Holland America Line
Holland America Line
300 Elliott Ave West, Seattle, Washington 98119; Netherlands, Postbus 23378, 3001 KJ Rotterdam
Holland America Line
Washington 1-877-932-4259, Netherlands 0900-SAILHAL (0900-7245425)
Holland America Line prides itself on providing premium five star cruises that offer real value for money. You’ll be treated to a classic cruise ship experience on a thoroughly modern liner, with an exceptional standard of service and accommodation. Holland America cruise ships are the perfect place for couples to celebrate a special occasion or just relax and get away from it all. Families are welcome aboard too and there’s lots of fun and activities to entertain your young cruisers.
A History of Holland America Line With over 135 years of experience, Holland America Line is one of the world's leading and most established premium cruise lines. The launch of the ms Eurodam earlier this year saw the cruise line's fleet expand to 14 ships and it currently offers voyages to destinations including the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe, Mexico and South America.
Holland America Line prides itself on delivering an exceptional level of service and constantly works to exceed its passengers' expectations.
Founded in 1873 as the Netherlands-American steamship company, the cruise line was originally headquartered in Rotterdam. The company soon became known as the Holland America Line and over the next 25 years it began to expand at a rapid rate, making six new additions to its fleet. For years the Holland America Line was one of the principal carriers of immigrants to the US and transported more than 850,000 people to the New World in search of jobs and prosperity.
In 1895 Holland America Line offered its first cruise holiday, taking passengers on a short summer voyage from Rotterdam to Copenhagen and back via the Kieler Canal. World War I saw the loss of six Holland America Line ships and the company resumed service in 1918 with ten vessels intact. By the start of World War II Holland America Line had a fleet of 25 ships; however, just nine survived beyond 1945.
Undaunted by the task ahead of it, Holland America Line began to rebuild its fleet for a second time, with the addition of vessels such as the Statendam IV, Rotterdam V and Ryndam II. Holland America Line continued its expansion and in 1973 launched its first purpose-built liner, the 452-passenger MS Prinsendam, which offered sailings from Singapore to Indonesia.
The 1980s saw the addition of vessels including the MS Nieuw Amsterdam III and her sister ship the ms Noordam III, which joined the Rotterdam V in offering cruises to Alaska during the summer months. In 1990 Holland America Line announced the start of a new building programme and ordered the construction of four new vessels at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy.
The ms Rotterdam VI entered service in 1997 and that same year Holland America Line unveiled its award-winning private island in the Bahamas. In 2003 Holland America Line announced a new $225 million Signature of Excellence initiative aimed at improving the fleet and enhancing the travel experience for passengers. As part of the Signature of Excellence enhancements, plush new mattresses and large fluffy towels were introduced in cabins and a new food and wine magazine was launched. The cruise line continued to evolve to meet its passengers' demands and in 2004 the MS Prinsendam became the first Holland America Line ship to offer cruises down the Amazon River. Signature of excellence enhancements were also made to the cruise line's private island in the Bahamas, with the introduction of a new stingray adventure programme and a family aqua park. 2006 saw the introduction of the MS Noordam, which was launched by actress Marlee Matlin and embarked on its maiden voyage from New York to the Caribbean on February 22nd.
The Noordam went on to make the headlines again that year when its crew rescued 22 refugees from the Aegean Sea and won praise and recognition from several organisations including the United Nations, US Coast Guard and United Stated Navy.
Cruising into the future
In July of this year the 2,104-guest MS Eurodam was named by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands during a glittering ceremony in Rotterdam, held outside the cruise line's original headquarters at Wilhelminakade. In September it was announced that the MS Nieuw Amsterdam, the fourth Holland America Line ship to take this name, will be delivered in 2010 and will feature an interior designed to reflect the glitz and glamour of New York City, which was formally known as Nieuw Amsterdam. The Nieuw Amsterdam will have a guest capacity of 2,106 and, according to Holland America Line, the ship will offer many "outstanding new amenities" that are sure to delight its loyal passengers.