HAL History and its ships Past and Present

On this page you will find the history of the Holland America Line in four parts.

Also individual histories of various company ships.

Itstarts with the Ariadne, which was the ship that HAL chartered for its first voyage, as the Rotterdam and Maas were delayed at the builders.

Complete are the “Veendam’s” and there are three “Nieuw Amsterdam’s”

May 2015  ss Warszawa added.


  1. Welcome back. We enjoyed sailing with you in November and look forward to reading about your time at sea. Very informative. And hope to sail with you in the future.

  2. Dear Albert,
    My father in law immigrated to the US in November 1920 aboard the Ryndam. I have been trying to get a photo of the ship. Would you be able to locate a photo or drawing?

  3. Dear Captain,
    You have a very interesting site!
    I have made a few years ago a painting of the Veendam (1973). It can be seen on my website. Recently I have painted the Nieuw Amsterdam (1938).

    Kind regards,
    Willem Johan Hoendervanger

  4. First, is the previous E mail list not used to receive you postings?
    Second, I read it somewhere on one of the ships but be “dam” if I can fine it anywhere,
    What are the name of the ships and their history on H A logo?


  5. Good morning,

    the IT guru’s are still wrestling with the email notification.

    a simpler link to the blog is http://www.captainalbert.com

    The ships on the hal logo are the nieuw Amsterdam II from 1938 and the HAelve Maen (Half Moon) from Henry Huson who was sent on a exploraiton voyage by dutch interests.

    thank you for reading my blog

    Captain Albert

  6. Hi Capt; would you happen to know who the godmothers were when Veendam II (ex-Argentina) and Volendam II (ex-Brasil) came into the HAL fleet? Thanks/vriendelijk bedankt/Much obliged!

  7. Hello Copper,

    There were no god mothers when the ships came to us. They were bought and straightaway laid up. then rebuilt. When they came to Rotterdam in 1973 from the German shipyard, there was a viewing for the press and some parties but no official God mothers. This whole re dedicating and re christening which we now see in the cruising world, was much less prevalent in those days.

    HAL management (Mr. van der Vorm) was very conservative, so all this Press stuff was only grudgingly approved off.

    Best regards

    Capt. Albert

  8. What becomes of the ship’s logs? Are they stored in warehouses or have they all been put on discs? I assume they are kept for awhile.
    Linda Olsen

  9. Thank you for reading my blog.

    It depends on what the crew wants to do. If they want to stay with HAL, they will transfer or rotate in again after a vacation, but if they would like to stay with the new owners (we are all one family anyway) then that is possible as well. there will also be a number of officers and crew staying for awhile to help with the transition, as these ships are new to P&O Australia and the need to be manned. So the choice is up to the crew in principle. Holland America will look after them unless they want to change themselves.

    Best regards

    Capt. Albert.

  10. Good morning,

    thank you for reading my blog.

    have a look and the other drop down box it gives information about the old captains. It is not yet complete, but I am adding material on a regular basis.

    best regards

    Capt. Albert

  11. I have a dim memory of taking the Noordam in the summer of 1946 from New York to Rotterdam.
    The ship was still outfitted as a troop ship. There were few passengers. I cannot find a passenger list for the family Broek, but I know it happened. Do you have any information that that ship brought passengers back to the Netherlands on her way back to be refitted?
    I love your blog. So much detail. Thank you!

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