Founded in 1873 as shipping and passenger line Netherlands-American Steamship Company, Holland America Line celebrated its 145th anniversary on 18APR.
Today, the cruise line sails to more than 400 ports around the world, but early in its life, it owned a fleet of six cargo and passenger ships that it 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.”
Though transportation and shipping were the primary sources of revenue, in 1895 the company offered its first vacation cruise. The line was primarily a carrier of immigrants from Europe to the United States until well after the turn of the century, bringing nearly one million people to 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.
Purchased by Carnival Corporation in 1989, the company grew its fleet, and now operates 14 ships sailing to all seven continents. The cruise line will add another new ship in December 2018, when it debuts the 99,500-ton Nieuw Statendam – its second Pinnacle-Class ship – to the fleet. A third Pinnacle-Class ship will set sail for the cruise line in 2021.
Kerry Sharpe Columnist
Having worked in travel for the last 16 years, Kerry has experience covering the industry as media, as well as being under its lens when she worked for Thomas Cook, TravelBrands and itravel2000. A new mom, Kerry recently returned to the workforce and when she’s not chasing after her daughter, you’ll see her out and about covering industry events alongside her new BFF Tina the Travel Agent.