For more than 140 years, Holland America Line has been a recognized leader in cruising, taking our guests to exotic destinations around the world. If you are looking for some of the most spacious and comfortable ships at sea, award-winning service, five star dining, extensive activities and enrichment programs and compelling worldwide itineraries, you've come to the right place. We are committed to our mission: through excellence, we create once-in-a-lifetime experiences, every time.
Today, Holland America Line's fleet of 15 elegant, mid-size ships offers more than 500 sailings a year visiting all seven continents. Cruises include both popular and less-traveled ports in the Caribbean, Bermuda, Alaska, Europe, Mexico, South America, the Panama Canal, Australia, New Zealand and Asia - as well as unique voyages to the Amazon, Antarctica and our extended Grand Voyages. Along with enticing destinations, we offer one-of-a-kind programs such as the Culinary Arts Center cooking demonstrations, Digital Workshop powered by Windows and The Collections of Holland America Line - specially chosen shore excursions to further enhance our guests' appreciation and understanding of the places they visit.
Holland America Line has a long and proud history of delivering extraordinary vacation experiences, and with our ongoing $525-million Signature of Excellence® commitment, that experience is now better than ever. Signature of Excellence enhancements encompass virtually every area of our ships and range from new facilities and public spaces to added services and amenities.
Innovative programs and superior amenities have consistently placed us among the highest-rated premium cruise lines, earned us the prestigious Five Star Diamond Award from The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences and one of the highest rates of repeat guests in the industry. We are very proud of these achievements and look forward to exceeding guests' expectations in every aspect of our operation.
In 2008, Holland America Line's fleet of 14 ships offers nearly 500 cruises to more than 320 ports. Two- to 108-day itineraries visit all seven continents, including Antarctica, South America, Australia/New Zealand and Asia and Grand World Voyages; and popular sailings to ports in the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, Canada/New England, Europe and Panama Canal.
Guests will have more destination choices in every corner of the world that will bring them not just to new and exciting locations but into the culture and heart of each place to create a truly memorable and unique experience.
From the moment you step aboard one of our mid-sized ships you will recognize the Holland America Line difference. We sail with nearly one crew member for every two guests, providing the gracious, award-winning service that defines classic cruising. Our ships feature spacious wraparound teak decks, panoramic views, abundant spacious private verandahs and large staterooms. All our ships have recently completed extensive Signature of Excellence enhancements to staterooms and public rooms. With elegant fine dining and enriching activities, welcome aboard a Holland America Line ship and discover timeless cruising, refined for a new generation.
Holland America Line was founded in 1873 as the Netherlands-America Steamship Company (NASM), a shipping and passenger line. Because it was headquartered in Rotterdam and provided service to the Americas, it became known as Holland America Line. The company's first ocean liner was the Rotterdam, which sailed its maiden voyage from the Netherlands to New York City on Oct. 15, 1872. The one-way voyage took 15 days. Following that first voyage, Holland America Line has seen a series of benchmark moments in its history.
By its 25th anniversary, Holland America Line owned a fleet of six cargo and passenger ships, and also provided service between Holland and the Dutch East Indies via the newly constructed Suez Canal.
The line was a principal carrier of immigrants from Europe to the United States until well after the turn of the century, carrying 850,000 to new lives in the New World.
In 1895, the company offered its first vacation cruise; its second leisure cruise, from New York to the Holy Land, was in 1910.
In 1971, Holland America Line suspended its transatlantic passenger trade and turned to offering cruise vacations full time.
In 1989, Holland America Line Inc. became a wholly owned subsidiary of Carnival Corp., the largest cruise company in the world.