Special thanks to HAL guest James Ogden for sharing this touching story with our blog.
My great grandparents were the first generation of my family to sail with Holland America Line, in the 1950′s. They sailed with HAL four times between 1954 and 1960, on transatlantic voyages, between various cities in Europe and New York. My great grandfather was an engineer and had annual conferences and meetings to attend in Europe, and he and my great grandmother sailed both ways across the ocean as often as possible, even after jet aircraft started to become more popular. My great grandfather was born before airplanes and cars had been invented and was not particularly comfortable with flying. He always said he did not like it because if something broke, you could not simply stop and fix it! Sailing across the ocean gave him and my great grandmother several days to relax and enjoy the ocean too.
The first voyage my great grandparents took on Holland America Line was on the Noordam, from Rotterdam to New York. They departed Rotterdam on October 23, 1954, at 3:00pm, and arrived in Hoboken, NJ, on November 1, 1954, at 9:00pm. This is their most documented voyage on HAL. We have several photographs from that voyage, as well as some early videos. The videos do not have sound, but are quite interesting all the same. We also have a telegram sent by them, from the ship, to my grandparents, who would be picking them up upon arrival in New York, advising them of a change in the arrival time, due to rough seas. There are also several journal entries about the voyage, and some postcards and playing cards they got while on the ship. These are the actual pages out of the photo albums they made after the trip, including the handwritten captions.
Topics: HAL History, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Noordam, ms Statendam, ms Westerdam, Trans-Atlantic
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