MS Rotterdam

The Netherlands-American Steamship Company began in 1873 as a shipping and passenger line. 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 Netherlands-American Steamship Company became known as Holland America Line.

The Rotterdam I
[The Rotterdam I]

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 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.

Turks and Caicos
[Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos]

Through the early ‘70s, Holland America Line was the first to establish schools in Indonesia and the Philippines to train future employees, making its shipboard service renowned in the industry. Holland America Line has been headquartered in Seattle since 1983 and was purchased by the Carnival Corporation in 1989. It currently sails to over 400 ports around the world on all seven continents.

MS Rotterdam

The MS Rotterdam completed a transatlantic crossing in October of this year and arrived in New York City, following in the path of the maiden voyage of the Rotterdam I. The vessel’s initial departure from Rotterdam took place 150 years ago on October 15, 1872.

Next year, there will be a curated exhibit at Ellis Island showcasing the cruise line’s historical prominence in bringing one in 10 immigrants from Europe to the US. And for those interested in being part of the 150th celebration, there will be another anniversary transatlantic sailing departing on April 6, 2023 from New York City, arriving in Rotterdam on April 18, the cruise line’s 150th birthday.

Top travel blogger

Throughout its history, Holland America Line has carried over 16 million passengers to vacation destinations across the globe. And now we’re getting ready to set sail for a Southern Caribbean Seafarer sailing in this landmark year of operation.

Our journey begins and ends in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where we will board the 2,668 passenger/1,025 crew MS Rotterdam, the newest Pinnacle Class ship in the fleet. It’s got 12 decks, seven restaurants, live entertainment stages, a spa/salon, casino, shops and more.


After a couple of days at sea, we will arrive in Bonaire, known for its pristine coral reefs and outstanding snorkelling and diving.


The next day, we’ll arrive in Willemstad, Curaçao, for a full day of exploration of this lovely island capital, known for colourful Dutch style architecture (as well as the renowned Blue Curaçao liqueur).


The next port will be our happy place – Aruba – where a variety of excursions are on offer.

Top travel blogger

We will then have another day at sea before arriving at Amber Cove, Dominican Republic, followed by Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos, and a final day of sun-splashed turquoise waters in Half Moon Cay, Bahamas, before wrapping up in Fort Lauderdale.

Top travel blogger

If you’re interested in following our journey, we’ll be posting on our Instagram feed. Yes, we’ve started over after being hacked this spring, but are growing again and are looking forward to engaging with you all!

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.