Holland America Line
The Holland America Line is a British-American owned cruise line. It was founded in 1873 as the Netherlands-America Steamship Company (Dutch: Nederlandsch-Amerikaansche Stoomvaart Maatschappij), a shipping and passenger line. Headquartered in Rotterdam and providing service to the Americas, it became known as Holland America Line. HAL is now headquartered in Seattle, Washington, U.S.
The first ships sailed between Rotterdam and New York in 1872, with New York remaining the American terminal. Other services were started to South America and Baltimore. Cargo service to New York was added in 1899. During the first 25 years the company carried 400,000 people from the old world to the new world. Other North American ports were added during the early 20th century.
Though transportation and shipping were the primary sources of revenue, in 1895 HAL offered its first vacation cruise. Its second vacation cruise, from New York to the Holy Land was first offered in 1910. In 1971, HAL suspended transatlantic passenger trade and in 1973 sold its cargo shipping division.
In 1989, HAL became a wholly owned subsidiary of Carnival Corp. The company operates 15 ships to 7 continents and is expected to carry over 750,000 cruise passengers in 2012.
In addition to its cruise line, Holland America operates the Westmark Hotel chain in Alaska and the Yukon.
The Eurodam Holland America Line cruise ship in San Juan, Puerto Rico