008! It will certainly be a pleasure to be aboard Veendam and I look forward to working with you.

    Best,
    Anthony Garofalo

  16. Captain: I just purchased a copy of your book “125 years of
    Holland America Lines”
    I will be on the Veendam Apr. 29, San Diego to Vancouver.
    I would appreciate very much if you could autograph it.
    I will contact reception with my cabin #.
    Thank you and I look forward to meeting you.

    Greg Haller

  17. Kapitein;

    4 jaar geleden stonden we in Vancouver oog in oog met de MS Veendam, dit was een hele verrassing, gezien ik geboren ben in Veendam, dus foto’s maken.

    Nu 4 jaar later gaan we op 5 september dit jaar terug om een Cruise te maken op Uw schip, Wat ons ontzettend leuk lijkt.
    mogelijk dat we elkaar nog kunnen zien en spreken.

    groetjes Johan& Ria.

  18. Dear Captain Albert,

    I just discovered your blog and have enjoyed exploring all of the links. We will be following you up the coast on Ryndam leaving San Diego on Saturday, 3 May. This will be our second sailing on HAL and we are looking forward to this short 4 night getaway.

    A number of years ago a friend, Jim Button, was the Security Officer on Rotterdam for the maiden world cruise. His wife, Martha, was in the peace Corps with me in Costa Rica and traveled with him. My 7th grade students followed “Aunt Martha and Uncle Jim” around the world through e-mail, letters and postcards. When the cruise was over they came to visit with each class. The students were in AWE of Jim in his uniform! Several even asked for his autograph. HAL got some very good PR out of that experience.

    Best,

    Frank in Santa Barbara, California

  19. Beste Albert,

    In de scheepvaartnieuwsbrief van Piet Sinke las ik dat de Veendam in Alaska is.
    In september hopen wij cees en yvon( dan net getrouwd) in Vancouver aan boord te gaan van de Veendam voor wat wij denken gezien de vele mooie verhalen gelezen op het internet onze mooist cruise tot nu toe zal zijn
    Wij doen het andersom , hebben eerst de cruisegeboekt en daarna besloten dat dit een hele mooie huwelijksreis zou zijn
    Hopelijk bent u in september nog of weer aan boord.
    Met plezier uw weblog gelezen , tot september, en tot dan vele mooie reizen voor u en de rest van de bemanning toegewenst
    Tot ziens in september, en vr. groeten

    cees kloppenburg en yvon kloppenburg -jonker (zal wel even wennen worden die naam voor Yvonne)

  20. Greetings again Captain

    My husband and I will be cruising with you on June 13th. We have read your writings and are getting very excited about the cruise.
    We are amateur photographers and plan on getting lots of pictures while we cruise. If we take pictures on the Veendam, where are we prohibited to take pictures? We want to respect any wishes you have on the matter.
    Thank you, have a great day. Kathy

  21. This Aug is our first cruise to Alaska (our second on HAL0
    We are sailing on the Veendam on Aug 22 on a 14 day nb/sd with my
    dad. It’s his first cruise , he is currently 91 years old.

  22. Captain Albert,
    It was wonderful to cruise with you in April and May from Tampa to Vancouver and for the first Alaska Inside Passage this year. Thank you, also for the wonderful Mariner’s luncheon. We are joining the Maasdam on July 5th for a 35 day “Voyage of the Vikings” from Boston to Rotterdam and back to Boston. Could you please tell us who the Captain, Hotel Manager, Guest Relations Manager, and Cruise Director will be? We currently have our gold medallions, and chances are we will already know some of these people. Thank you.

  23. Dear Captain,

    I went to this website searching for infos about “old days” working on MS. PRINSENDAM as a Tour Manager. This is back in 1976… As I could not find any relevant infos, I went on your blog and enjoyed very much finding again the spirit of those days on sea.

    Is there any chance you could tell me how to contact the formal staff members sailing on MS. PRINSENDAM as I would be very keen in finding out, after all those years, where everyone is today. I am still in contact with 2 of the formal staff members, but no one seems to know anything about the rest of the crew?

    In the meantime, wishing you all the best on smooth waters.

    Looking forward to hear from you

    Kind regards, et “bon vent”!
    Marie-Louise Dillinger

    Moulin Vollach
    F-67340 INGWILLER/France
    marielouise.dillinger@polyglotte.fr

  24. Greetings Captain Albert!
    Thank you for providing our staff and clientele an opportunity to share your, “Stories of the Seas” as well as have access to your expertise, personal insights and day-by-day account of life aboard the ms Veendam. It’s good to be aboard. I plan to visit your blog often and look forward to encountering massive glaciers, beautiful bays and incredible wildlife. I’ll also look forward to reading the messages from past guests, repeat guests and soon to be guests, who are now “linked” to amazing journeys of discovery.
    Best Regards and as always … Good voyage!
    Cathy Stucker, Travel Marketing – AAA Auto Club South

  25. Hello,
    I’ve just come across your interesting blog. My husband and I are cruising on the Veendam, Aug 22. We did the Panama canal cruise in April/May this year on the Amsterdam and enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to Alaska!

  26. Would it be at all possible for your company to start a monthly or two monthly Atlantic crossing E/B and W/B for people who are absolutely fed-up with plane crossings to Europe. I’d love the old days whereby you can plan a holiday in Europe which includes getting there from N. America by ship rather than having to squeeze aboard an airplane where you’ve had to stand for hours just to check in.

    I’d like to see some shipping company start up – perhaps limited at first just to try it out – to see if people would take to ship travel to get to their destination. As the old Cunard byword was “Getting there is half the fun”.

    Thanks

  27. Dear Capitain Albert:

    Ruth and I cruised on the sweet little SS Veendam to Bermuda in 1982. It was the first of many fabulous HAL cruises, but this precious yacht-like boat is still one of our favorites. (“Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina!”) Service? Perfect. Food? Perfect. Shore Arrangements? Perfect. Engine Room Tour? Unbelievible- Every valve, pump, boiler, driveshaft- our Dutch Engineer host left nothing out and we couldn’t get enough. Unfortunately, we just missed the beloved SS Statendam. Naturally, becoming instant steamship buffs, we sailed the Rotterdam V to Alaska in 1996, but that’s another great story.

    Regards, Scott and Ruth Raswyck

  28. Dear Captain,

    In de periode 70/71 heb ik gevaren op de Statendam en de Nieuw Amsterdam. Ik las, dat u uw loopbaan bent begonnen op de Statendam in 1981. Ik ben in het bezit van wat scheepsdocumenten uit die tijd. Mag ik u vragen welke functie u in de periode 81/82 vervulde op de Statendam? Wellicht kan ik u dan nog verblijden met wat leuke documenten, als mijn vermoedens juist zijn tenminste.

    Gerrit geb 1951

  29. Dear Captain Albert,I enjoy reading your blogs.  They bring back many memories of HAL.  I sure do miss them.  I had a copy of you 125 years of HAL and when I left Ft. Lauderdale I must have left it in my office. Do you know where I might obtain another one? Thank you.
    May you and Lesley have a Happy and Healthy New Year. Good luck on the Prinsendam.
    Florrie Elmnren
    Retired, Assistant Manager
    FLL Shore Operations

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About Us

The Holland America Blog web site serves as the primary portal for all news and information, images and video, gossip and discussion about the 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet. Visitors to Holland America Blog get the latest news from the ships, meet the people who work on board, travel around the world through video and photos from various ports, and hear from guests and fans of Holland America Line.

With nearly 140 years of experience, Holland America Line is recognized as the undisputed leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. With the introduction of a new 2,660-passenger, 99,000-ton ship in fall 2015, Holland America Line’s fleet will grow to 16 ships, offering nearly 500 cruises from more than 25 home ports. Itineraries range from two-day samplers to extended cruises of more than 100 days, and the ships visit all seven continents, including Australia/New Zealand and Asia sailings, a World Cruise, extravagant Grand Voyages and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, South America, Mexico and Europe.

If you have a question about Holland America or if there is a topic that you would like to see us cover, send us an e-mail or leave us a comment.

32 Comments

  1. Thanks for the ‘blog’, I will read it all later as I am about to go to bed, it looks really interesting

    best wishes from

    Robina

  2. Hello

    Great blog site

    Good luck with it for the future, we will be logging in regularly to find out what you are up to.

    We cannot wait to join you aboard in May

    All the best

    Kev and Jan

  3. Hello Captain,

    It has been a long time since we sailed together. Occasionally I see the old Holland America Line vessels around and it brings back great memories. I’m working as a superintendent here in Cyprus, been here 11 years now can you believe?

    Great website, Robina dropped me the link.

    All the best,

    David Shewan

  4. Hello there,

    I’m really enjoying your blog. Almost makes me feel like I’m sailing with you.

    I’m sorry you won’t be aboard the Veendam when I’m sailing on her on 8/22. It would have been wonderful to see you and Leslie again.

    Any chance you’ll be aboard the Eurodam for her maiden voyage next July. I’ve already booked and I’m trying to talk our friend Liz into coming with me.

    Love to Leslie.

    Regards,
    Joyce

  5. We traveled with you from Venice to Venice ; May19th to the 29th. I have enjoyed reading your blog and will keep it with my momentos. It is nice to know we were in capable hands. You Rock! Thanks Again.

  6. Dear Captain. I like to continue in Dutch, if you don’t mind.
    Via “Hallo” ben ik opmerkzaam gemaakt op uw Weblog. Wat is het allemachtig interessant om te lezen en wat boeiend, maar ook veileisend, de job van een cruis-ship captain wel is. Als voormalig filmoperateur op de enige echte Rotterdam (V) heb ik ook een tijd mogen ruiken aan het leven op een schip en later heb ik hetzelfde als passagier mogen beleven, maar er is toch wel veel veranderd. Passsagiers zijn veeleisender geworden, maar ook de schepen hebben een geheel andere uitstraling dat de voormalige transatlantische zeekastelen.
    Nietemin heb ik met veel plezier uw dagboek gelezen en beloof, dat ik dit zal blijven doe. U doet mij – en velen met mj, daar ben ik zeker van- er een geweldig plezier mee en ik hoop van harte dat wij uw bijdragen in Hallo nog lang zullen mogen lezen.
    Een warme en vriendelijke groet van uit Landgraaf, gelegen in het bronsgroenen eikenhout,
    Frank Doomen
    Namiddagse Driessen 42
    6374MP Landgraaf
    f.doomen@orange.nl

  7. Beste Kaptein Schoonderbeek,

    In HALLO van juli-aug. las ik over uw web blog. Met veel plezier heb ik er al veel van gelezen. Zal zeker regelmatig terugkomen. Aangezien ik geen e-mail adres van u kan vinden, verzoek ik u langs deze weg mij toestemming te verlenen op mijn website over de HAL een link te mogen plaatsen naar uw web blog.

    met vriendelijke groet,

    Ruud Mudde

  8. hallo kapitein Schoonderbeek,
    alvast wil ik u en uw vrouw een fijne vakantie toewensen
    lees graag uw blog op het internet als ik daar de kans voor krijgkan zelf geen internet betalen ben op het moment100% afgekeurd stuurman rijnvaart afgekeurd door een eenzijdige verlamming na een beroerte, in 2000, liep na 13 dagen al weer door dijkzigt en na 6 – 8 weken ging het praten weer
    helaas was dit een 5e beroerte, omdat ik bij de eerste een verkeerde diagnose kreeg/10 dagen in coma/ kreeg ik er dus 5 maar het is bekend na 5 keer wat de oorzaak is,dik bloed, danklonterd je bloed en dan heb je pech maar bij die eerste kee was is na 2 jaar volledig hersteld en liep ook nog in nijmegen 200 KM dit is de vijfe duurt het wat langer maar herstellen zal ik enzodra ik door de keuring ben wil ik naar de zeevaartschool en studeren voor maritiem officier het is misschien hoog gegrepen maar ik geloof erin dat ik dat gaat redden.met hartelijke maritieme groet,
    Staney RenonZeekadetofficier Public Relations/zkkrotterdam.nl

  9. Your web blog is very enjoyable and brings back many pleasant memories of our Alaskan cruise aboard the Veendam in 1997. What a wonderful cruise on such a beautiful and elegant ship.
    You mentioned some changes taking place in the way in which the captains now interact with the guests, such as shorter speeches/receptions. I can certainly understand why that may be necessary, especially these days when the new ships are so large and have a huge passenger complement. I do hope that you will still manage to take some opportunities to address the guests. I have always enjoyed the captain’s reception, especially to hear the updates and news about new ships, the company’s plans and the opportunity to ask a few questions.
    I wish you pleasant sailing and many thanks for giving us a chance to sail with you vicariously!

  10. Just discovered your Blogs and they are wonderful. My husband and I will join you in Montreal on Sept. 9 along with 6 of our friends. It will be about our 35th HAL cruise so you can tell we are “sold”.

    Will look forward to seeing you at a suite or Mariner party — Smooth Sailing!!!

    Elinor Corley

    (Will be fun to depart the ship just 1 hour from our home in Sarasota!!)

  11. Oct. 23, 2007

    Thanks, again, Captain, for the great cruise & especially the photographs of the New Amsterdam ship (troopship) that I sailed from New York to Glascow; June 2nd to June 14th, 1944. Even though we were packed about 15-20 to a small cabin, (5-6 bunks deep on 3 sides) we had a pleasant voyage over. It took 12 days; probably because we zigzaged across (enemy submarines?). Not sure you would call it a Great Circle route!

    I forgot whether it was the 5th largest ocean liner or the 5th fastest ocean liner (maybe both).

    I did want to send a picture of the Dutch pennant they gave us, but can’t attach it to this message. (could if it was email).

    Thanks again,

    Richard St. John, cabin 594; Montreal to Tampa cruise ending Oct. 21, 2007

  12. Dear Albert,

    By coincidence I found you web log. Very nice and informative. From time to time I think back to my own sailing days with Holland America. I also met my wife on board (the Rotterdam V). Over the years many things have changed on board, in shipping and at sea. But sailing still is an adventure in my book. Continue writing, take care,

    Richard Schiferli, General Secretary, Paris MoU on Port State Control

  13. Hoi Albert,
    Dat is lang gelden dat wij met elkaar hebben gevaren, 1984,85.86. Jij als 3e en ik als leerling en 4e stuurman. Leuk om te zien dat jij nu kapitein bent. Ik heb de scheepvaart verlaten eind jaren 80 en hou mij nu bezig met Blauwe vliegtuigen, als Duty maintenance manager.
    Wel maak ik af en toe nog een cruise, het bloed gaat daar waar de zeeman zout water heeft zitten. Dat raak je nooit meer kwijt.
    Je site is erg leuk, oude tijden herleven. Leuk om te lezen.
    Groet Theo Hin

  14. Capt. Albert,

    How serendipitous that I came upon your blog recently. I am in the recruitment process with Holland America Line as we speak. It has always been a dream of mine to work shipboard and I am very excited that I may set out to sea with HAL. I certainly couldn’t have hoped for any better. Your blog has been a source of great information for me as it not only provides insight into the crew life on a cruise ship, but also a little bit of information about how HAL does things. I am very excited at the prospect of working for Holland America Line. Perhaps I will have the pleasure of signing on to ms Veendam in the future! Keep up the great blog and enjoy the remainder of your vacation!

    Best Regards,
    Anthony

  15. Capt. Albert,

    As a follow up to my last post, I have some great news! I have just been offered a position with Holland America Line. And, what’s even more interesting is that I am tentatively slated to sign onto ms Veendam as the first Crew Purser on 30 March 2008! It will certainly be a pleasure to be aboard Veendam and I look forward to working with you.

    Best,
    Anthony Garofalo

  16. Captain: I just purchased a copy of your book “125 years of
    Holland America Lines”
    I will be on the Veendam Apr. 29, San Diego to Vancouver.
    I would appreciate very much if you could autograph it.
    I will contact reception with my cabin #.
    Thank you and I look forward to meeting you.

    Greg Haller

  17. Kapitein;

    4 jaar geleden stonden we in Vancouver oog in oog met de MS Veendam, dit was een hele verrassing, gezien ik geboren ben in Veendam, dus foto’s maken.

    Nu 4 jaar later gaan we op 5 september dit jaar terug om een Cruise te maken op Uw schip, Wat ons ontzettend leuk lijkt.
    mogelijk dat we elkaar nog kunnen zien en spreken.

    groetjes Johan& Ria.

  18. Dear Captain Albert,

    I just discovered your blog and have enjoyed exploring all of the links. We will be following you up the coast on Ryndam leaving San Diego on Saturday, 3 May. This will be our second sailing on HAL and we are looking forward to this short 4 night getaway.

    A number of years ago a friend, Jim Button, was the Security Officer on Rotterdam for the maiden world cruise. His wife, Martha, was in the peace Corps with me in Costa Rica and traveled with him. My 7th grade students followed “Aunt Martha and Uncle Jim” around the world through e-mail, letters and postcards. When the cruise was over they came to visit with each class. The students were in AWE of Jim in his uniform! Several even asked for his autograph. HAL got some very good PR out of that experience.

    Best,

    Frank in Santa Barbara, California

  19. Beste Albert,

    In de scheepvaartnieuwsbrief van Piet Sinke las ik dat de Veendam in Alaska is.
    In september hopen wij cees en yvon( dan net getrouwd) in Vancouver aan boord te gaan van de Veendam voor wat wij denken gezien de vele mooie verhalen gelezen op het internet onze mooist cruise tot nu toe zal zijn
    Wij doen het andersom , hebben eerst de cruisegeboekt en daarna besloten dat dit een hele mooie huwelijksreis zou zijn
    Hopelijk bent u in september nog of weer aan boord.
    Met plezier uw weblog gelezen , tot september, en tot dan vele mooie reizen voor u en de rest van de bemanning toegewenst
    Tot ziens in september, en vr. groeten

    cees kloppenburg en yvon kloppenburg -jonker (zal wel even wennen worden die naam voor Yvonne)

  20. Greetings again Captain

    My husband and I will be cruising with you on June 13th. We have read your writings and are getting very excited about the cruise.
    We are amateur photographers and plan on getting lots of pictures while we cruise. If we take pictures on the Veendam, where are we prohibited to take pictures? We want to respect any wishes you have on the matter.
    Thank you, have a great day. Kathy

  21. This Aug is our first cruise to Alaska (our second on HAL0
    We are sailing on the Veendam on Aug 22 on a 14 day nb/sd with my
    dad. It’s his first cruise , he is currently 91 years old.

  22. Captain Albert,
    It was wonderful to cruise with you in April and May from Tampa to Vancouver and for the first Alaska Inside Passage this year. Thank you, also for the wonderful Mariner’s luncheon. We are joining the Maasdam on July 5th for a 35 day “Voyage of the Vikings” from Boston to Rotterdam and back to Boston. Could you please tell us who the Captain, Hotel Manager, Guest Relations Manager, and Cruise Director will be? We currently have our gold medallions, and chances are we will already know some of these people. Thank you.

  23. Dear Captain,

    I went to this website searching for infos about “old days” working on MS. PRINSENDAM as a Tour Manager. This is back in 1976… As I could not find any relevant infos, I went on your blog and enjoyed very much finding again the spirit of those days on sea.

    Is there any chance you could tell me how to contact the formal staff members sailing on MS. PRINSENDAM as I would be very keen in finding out, after all those years, where everyone is today. I am still in contact with 2 of the formal staff members, but no one seems to know anything about the rest of the crew?

    In the meantime, wishing you all the best on smooth waters.

    Looking forward to hear from you

    Kind regards, et “bon vent”!
    Marie-Louise Dillinger

    Moulin Vollach
    F-67340 INGWILLER/France
    marielouise.dillinger@polyglotte.fr

  24. Greetings Captain Albert!
    Thank you for providing our staff and clientele an opportunity to share your, “Stories of the Seas” as well as have access to your expertise, personal insights and day-by-day account of life aboard the ms Veendam. It’s good to be aboard. I plan to visit your blog often and look forward to encountering massive glaciers, beautiful bays and incredible wildlife. I’ll also look forward to reading the messages from past guests, repeat guests and soon to be guests, who are now “linked” to amazing journeys of discovery.
    Best Regards and as always … Good voyage!
    Cathy Stucker, Travel Marketing – AAA Auto Club South

  25. Hello,
    I’ve just come across your interesting blog. My husband and I are cruising on the Veendam, Aug 22. We did the Panama canal cruise in April/May this year on the Amsterdam and enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to Alaska!

  26. Would it be at all possible for your company to start a monthly or two monthly Atlantic crossing E/B and W/B for people who are absolutely fed-up with plane crossings to Europe. I’d love the old days whereby you can plan a holiday in Europe which includes getting there from N. America by ship rather than having to squeeze aboard an airplane where you’ve had to stand for hours just to check in.

    I’d like to see some shipping company start up – perhaps limited at first just to try it out – to see if people would take to ship travel to get to their destination. As the old Cunard byword was “Getting there is half the fun”.

    Thanks

  27. Dear Capitain Albert:

    Ruth and I cruised on the sweet little SS Veendam to Bermuda in 1982. It was the first of many fabulous HAL cruises, but this precious yacht-like boat is still one of our favorites. (“Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina!”) Service? Perfect. Food? Perfect. Shore Arrangements? Perfect. Engine Room Tour? Unbelievible- Every valve, pump, boiler, driveshaft- our Dutch Engineer host left nothing out and we couldn’t get enough. Unfortunately, we just missed the beloved SS Statendam. Naturally, becoming instant steamship buffs, we sailed the Rotterdam V to Alaska in 1996, but that’s another great story.

    Regards, Scott and Ruth Raswyck

  28. Dear Captain,

    In de periode 70/71 heb ik gevaren op de Statendam en de Nieuw Amsterdam. Ik las, dat u uw loopbaan bent begonnen op de Statendam in 1981. Ik ben in het bezit van wat scheepsdocumenten uit die tijd. Mag ik u vragen welke functie u in de periode 81/82 vervulde op de Statendam? Wellicht kan ik u dan nog verblijden met wat leuke documenten, als mijn vermoedens juist zijn tenminste.

    Gerrit geb 1951

  29. Dear Captain Albert,I enjoy reading your blogs.  They bring back many memories of HAL.  I sure do miss them.  I had a copy of you 125 years of HAL and when I left Ft. Lauderdale I must have left it in my office. Do you know where I might obtain another one? Thank you.
    May you and Lesley have a Happy and Healthy New Year. Good luck on the Prinsendam.
    Florrie Elmnren
    Retired, Assistant Manager
    FLL Shore Operations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

About Us

The Holland America Blog web site serves as the primary portal for all news and information, images and video, gossip and discussion about the 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet. Visitors to Holland America Blog get the latest news from the ships, meet the people who work on board, travel around the world through video and photos from various ports, and hear from guests and fans of Holland America Line.

With nearly 140 years of experience, Holland America Line is recognized as the undisputed leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. With the introduction of a new 2,660-passenger, 99,000-ton ship in fall 2015, Holland America Line’s fleet will grow to 16 ships, offering nearly 500 cruises from more than 25 home ports. Itineraries range from two-day samplers to extended cruises of more than 100 days, and the ships visit all seven continents, including Australia/New Zealand and Asia sailings, a World Cruise, extravagant Grand Voyages and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, South America, Mexico and Europe.

If you have a question about Holland America or if there is a topic that you would like to see us cover, send us an e-mail or leave us a comment.

32 Comments

  1. Thanks for the ‘blog’, I will read it all later as I am about to go to bed, it looks really interesting

    best wishes from

    Robina

  2. Hello

    Great blog site

    Good luck with it for the future, we will be logging in regularly to find out what you are up to.

    We cannot wait to join you aboard in May

    All the best

    Kev and Jan

  3. Hello Captain,

    It has been a long time since we sailed together. Occasionally I see the old Holland America Line vessels around and it brings back great memories. I’m working as a superintendent here in Cyprus, been here 11 years now can you believe?

    Great website, Robina dropped me the link.

    All the best,

    David Shewan

  4. Hello there,

    I’m really enjoying your blog. Almost makes me feel like I’m sailing with you.

    I’m sorry you won’t be aboard the Veendam when I’m sailing on her on 8/22. It would have been wonderful to see you and Leslie again.

    Any chance you’ll be aboard the Eurodam for her maiden voyage next July. I’ve already booked and I’m trying to talk our friend Liz into coming with me.

    Love to Leslie.

    Regards,
    Joyce

  5. We traveled with you from Venice to Venice ; May19th to the 29th. I have enjoyed reading your blog and will keep it with my momentos. It is nice to know we were in capable hands. You Rock! Thanks Again.

  6. Dear Captain. I like to continue in Dutch, if you don’t mind.
    Via “Hallo” ben ik opmerkzaam gemaakt op uw Weblog. Wat is het allemachtig interessant om te lezen en wat boeiend, maar ook veileisend, de job van een cruis-ship captain wel is. Als voormalig filmoperateur op de enige echte Rotterdam (V) heb ik ook een tijd mogen ruiken aan het leven op een schip en later heb ik hetzelfde als passagier mogen beleven, maar er is toch wel veel veranderd. Passsagiers zijn veeleisender geworden, maar ook de schepen hebben een geheel andere uitstraling dat de voormalige transatlantische zeekastelen.
    Nietemin heb ik met veel plezier uw dagboek gelezen en beloof, dat ik dit zal blijven doe. U doet mij – en velen met mj, daar ben ik zeker van- er een geweldig plezier mee en ik hoop van harte dat wij uw bijdragen in Hallo nog lang zullen mogen lezen.
    Een warme en vriendelijke groet van uit Landgraaf, gelegen in het bronsgroenen eikenhout,
    Frank Doomen
    Namiddagse Driessen 42
    6374MP Landgraaf
    f.doomen@orange.nl

  7. Beste Kaptein Schoonderbeek,

    In HALLO van juli-aug. las ik over uw web blog. Met veel plezier heb ik er al veel van gelezen. Zal zeker regelmatig terugkomen. Aangezien ik geen e-mail adres van u kan vinden, verzoek ik u langs deze weg mij toestemming te verlenen op mijn website over de HAL een link te mogen plaatsen naar uw web blog.

    met vriendelijke groet,

    Ruud Mudde

  8. hallo kapitein Schoonderbeek,
    alvast wil ik u en uw vrouw een fijne vakantie toewensen
    lees graag uw blog op het internet als ik daar de kans voor krijgkan zelf geen internet betalen ben op het moment100% afgekeurd stuurman rijnvaart afgekeurd door een eenzijdige verlamming na een beroerte, in 2000, liep na 13 dagen al weer door dijkzigt en na 6 – 8 weken ging het praten weer
    helaas was dit een 5e beroerte, omdat ik bij de eerste een verkeerde diagnose kreeg/10 dagen in coma/ kreeg ik er dus 5 maar het is bekend na 5 keer wat de oorzaak is,dik bloed, danklonterd je bloed en dan heb je pech maar bij die eerste kee was is na 2 jaar volledig hersteld en liep ook nog in nijmegen 200 KM dit is de vijfe duurt het wat langer maar herstellen zal ik enzodra ik door de keuring ben wil ik naar de zeevaartschool en studeren voor maritiem officier het is misschien hoog gegrepen maar ik geloof erin dat ik dat gaat redden.met hartelijke maritieme groet,
    Staney RenonZeekadetofficier Public Relations/zkkrotterdam.nl

  9. Your web blog is very enjoyable and brings back many pleasant memories of our Alaskan cruise aboard the Veendam in 1997. What a wonderful cruise on such a beautiful and elegant ship.
    You mentioned some changes taking place in the way in which the captains now interact with the guests, such as shorter speeches/receptions. I can certainly understand why that may be necessary, especially these days when the new ships are so large and have a huge passenger complement. I do hope that you will still manage to take some opportunities to address the guests. I have always enjoyed the captain’s reception, especially to hear the updates and news about new ships, the company’s plans and the opportunity to ask a few questions.
    I wish you pleasant sailing and many thanks for giving us a chance to sail with you vicariously!

  10. Just discovered your Blogs and they are wonderful. My husband and I will join you in Montreal on Sept. 9 along with 6 of our friends. It will be about our 35th HAL cruise so you can tell we are “sold”.

    Will look forward to seeing you at a suite or Mariner party — Smooth Sailing!!!

    Elinor Corley

    (Will be fun to depart the ship just 1 hour from our home in Sarasota!!)

  11. Oct. 23, 2007

    Thanks, again, Captain, for the great cruise & especially the photographs of the New Amsterdam ship (troopship) that I sailed from New York to Glascow; June 2nd to June 14th, 1944. Even though we were packed about 15-20 to a small cabin, (5-6 bunks deep on 3 sides) we had a pleasant voyage over. It took 12 days; probably because we zigzaged across (enemy submarines?). Not sure you would call it a Great Circle route!

    I forgot whether it was the 5th largest ocean liner or the 5th fastest ocean liner (maybe both).

    I did want to send a picture of the Dutch pennant they gave us, but can’t attach it to this message. (could if it was email).

    Thanks again,

    Richard St. John, cabin 594; Montreal to Tampa cruise ending Oct. 21, 2007

  12. Dear Albert,

    By coincidence I found you web log. Very nice and informative. From time to time I think back to my own sailing days with Holland America. I also met my wife on board (the Rotterdam V). Over the years many things have changed on board, in shipping and at sea. But sailing still is an adventure in my book. Continue writing, take care,

    Richard Schiferli, General Secretary, Paris MoU on Port State Control

  13. Hoi Albert,
    Dat is lang gelden dat wij met elkaar hebben gevaren, 1984,85.86. Jij als 3e en ik als leerling en 4e stuurman. Leuk om te zien dat jij nu kapitein bent. Ik heb de scheepvaart verlaten eind jaren 80 en hou mij nu bezig met Blauwe vliegtuigen, als Duty maintenance manager.
    Wel maak ik af en toe nog een cruise, het bloed gaat daar waar de zeeman zout water heeft zitten. Dat raak je nooit meer kwijt.
    Je site is erg leuk, oude tijden herleven. Leuk om te lezen.
    Groet Theo Hin

  14. Capt. Albert,

    How serendipitous that I came upon your blog recently. I am in the recruitment process with Holland America Line as we speak. It has always been a dream of mine to work shipboard and I am very excited that I may set out to sea with HAL. I certainly couldn’t have hoped for any better. Your blog has been a source of great information for me as it not only provides insight into the crew life on a cruise ship, but also a little bit of information about how HAL does things. I am very excited at the prospect of working for Holland America Line. Perhaps I will have the pleasure of signing on to ms Veendam in the future! Keep up the great blog and enjoy the remainder of your vacation!

    Best Regards,
    Anthony

  15. Capt. Albert,

    As a follow up to my last post, I have some great news! I have just been offered a position with Holland America Line. And, what’s even more interesting is that I am tentatively slated to sign onto ms Veendam as the first Crew Purser on 30 March 2008! It will certainly be a pleasure to be aboard Veendam and I look forward to working with you.

    Best,
    Anthony Garofalo

  16. Captain: I just purchased a copy of your book “125 years of
    Holland America Lines”
    I will be on the Veendam Apr. 29, San Diego to Vancouver.
    I would appreciate very much if you could autograph it.
    I will contact reception with my cabin #.
    Thank you and I look forward to meeting you.

    Greg Haller

  17. Kapitein;

    4 jaar geleden stonden we in Vancouver oog in oog met de MS Veendam, dit was een hele verrassing, gezien ik geboren ben in Veendam, dus foto’s maken.

    Nu 4 jaar later gaan we op 5 september dit jaar terug om een Cruise te maken op Uw schip, Wat ons ontzettend leuk lijkt.
    mogelijk dat we elkaar nog kunnen zien en spreken.

    groetjes Johan& Ria.

  18. Dear Captain Albert,

    I just discovered your blog and have enjoyed exploring all of the links. We will be following you up the coast on Ryndam leaving San Diego on Saturday, 3 May. This will be our second sailing on HAL and we are looking forward to this short 4 night getaway.

    A number of years ago a friend, Jim Button, was the Security Officer on Rotterdam for the maiden world cruise. His wife, Martha, was in the peace Corps with me in Costa Rica and traveled with him. My 7th grade students followed “Aunt Martha and Uncle Jim” around the world through e-mail, letters and postcards. When the cruise was over they came to visit with each class. The students were in AWE of Jim in his uniform! Several even asked for his autograph. HAL got some very good PR out of that experience.

    Best,

    Frank in Santa Barbara, California

  19. Beste Albert,

    In de scheepvaartnieuwsbrief van Piet Sinke las ik dat de Veendam in Alaska is.
    In september hopen wij cees en yvon( dan net getrouwd) in Vancouver aan boord te gaan van de Veendam voor wat wij denken gezien de vele mooie verhalen gelezen op het internet onze mooist cruise tot nu toe zal zijn
    Wij doen het andersom , hebben eerst de cruisegeboekt en daarna besloten dat dit een hele mooie huwelijksreis zou zijn
    Hopelijk bent u in september nog of weer aan boord.
    Met plezier uw weblog gelezen , tot september, en tot dan vele mooie reizen voor u en de rest van de bemanning toegewenst
    Tot ziens in september, en vr. groeten

    cees kloppenburg en yvon kloppenburg -jonker (zal wel even wennen worden die naam voor Yvonne)

  20. Greetings again Captain

    My husband and I will be cruising with you on June 13th. We have read your writings and are getting very excited about the cruise.
    We are amateur photographers and plan on getting lots of pictures while we cruise. If we take pictures on the Veendam, where are we prohibited to take pictures? We want to respect any wishes you have on the matter.
    Thank you, have a great day. Kathy

  21. This Aug is our first cruise to Alaska (our second on HAL0
    We are sailing on the Veendam on Aug 22 on a 14 day nb/sd with my
    dad. It’s his first cruise , he is currently 91 years old.

  22. Captain Albert,
    It was wonderful to cruise with you in April and May from Tampa to Vancouver and for the first Alaska Inside Passage this year. Thank you, also for the wonderful Mariner’s luncheon. We are joining the Maasdam on July 5th for a 35 day “Voyage of the Vikings” from Boston to Rotterdam and back to Boston. Could you please tell us who the Captain, Hotel Manager, Guest Relations Manager, and Cruise Director will be? We currently have our gold medallions, and chances are we will already know some of these people. Thank you.

  23. Dear Captain,

    I went to this website searching for infos about “old days” working on MS. PRINSENDAM as a Tour Manager. This is back in 1976… As I could not find any relevant infos, I went on your blog and enjoyed very much finding again the spirit of those days on sea.

    Is there any chance you could tell me how to contact the formal staff members sailing on MS. PRINSENDAM as I would be very keen in finding out, after all those years, where everyone is today. I am still in contact with 2 of the formal staff members, but no one seems to know anything about the rest of the crew?

    In the meantime, wishing you all the best on smooth waters.

    Looking forward to hear from you

    Kind regards, et “bon vent”!
    Marie-Louise Dillinger

    Moulin Vollach
    F-67340 INGWILLER/France
    marielouise.dillinger@polyglotte.fr

  24. Greetings Captain Albert!
    Thank you for providing our staff and clientele an opportunity to share your, “Stories of the Seas” as well as have access to your expertise, personal insights and day-by-day account of life aboard the ms Veendam. It’s good to be aboard. I plan to visit your blog often and look forward to encountering massive glaciers, beautiful bays and incredible wildlife. I’ll also look forward to reading the messages from past guests, repeat guests and soon to be guests, who are now “linked” to amazing journeys of discovery.
    Best Regards and as always … Good voyage!
    Cathy Stucker, Travel Marketing – AAA Auto Club South

  25. Hello,
    I’ve just come across your interesting blog. My husband and I are cruising on the Veendam, Aug 22. We did the Panama canal cruise in April/May this year on the Amsterdam and enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to Alaska!

  26. Would it be at all possible for your company to start a monthly or two monthly Atlantic crossing E/B and W/B for people who are absolutely fed-up with plane crossings to Europe. I’d love the old days whereby you can plan a holiday in Europe which includes getting there from N. America by ship rather than having to squeeze aboard an airplane where you’ve had to stand for hours just to check in.

    I’d like to see some shipping company start up – perhaps limited at first just to try it out – to see if people would take to ship travel to get to their destination. As the old Cunard byword was “Getting there is half the fun”.

    Thanks

  27. Dear Capitain Albert:

    Ruth and I cruised on the sweet little SS Veendam to Bermuda in 1982. It was the first of many fabulous HAL cruises, but this precious yacht-like boat is still one of our favorites. (“Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina!”) Service? Perfect. Food? Perfect. Shore Arrangements? Perfect. Engine Room Tour? Unbelievible- Every valve, pump, boiler, driveshaft- our Dutch Engineer host left nothing out and we couldn’t get enough. Unfortunately, we just missed the beloved SS Statendam. Naturally, becoming instant steamship buffs, we sailed the Rotterdam V to Alaska in 1996, but that’s another great story.

    Regards, Scott and Ruth Raswyck

  28. Dear Captain,

    In de periode 70/71 heb ik gevaren op de Statendam en de Nieuw Amsterdam. Ik las, dat u uw loopbaan bent begonnen op de Statendam in 1981. Ik ben in het bezit van wat scheepsdocumenten uit die tijd. Mag ik u vragen welke functie u in de periode 81/82 vervulde op de Statendam? Wellicht kan ik u dan nog verblijden met wat leuke documenten, als mijn vermoedens juist zijn tenminste.

    Gerrit geb 1951

  29. Dear Captain Albert,I enjoy reading your blogs.  They bring back many memories of HAL.  I sure do miss them.  I had a copy of you 125 years of HAL and when I left Ft. Lauderdale I must have left it in my office. Do you know where I might obtain another one? Thank you.
    May you and Lesley have a Happy and Healthy New Year. Good luck on the Prinsendam.
    Florrie Elmnren
    Retired, Assistant Manager
    FLL Shore Operations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

About Us

The Holland America Blog web site serves as the primary portal for all news and information, images and video, gossip and discussion about the 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet. Visitors to Holland America Blog get the latest news from the ships, meet the people who work on board, travel around the world through video and photos from various ports, and hear from guests and fans of Holland America Line.

With nearly 140 years of experience, Holland America Line is recognized as the undisputed leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. With the introduction of a new 2,660-passenger, 99,000-ton ship in fall 2015, Holland America Line’s fleet will grow to 16 ships, offering nearly 500 cruises from more than 25 home ports. Itineraries range from two-day samplers to extended cruises of more than 100 days, and the ships visit all seven continents, including Australia/New Zealand and Asia sailings, a World Cruise, extravagant Grand Voyages and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, South America, Mexico and Europe.

If you have a question about Holland America or if there is a topic that you would like to see us cover, send us an e-mail or leave us a comment.

32 Comments

  1. Thanks for the ‘blog’, I will read it all later as I am about to go to bed, it looks really interesting

    best wishes from

    Robina

  2. Hello

    Great blog site

    Good luck with it for the future, we will be logging in regularly to find out what you are up to.

    We cannot wait to join you aboard in May

    All the best

    Kev and Jan

  3. Hello Captain,

    It has been a long time since we sailed together. Occasionally I see the old Holland America Line vessels around and it brings back great memories. I’m working as a superintendent here in Cyprus, been here 11 years now can you believe?

    Great website, Robina dropped me the link.

    All the best,

    David Shewan

  4. Hello there,

    I’m really enjoying your blog. Almost makes me feel like I’m sailing with you.

    I’m sorry you won’t be aboard the Veendam when I’m sailing on her on 8/22. It would have been wonderful to see you and Leslie again.

    Any chance you’ll be aboard the Eurodam for her maiden voyage next July. I’ve already booked and I’m trying to talk our friend Liz into coming with me.

    Love to Leslie.

    Regards,
    Joyce

  5. We traveled with you from Venice to Venice ; May19th to the 29th. I have enjoyed reading your blog and will keep it with my momentos. It is nice to know we were in capable hands. You Rock! Thanks Again.

  6. Dear Captain. I like to continue in Dutch, if you don’t mind.
    Via “Hallo” ben ik opmerkzaam gemaakt op uw Weblog. Wat is het allemachtig interessant om te lezen en wat boeiend, maar ook veileisend, de job van een cruis-ship captain wel is. Als voormalig filmoperateur op de enige echte Rotterdam (V) heb ik ook een tijd mogen ruiken aan het leven op een schip en later heb ik hetzelfde als passagier mogen beleven, maar er is toch wel veel veranderd. Passsagiers zijn veeleisender geworden, maar ook de schepen hebben een geheel andere uitstraling dat de voormalige transatlantische zeekastelen.
    Nietemin heb ik met veel plezier uw dagboek gelezen en beloof, dat ik dit zal blijven doe. U doet mij – en velen met mj, daar ben ik zeker van- er een geweldig plezier mee en ik hoop van harte dat wij uw bijdragen in Hallo nog lang zullen mogen lezen.
    Een warme en vriendelijke groet van uit Landgraaf, gelegen in het bronsgroenen eikenhout,
    Frank Doomen
    Namiddagse Driessen 42
    6374MP Landgraaf
    f.doomen@orange.nl

  7. Beste Kaptein Schoonderbeek,

    In HALLO van juli-aug. las ik over uw web blog. Met veel plezier heb ik er al veel van gelezen. Zal zeker regelmatig terugkomen. Aangezien ik geen e-mail adres van u kan vinden, verzoek ik u langs deze weg mij toestemming te verlenen op mijn website over de HAL een link te mogen plaatsen naar uw web blog.

    met vriendelijke groet,

    Ruud Mudde

  8. hallo kapitein Schoonderbeek,
    alvast wil ik u en uw vrouw een fijne vakantie toewensen
    lees graag uw blog op het internet als ik daar de kans voor krijgkan zelf geen internet betalen ben op het moment100% afgekeurd stuurman rijnvaart afgekeurd door een eenzijdige verlamming na een beroerte, in 2000, liep na 13 dagen al weer door dijkzigt en na 6 – 8 weken ging het praten weer
    helaas was dit een 5e beroerte, omdat ik bij de eerste een verkeerde diagnose kreeg/10 dagen in coma/ kreeg ik er dus 5 maar het is bekend na 5 keer wat de oorzaak is,dik bloed, danklonterd je bloed en dan heb je pech maar bij die eerste kee was is na 2 jaar volledig hersteld en liep ook nog in nijmegen 200 KM dit is de vijfe duurt het wat langer maar herstellen zal ik enzodra ik door de keuring ben wil ik naar de zeevaartschool en studeren voor maritiem officier het is misschien hoog gegrepen maar ik geloof erin dat ik dat gaat redden.met hartelijke maritieme groet,
    Staney RenonZeekadetofficier Public Relations/zkkrotterdam.nl

  9. Your web blog is very enjoyable and brings back many pleasant memories of our Alaskan cruise aboard the Veendam in 1997. What a wonderful cruise on such a beautiful and elegant ship.
    You mentioned some changes taking place in the way in which the captains now interact with the guests, such as shorter speeches/receptions. I can certainly understand why that may be necessary, especially these days when the new ships are so large and have a huge passenger complement. I do hope that you will still manage to take some opportunities to address the guests. I have always enjoyed the captain’s reception, especially to hear the updates and news about new ships, the company’s plans and the opportunity to ask a few questions.
    I wish you pleasant sailing and many thanks for giving us a chance to sail with you vicariously!

  10. Just discovered your Blogs and they are wonderful. My husband and I will join you in Montreal on Sept. 9 along with 6 of our friends. It will be about our 35th HAL cruise so you can tell we are “sold”.

    Will look forward to seeing you at a suite or Mariner party — Smooth Sailing!!!

    Elinor Corley

    (Will be fun to depart the ship just 1 hour from our home in Sarasota!!)

  11. Oct. 23, 2007

    Thanks, again, Captain, for the great cruise & especially the photographs of the New Amsterdam ship (troopship) that I sailed from New York to Glascow; June 2nd to June 14th, 1944. Even though we were packed about 15-20 to a small cabin, (5-6 bunks deep on 3 sides) we had a pleasant voyage over. It took 12 days; probably because we zigzaged across (enemy submarines?). Not sure you would call it a Great Circle route!

    I forgot whether it was the 5th largest ocean liner or the 5th fastest ocean liner (maybe both).

    I did want to send a picture of the Dutch pennant they gave us, but can’t attach it to this message. (could if it was email).

    Thanks again,

    Richard St. John, cabin 594; Montreal to Tampa cruise ending Oct. 21, 2007

  12. Dear Albert,

    By coincidence I found you web log. Very nice and informative. From time to time I think back to my own sailing days with Holland America. I also met my wife on board (the Rotterdam V). Over the years many things have changed on board, in shipping and at sea. But sailing still is an adventure in my book. Continue writing, take care,

    Richard Schiferli, General Secretary, Paris MoU on Port State Control

  13. Hoi Albert,
    Dat is lang gelden dat wij met elkaar hebben gevaren, 1984,85.86. Jij als 3e en ik als leerling en 4e stuurman. Leuk om te zien dat jij nu kapitein bent. Ik heb de scheepvaart verlaten eind jaren 80 en hou mij nu bezig met Blauwe vliegtuigen, als Duty maintenance manager.
    Wel maak ik af en toe nog een cruise, het bloed gaat daar waar de zeeman zout water heeft zitten. Dat raak je nooit meer kwijt.
    Je site is erg leuk, oude tijden herleven. Leuk om te lezen.
    Groet Theo Hin

  14. Capt. Albert,

    How serendipitous that I came upon your blog recently. I am in the recruitment process with Holland America Line as we speak. It has always been a dream of mine to work shipboard and I am very excited that I may set out to sea with HAL. I certainly couldn’t have hoped for any better. Your blog has been a source of great information for me as it not only provides insight into the crew life on a cruise ship, but also a little bit of information about how HAL does things. I am very excited at the prospect of working for Holland America Line. Perhaps I will have the pleasure of signing on to ms Veendam in the future! Keep up the great blog and enjoy the remainder of your vacation!

    Best Regards,
    Anthony

  15. Capt. Albert,

    As a follow up to my last post, I have some great news! I have just been offered a position with Holland America Line. And, what’s even more interesting is that I am tentatively slated to sign onto ms Veendam as the first Crew Purser on 30 March 2008! It will certainly be a pleasure to be aboard Veendam and I look forward to working with you.

    Best,
    Anthony Garofalo

  16. Captain: I just purchased a copy of your book “125 years of
    Holland America Lines”
    I will be on the Veendam Apr. 29, San Diego to Vancouver.
    I would appreciate very much if you could autograph it.
    I will contact reception with my cabin #.
    Thank you and I look forward to meeting you.

    Greg Haller

  17. Kapitein;

    4 jaar geleden stonden we in Vancouver oog in oog met de MS Veendam, dit was een hele verrassing, gezien ik geboren ben in Veendam, dus foto’s maken.

    Nu 4 jaar later gaan we op 5 september dit jaar terug om een Cruise te maken op Uw schip, Wat ons ontzettend leuk lijkt.
    mogelijk dat we elkaar nog kunnen zien en spreken.

    groetjes Johan& Ria.

  18. Dear Captain Albert,

    I just discovered your blog and have enjoyed exploring all of the links. We will be following you up the coast on Ryndam leaving San Diego on Saturday, 3 May. This will be our second sailing on HAL and we are looking forward to this short 4 night getaway.

    A number of years ago a friend, Jim Button, was the Security Officer on Rotterdam for the maiden world cruise. His wife, Martha, was in the peace Corps with me in Costa Rica and traveled with him. My 7th grade students followed “Aunt Martha and Uncle Jim” around the world through e-mail, letters and postcards. When the cruise was over they came to visit with each class. The students were in AWE of Jim in his uniform! Several even asked for his autograph. HAL got some very good PR out of that experience.

    Best,

    Frank in Santa Barbara, California

  19. Beste Albert,

    In de scheepvaartnieuwsbrief van Piet Sinke las ik dat de Veendam in Alaska is.
    In september hopen wij cees en yvon( dan net getrouwd) in Vancouver aan boord te gaan van de Veendam voor wat wij denken gezien de vele mooie verhalen gelezen op het internet onze mooist cruise tot nu toe zal zijn
    Wij doen het andersom , hebben eerst de cruisegeboekt en daarna besloten dat dit een hele mooie huwelijksreis zou zijn
    Hopelijk bent u in september nog of weer aan boord.
    Met plezier uw weblog gelezen , tot september, en tot dan vele mooie reizen voor u en de rest van de bemanning toegewenst
    Tot ziens in september, en vr. groeten

    cees kloppenburg en yvon kloppenburg -jonker (zal wel even wennen worden die naam voor Yvonne)

  20. Greetings again Captain

    My husband and I will be cruising with you on June 13th. We have read your writings and are getting very excited about the cruise.
    We are amateur photographers and plan on getting lots of pictures while we cruise. If we take pictures on the Veendam, where are we prohibited to take pictures? We want to respect any wishes you have on the matter.
    Thank you, have a great day. Kathy

  21. This Aug is our first cruise to Alaska (our second on HAL0
    We are sailing on the Veendam on Aug 22 on a 14 day nb/sd with my
    dad. It’s his first cruise , he is currently 91 years old.

  22. Captain Albert,
    It was wonderful to cruise with you in April and May from Tampa to Vancouver and for the first Alaska Inside Passage this year. Thank you, also for the wonderful Mariner’s luncheon. We are joining the Maasdam on July 5th for a 35 day “Voyage of the Vikings” from Boston to Rotterdam and back to Boston. Could you please tell us who the Captain, Hotel Manager, Guest Relations Manager, and Cruise Director will be? We currently have our gold medallions, and chances are we will already know some of these people. Thank you.

  23. Dear Captain,

    I went to this website searching for infos about “old days” working on MS. PRINSENDAM as a Tour Manager. This is back in 1976… As I could not find any relevant infos, I went on your blog and enjoyed very much finding again the spirit of those days on sea.

    Is there any chance you could tell me how to contact the formal staff members sailing on MS. PRINSENDAM as I would be very keen in finding out, after all those years, where everyone is today. I am still in contact with 2 of the formal staff members, but no one seems to know anything about the rest of the crew?

    In the meantime, wishing you all the best on smooth waters.

    Looking forward to hear from you

    Kind regards, et “bon vent”!
    Marie-Louise Dillinger

    Moulin Vollach
    F-67340 INGWILLER/France
    marielouise.dillinger@polyglotte.fr

  24. Greetings Captain Albert!
    Thank you for providing our staff and clientele an opportunity to share your, “Stories of the Seas” as well as have access to your expertise, personal insights and day-by-day account of life aboard the ms Veendam. It’s good to be aboard. I plan to visit your blog often and look forward to encountering massive glaciers, beautiful bays and incredible wildlife. I’ll also look forward to reading the messages from past guests, repeat guests and soon to be guests, who are now “linked” to amazing journeys of discovery.
    Best Regards and as always … Good voyage!
    Cathy Stucker, Travel Marketing – AAA Auto Club South

  25. Hello,
    I’ve just come across your interesting blog. My husband and I are cruising on the Veendam, Aug 22. We did the Panama canal cruise in April/May this year on the Amsterdam and enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to Alaska!

  26. Would it be at all possible for your company to start a monthly or two monthly Atlantic crossing E/B and W/B for people who are absolutely fed-up with plane crossings to Europe. I’d love the old days whereby you can plan a holiday in Europe which includes getting there from N. America by ship rather than having to squeeze aboard an airplane where you’ve had to stand for hours just to check in.

    I’d like to see some shipping company start up – perhaps limited at first just to try it out – to see if people would take to ship travel to get to their destination. As the old Cunard byword was “Getting there is half the fun”.

    Thanks

  27. Dear Capitain Albert:

    Ruth and I cruised on the sweet little SS Veendam to Bermuda in 1982. It was the first of many fabulous HAL cruises, but this precious yacht-like boat is still one of our favorites. (“Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina!”) Service? Perfect. Food? Perfect. Shore Arrangements? Perfect. Engine Room Tour? Unbelievible- Every valve, pump, boiler, driveshaft- our Dutch Engineer host left nothing out and we couldn’t get enough. Unfortunately, we just missed the beloved SS Statendam. Naturally, becoming instant steamship buffs, we sailed the Rotterdam V to Alaska in 1996, but that’s another great story.

    Regards, Scott and Ruth Raswyck

  28. Dear Captain,

    In de periode 70/71 heb ik gevaren op de Statendam en de Nieuw Amsterdam. Ik las, dat u uw loopbaan bent begonnen op de Statendam in 1981. Ik ben in het bezit van wat scheepsdocumenten uit die tijd. Mag ik u vragen welke functie u in de periode 81/82 vervulde op de Statendam? Wellicht kan ik u dan nog verblijden met wat leuke documenten, als mijn vermoedens juist zijn tenminste.

    Gerrit geb 1951

  29. Dear Captain Albert,I enjoy reading your blogs.  They bring back many memories of HAL.  I sure do miss them.  I had a copy of you 125 years of HAL and when I left Ft. Lauderdale I must have left it in my office. Do you know where I might obtain another one? Thank you.
    May you and Lesley have a Happy and Healthy New Year. Good luck on the Prinsendam.
    Florrie Elmnren
    Retired, Assistant Manager
    FLL Shore Operations

Leave a Reply

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About Us

The Holland America Blog web site serves as the primary portal for all news and information, images and video, gossip and discussion about the 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet. Visitors to Holland America Blog get the latest news from the ships, meet the people who work on board, travel around the world through video and photos from various ports, and hear from guests and fans of Holland America Line.

With nearly 140 years of experience, Holland America Line is recognized as the undisputed leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. With the introduction of a new 2,660-passenger, 99,000-ton ship in fall 2015, Holland America Line’s fleet will grow to 16 ships, offering nearly 500 cruises from more than 25 home ports. Itineraries range from two-day samplers to extended cruises of more than 100 days, and the ships visit all seven continents, including Australia/New Zealand and Asia sailings, a World Cruise, extravagant Grand Voyages and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, South America, Mexico and Europe.

If you have a question about Holland America or if there is a topic that you would like to see us cover, send us an e-mail or leave us a comment.

32 Comments

  1. Thanks for the ‘blog’, I will read it all later as I am about to go to bed, it looks really interesting

    best wishes from

    Robina

  2. Hello

    Great blog site

    Good luck with it for the future, we will be logging in regularly to find out what you are up to.

    We cannot wait to join you aboard in May

    All the best

    Kev and Jan

  3. Hello Captain,

    It has been a long time since we sailed together. Occasionally I see the old Holland America Line vessels around and it brings back great memories. I’m working as a superintendent here in Cyprus, been here 11 years now can you believe?

    Great website, Robina dropped me the link.

    All the best,

    David Shewan

  4. Hello there,

    I’m really enjoying your blog. Almost makes me feel like I’m sailing with you.

    I’m sorry you won’t be aboard the Veendam when I’m sailing on her on 8/22. It would have been wonderful to see you and Leslie again.

    Any chance you’ll be aboard the Eurodam for her maiden voyage next July. I’ve already booked and I’m trying to talk our friend Liz into coming with me.

    Love to Leslie.

    Regards,
    Joyce

  5. We traveled with you from Venice to Venice ; May19th to the 29th. I have enjoyed reading your blog and will keep it with my momentos. It is nice to know we were in capable hands. You Rock! Thanks Again.

  6. Dear Captain. I like to continue in Dutch, if you don’t mind.
    Via “Hallo” ben ik opmerkzaam gemaakt op uw Weblog. Wat is het allemachtig interessant om te lezen en wat boeiend, maar ook veileisend, de job van een cruis-ship captain wel is. Als voormalig filmoperateur op de enige echte Rotterdam (V) heb ik ook een tijd mogen ruiken aan het leven op een schip en later heb ik hetzelfde als passagier mogen beleven, maar er is toch wel veel veranderd. Passsagiers zijn veeleisender geworden, maar ook de schepen hebben een geheel andere uitstraling dat de voormalige transatlantische zeekastelen.
    Nietemin heb ik met veel plezier uw dagboek gelezen en beloof, dat ik dit zal blijven doe. U doet mij – en velen met mj, daar ben ik zeker van- er een geweldig plezier mee en ik hoop van harte dat wij uw bijdragen in Hallo nog lang zullen mogen lezen.
    Een warme en vriendelijke groet van uit Landgraaf, gelegen in het bronsgroenen eikenhout,
    Frank Doomen
    Namiddagse Driessen 42
    6374MP Landgraaf
    f.doomen@orange.nl

  7. Beste Kaptein Schoonderbeek,

    In HALLO van juli-aug. las ik over uw web blog. Met veel plezier heb ik er al veel van gelezen. Zal zeker regelmatig terugkomen. Aangezien ik geen e-mail adres van u kan vinden, verzoek ik u langs deze weg mij toestemming te verlenen op mijn website over de HAL een link te mogen plaatsen naar uw web blog.

    met vriendelijke groet,

    Ruud Mudde

  8. hallo kapitein Schoonderbeek,
    alvast wil ik u en uw vrouw een fijne vakantie toewensen
    lees graag uw blog op het internet als ik daar de kans voor krijgkan zelf geen internet betalen ben op het moment100% afgekeurd stuurman rijnvaart afgekeurd door een eenzijdige verlamming na een beroerte, in 2000, liep na 13 dagen al weer door dijkzigt en na 6 – 8 weken ging het praten weer
    helaas was dit een 5e beroerte, omdat ik bij de eerste een verkeerde diagnose kreeg/10 dagen in coma/ kreeg ik er dus 5 maar het is bekend na 5 keer wat de oorzaak is,dik bloed, danklonterd je bloed en dan heb je pech maar bij die eerste kee was is na 2 jaar volledig hersteld en liep ook nog in nijmegen 200 KM dit is de vijfe duurt het wat langer maar herstellen zal ik enzodra ik door de keuring ben wil ik naar de zeevaartschool en studeren voor maritiem officier het is misschien hoog gegrepen maar ik geloof erin dat ik dat gaat redden.met hartelijke maritieme groet,
    Staney RenonZeekadetofficier Public Relations/zkkrotterdam.nl

  9. Your web blog is very enjoyable and brings back many pleasant memories of our Alaskan cruise aboard the Veendam in 1997. What a wonderful cruise on such a beautiful and elegant ship.
    You mentioned some changes taking place in the way in which the captains now interact with the guests, such as shorter speeches/receptions. I can certainly understand why that may be necessary, especially these days when the new ships are so large and have a huge passenger complement. I do hope that you will still manage to take some opportunities to address the guests. I have always enjoyed the captain’s reception, especially to hear the updates and news about new ships, the company’s plans and the opportunity to ask a few questions.
    I wish you pleasant sailing and many thanks for giving us a chance to sail with you vicariously!

  10. Just discovered your Blogs and they are wonderful. My husband and I will join you in Montreal on Sept. 9 along with 6 of our friends. It will be about our 35th HAL cruise so you can tell we are “sold”.

    Will look forward to seeing you at a suite or Mariner party — Smooth Sailing!!!

    Elinor Corley

    (Will be fun to depart the ship just 1 hour from our home in Sarasota!!)

  11. Oct. 23, 2007

    Thanks, again, Captain, for the great cruise & especially the photographs of the New Amsterdam ship (troopship) that I sailed from New York to Glascow; June 2nd to June 14th, 1944. Even though we were packed about 15-20 to a small cabin, (5-6 bunks deep on 3 sides) we had a pleasant voyage over. It took 12 days; probably because we zigzaged across (enemy submarines?). Not sure you would call it a Great Circle route!

    I forgot whether it was the 5th largest ocean liner or the 5th fastest ocean liner (maybe both).

    I did want to send a picture of the Dutch pennant they gave us, but can’t attach it to this message. (could if it was email).

    Thanks again,

    Richard St. John, cabin 594; Montreal to Tampa cruise ending Oct. 21, 2007

  12. Dear Albert,

    By coincidence I found you web log. Very nice and informative. From time to time I think back to my own sailing days with Holland America. I also met my wife on board (the Rotterdam V). Over the years many things have changed on board, in shipping and at sea. But sailing still is an adventure in my book. Continue writing, take care,

    Richard Schiferli, General Secretary, Paris MoU on Port State Control

  13. Hoi Albert,
    Dat is lang gelden dat wij met elkaar hebben gevaren, 1984,85.86. Jij als 3e en ik als leerling en 4e stuurman. Leuk om te zien dat jij nu kapitein bent. Ik heb de scheepvaart verlaten eind jaren 80 en hou mij nu bezig met Blauwe vliegtuigen, als Duty maintenance manager.
    Wel maak ik af en toe nog een cruise, het bloed gaat daar waar de zeeman zout water heeft zitten. Dat raak je nooit meer kwijt.
    Je site is erg leuk, oude tijden herleven. Leuk om te lezen.
    Groet Theo Hin

  14. Capt. Albert,

    How serendipitous that I came upon your blog recently. I am in the recruitment process with Holland America Line as we speak. It has always been a dream of mine to work shipboard and I am very excited that I may set out to sea with HAL. I certainly couldn’t have hoped for any better. Your blog has been a source of great information for me as it not only provides insight into the crew life on a cruise ship, but also a little bit of information about how HAL does things. I am very excited at the prospect of working for Holland America Line. Perhaps I will have the pleasure of signing on to ms Veendam in the future! Keep up the great blog and enjoy the remainder of your vacation!

    Best Regards,
    Anthony

  15. Capt. Albert,

    As a follow up to my last post, I have some great news! I have just been offered a position with Holland America Line. And, what’s even more interesting is that I am tentatively slated to sign onto ms Veendam as the first Crew Purser on 30 March 2008! It will certainly be a pleasure to be aboard Veendam and I look forward to working with you.

    Best,
    Anthony Garofalo

  16. Captain: I just purchased a copy of your book “125 years of
    Holland America Lines”
    I will be on the Veendam Apr. 29, San Diego to Vancouver.
    I would appreciate very much if you could autograph it.
    I will contact reception with my cabin #.
    Thank you and I look forward to meeting you.

    Greg Haller

  17. Kapitein;

    4 jaar geleden stonden we in Vancouver oog in oog met de MS Veendam, dit was een hele verrassing, gezien ik geboren ben in Veendam, dus foto’s maken.

    Nu 4 jaar later gaan we op 5 september dit jaar terug om een Cruise te maken op Uw schip, Wat ons ontzettend leuk lijkt.
    mogelijk dat we elkaar nog kunnen zien en spreken.

    groetjes Johan& Ria.

  18. Dear Captain Albert,

    I just discovered your blog and have enjoyed exploring all of the links. We will be following you up the coast on Ryndam leaving San Diego on Saturday, 3 May. This will be our second sailing on HAL and we are looking forward to this short 4 night getaway.

    A number of years ago a friend, Jim Button, was the Security Officer on Rotterdam for the maiden world cruise. His wife, Martha, was in the peace Corps with me in Costa Rica and traveled with him. My 7th grade students followed “Aunt Martha and Uncle Jim” around the world through e-mail, letters and postcards. When the cruise was over they came to visit with each class. The students were in AWE of Jim in his uniform! Several even asked for his autograph. HAL got some very good PR out of that experience.

    Best,

    Frank in Santa Barbara, California

  19. Beste Albert,

    In de scheepvaartnieuwsbrief van Piet Sinke las ik dat de Veendam in Alaska is.
    In september hopen wij cees en yvon( dan net getrouwd) in Vancouver aan boord te gaan van de Veendam voor wat wij denken gezien de vele mooie verhalen gelezen op het internet onze mooist cruise tot nu toe zal zijn
    Wij doen het andersom , hebben eerst de cruisegeboekt en daarna besloten dat dit een hele mooie huwelijksreis zou zijn
    Hopelijk bent u in september nog of weer aan boord.
    Met plezier uw weblog gelezen , tot september, en tot dan vele mooie reizen voor u en de rest van de bemanning toegewenst
    Tot ziens in september, en vr. groeten

    cees kloppenburg en yvon kloppenburg -jonker (zal wel even wennen worden die naam voor Yvonne)

  20. Greetings again Captain

    My husband and I will be cruising with you on June 13th. We have read your writings and are getting very excited about the cruise.
    We are amateur photographers and plan on getting lots of pictures while we cruise. If we take pictures on the Veendam, where are we prohibited to take pictures? We want to respect any wishes you have on the matter.
    Thank you, have a great day. Kathy

  21. This Aug is our first cruise to Alaska (our second on HAL0
    We are sailing on the Veendam on Aug 22 on a 14 day nb/sd with my
    dad. It’s his first cruise , he is currently 91 years old.

  22. Captain Albert,
    It was wonderful to cruise with you in April and May from Tampa to Vancouver and for the first Alaska Inside Passage this year. Thank you, also for the wonderful Mariner’s luncheon. We are joining the Maasdam on July 5th for a 35 day “Voyage of the Vikings” from Boston to Rotterdam and back to Boston. Could you please tell us who the Captain, Hotel Manager, Guest Relations Manager, and Cruise Director will be? We currently have our gold medallions, and chances are we will already know some of these people. Thank you.

  23. Dear Captain,

    I went to this website searching for infos about “old days” working on MS. PRINSENDAM as a Tour Manager. This is back in 1976… As I could not find any relevant infos, I went on your blog and enjoyed very much finding again the spirit of those days on sea.

    Is there any chance you could tell me how to contact the formal staff members sailing on MS. PRINSENDAM as I would be very keen in finding out, after all those years, where everyone is today. I am still in contact with 2 of the formal staff members, but no one seems to know anything about the rest of the crew?

    In the meantime, wishing you all the best on smooth waters.

    Looking forward to hear from you

    Kind regards, et “bon vent”!
    Marie-Louise Dillinger

    Moulin Vollach
    F-67340 INGWILLER/France
    marielouise.dillinger@polyglotte.fr

  24. Greetings Captain Albert!
    Thank you for providing our staff and clientele an opportunity to share your, “Stories of the Seas” as well as have access to your expertise, personal insights and day-by-day account of life aboard the ms Veendam. It’s good to be aboard. I plan to visit your blog often and look forward to encountering massive glaciers, beautiful bays and incredible wildlife. I’ll also look forward to reading the messages from past guests, repeat guests and soon to be guests, who are now “linked” to amazing journeys of discovery.
    Best Regards and as always … Good voyage!
    Cathy Stucker, Travel Marketing – AAA Auto Club South

  25. Hello,
    I’ve just come across your interesting blog. My husband and I are cruising on the Veendam, Aug 22. We did the Panama canal cruise in April/May this year on the Amsterdam and enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to Alaska!

  26. Would it be at all possible for your company to start a monthly or two monthly Atlantic crossing E/B and W/B for people who are absolutely fed-up with plane crossings to Europe. I’d love the old days whereby you can plan a holiday in Europe which includes getting there from N. America by ship rather than having to squeeze aboard an airplane where you’ve had to stand for hours just to check in.

    I’d like to see some shipping company start up – perhaps limited at first just to try it out – to see if people would take to ship travel to get to their destination. As the old Cunard byword was “Getting there is half the fun”.

    Thanks

  27. Dear Capitain Albert:

    Ruth and I cruised on the sweet little SS Veendam to Bermuda in 1982. It was the first of many fabulous HAL cruises, but this precious yacht-like boat is still one of our favorites. (“Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina!”) Service? Perfect. Food? Perfect. Shore Arrangements? Perfect. Engine Room Tour? Unbelievible- Every valve, pump, boiler, driveshaft- our Dutch Engineer host left nothing out and we couldn’t get enough. Unfortunately, we just missed the beloved SS Statendam. Naturally, becoming instant steamship buffs, we sailed the Rotterdam V to Alaska in 1996, but that’s another great story.

    Regards, Scott and Ruth Raswyck

  28. Dear Captain,

    In de periode 70/71 heb ik gevaren op de Statendam en de Nieuw Amsterdam. Ik las, dat u uw loopbaan bent begonnen op de Statendam in 1981. Ik ben in het bezit van wat scheepsdocumenten uit die tijd. Mag ik u vragen welke functie u in de periode 81/82 vervulde op de Statendam? Wellicht kan ik u dan nog verblijden met wat leuke documenten, als mijn vermoedens juist zijn tenminste.

    Gerrit geb 1951

  29. Dear Captain Albert,I enjoy reading your blogs.  They bring back many memories of HAL.  I sure do miss them.  I had a copy of you 125 years of HAL and when I left Ft. Lauderdale I must have left it in my office. Do you know where I might obtain another one? Thank you.
    May you and Lesley have a Happy and Healthy New Year. Good luck on the Prinsendam.
    Florrie Elmnren
    Retired, Assistant Manager
    FLL Shore Operations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

About Us

The Holland America Blog web site serves as the primary portal for all news and information, images and video, gossip and discussion about the 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet. Visitors to Holland America Blog get the latest news from the ships, meet the people who work on board, travel around the world through video and photos from various ports, and hear from guests and fans of Holland America Line.

With nearly 140 years of experience, Holland America Line is recognized as the undisputed leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. With the introduction of a new 2,660-passenger, 99,000-ton ship in fall 2015, Holland America Line’s fleet will grow to 16 ships, offering nearly 500 cruises from more than 25 home ports. Itineraries range from two-day samplers to extended cruises of more than 100 days, and the ships visit all seven continents, including Australia/New Zealand and Asia sailings, a World Cruise, extravagant Grand Voyages and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, South America, Mexico and Europe.

If you have a question about Holland America or if there is a topic that you would like to see us cover, send us an e-mail or leave us a comment.

32 Comments

  1. Thanks for the ‘blog’, I will read it all later as I am about to go to bed, it looks really interesting

    best wishes from

    Robina

  2. Hello

    Great blog site

    Good luck with it for the future, we will be logging in regularly to find out what you are up to.

    We cannot wait to join you aboard in May

    All the best

    Kev and Jan

  3. Hello Captain,

    It has been a long time since we sailed together. Occasionally I see the old Holland America Line vessels around and it brings back great memories. I’m working as a superintendent here in Cyprus, been here 11 years now can you believe?

    Great website, Robina dropped me the link.

    All the best,

    David Shewan

  4. Hello there,

    I’m really enjoying your blog. Almost makes me feel like I’m sailing with you.

    I’m sorry you won’t be aboard the Veendam when I’m sailing on her on 8/22. It would have been wonderful to see you and Leslie again.

    Any chance you’ll be aboard the Eurodam for her maiden voyage next July. I’ve already booked and I’m trying to talk our friend Liz into coming with me.

    Love to Leslie.

    Regards,
    Joyce

  5. We traveled with you from Venice to Venice ; May19th to the 29th. I have enjoyed reading your blog and will keep it with my momentos. It is nice to know we were in capable hands. You Rock! Thanks Again.

  6. Dear Captain. I like to continue in Dutch, if you don’t mind.
    Via “Hallo” ben ik opmerkzaam gemaakt op uw Weblog. Wat is het allemachtig interessant om te lezen en wat boeiend, maar ook veileisend, de job van een cruis-ship captain wel is. Als voormalig filmoperateur op de enige echte Rotterdam (V) heb ik ook een tijd mogen ruiken aan het leven op een schip en later heb ik hetzelfde als passagier mogen beleven, maar er is toch wel veel veranderd. Passsagiers zijn veeleisender geworden, maar ook de schepen hebben een geheel andere uitstraling dat de voormalige transatlantische zeekastelen.
    Nietemin heb ik met veel plezier uw dagboek gelezen en beloof, dat ik dit zal blijven doe. U doet mij – en velen met mj, daar ben ik zeker van- er een geweldig plezier mee en ik hoop van harte dat wij uw bijdragen in Hallo nog lang zullen mogen lezen.
    Een warme en vriendelijke groet van uit Landgraaf, gelegen in het bronsgroenen eikenhout,
    Frank Doomen
    Namiddagse Driessen 42
    6374MP Landgraaf
    f.doomen@orange.nl

  7. Beste Kaptein Schoonderbeek,

    In HALLO van juli-aug. las ik over uw web blog. Met veel plezier heb ik er al veel van gelezen. Zal zeker regelmatig terugkomen. Aangezien ik geen e-mail adres van u kan vinden, verzoek ik u langs deze weg mij toestemming te verlenen op mijn website over de HAL een link te mogen plaatsen naar uw web blog.

    met vriendelijke groet,

    Ruud Mudde

  8. hallo kapitein Schoonderbeek,
    alvast wil ik u en uw vrouw een fijne vakantie toewensen
    lees graag uw blog op het internet als ik daar de kans voor krijgkan zelf geen internet betalen ben op het moment100% afgekeurd stuurman rijnvaart afgekeurd door een eenzijdige verlamming na een beroerte, in 2000, liep na 13 dagen al weer door dijkzigt en na 6 – 8 weken ging het praten weer
    helaas was dit een 5e beroerte, omdat ik bij de eerste een verkeerde diagnose kreeg/10 dagen in coma/ kreeg ik er dus 5 maar het is bekend na 5 keer wat de oorzaak is,dik bloed, danklonterd je bloed en dan heb je pech maar bij die eerste kee was is na 2 jaar volledig hersteld en liep ook nog in nijmegen 200 KM dit is de vijfe duurt het wat langer maar herstellen zal ik enzodra ik door de keuring ben wil ik naar de zeevaartschool en studeren voor maritiem officier het is misschien hoog gegrepen maar ik geloof erin dat ik dat gaat redden.met hartelijke maritieme groet,
    Staney RenonZeekadetofficier Public Relations/zkkrotterdam.nl

  9. Your web blog is very enjoyable and brings back many pleasant memories of our Alaskan cruise aboard the Veendam in 1997. What a wonderful cruise on such a beautiful and elegant ship.
    You mentioned some changes taking place in the way in which the captains now interact with the guests, such as shorter speeches/receptions. I can certainly understand why that may be necessary, especially these days when the new ships are so large and have a huge passenger complement. I do hope that you will still manage to take some opportunities to address the guests. I have always enjoyed the captain’s reception, especially to hear the updates and news about new ships, the company’s plans and the opportunity to ask a few questions.
    I wish you pleasant sailing and many thanks for giving us a chance to sail with you vicariously!

  10. Just discovered your Blogs and they are wonderful. My husband and I will join you in Montreal on Sept. 9 along with 6 of our friends. It will be about our 35th HAL cruise so you can tell we are “sold”.

    Will look forward to seeing you at a suite or Mariner party — Smooth Sailing!!!

    Elinor Corley

    (Will be fun to depart the ship just 1 hour from our home in Sarasota!!)

  11. Oct. 23, 2007

    Thanks, again, Captain, for the great cruise & especially the photographs of the New Amsterdam ship (troopship) that I sailed from New York to Glascow; June 2nd to June 14th, 1944. Even though we were packed about 15-20 to a small cabin, (5-6 bunks deep on 3 sides) we had a pleasant voyage over. It took 12 days; probably because we zigzaged across (enemy submarines?). Not sure you would call it a Great Circle route!

    I forgot whether it was the 5th largest ocean liner or the 5th fastest ocean liner (maybe both).

    I did want to send a picture of the Dutch pennant they gave us, but can’t attach it to this message. (could if it was email).

    Thanks again,

    Richard St. John, cabin 594; Montreal to Tampa cruise ending Oct. 21, 2007

  12. Dear Albert,

    By coincidence I found you web log. Very nice and informative. From time to time I think back to my own sailing days with Holland America. I also met my wife on board (the Rotterdam V). Over the years many things have changed on board, in shipping and at sea. But sailing still is an adventure in my book. Continue writing, take care,

    Richard Schiferli, General Secretary, Paris MoU on Port State Control

  13. Hoi Albert,
    Dat is lang gelden dat wij met elkaar hebben gevaren, 1984,85.86. Jij als 3e en ik als leerling en 4e stuurman. Leuk om te zien dat jij nu kapitein bent. Ik heb de scheepvaart verlaten eind jaren 80 en hou mij nu bezig met Blauwe vliegtuigen, als Duty maintenance manager.
    Wel maak ik af en toe nog een cruise, het bloed gaat daar waar de zeeman zout water heeft zitten. Dat raak je nooit meer kwijt.
    Je site is erg leuk, oude tijden herleven. Leuk om te lezen.
    Groet Theo Hin

  14. Capt. Albert,

    How serendipitous that I came upon your blog recently. I am in the recruitment process with Holland America Line as we speak. It has always been a dream of mine to work shipboard and I am very excited that I may set out to sea with HAL. I certainly couldn’t have hoped for any better. Your blog has been a source of great information for me as it not only provides insight into the crew life on a cruise ship, but also a little bit of information about how HAL does things. I am very excited at the prospect of working for Holland America Line. Perhaps I will have the pleasure of signing on to ms Veendam in the future! Keep up the great blog and enjoy the remainder of your vacation!

    Best Regards,
    Anthony

  15. Capt. Albert,

    As a follow up to my last post, I have some great news! I have just been offered a position with Holland America Line. And, what’s even more interesting is that I am tentatively slated to sign onto ms Veendam as the first Crew Purser on 30 March 2008! It will certainly be a pleasure to be aboard Veendam and I look forward to working with you.

    Best,
    Anthony Garofalo

  16. Captain: I just purchased a copy of your book “125 years of
    Holland America Lines”
    I will be on the Veendam Apr. 29, San Diego to Vancouver.
    I would appreciate very much if you could autograph it.
    I will contact reception with my cabin #.
    Thank you and I look forward to meeting you.

    Greg Haller

  17. Kapitein;

    4 jaar geleden stonden we in Vancouver oog in oog met de MS Veendam, dit was een hele verrassing, gezien ik geboren ben in Veendam, dus foto’s maken.

    Nu 4 jaar later gaan we op 5 september dit jaar terug om een Cruise te maken op Uw schip, Wat ons ontzettend leuk lijkt.
    mogelijk dat we elkaar nog kunnen zien en spreken.

    groetjes Johan& Ria.

  18. Dear Captain Albert,

    I just discovered your blog and have enjoyed exploring all of the links. We will be following you up the coast on Ryndam leaving San Diego on Saturday, 3 May. This will be our second sailing on HAL and we are looking forward to this short 4 night getaway.

    A number of years ago a friend, Jim Button, was the Security Officer on Rotterdam for the maiden world cruise. His wife, Martha, was in the peace Corps with me in Costa Rica and traveled with him. My 7th grade students followed “Aunt Martha and Uncle Jim” around the world through e-mail, letters and postcards. When the cruise was over they came to visit with each class. The students were in AWE of Jim in his uniform! Several even asked for his autograph. HAL got some very good PR out of that experience.

    Best,

    Frank in Santa Barbara, California

  19. Beste Albert,

    In de scheepvaartnieuwsbrief van Piet Sinke las ik dat de Veendam in Alaska is.
    In september hopen wij cees en yvon( dan net getrouwd) in Vancouver aan boord te gaan van de Veendam voor wat wij denken gezien de vele mooie verhalen gelezen op het internet onze mooist cruise tot nu toe zal zijn
    Wij doen het andersom , hebben eerst de cruisegeboekt en daarna besloten dat dit een hele mooie huwelijksreis zou zijn
    Hopelijk bent u in september nog of weer aan boord.
    Met plezier uw weblog gelezen , tot september, en tot dan vele mooie reizen voor u en de rest van de bemanning toegewenst
    Tot ziens in september, en vr. groeten

    cees kloppenburg en yvon kloppenburg -jonker (zal wel even wennen worden die naam voor Yvonne)

  20. Greetings again Captain

    My husband and I will be cruising with you on June 13th. We have read your writings and are getting very excited about the cruise.
    We are amateur photographers and plan on getting lots of pictures while we cruise. If we take pictures on the Veendam, where are we prohibited to take pictures? We want to respect any wishes you have on the matter.
    Thank you, have a great day. Kathy

  21. This Aug is our first cruise to Alaska (our second on HAL0
    We are sailing on the Veendam on Aug 22 on a 14 day nb/sd with my
    dad. It’s his first cruise , he is currently 91 years old.

  22. Captain Albert,
    It was wonderful to cruise with you in April and May from Tampa to Vancouver and for the first Alaska Inside Passage this year. Thank you, also for the wonderful Mariner’s luncheon. We are joining the Maasdam on July 5th for a 35 day “Voyage of the Vikings” from Boston to Rotterdam and back to Boston. Could you please tell us who the Captain, Hotel Manager, Guest Relations Manager, and Cruise Director will be? We currently have our gold medallions, and chances are we will already know some of these people. Thank you.

  23. Dear Captain,

    I went to this website searching for infos about “old days” working on MS. PRINSENDAM as a Tour Manager. This is back in 1976… As I could not find any relevant infos, I went on your blog and enjoyed very much finding again the spirit of those days on sea.

    Is there any chance you could tell me how to contact the formal staff members sailing on MS. PRINSENDAM as I would be very keen in finding out, after all those years, where everyone is today. I am still in contact with 2 of the formal staff members, but no one seems to know anything about the rest of the crew?

    In the meantime, wishing you all the best on smooth waters.

    Looking forward to hear from you

    Kind regards, et “bon vent”!
    Marie-Louise Dillinger

    Moulin Vollach
    F-67340 INGWILLER/France
    marielouise.dillinger@polyglotte.fr

  24. Greetings Captain Albert!
    Thank you for providing our staff and clientele an opportunity to share your, “Stories of the Seas” as well as have access to your expertise, personal insights and day-by-day account of life aboard the ms Veendam. It’s good to be aboard. I plan to visit your blog often and look forward to encountering massive glaciers, beautiful bays and incredible wildlife. I’ll also look forward to reading the messages from past guests, repeat guests and soon to be guests, who are now “linked” to amazing journeys of discovery.
    Best Regards and as always … Good voyage!
    Cathy Stucker, Travel Marketing – AAA Auto Club South

  25. Hello,
    I’ve just come across your interesting blog. My husband and I are cruising on the Veendam, Aug 22. We did the Panama canal cruise in April/May this year on the Amsterdam and enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to Alaska!

  26. Would it be at all possible for your company to start a monthly or two monthly Atlantic crossing E/B and W/B for people who are absolutely fed-up with plane crossings to Europe. I’d love the old days whereby you can plan a holiday in Europe which includes getting there from N. America by ship rather than having to squeeze aboard an airplane where you’ve had to stand for hours just to check in.

    I’d like to see some shipping company start up – perhaps limited at first just to try it out – to see if people would take to ship travel to get to their destination. As the old Cunard byword was “Getting there is half the fun”.

    Thanks

  27. Dear Capitain Albert:

    Ruth and I cruised on the sweet little SS Veendam to Bermuda in 1982. It was the first of many fabulous HAL cruises, but this precious yacht-like boat is still one of our favorites. (“Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina!”) Service? Perfect. Food? Perfect. Shore Arrangements? Perfect. Engine Room Tour? Unbelievible- Every valve, pump, boiler, driveshaft- our Dutch Engineer host left nothing out and we couldn’t get enough. Unfortunately, we just missed the beloved SS Statendam. Naturally, becoming instant steamship buffs, we sailed the Rotterdam V to Alaska in 1996, but that’s another great story.

    Regards, Scott and Ruth Raswyck

  28. Dear Captain,

    In de periode 70/71 heb ik gevaren op de Statendam en de Nieuw Amsterdam. Ik las, dat u uw loopbaan bent begonnen op de Statendam in 1981. Ik ben in het bezit van wat scheepsdocumenten uit die tijd. Mag ik u vragen welke functie u in de periode 81/82 vervulde op de Statendam? Wellicht kan ik u dan nog verblijden met wat leuke documenten, als mijn vermoedens juist zijn tenminste.

    Gerrit geb 1951

  29. Dear Captain Albert,I enjoy reading your blogs.  They bring back many memories of HAL.  I sure do miss them.  I had a copy of you 125 years of HAL and when I left Ft. Lauderdale I must have left it in my office. Do you know where I might obtain another one? Thank you.
    May you and Lesley have a Happy and Healthy New Year. Good luck on the Prinsendam.
    Florrie Elmnren
    Retired, Assistant Manager
    FLL Shore Operations

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About Us

The Holland America Blog web site serves as the primary portal for all news and information, images and video, gossip and discussion about the 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet. Visitors to Holland America Blog get the latest news from the ships, meet the people who work on board, travel around the world through video and photos from various ports, and hear from guests and fans of Holland America Line.

With nearly 140 years of experience, Holland America Line is recognized as the undisputed leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. With the introduction of a new 2,660-passenger, 99,000-ton ship in fall 2015, Holland America Line’s fleet will grow to 16 ships, offering nearly 500 cruises from more than 25 home ports. Itineraries range from two-day samplers to extended cruises of more than 100 days, and the ships visit all seven continents, including Australia/New Zealand and Asia sailings, a World Cruise, extravagant Grand Voyages and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, South America, Mexico and Europe.

If you have a question about Holland America or if there is a topic that you would like to see us cover, send us an e-mail or leave us a comment.

32 Comments

  1. Thanks for the ‘blog’, I will read it all later as I am about to go to bed, it looks really interesting

    best wishes from

    Robina

  2. Hello

    Great blog site

    Good luck with it for the future, we will be logging in regularly to find out what you are up to.

    We cannot wait to join you aboard in May

    All the best

    Kev and Jan

  3. Hello Captain,

    It has been a long time since we sailed together. Occasionally I see the old Holland America Line vessels around and it brings back great memories. I’m working as a superintendent here in Cyprus, been here 11 years now can you believe?

    Great website, Robina dropped me the link.

    All the best,

    David Shewan

  4. Hello there,

    I’m really enjoying your blog. Almost makes me feel like I’m sailing with you.

    I’m sorry you won’t be aboard the Veendam when I’m sailing on her on 8/22. It would have been wonderful to see you and Leslie again.

    Any chance you’ll be aboard the Eurodam for her maiden voyage next July. I’ve already booked and I’m trying to talk our friend Liz into coming with me.

    Love to Leslie.

    Regards,
    Joyce

  5. We traveled with you from Venice to Venice ; May19th to the 29th. I have enjoyed reading your blog and will keep it with my momentos. It is nice to know we were in capable hands. You Rock! Thanks Again.

  6. Dear Captain. I like to continue in Dutch, if you don’t mind.
    Via “Hallo” ben ik opmerkzaam gemaakt op uw Weblog. Wat is het allemachtig interessant om te lezen en wat boeiend, maar ook veileisend, de job van een cruis-ship captain wel is. Als voormalig filmoperateur op de enige echte Rotterdam (V) heb ik ook een tijd mogen ruiken aan het leven op een schip en later heb ik hetzelfde als passagier mogen beleven, maar er is toch wel veel veranderd. Passsagiers zijn veeleisender geworden, maar ook de schepen hebben een geheel andere uitstraling dat de voormalige transatlantische zeekastelen.
    Nietemin heb ik met veel plezier uw dagboek gelezen en beloof, dat ik dit zal blijven doe. U doet mij – en velen met mj, daar ben ik zeker van- er een geweldig plezier mee en ik hoop van harte dat wij uw bijdragen in Hallo nog lang zullen mogen lezen.
    Een warme en vriendelijke groet van uit Landgraaf, gelegen in het bronsgroenen eikenhout,
    Frank Doomen
    Namiddagse Driessen 42
    6374MP Landgraaf
    f.doomen@orange.nl

  7. Beste Kaptein Schoonderbeek,

    In HALLO van juli-aug. las ik over uw web blog. Met veel plezier heb ik er al veel van gelezen. Zal zeker regelmatig terugkomen. Aangezien ik geen e-mail adres van u kan vinden, verzoek ik u langs deze weg mij toestemming te verlenen op mijn website over de HAL een link te mogen plaatsen naar uw web blog.

    met vriendelijke groet,

    Ruud Mudde

  8. hallo kapitein Schoonderbeek,
    alvast wil ik u en uw vrouw een fijne vakantie toewensen
    lees graag uw blog op het internet als ik daar de kans voor krijgkan zelf geen internet betalen ben op het moment100% afgekeurd stuurman rijnvaart afgekeurd door een eenzijdige verlamming na een beroerte, in 2000, liep na 13 dagen al weer door dijkzigt en na 6 – 8 weken ging het praten weer
    helaas was dit een 5e beroerte, omdat ik bij de eerste een verkeerde diagnose kreeg/10 dagen in coma/ kreeg ik er dus 5 maar het is bekend na 5 keer wat de oorzaak is,dik bloed, danklonterd je bloed en dan heb je pech maar bij die eerste kee was is na 2 jaar volledig hersteld en liep ook nog in nijmegen 200 KM dit is de vijfe duurt het wat langer maar herstellen zal ik enzodra ik door de keuring ben wil ik naar de zeevaartschool en studeren voor maritiem officier het is misschien hoog gegrepen maar ik geloof erin dat ik dat gaat redden.met hartelijke maritieme groet,
    Staney RenonZeekadetofficier Public Relations/zkkrotterdam.nl

  9. Your web blog is very enjoyable and brings back many pleasant memories of our Alaskan cruise aboard the Veendam in 1997. What a wonderful cruise on such a beautiful and elegant ship.
    You mentioned some changes taking place in the way in which the captains now interact with the guests, such as shorter speeches/receptions. I can certainly understand why that may be necessary, especially these days when the new ships are so large and have a huge passenger complement. I do hope that you will still manage to take some opportunities to address the guests. I have always enjoyed the captain’s reception, especially to hear the updates and news about new ships, the company’s plans and the opportunity to ask a few questions.
    I wish you pleasant sailing and many thanks for giving us a chance to sail with you vicariously!

  10. Just discovered your Blogs and they are wonderful. My husband and I will join you in Montreal on Sept. 9 along with 6 of our friends. It will be about our 35th HAL cruise so you can tell we are “sold”.

    Will look forward to seeing you at a suite or Mariner party — Smooth Sailing!!!

    Elinor Corley

    (Will be fun to depart the ship just 1 hour from our home in Sarasota!!)

  11. Oct. 23, 2007

    Thanks, again, Captain, for the great cruise & especially the photographs of the New Amsterdam ship (troopship) that I sailed from New York to Glascow; June 2nd to June 14th, 1944. Even though we were packed about 15-20 to a small cabin, (5-6 bunks deep on 3 sides) we had a pleasant voyage over. It took 12 days; probably because we zigzaged across (enemy submarines?). Not sure you would call it a Great Circle route!

    I forgot whether it was the 5th largest ocean liner or the 5th fastest ocean liner (maybe both).

    I did want to send a picture of the Dutch pennant they gave us, but can’t attach it to this message. (could if it was email).

    Thanks again,

    Richard St. John, cabin 594; Montreal to Tampa cruise ending Oct. 21, 2007

  12. Dear Albert,

    By coincidence I found you web log. Very nice and informative. From time to time I think back to my own sailing days with Holland America. I also met my wife on board (the Rotterdam V). Over the years many things have changed on board, in shipping and at sea. But sailing still is an adventure in my book. Continue writing, take care,

    Richard Schiferli, General Secretary, Paris MoU on Port State Control

  13. Hoi Albert,
    Dat is lang gelden dat wij met elkaar hebben gevaren, 1984,85.86. Jij als 3e en ik als leerling en 4e stuurman. Leuk om te zien dat jij nu kapitein bent. Ik heb de scheepvaart verlaten eind jaren 80 en hou mij nu bezig met Blauwe vliegtuigen, als Duty maintenance manager.
    Wel maak ik af en toe nog een cruise, het bloed gaat daar waar de zeeman zout water heeft zitten. Dat raak je nooit meer kwijt.
    Je site is erg leuk, oude tijden herleven. Leuk om te lezen.
    Groet Theo Hin

  14. Capt. Albert,

    How serendipitous that I came upon your blog recently. I am in the recruitment process with Holland America Line as we speak. It has always been a dream of mine to work shipboard and I am very excited that I may set out to sea with HAL. I certainly couldn’t have hoped for any better. Your blog has been a source of great information for me as it not only provides insight into the crew life on a cruise ship, but also a little bit of information about how HAL does things. I am very excited at the prospect of working for Holland America Line. Perhaps I will have the pleasure of signing on to ms Veendam in the future! Keep up the great blog and enjoy the remainder of your vacation!

    Best Regards,
    Anthony

  15. Capt. Albert,

    As a follow up to my last post, I have some great news! I have just been offered a position with Holland America Line. And, what’s even more interesting is that I am tentatively slated to sign onto ms Veendam as the first Crew Purser on 30 March 2008! It will certainly be a pleasure to be aboard Veendam and I look forward to working with you.

    Best,
    Anthony Garofalo

  16. Captain: I just purchased a copy of your book “125 years of
    Holland America Lines”
    I will be on the Veendam Apr. 29, San Diego to Vancouver.
    I would appreciate very much if you could autograph it.
    I will contact reception with my cabin #.
    Thank you and I look forward to meeting you.

    Greg Haller

  17. Kapitein;

    4 jaar geleden stonden we in Vancouver oog in oog met de MS Veendam, dit was een hele verrassing, gezien ik geboren ben in Veendam, dus foto’s maken.

    Nu 4 jaar later gaan we op 5 september dit jaar terug om een Cruise te maken op Uw schip, Wat ons ontzettend leuk lijkt.
    mogelijk dat we elkaar nog kunnen zien en spreken.

    groetjes Johan& Ria.

  18. Dear Captain Albert,

    I just discovered your blog and have enjoyed exploring all of the links. We will be following you up the coast on Ryndam leaving San Diego on Saturday, 3 May. This will be our second sailing on HAL and we are looking forward to this short 4 night getaway.

    A number of years ago a friend, Jim Button, was the Security Officer on Rotterdam for the maiden world cruise. His wife, Martha, was in the peace Corps with me in Costa Rica and traveled with him. My 7th grade students followed “Aunt Martha and Uncle Jim” around the world through e-mail, letters and postcards. When the cruise was over they came to visit with each class. The students were in AWE of Jim in his uniform! Several even asked for his autograph. HAL got some very good PR out of that experience.

    Best,

    Frank in Santa Barbara, California

  19. Beste Albert,

    In de scheepvaartnieuwsbrief van Piet Sinke las ik dat de Veendam in Alaska is.
    In september hopen wij cees en yvon( dan net getrouwd) in Vancouver aan boord te gaan van de Veendam voor wat wij denken gezien de vele mooie verhalen gelezen op het internet onze mooist cruise tot nu toe zal zijn
    Wij doen het andersom , hebben eerst de cruisegeboekt en daarna besloten dat dit een hele mooie huwelijksreis zou zijn
    Hopelijk bent u in september nog of weer aan boord.
    Met plezier uw weblog gelezen , tot september, en tot dan vele mooie reizen voor u en de rest van de bemanning toegewenst
    Tot ziens in september, en vr. groeten

    cees kloppenburg en yvon kloppenburg -jonker (zal wel even wennen worden die naam voor Yvonne)

  20. Greetings again Captain

    My husband and I will be cruising with you on June 13th. We have read your writings and are getting very excited about the cruise.
    We are amateur photographers and plan on getting lots of pictures while we cruise. If we take pictures on the Veendam, where are we prohibited to take pictures? We want to respect any wishes you have on the matter.
    Thank you, have a great day. Kathy

  21. This Aug is our first cruise to Alaska (our second on HAL0
    We are sailing on the Veendam on Aug 22 on a 14 day nb/sd with my
    dad. It’s his first cruise , he is currently 91 years old.

  22. Captain Albert,
    It was wonderful to cruise with you in April and May from Tampa to Vancouver and for the first Alaska Inside Passage this year. Thank you, also for the wonderful Mariner’s luncheon. We are joining the Maasdam on July 5th for a 35 day “Voyage of the Vikings” from Boston to Rotterdam and back to Boston. Could you please tell us who the Captain, Hotel Manager, Guest Relations Manager, and Cruise Director will be? We currently have our gold medallions, and chances are we will already know some of these people. Thank you.

  23. Dear Captain,

    I went to this website searching for infos about “old days” working on MS. PRINSENDAM as a Tour Manager. This is back in 1976… As I could not find any relevant infos, I went on your blog and enjoyed very much finding again the spirit of those days on sea.

    Is there any chance you could tell me how to contact the formal staff members sailing on MS. PRINSENDAM as I would be very keen in finding out, after all those years, where everyone is today. I am still in contact with 2 of the formal staff members, but no one seems to know anything about the rest of the crew?

    In the meantime, wishing you all the best on smooth waters.

    Looking forward to hear from you

    Kind regards, et “bon vent”!
    Marie-Louise Dillinger

    Moulin Vollach
    F-67340 INGWILLER/France
    marielouise.dillinger@polyglotte.fr

  24. Greetings Captain Albert!
    Thank you for providing our staff and clientele an opportunity to share your, “Stories of the Seas” as well as have access to your expertise, personal insights and day-by-day account of life aboard the ms Veendam. It’s good to be aboard. I plan to visit your blog often and look forward to encountering massive glaciers, beautiful bays and incredible wildlife. I’ll also look forward to reading the messages from past guests, repeat guests and soon to be guests, who are now “linked” to amazing journeys of discovery.
    Best Regards and as always … Good voyage!
    Cathy Stucker, Travel Marketing – AAA Auto Club South

  25. Hello,
    I’ve just come across your interesting blog. My husband and I are cruising on the Veendam, Aug 22. We did the Panama canal cruise in April/May this year on the Amsterdam and enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to Alaska!

  26. Would it be at all possible for your company to start a monthly or two monthly Atlantic crossing E/B and W/B for people who are absolutely fed-up with plane crossings to Europe. I’d love the old days whereby you can plan a holiday in Europe which includes getting there from N. America by ship rather than having to squeeze aboard an airplane where you’ve had to stand for hours just to check in.

    I’d like to see some shipping company start up – perhaps limited at first just to try it out – to see if people would take to ship travel to get to their destination. As the old Cunard byword was “Getting there is half the fun”.

    Thanks

  27. Dear Capitain Albert:

    Ruth and I cruised on the sweet little SS Veendam to Bermuda in 1982. It was the first of many fabulous HAL cruises, but this precious yacht-like boat is still one of our favorites. (“Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina!”) Service? Perfect. Food? Perfect. Shore Arrangements? Perfect. Engine Room Tour? Unbelievible- Every valve, pump, boiler, driveshaft- our Dutch Engineer host left nothing out and we couldn’t get enough. Unfortunately, we just missed the beloved SS Statendam. Naturally, becoming instant steamship buffs, we sailed the Rotterdam V to Alaska in 1996, but that’s another great story.

    Regards, Scott and Ruth Raswyck

  28. Dear Captain,

    In de periode 70/71 heb ik gevaren op de Statendam en de Nieuw Amsterdam. Ik las, dat u uw loopbaan bent begonnen op de Statendam in 1981. Ik ben in het bezit van wat scheepsdocumenten uit die tijd. Mag ik u vragen welke functie u in de periode 81/82 vervulde op de Statendam? Wellicht kan ik u dan nog verblijden met wat leuke documenten, als mijn vermoedens juist zijn tenminste.

    Gerrit geb 1951

  29. Dear Captain Albert,I enjoy reading your blogs.  They bring back many memories of HAL.  I sure do miss them.  I had a copy of you 125 years of HAL and when I left Ft. Lauderdale I must have left it in my office. Do you know where I might obtain another one? Thank you.
    May you and Lesley have a Happy and Healthy New Year. Good luck on the Prinsendam.
    Florrie Elmnren
    Retired, Assistant Manager
    FLL Shore Operations

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About Us

The Holland America Blog web site serves as the primary portal for all news and information, images and video, gossip and discussion about the 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet. Visitors to Holland America Blog get the latest news from the ships, meet the people who work on board, travel around the world through video and photos from various ports, and hear from guests and fans of Holland America Line.

With nearly 140 years of experience, Holland America Line is recognized as the undisputed leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. With the introduction of a new 2,660-passenger, 99,000-ton ship in fall 2015, Holland America Line’s fleet will grow to 16 ships, offering nearly 500 cruises from more than 25 home ports. Itineraries range from two-day samplers to extended cruises of more than 100 days, and the ships visit all seven continents, including Australia/New Zealand and Asia sailings, a World Cruise, extravagant Grand Voyages and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, South America, Mexico and Europe.

If you have a question about Holland America or if there is a topic that you would like to see us cover, send us an e-mail or leave us a comment.

32 Comments

  1. Thanks for the ‘blog’, I will read it all later as I am about to go to bed, it looks really interesting

    best wishes from

    Robina

  2. Hello

    Great blog site

    Good luck with it for the future, we will be logging in regularly to find out what you are up to.

    We cannot wait to join you aboard in May

    All the best

    Kev and Jan

  3. Hello Captain,

    It has been a long time since we sailed together. Occasionally I see the old Holland America Line vessels around and it brings back great memories. I’m working as a superintendent here in Cyprus, been here 11 years now can you believe?

    Great website, Robina dropped me the link.

    All the best,

    David Shewan

  4. Hello there,

    I’m really enjoying your blog. Almost makes me feel like I’m sailing with you.

    I’m sorry you won’t be aboard the Veendam when I’m sailing on her on 8/22. It would have been wonderful to see you and Leslie again.

    Any chance you’ll be aboard the Eurodam for her maiden voyage next July. I’ve already booked and I’m trying to talk our friend Liz into coming with me.

    Love to Leslie.

    Regards,
    Joyce

  5. We traveled with you from Venice to Venice ; May19th to the 29th. I have enjoyed reading your blog and will keep it with my momentos. It is nice to know we were in capable hands. You Rock! Thanks Again.

  6. Dear Captain. I like to continue in Dutch, if you don’t mind.
    Via “Hallo” ben ik opmerkzaam gemaakt op uw Weblog. Wat is het allemachtig interessant om te lezen en wat boeiend, maar ook veileisend, de job van een cruis-ship captain wel is. Als voormalig filmoperateur op de enige echte Rotterdam (V) heb ik ook een tijd mogen ruiken aan het leven op een schip en later heb ik hetzelfde als passagier mogen beleven, maar er is toch wel veel veranderd. Passsagiers zijn veeleisender geworden, maar ook de schepen hebben een geheel andere uitstraling dat de voormalige transatlantische zeekastelen.
    Nietemin heb ik met veel plezier uw dagboek gelezen en beloof, dat ik dit zal blijven doe. U doet mij – en velen met mj, daar ben ik zeker van- er een geweldig plezier mee en ik hoop van harte dat wij uw bijdragen in Hallo nog lang zullen mogen lezen.
    Een warme en vriendelijke groet van uit Landgraaf, gelegen in het bronsgroenen eikenhout,
    Frank Doomen
    Namiddagse Driessen 42
    6374MP Landgraaf
    f.doomen@orange.nl

  7. Beste Kaptein Schoonderbeek,

    In HALLO van juli-aug. las ik over uw web blog. Met veel plezier heb ik er al veel van gelezen. Zal zeker regelmatig terugkomen. Aangezien ik geen e-mail adres van u kan vinden, verzoek ik u langs deze weg mij toestemming te verlenen op mijn website over de HAL een link te mogen plaatsen naar uw web blog.

    met vriendelijke groet,

    Ruud Mudde

  8. hallo kapitein Schoonderbeek,
    alvast wil ik u en uw vrouw een fijne vakantie toewensen
    lees graag uw blog op het internet als ik daar de kans voor krijgkan zelf geen internet betalen ben op het moment100% afgekeurd stuurman rijnvaart afgekeurd door een eenzijdige verlamming na een beroerte, in 2000, liep na 13 dagen al weer door dijkzigt en na 6 – 8 weken ging het praten weer
    helaas was dit een 5e beroerte, omdat ik bij de eerste een verkeerde diagnose kreeg/10 dagen in coma/ kreeg ik er dus 5 maar het is bekend na 5 keer wat de oorzaak is,dik bloed, danklonterd je bloed en dan heb je pech maar bij die eerste kee was is na 2 jaar volledig hersteld en liep ook nog in nijmegen 200 KM dit is de vijfe duurt het wat langer maar herstellen zal ik enzodra ik door de keuring ben wil ik naar de zeevaartschool en studeren voor maritiem officier het is misschien hoog gegrepen maar ik geloof erin dat ik dat gaat redden.met hartelijke maritieme groet,
    Staney RenonZeekadetofficier Public Relations/zkkrotterdam.nl

  9. Your web blog is very enjoyable and brings back many pleasant memories of our Alaskan cruise aboard the Veendam in 1997. What a wonderful cruise on such a beautiful and elegant ship.
    You mentioned some changes taking place in the way in which the captains now interact with the guests, such as shorter speeches/receptions. I can certainly understand why that may be necessary, especially these days when the new ships are so large and have a huge passenger complement. I do hope that you will still manage to take some opportunities to address the guests. I have always enjoyed the captain’s reception, especially to hear the updates and news about new ships, the company’s plans and the opportunity to ask a few questions.
    I wish you pleasant sailing and many thanks for giving us a chance to sail with you vicariously!

  10. Just discovered your Blogs and they are wonderful. My husband and I will join you in Montreal on Sept. 9 along with 6 of our friends. It will be about our 35th HAL cruise so you can tell we are “sold”.

    Will look forward to seeing you at a suite or Mariner party — Smooth Sailing!!!

    Elinor Corley

    (Will be fun to depart the ship just 1 hour from our home in Sarasota!!)

  11. Oct. 23, 2007

    Thanks, again, Captain, for the great cruise & especially the photographs of the New Amsterdam ship (troopship) that I sailed from New York to Glascow; June 2nd to June 14th, 1944. Even though we were packed about 15-20 to a small cabin, (5-6 bunks deep on 3 sides) we had a pleasant voyage over. It took 12 days; probably because we zigzaged across (enemy submarines?). Not sure you would call it a Great Circle route!

    I forgot whether it was the 5th largest ocean liner or the 5th fastest ocean liner (maybe both).

    I did want to send a picture of the Dutch pennant they gave us, but can’t attach it to this message. (could if it was email).

    Thanks again,

    Richard St. John, cabin 594; Montreal to Tampa cruise ending Oct. 21, 2007

  12. Dear Albert,

    By coincidence I found you web log. Very nice and informative. From time to time I think back to my own sailing days with Holland America. I also met my wife on board (the Rotterdam V). Over the years many things have changed on board, in shipping and at sea. But sailing still is an adventure in my book. Continue writing, take care,

    Richard Schiferli, General Secretary, Paris MoU on Port State Control

  13. Hoi Albert,
    Dat is lang gelden dat wij met elkaar hebben gevaren, 1984,85.86. Jij als 3e en ik als leerling en 4e stuurman. Leuk om te zien dat jij nu kapitein bent. Ik heb de scheepvaart verlaten eind jaren 80 en hou mij nu bezig met Blauwe vliegtuigen, als Duty maintenance manager.
    Wel maak ik af en toe nog een cruise, het bloed gaat daar waar de zeeman zout water heeft zitten. Dat raak je nooit meer kwijt.
    Je site is erg leuk, oude tijden herleven. Leuk om te lezen.
    Groet Theo Hin

  14. Capt. Albert,

    How serendipitous that I came upon your blog recently. I am in the recruitment process with Holland America Line as we speak. It has always been a dream of mine to work shipboard and I am very excited that I may set out to sea with HAL. I certainly couldn’t have hoped for any better. Your blog has been a source of great information for me as it not only provides insight into the crew life on a cruise ship, but also a little bit of information about how HAL does things. I am very excited at the prospect of working for Holland America Line. Perhaps I will have the pleasure of signing on to ms Veendam in the future! Keep up the great blog and enjoy the remainder of your vacation!

    Best Regards,
    Anthony

  15. Capt. Albert,

    As a follow up to my last post, I have some great news! I have just been offered a position with Holland America Line. And, what’s even more interesting is that I am tentatively slated to sign onto ms Veendam as the first Crew Purser on 30 March 2008! It will certainly be a pleasure to be aboard Veendam and I look forward to working with you.

    Best,
    Anthony Garofalo

  16. Captain: I just purchased a copy of your book “125 years of
    Holland America Lines”
    I will be on the Veendam Apr. 29, San Diego to Vancouver.
    I would appreciate very much if you could autograph it.
    I will contact reception with my cabin #.
    Thank you and I look forward to meeting you.

    Greg Haller

  17. Kapitein;

    4 jaar geleden stonden we in Vancouver oog in oog met de MS Veendam, dit was een hele verrassing, gezien ik geboren ben in Veendam, dus foto’s maken.

    Nu 4 jaar later gaan we op 5 september dit jaar terug om een Cruise te maken op Uw schip, Wat ons ontzettend leuk lijkt.
    mogelijk dat we elkaar nog kunnen zien en spreken.

    groetjes Johan& Ria.

  18. Dear Captain Albert,

    I just discovered your blog and have enjoyed exploring all of the links. We will be following you up the coast on Ryndam leaving San Diego on Saturday, 3 May. This will be our second sailing on HAL and we are looking forward to this short 4 night getaway.

    A number of years ago a friend, Jim Button, was the Security Officer on Rotterdam for the maiden world cruise. His wife, Martha, was in the peace Corps with me in Costa Rica and traveled with him. My 7th grade students followed “Aunt Martha and Uncle Jim” around the world through e-mail, letters and postcards. When the cruise was over they came to visit with each class. The students were in AWE of Jim in his uniform! Several even asked for his autograph. HAL got some very good PR out of that experience.

    Best,

    Frank in Santa Barbara, California

  19. Beste Albert,

    In de scheepvaartnieuwsbrief van Piet Sinke las ik dat de Veendam in Alaska is.
    In september hopen wij cees en yvon( dan net getrouwd) in Vancouver aan boord te gaan van de Veendam voor wat wij denken gezien de vele mooie verhalen gelezen op het internet onze mooist cruise tot nu toe zal zijn
    Wij doen het andersom , hebben eerst de cruisegeboekt en daarna besloten dat dit een hele mooie huwelijksreis zou zijn
    Hopelijk bent u in september nog of weer aan boord.
    Met plezier uw weblog gelezen , tot september, en tot dan vele mooie reizen voor u en de rest van de bemanning toegewenst
    Tot ziens in september, en vr. groeten

    cees kloppenburg en yvon kloppenburg -jonker (zal wel even wennen worden die naam voor Yvonne)

  20. Greetings again Captain

    My husband and I will be cruising with you on June 13th. We have read your writings and are getting very excited about the cruise.
    We are amateur photographers and plan on getting lots of pictures while we cruise. If we take pictures on the Veendam, where are we prohibited to take pictures? We want to respect any wishes you have on the matter.
    Thank you, have a great day. Kathy

  21. This Aug is our first cruise to Alaska (our second on HAL0
    We are sailing on the Veendam on Aug 22 on a 14 day nb/sd with my
    dad. It’s his first cruise , he is currently 91 years old.

  22. Captain Albert,
    It was wonderful to cruise with you in April and May from Tampa to Vancouver and for the first Alaska Inside Passage this year. Thank you, also for the wonderful Mariner’s luncheon. We are joining the Maasdam on July 5th for a 35 day “Voyage of the Vikings” from Boston to Rotterdam and back to Boston. Could you please tell us who the Captain, Hotel Manager, Guest Relations Manager, and Cruise Director will be? We currently have our gold medallions, and chances are we will already know some of these people. Thank you.

  23. Dear Captain,

    I went to this website searching for infos about “old days” working on MS. PRINSENDAM as a Tour Manager. This is back in 1976… As I could not find any relevant infos, I went on your blog and enjoyed very much finding again the spirit of those days on sea.

    Is there any chance you could tell me how to contact the formal staff members sailing on MS. PRINSENDAM as I would be very keen in finding out, after all those years, where everyone is today. I am still in contact with 2 of the formal staff members, but no one seems to know anything about the rest of the crew?

    In the meantime, wishing you all the best on smooth waters.

    Looking forward to hear from you

    Kind regards, et “bon vent”!
    Marie-Louise Dillinger

    Moulin Vollach
    F-67340 INGWILLER/France
    marielouise.dillinger@polyglotte.fr

  24. Greetings Captain Albert!
    Thank you for providing our staff and clientele an opportunity to share your, “Stories of the Seas” as well as have access to your expertise, personal insights and day-by-day account of life aboard the ms Veendam. It’s good to be aboard. I plan to visit your blog often and look forward to encountering massive glaciers, beautiful bays and incredible wildlife. I’ll also look forward to reading the messages from past guests, repeat guests and soon to be guests, who are now “linked” to amazing journeys of discovery.
    Best Regards and as always … Good voyage!
    Cathy Stucker, Travel Marketing – AAA Auto Club South

  25. Hello,
    I’ve just come across your interesting blog. My husband and I are cruising on the Veendam, Aug 22. We did the Panama canal cruise in April/May this year on the Amsterdam and enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to Alaska!

  26. Would it be at all possible for your company to start a monthly or two monthly Atlantic crossing E/B and W/B for people who are absolutely fed-up with plane crossings to Europe. I’d love the old days whereby you can plan a holiday in Europe which includes getting there from N. America by ship rather than having to squeeze aboard an airplane where you’ve had to stand for hours just to check in.

    I’d like to see some shipping company start up – perhaps limited at first just to try it out – to see if people would take to ship travel to get to their destination. As the old Cunard byword was “Getting there is half the fun”.

    Thanks

  27. Dear Capitain Albert:

    Ruth and I cruised on the sweet little SS Veendam to Bermuda in 1982. It was the first of many fabulous HAL cruises, but this precious yacht-like boat is still one of our favorites. (“Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina!”) Service? Perfect. Food? Perfect. Shore Arrangements? Perfect. Engine Room Tour? Unbelievible- Every valve, pump, boiler, driveshaft- our Dutch Engineer host left nothing out and we couldn’t get enough. Unfortunately, we just missed the beloved SS Statendam. Naturally, becoming instant steamship buffs, we sailed the Rotterdam V to Alaska in 1996, but that’s another great story.

    Regards, Scott and Ruth Raswyck

  28. Dear Captain,

    In de periode 70/71 heb ik gevaren op de Statendam en de Nieuw Amsterdam. Ik las, dat u uw loopbaan bent begonnen op de Statendam in 1981. Ik ben in het bezit van wat scheepsdocumenten uit die tijd. Mag ik u vragen welke functie u in de periode 81/82 vervulde op de Statendam? Wellicht kan ik u dan nog verblijden met wat leuke documenten, als mijn vermoedens juist zijn tenminste.

    Gerrit geb 1951

  29. Dear Captain Albert,I enjoy reading your blogs.  They bring back many memories of HAL.  I sure do miss them.  I had a copy of you 125 years of HAL and when I left Ft. Lauderdale I must have left it in my office. Do you know where I might obtain another one? Thank you.
    May you and Lesley have a Happy and Healthy New Year. Good luck on the Prinsendam.
    Florrie Elmnren
    Retired, Assistant Manager
    FLL Shore Operations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

About Us

The Holland America Blog web site serves as the primary portal for all news and information, images and video, gossip and discussion about the 15 ships in the Holland America Line fleet. Visitors to Holland America Blog get the latest news from the ships, meet the people who work on board, travel around the world through video and photos from various ports, and hear from guests and fans of Holland America Line.

With nearly 140 years of experience, Holland America Line is recognized as the undisputed leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. With the introduction of a new 2,660-passenger, 99,000-ton ship in fall 2015, Holland America Line’s fleet will grow to 16 ships, offering nearly 500 cruises from more than 25 home ports. Itineraries range from two-day samplers to extended cruises of more than 100 days, and the ships visit all seven continents, including Australia/New Zealand and Asia sailings, a World Cruise, extravagant Grand Voyages and popular sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, South America, Mexico and Europe.

If you have a question about Holland America or if there is a topic that you would like to see us cover, send us an e-mail or leave us a comment.

32 Comments

  1. Thanks for the ‘blog’, I will read it all later as I am about to go to bed, it looks really interesting

    best wishes from

    Robina

  2. Hello

    Great blog site

    Good luck with it for the future, we will be logging in regularly to find out what you are up to.

    We cannot wait to join you aboard in May

    All the best

    Kev and Jan

  3. Hello Captain,

    It has been a long time since we sailed together. Occasionally I see the old Holland America Line vessels around and it brings back great memories. I’m working as a superintendent here in Cyprus, been here 11 years now can you believe?

    Great website, Robina dropped me the link.

    All the best,

    David Shewan

  4. Hello there,

    I’m really enjoying your blog. Almost makes me feel like I’m sailing with you.

    I’m sorry you won’t be aboard the Veendam when I’m sailing on her on 8/22. It would have been wonderful to see you and Leslie again.

    Any chance you’ll be aboard the Eurodam for her maiden voyage next July. I’ve already booked and I’m trying to talk our friend Liz into coming with me.

    Love to Leslie.

    Regards,
    Joyce

  5. We traveled with you from Venice to Venice ; May19th to the 29th. I have enjoyed reading your blog and will keep it with my momentos. It is nice to know we were in capable hands. You Rock! Thanks Again.

  6. Dear Captain. I like to continue in Dutch, if you don’t mind.
    Via “Hallo” ben ik opmerkzaam gemaakt op uw Weblog. Wat is het allemachtig interessant om te lezen en wat boeiend, maar ook veileisend, de job van een cruis-ship captain wel is. Als voormalig filmoperateur op de enige echte Rotterdam (V) heb ik ook een tijd mogen ruiken aan het leven op een schip en later heb ik hetzelfde als passagier mogen beleven, maar er is toch wel veel veranderd. Passsagiers zijn veeleisender geworden, maar ook de schepen hebben een geheel andere uitstraling dat de voormalige transatlantische zeekastelen.
    Nietemin heb ik met veel plezier uw dagboek gelezen en beloof, dat ik dit zal blijven doe. U doet mij – en velen met mj, daar ben ik zeker van- er een geweldig plezier mee en ik hoop van harte dat wij uw bijdragen in Hallo nog lang zullen mogen lezen.
    Een warme en vriendelijke groet van uit Landgraaf, gelegen in het bronsgroenen eikenhout,
    Frank Doomen
    Namiddagse Driessen 42
    6374MP Landgraaf
    f.doomen@orange.nl

  7. Beste Kaptein Schoonderbeek,

    In HALLO van juli-aug. las ik over uw web blog. Met veel plezier heb ik er al veel van gelezen. Zal zeker regelmatig terugkomen. Aangezien ik geen e-mail adres van u kan vinden, verzoek ik u langs deze weg mij toestemming te verlenen op mijn website over de HAL een link te mogen plaatsen naar uw web blog.

    met vriendelijke groet,

    Ruud Mudde

  8. hallo kapitein Schoonderbeek,
    alvast wil ik u en uw vrouw een fijne vakantie toewensen
    lees graag uw blog op het internet als ik daar de kans voor krijgkan zelf geen internet betalen ben op het moment100% afgekeurd stuurman rijnvaart afgekeurd door een eenzijdige verlamming na een beroerte, in 2000, liep na 13 dagen al weer door dijkzigt en na 6 – 8 weken ging het praten weer
    helaas was dit een 5e beroerte, omdat ik bij de eerste een verkeerde diagnose kreeg/10 dagen in coma/ kreeg ik er dus 5 maar het is bekend na 5 keer wat de oorzaak is,dik bloed, danklonterd je bloed en dan heb je pech maar bij die eerste kee was is na 2 jaar volledig hersteld en liep ook nog in nijmegen 200 KM dit is de vijfe duurt het wat langer maar herstellen zal ik enzodra ik door de keuring ben wil ik naar de zeevaartschool en studeren voor maritiem officier het is misschien hoog gegrepen maar ik geloof erin dat ik dat gaat redden.met hartelijke maritieme groet,
    Staney RenonZeekadetofficier Public Relations/zkkrotterdam.nl