Cruise News

Happy Birthday! Holland America “has been bringing dreams to life” for 145 years

From its humble beginnings in 1873, Holland America Line has this week been celebrating its 145th anniversary, marking its place in history as one of the world's most experienced cruise lines.

Starting life as the shipping and passenger line Netherlands-American Steamship Company, it has become an award-winning premium cruise line which has so far carried 16 million guests to more than 400 ports around the world. 

The Neuw Statendam, arriving in December, will be the sixth Holland America ship to bear the name

Within 25 years of its founding, the company owned a fleet of six cargo and passenger ships and operated between Holland and the Dutch East Indies. Because it was headquartered in Rotterdam and provided service to the Americas, over time the company became known as Holland America Line.

“Holland America Line proudly honours the rich and rare legacy of our past while exceeding the expectations of today’s traveller with the very best experience at sea,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president.

“Throughout the history of the company, our purpose has remained the same: to bring to life the dreams of those who sail with us, discovering new places, cultures and people along the journey. We look forward to the next 145 years.”

The company offered its first vacation cruise in 1895 but it was primarily a carrier of immigrants from Europe to the United States until well after the turn of the century, transporting nearly one million people to new lives in the New World.

It supported the Allied cause during two world wars and several ships served as troop carriers. In 1973, the company sold its cargo shipping division.

Through the early ‘70s, Holland America Line was the first to establish schools in Indonesia and the Philippines to train future employees.

Holland America Line has been headquartered in Seattle since 1983. After being bought by the Carnival Corporation in 1989, the company embarked upon a shipbuilding path that has seen the introduction of 16 new vessels. Its current fleet of 14 ships sails to all seven continents.

In December 2018, Nieuw Statendam joins the fleet, and a third Pinnacle Class ship will arrive in 2021. The first Statendam sailed in 1898, and the new ship will be the sixth in the company’s history to carry the name.

Holland America Line: 0344 338 8605 or visit

Posted on 21st April 2018 at 11:07 am in Cruise News | Cruise Lines | Holland America Line |

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