February 1, 2020
In November 2015 Holland America Line’s ms Statendam (V) and ms Ryndam (III) have been transferred to sister Carnival Corporation & plc brand P&O Cruises Australia. The company planned two special farewell voyages that sent the ships to their new home in style. The Ryndam (built in 1994) said goodbye to HAL with a 28-day Far East Explorer voyage departing Venice, Italy, October 3, 2015 en route to Singapore. In 2021 both ships will be part of the CMV fleet (Cruise & Maritime Voyages). The tile can be found in the menu Special Occasions.
Januari 1, 2020
My latest acquisition dates from 1969, a one-off made tile of the ss Ryndam, (1951-1972), offered by Chapman College as a thank you for “an outstanding semester at sea”.
The American Chapman College (Orange, California) charted the ss Ryndam in the period 1967-1969 to make two world study voyages of three months each with students each year. Chapman College presented itself as the World Campus Afloat. The Ryndam had accommodation for 852 students in tourist class cabins. During my sailing time with Holland America Line as a cabin steward (1964-1972) I made two of these voyages. The first semester around Africa, the second semester around South America. The tile can be found in the menu Special Occasions.
December 1, 2019
The exhibition of my collection in the Seattle Lounge on October 4 has resulted in various new acquisitions. One of them is the oval tile of the ms Amsterdam world voyage in 2014. The tile is placed in the menu World Voyages.
Below a beautiful ceramic tile tableau, showcasing Holland America Line, still exists in the lobby of Pier 40 in New York. Pier 40 was originally one of five “finger” piers numbered 37 through 41, which were owned by New York City. In 1956 the city announced a plan to consolidate the five piers into a single large passenger and cargo terminal serving the Holland America Line. Construction began in 1958 and the terminal was opened in 1962. The company used Pier 40 by 1974. We visited the pier in 2012, but the entrance was closed due to hurricane Sandy.
This enormous tile tableau (276 pieces, 15”x 28”feet) was created by the Dutch artist Frank Nix (1934-2008) in 1963. The mural shows the map of Europe with Holland America’s ports of call, the four vessels that sailed under the name Rotterdam, and a miscellany of national symbols: the Big Ben in London, a Dutch windmill, the German Eagle, the Atomium structure in Brussels and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Klaas Krijnen, chairman of “Stichting Behoud Stoomschip Rotterdam”sent me an article in the Cobouw newspaper of October 1963. He made the following comment:
In the article in Cobouw of 1962, it is incorrectly stated that Frank Nix also installed a tile tableau in the tourist class library on the ss Rotterdam. This is a misinterpretation. Frank Nix has designed a decorative panel that gives an impression of “the World”, executed in Zagravos technique (engraving in plaster applied to wood, the top layer of which is in color). Unfortunately the panel was lost in the HAL period.
From the widow of Frank Nix he received further information about the mural:
As far as I know, Frank modeled this enormous ceramic tile tableau himself in Tegelen, Limburg, most probably at Russel Tiglia. It has been fired there. Thereafter Frank has glazed it and it was fired again. It was brought to New York packed in straw. Initially, it was not allowed to be imported, but by the burning of the straw at the wharf, it was allowed to be sent to its destination. There Frank used a special method to affix it to the wall.
An interesting article about Pier 40 was published by Pieter van Vliet in the “HALlo” magazine of September 2009 (the magazine of the North American chapter of Vereniging De Lijn). Vereniging De Lijn is a Dutch society of retired Holland America Line employees, which promotes contact between retired, former and current HAL employees and interested people. Vereniging De Lijn is established on December 10, 1988 in The Netherlands and has approximately 2000 members. On August 25, 2005 a group of retired Holland America Line employees started Association De Lijn (Dutch for “The Line”). The North American chapter of Association De Lijn has more than 300 members.
October 15, 2019
Just a few weeks ago, I discovered this unique tile tableau from 1979 designed by Jan F. Swemmer from Hellevoetsluis, The Netherlands, who was invited by Holland America Line two years later to give a course in pottery painting during the 21st world cruise of the ss Rotterdam. In the meantime, it seems that Adriaan (Arie) Struijk had sailed on the ss Nieuw Amsterdam in WW II and thereafter, served as Laundry Manager on several world cruises on the ss Rotterdam. The tableau is in the possession of Martien Hoegen, chairman of Vereniging De Line. The tableau can be found in the menu Earlier Tiles.
Below the last tiles from the Mariner Collection 2019. As said before, the new edition is a copy of the 2017-2018 series (7 pieces) but this time without the indication “ms”.
My exhibition which took place October 4, 2019, in the Seattle Lounge in the apartment building Seattle in Rotterdam, has been visited by appr. 130 interested parties.
The Keramisch Museum Goedewaagen, which previously featured this collection through a large exposition, and Royal Goedewaagen collaborated by the loan of ship miniatures for this HAL exhibition. Below a photo impression.
September 1, 2019
My latest acquisition is this cloisonné tile (1952) of the sister ships ss Ryndam (1951-1972) and ss Maasdam (1952-1968), both built during the same time period by shipyard Wilton Fijenoord in Schiedam, The Netherlands. The tile was made by Porceleyne Fles. Cloisonné is a kind of enamel technique in which the surface decoration is set in hollows formed by thin strips of wire welded on a metal plate with the inner areas filled with color. The tile can be found in the menu Earlier Tiles.
I bought the next two tiles, probably made in China, in the shop on board ms Maasdam . The tiles can be found in the menu Special Occasions.
August 1, 2019
On the occasion of the Prinsendam leaving, the Holland America Line commissioned Royal Goedewaagen to produce a farewell tile that was distributed to the passengers during the last cruise.
Also in this edition (see the inaugural tile of the Nieuw Statendam, menu Inaugural Tiles), Holland America Line has instructed the manufacturer/designer to allow the cobalt blue to play a larger role. For the farewell tile of the Prinsendam some new aspects also have been added; namely, the manner in which the ship seems to sail fractionally through the bordure. Additionally, the flower motif with a deep blue tone is new. The farewell tile is produced by Royal Goedewaagen using their own biscuit with the RG impressed hallmark. The tile can be found in the menu Special Occasions.
Below the newest tile from the Mariner Collection 2019. A new edition of the 2017-2018 series (7 pieces) will be issued, this time without the indication “ms”. As soon as other tiles in this series are handed out, you can also find them in the menu Mariner Collection.
July 1, 2019
On the occasion of the first time a HAL ship docks in a harbor, the so-called “maiden call”, the harbor authorities receive a plaque on which a tile with the company logo is affixed. During our 62-day journey in March this year, the Maasdam included for the first time, among other destinations, the islands of Farakava and Raiatea in the Pacific Ocean. Captain Arno Jutten and hotel director Florin Dragomir surprised me with this special plaque. In the meantime, the new HAL logo is portrayed on the tile. The tile can be found in the menu Special Occasions.
March 1, 2019
Just as in the case of the tile of the Groote Beer (1944-1970) , the ss Nieuw Amsterdam II (1937-1974), the ss Statendam IV (1957-1982) and the ss Maasdam IV (1952-1968, it can be assumed that this tile of the Maasdam (this time with inscription) also dates from the early sixties. Again, this is an example of a picture being fixed by transfer technique on a bisque from Mosa. It should not be ruled out that in this so-called Bethlehem series the tile of the ss Ryndam (1951-1972) was also issued in this series since the Ryndam was the sistership of the Maasdam. Information about the Bethlehem & Co firm, at the time situated at the Lange Hilleweg in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, would be appreciated. The tile is placed in the menu Earlier Tiles.
February 1, 2019
With the arrival of the ms Nieuw Statendam, Royal Goedewaagen has in the meantime launched two Holland America Line ordered new tiles from its “ceramic wharf”.
Firstly, the tile issued on the occassion of the maiden voyage of the ms Nieuw Statendam. This 6″x 6″ tile has been pressed by Royal Goedewaagen itself; over the last years predominantly Portugese biscuit ware was used. This time the transfer decoration technique was chosen. Although identical to the Westraven editions of the Eurodam and the Nieuw Amsterdam, this new tile shows more graphical depth. The blue is different from earlier Goedewaagen editions. The tile can be found in the menu Inaugural Tiles.
Below the newest tile from the Mariner Collection 2019. A new edition of the 2017-2018 series (7 pieces) will be issued, this time without the indication “ms”. In both series a shift in tonality is visible; thereby, it concerns a somewhat lighter blue, an esthetic choice. Personally, I find greyblue which corresponds to the earlier editions nicer; however, this is a company policy and ultimately Holland America Line’s choice. The tile can be found in the menu Mariner Collection. As soon as other tiles in this series are handed out, you can also find them in the menu Mariner Collection.
In 2005, the famous maritime artist Stephen J. Card, whose original oilpaintings hang on almost all Holland America Line ships, has collected his work in a splendid 225 page photo album published by Carmania Press in London. Presently, he is working with historian dr. Nico Guns on a renewed edition. His unique paintings and sketches provide a fitting homage to the ships of “The Spotless Fleet”.
January 1, 2019
Maritime historian and publisher dr. Nico Guns recently released a new tile of the ss Rotterdam (4”x 4” and 6”x 6”). The picture of the tile (left) is a print of work by maritime painter Stephen J. Card, whose paintings adorn the main staircases of the current Holland America Line fleet. The tile can be found in the menu Special Occasions.
December 1, 2018
This summer we met Alex and Kitty Bendt from Strijen, The Netherlands. Alex, a former HAL 3rd Officer, surprised me with the announcement (and gift) that two tiles were issued of the inaugural voyage of the ms Koningsdam in 2016 in stead of one. The tiles can be found in the menu Inaugural Tiles.
November 1, 2018
These six tiles decorate bathrooms on the ms Oosterdam and ms Zuiderdam. Exclusively made for Holland America Line by Albarello Tegelfabriek & Atelier in Menaldum (the Netherlands), commissioned by the VFD Architects bureau from Frans Dingemans, which has been responsible for 32 years for the interior design of HAL schips. Eventually 1400 entirely hand-painted replicas were made. Since 2016 Albarello belongs to the Goedewaagen concern. The tiles can be found in the menu Special Occasions.
October 1, 2018
I received the tiles below from Klaas Krijnen, chairman of the foundation Behoud Stoomschip Rotterdam. In the accompaning photo, one can see how the tiles with a tulip design were placed in the upper rim of the dividing screen between the tables back in the days in the Lido restaurant of the ss Rotterdam. The tiles can be found in the menu Earlier Tiles.
September 1, 2018
In 1981 Jan F. Swemmer from Hellevoetsluis (The Netherlands) was invited during the 21st world trip of the ss Rotterdam V to give a course in making ceramics. Here the product is shown that G. Shanus made on Valentine’s Day for his dear one. The tile can be found in the menu Earlier Tiles.
In order to show his gratitude to the company that funded part of this world trip (from Hawaii to Kobe, Japan), the ceramist donated a selfmade ashtray to Chief Housekeeper Peter van den Bemt.
Great interest has been shown in the exhibition organized by guest conservator Fred Ootjers (editor of Maritiem Noord Holland) of the 4 Holland America Line ships which have sailed under the name Veendam (the Veendam IV still sails). The exhibition in the Veenkoloniaal Museum in Veendam can still be visited until October 8. To celebrate this occasion, a compilation book has been issued by Fred Ootjers in which the history of the Veendam is revealed. This richly illustrated book “De Veendam-Varen onder de vlag van de Holland-Amerika Lijn ….”comprising 80 pages, costs € 14,00 and can be ordered among other places from In Boekvorm Uitgevers; ISBN 978-90-77989-95-1. Page 8/9: the former Holland America Line pier in Hoboken, New York (1905).
From my collection those tiles are exhibited which were issued from ships that have sailed under the name Veendam.
June 1, 2018
My newest acquisitions are 2 tiles from a series of which I suspected the existence, but I have not been able to verify it. Several years ago, I saw on the website of former HAL collector Tiemen Spits a picture of a tile, most probably copied out of a brochure. With this tile the Portuguese travel agent Marcus & Harting would have surprised the passengers of the ss Statendam IV in 1972 while visiting Lisbon. According to this collector the tile should measure only 1.5”x1.5”. I have contacted the travel agent in English as well as in Portuguese, but received no reaction. The Dutch-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce finally notified me that the firm no longer exists.
Last month I received via the contact form on my website a message from an American lady from Vermont who had possessed 2 tiles for quite some time. After a short exchange of mails, she sent me the 2 tiles shown below, from which the text is self-explanatory. The tiles were representative of the local pottery style as a souvenir and momento of the Statendam IV visit to Lisbon. The tiles were produced in the 3.1”x 3.1” format. The tiles can be found in the menu Earlier Tiles.
Of course, I continue my search for the third tile (of which I am not sure if it has ever been released, see the blurry photo) or more tiles from this series. Information about this series would be greatly appreciated.
May 1, 2018
These tiles decorate bathrooms on the ms Oosterdam and ms Zuiderdam. Exclusively made for Holland America Line by Albarello Tegelfabriek & Atelier in Menaldum (the Netherlands), commissioned by the VFD Architects bureau from Frans Dingemans, which has been responsible for 32 years for the interior design of HAL schips. Eventually 1400 entirely hand-painted replicas were made. Since 2016 Albarello belongs to the Goedewaagen concern.
In conjunction with Fred Ootjers, editor of Maritiem Noord Nederland, the Veenkoloniaal Museum in Veendam (the Netherlands) will organize an exhibition about the 4 Holland America Line-ships which have sailed under the name Veendam (the ms Veendam IV still sails). The exhibition will be opened Sunday May 27, 2018 by Captain Albert Schoonderbeek (picture) who’s knowledge of the history of the Holland America Line is legendary. Special guest is Jhr.mr. George Reuchlin, great-grandson of one of the founders of Plate, Reuchlin & Co, the forerunner of NASM / HAL. More information about the exhibition can be found on www.veenkoloniaalmuseum.nl and in this newspaper article (sorry, Dutch only).
April 1, 2018
My latest acquisition is unique, it is an oxide pigment painted tile of the ss Statendam II. The ship was launched July 16, 1914. However, when England became involved in World War I on August 14, the ship was sold to the British government, painted grey and transformed to serve as a troop transport ship. The ship was given the name ss Justica and was torpedoed six times on July 19-20, 1918 and sank. The ss Statendam II resembles the ss Statendam III (1924-1940). The difference (see the pictures below) can be noticed on the outside in the details of the bridge (being a partially open bridgehouse) and the masts on the forward deck (regular pole masts in contrast to ventilation masts found on the Statendam III).
According to the well renowned tile reference Nederlandse tegels 1900-2000 from tile specialist Jan Pluis, it concerns a biscuit tile from the MOSA factory made in 1945. The number 45 indicates the production year. The brand MMM, used between 1925 till 1949, stands for Muurtegelfabriek Mosa Maastricht.
According to the specialists from Royal Goedewaagen it deals with a painting in the matt plateel- or Rhodian technique. First a glazing layer was applied to the biscuit tile which was fired at ~560 °C. Thereafter, an oxide pigment paint layer was applied and fired above 1000 °C.
I bought the tile on Marktplaats for a reasonable price as a favourable deal. The seller informed me that he had no further information about the origin of the tile, which he bought years ago at a flea market. The tile can be found in the menu Earlier Tiles.
March 1, 2018
The HAL-flagship ss Nieuw Amsterdam II (1938-1974) is generally regarded as the most beautiful passenger ship ever built in The Netherlands. In a 6-part series, historian dr. Nico Guns describes the complete life history of the Nieuw Amsterdam. As a by-product of editing these books a series of (2x) 4 tiles is issued in a very limited edition of only 54 sets. The tiles commemorate four periodes of the Nieuw Amsterdam: pre-war, war, post-war in black and post-war in grey. The tiles can be found in the menu Special Occasions.
February 1, 2018
Below my newest acquisitions: a tile of the ss Maasdam and the ss Groote Beer from the Bethlehem series, which consists of 4 tiles, as far as I know. It should not be ruled out that the tile of the ss Ryndam was also issued in this series since the ss Ryndam is the sister ship of the ss Maasdam. The tiles are a gift from Joop Kap, former HAL-colleague and entrepreneur in Schiedam, The Netherlands, for which I am truly grateful. The tile of the ss Groote Beer replaces my old specimen from which the text is partially damaged. (see News September 1, 2016). The tiles can be found in the menu Earlier Tiles.
January 1, 2018
Captain AS surprised me with 6 sets of 2 tiles which decorate the bathrooms of the Zuiderdam (2002) and Westerdam (2003). It entails tiles picturing the classical windmill landscapes and VOC ships. The handpainted tiles were made exclusively for Holland America Line by the “Harlinger Aardewerk- en Tegelfabriek”, commissioned by “VFD”Architect bureau from Frans Dingemans, which has been responsible for 32 years for the interior design of HAL ships. The tiles can be found in the menu Special Occasions.
In addition, Captain Albert sent me a copy of several pages from the Holland America Line “artbook”, available on board providing information on artwork found in the ships. The tile factory “De Albarello” (meanwhile part of Royal Goedewaagen), located in Meenaam (Friesland), also manufactured a series of beautiful handpainted tiles, presently decorating the bathrooms on the Westerdam. Related pages also can be found in the menu Special Occasions in a high resolution. In one of my next updates, I hope to be able to show the complete series from “De Albarello”.
The HAL-flagship ss Nieuw Amsterdam II (1938-1974) is generally regarded as the most beautiful passenger ship ever built in The Netherlands. In many cases, it was also the most beautiful ship that ever sailed the oceans. In a 6-part series, historian dr. Nico Guns describes the complete life history of the Nieuw Amsterdam. As a by-product of editing these books a series of (2x) 4 tiles (4”x 4” and 6”x 6”) is issued in a very limited edition of only 54 sets. The tiles commemorate four periodes of the Nieuw Amsterdam: pre-war, war, post-war in black and post-war in grey. See www.gunsathome.nl for further information. Below the first tile of each series (pre-war). The other tiles can be seen in a few weeks, so stay tuned!
December 1, 2017
With the issue of the ms Koningsdam tile the new Mariner Collection series 2017-2018 is now complete (7 tiles). See the menu Mariner Collection. The Mariner Collection series presently consists of 147 pieces.
November 1, 2017
Till 1906, NASM purchased loyalty gifts such as vases, trays, inkwells and pen-trays from Faïencefabriek Holland-Utrecht. Thereafter, the order was placed at the Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland in Gouda, which added among other things ashtrays and cups to the gift selection, and from 1910 till 1915 the order was placed at the Nijmeegse Potterij Rembrandt.
Once more the Goedewaagen Museum (www.keramischmuseumgoedewaagen.nl) will exhibit a large diversity of their Holland America Line products. Following the part 1 exhibition (from 9 July till 23 December 2016) dedicated to the tiles and tile tableaus from my collection, part 2 will be dedicated to the Holland America Line decorative work of the enormous collection from Clive Hellinga from the island of Schiermonnikoog (The Netherlands). The exhibition in the Goedewaagen Museum will be opened January 7, 2018.
Photo 1: vases originating from Faïencefabriek Holland-Utrecht;
Photo 2: vases from the Nijmeegse Potterij Rembrandt;
Photo 3: (likewise photo of the month November) a pen-tray originating from Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland, and last but not least, a washstand from NASM dating from 1873, provided with the original company logo (not visible on the photo).
October 1, 2017
This tile of the ss Volendam 1 (with anchor!) from the Emigrant Ships series had not been known to me until now. The Volendam 1 (1922-1952, Grt 15.434) served as a troop transportship to and from Nederlands-Indië (former Dutch Indies) after World War II. The tile is part of the HAL collection of Justin Jones from Burlington, Ontario, Canada, who sent me the scan (hence the color difference) The tile is distributed in 1978 and is therefore also placed in the menu Earlier Tiles. Of course I am interested in purchasing this tile.
September 1, 2017
My latest acquisition is this tile tableau of the ms Nieuw Amsterdam (III). The tableau has no mark, but it is certain that it is manufactured in 1983 in The Netherlands by pottery “t Delftsche Huys in Waddinxveen. The tile can be found in the menu Earlier Tiles in a high resolution.
August 1, 2017
On the Wilhelminapier in Rotterdam, the symbol of the emigration to North America in the 19th and 20 th century, foundation HAL Wonen is developing apartment complex SEATTLE, for members of the HAL Pensionfund (former Holland America Line employees and their families) as well as for people with an affinity for the company. As a former employee, we also will be living in the SEATTLE in October. Margaret Binnendyk former director of the Mariner Society, sent me this house-warming gift: an unusual tile, exclusively made at the time for members of the HAL President Club. The tile is placed in the menu Special Occasions.
After the two previous series, issued as Delft blue reproductions of oil paintings of the present cruise fleet by maritime painter Stephen J. Card, the Holland America Line has choosen again for more progressive graphic designs from Goedewaagen designer Sander Alblas for the 2017-2018 series (7 pieces). In these new designs Alblas has incorporated in a playful manner ship portraits of the different cruise classes together with the constant changing line profile of hotel New York, the former headquarters in Rotterdam. Below 6 of the 7 new tiles. As soon as I receive notice from Seattle that the issuing of the Koningsdam tile is started, you will be able to find it on the website.The new 2017-2018 tiles from the Mariner Collection series, presently consists of 147 pieces. The tiles can be found in the menu Mariner Collection.
July 1, 2017
A new acquisition is this tile of the ss Rotterdam V. The tile is manufactured by the artist atelier Madi from Boskoop, The Netherlands in 1959, when the Rotterdam came into service. The Madi Boskoop firm was in operation from 1952 to 1993. The tile is placed in the menu Earlier Tiles.
May 1, 2017
I came across this tile of the ss Statendam IV (1957-1982) after my offer on auction site Marktplaats in order to exchange double tiles. It concerns the third and possibly not the last tile from the so-called Bethlehem-series. Just as in the case of the tile of the Groote Beer and the Nieuw Amsterdam II, it can be assumed that the tile dates from the early sixties. Again, this is an example of a picture being fixed by transfer technique on a bisque from Mosa. Information about the Bethlehem & Co firm, at the time situated at the Lange Hilleweg in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, would be appreciated. The tile can be found in the menu Earlier Tiles in a high resolution.
In the period from 1968 to 1971, I made 17 North Atlantic trips on the Statendam IV and 3 cruises in the Carribean area. I was not able to experience the results of the reconstruction of the Statendam to be a cruise ship in 1971/1972. In that period the Dutch hotel staff was replaced by Indonesian employees.
During the North Atlantic trips, the Statendam (grt. 24.294) accommodated 867 tourist and 84 first class passengers. After the reconstruction, it could accommodate 740 passengers in one class. The ship was sold in 1982, eventually being demolished in 2004 in India.
An exceptional acquisition is the sixth tile of the “We sailed on the …”series. The fact that the ss Ryndam II (1951-1972 also being part of the series “Memorable Dutch Immigrant Ships”, is not surprising. It was, by the way, the sister ship of the ss Maasdam IV that is also part of the series. After an extensive search, I found the tile in the USA. See the menu Emigrant Ships.
The American Chapman College (Orange, California) chartered the Ryndam II in 1967 for students in order to make two 3 months world voyages. The Chapman College promoted themselves as a World Campus Afloat. The Ryndam II had accommodation for 852 students in tourist class cabins. I have made both ensuing world voyages: from September 28, 1967 (North Atlantic crossing from Rotterdam to New York) till April 3, 1968 (deboarding in Malaga, Spain); the first trimester around Africa, the second around South America. The students did not receive dining room service; all meals were served in a buffet in the self-service restaurant. Only on special occassions, were they served in the diningroom: by cabin stewards. According to American customs, the stewards received a fixed daily tip from Chapman College (presently by Holland America Line known as “hotel service charge”): one $/day per passenger. With an average of 25 to 30 students per section, it was quite a lot of money at that time.
April 1, 2017
This tile tableau (2 tiles of 6″x 6″) of the ss Ryndam I (1901-1929) is to be found in the extensive collection of Jaap van Dam from Bergen op Zoom, The Netherlands. Jaap is one of the top-3 collectors of Dutch Shipping and is specialized in flat articles (such as prints, cards), mess-room porcelain crockery and original posters. Below you see the not yet restored tableau; in the menu Earlier Tiles one can find the result of a digital restoration bij Ron Tasman, Christchurch, New Zealand.
My latest acquisition is this 7”x 4” tile from the ASTA Board of Directors Meeting aboard the ms Noordam III. The American Society of Travel Agents is the world’s largest association of travel professionals. The tile also depicts the ss Rotterdam V and the ms Nieuw Amsterdam III and can be found in the menu Special Occasions (in high resolution).
March 1, 2017
Another addition to my collection is this hand painted tableau (two tiles each 6″x 6″) from the ms Nieuw Amsterdam (III). The tableau is manufactured in 1983 in The Netherlands by pottery ‘t Delftsche Huys in Waddinxveen. Though this Nieuw Amsterdam (GT 33.930, accommodation for 1214 passengers) is designed in The Netherlands, it is built in St. Nazaire in France, together with its sister ship ms Noordam (III). The Nieuw Amsterdam (III) began cruising in 1983 and is chartered by Thomson Cruises in 2003. The ship still sailed under the name Thomson Spirit in 2017. The tableau can be found in the menu Earlier Tiles in a higher resolution. For more information see Captain Albert’s Blog Stories from the Sea, Past and Present on www.hollandamericablog.com.
January 1, 2017
I bought this unique handpainted tile from the ss Groote Beer on Ebay Australia, after it had been placed on the Dutch Marktplaats website. Each bid I made was promptly increased by one euro. When I notified the seller what my last bid would be, no overbidding took place anymore. I suspected the use of a stooge. A surprising result was found by googling “Ben Abbenhuys Groote Beer”: the exact same tile offered on Marktplaats would have been auctionned the same night on Ebay Australia. The Marktplaats seller still had to buy the tile. For both of us, as only bidders, it became a long night. After the bidding price was doubled, she quit since the tile had no commercial value anymore for her. The next day I was informed that she had sold the tile for more than my final bid. Of course, I confronted her afterwards with this questionable transaction, for which she apologized.
Via a passenger lists collector in Australia, I came into contact with Erik Abbenhuys in Melbourne, son of Ben Abbenhuys. Erik could not give me more information on the origin of the tile. Till now he was not aware of the existence of the tile. Unfortunately no further information could be obtained since both parents were deceased. Also the seller could not give further clarification. Ben Abbenhuys died on March 12, 2013. The tile can be found in the menu Earlier Tiles.
From Albert Vanderheide Publishing in Langley, British Columbia, Canada, editor of The Windmill Herald and Hollandia News since 1969, I received the tiles below: a departure scene at the Wilhelminakade in Rotterdam, at the time the HAL home port. Albert wrote the following to me:
“It was the year 1978, after which a tile maker from the Netherlands arrived in Canada. He sought business and proposed a series of tiles with windmills, which we could probably sell via our magazine “The Windmill Herald”. He was not in accordance and departed disappointed. I called him later that same day with a proposal to design a premium tile with a departure scene at the Wilhelminakade in Rotterdam. That turned out to be a lucky hit: the tile was good for 500 new subscriptions and resulted in numerous spontaneous requests for the tile with “their” ship. The first order was a fact: 500 pieces for the Groote Beer, after which another eleven Holland America Line ships would follow.”
See the menu Emigrant Ships for the particular article in the Farewell Edition of the Windmill Herald in August 2012. The tiles are placed in the menus Earlier Tiles and Emigrant Ships.
Another acquisition is this very rare tile from 1965, a relation gift depicting the Schreierstoren (“Crying Tower”) in Amsterdam. It is the seventh tile from the series “With the compliments of the Holland America Line“. The tile can be found in the menu Earlier Tiles.
After the ms Statendam and the ms Ryndam were sold in November 2015 to P&O Cruises Australia, Holland America Line has extended the 2015-2016 series Mariner Collection tiles with a tile on which both ships no longer appear.
Finally in this update the design of the first oval tile HAL handed out in 2011 and the design of the Prinsendam World Voyage 2006 tile, segment 3. I don’t have the tiles in my collection. The inventory of all tile editions from Royal Goedewaagen is now complete.
December 1, 2016
Carla and Ken Schmit from London, Ontario, Canada, visited the exhibition in the Keramisch Museum Goedewaagen this past summer. In one of the display cabinets they saw the series of 12 tiles from Holland America Line emigrant ships. The tiles were distributed by Albert Vanderheide Publishing in Langley, British Columbia, Canada, as a by-product of editing the newspapers Hollandia News and The Windmill Herald. They recognized the tiles from the Groote Beer and Waterman, which are displayed in their own home. However, on those tiles an anchor is pictured, being the same anchor as on the tile of the ss Statendam IV in the menu Earlier Tiles, for which I mentionned that the reason for the display of the anchor was unknown to me. In the meantime the mystery is solved. See the menu Earlier Tiles.
Carla and Ken Schmit emigrated to Canada in the fifties, with the ss Waterman in 1953 and ss Groote Beer in 1954, respectively. The tiles, which were displayed in their home for many years and from which they have many happy memories, were sent to me. A tremendous surprise for which I am genuinely grateful.
November 1, 2016
My latest acquisition is this 6”x 4” tile from the ss Nieuw Amsterdam II (1937-1974). The tile originates from the collection of the maritime collector Ton Blanken (specialized in maritime uniforms, buttons and cap emblems). My first thought was that the tile was issued by Sport Club Nieuw Amsterdam (the crew sports organization), but according to the seller, who was at the time of the distribution around 1960 on board of the Nieuw Amsterdam, the tile was distributed to members of a trip from a group of orthopedic surgeons. In the meantime, I have asked mr. Geralt Bernhoft, president of the in 1993 newly revived Mariner Society (previously: Holland America Line Society of Honorary Members) to consult the appropriate Holland America Line archives. Of course, I will refer to this matter in a later update. The tile can be found in the menu Earlier Tiles.
The Royal Goedewaagen tile specialists have initially determined that the tile originates from the Gouda earthenware factory and pottery maker Zenith, where many tiles of the same dimension were made in that period. However, according to curator Friggo Visser from Keramisch Museum Goedewaagen, one must also take into account the possibility that the tile was made by the Royal pottery maker Plateelbakkerij Zuid Holland, considering the beautifully applied paintwork.
Recently the museum was pleased with the attendance of captain Albert Schoonderbeek and several board members of the Vereniging De Lijn. Captain Albert, who shares his daily experiences on board the HAL ship with a wide public via his blog (www.hollandamericablog.com/albert), has consented to describe his visit to the exhibition in a forthcoming issue of the association magazine HALlo (photos: Lijn member Ruud van Deventer).
September 1, 2016
Recently the illustration of the below-placed, varied colored tile of the Halve Maen, has been found in the Royal Goedewaagen archive. This 6”x 6” tile has been drawn by Willem Hendrik van Norden (head of the Art department Goedewaagen-Distel at that particular time). One is assured that it concerns a Sphinx bisque painted tile from 1938, issued either on the ocassion of the launching of the ss Nieuw Amsterdam II, or on the ocassion of the 1939 World Fair in New York, where Royal Goedewaagen exhibited its wares. This will be further investigated. The signature on the side is interesting, and it is exceptional that there is a faulty date on the tile. Hudson sailed in 1609, not in 1604, to the river that would later bear his name. The illustration has been stiled by Ron Tasman, Christchurch, New-Zealand. My website does not have a “SEARCH” program, but any further information about this tile would be appreciated. Of course, I remain interested in purchasing the tile. The tile is placed in the menu Earlier Tiles.
Recently I could add this tile of the ss Groote Beer (6”x 6”) to my collection. As explained in the menu Emigrantships, the Groote Beer was bought in 1947 by the Dutch government from the US War Shipping Administration and was managed by Holland America Line. Seeing that the Groote Beer was sold to a Greek shipping firm in 1963, one can assume that the tile dates from the early sixties. Indeed, the ship sailed under its old name Groote Beer in 1965 in a student exchange program involving 4 roundtrips from Rotterdam to New York; however, this concerned HAL charters. It can therefore be assumed that the tile was not distributed in relation to these trips.
Just as in the case of the issued ss Nieuw Amsterdam II tile (also by Bethlehem & Co), the illustration of the ss Groote Beer has been placed by means of transfer technique on bisque from Mosa. Even though the tile has stood the test of time quite reasonably, there are visible damages. Curator Friggo Visser from the Keramisch Museum Goedewaagen has explained that the damages are inherent to the early technique.
This tranfer technique involves a chemical pasting process of the completely finished illustration to the enamel. The illustration lies literally on the enamel (which can be felt) and can be easily damaged after the firing process. Although washing could also cause damage. Nowadays, the technical expertise is so refined that the transfer sinks into the enamel during the firing process which prevents damage.
Royal Goedewaagen is using the more expensive screen printing technique. In the case of screen printing of the Mariner-editions, the cobalt blue paint and the enamel are applied by moving the blade across the screen to fill the open mesh apertures. The white substance on the screen will appear blue on the tile. The tile is preglazed transparent; also hereby the screened illustration partly sinks into the transparent enamel layer. It cannot be removed by scrubbing.
The curator advised me not to try to correct the toplayer damage of the Groote Beer tile, seeing that the imperfections are part of the tile history. The tile has been placed in the menu Earlier Tiles.
In the meantime, with the assistance of the tile specialists from the Goedewaagen Museum, the exact dating can be determined for the series of 6 tiles placed in the menu Earlier Tiles. The Delft blue tiles of the Halve Maen, also produced on bisque from Sphinx, designed by Piet de Jong (till 1961 assistant from the aforementioned Willem Hendrik van Norden and later on his successor), were made in 1968 and 1973 respectively. The second tile is a reprint and handed out in 1973 when Holland America Line was using the so called tri-wave logo. According to the code number on the back side of the tiles, it can be determined that the other tiles from the same series are for the most part issued in 1968.
August 1, 2016
In the fall of 2015 Holland America Line’s ms Statendam and ms Ryndam have been transferred to sister Carnival Corporation & plc brand P&O Cruises Australia. The company planned two special farewell voyages that sent the ships to their new home in style. Statendam’s farewell voyage was a grand 30-day Transpacific Crossing from Seattle to Singapore, departing September 21, 2015. After a call at Vancouver the Statendam visited three ports in Hawaii before crossing to the Marshall Islands and Micronesia. The Statendam called at Saipan and Guam before landing at the Philippines. Two final calls at Malaysia wrapped up the voyage before the ship said farewell to the Holland America Line at Singapore.
This tile commemorates the Farewell Voyage of the Statendam. The tile can be found in the menu Special Occasions.
In addition to the Holland America Line tile exhibit (until October 2) a series of 21 original gouaches designs is on display, made by Sander Alblas from 1998 to 2002, including these designs for the Mariner Collection 2000 series with images of Dutch traditional costumes.
July 5, 2016
Recently the Goedewaagen Museum received a special, namely 21 gouaches designs from 1998 to 2001. Usually these hand-painted designs are set aside to be destroyed eventually. It is a welcome addition to the tile exposition. The uniqueness of this original design material lies in the fact that the gouaches, executed in the long tradition of fabrication of Dutch tiles, give insight to the design process. Even rejected designs have been kept.
In contrast to the previous announcement, city councelman Albert Trip from economic development, education and culture from the city Borger-Odoorn, will open the exposition on Saturday July 9 at 14:00 hr. Also, Dr. Nico Guns, maritime historian from Rijswijk, The Netherlands, will present his new book about the rich shipping history from the Holland America Line, founded in 1873. You are cordially invited to attend the opening or visit the Goedewaagen Museum during the summer.
My most recent acquisition is the tile from the ss Nieuw Amsterdam II. The image is placed on a Mosa bisque by means of the transfer technique, using once fired yet unglazed and unpainted tiles. It is only known that the tile was produced by “Bethlehem & Co” from Rotterdam. To my knowledge, a similar tile from the ss Groote Beer has been introduced in the same series. Since this ship was sold in 1963, one can assume that the tile from the Nieuw Amsterdam dates from the early sixties. The tile can be found in the menu Earlier Tiles (in full size).
June 15, 2016
June 1, 2016
With the launching of the ms Koningsdam, Holland America Line continues the tradition of issuing a commemoration tile. This time the tile conforms to the form and measurement of the (6) tiles from the Mariner Collection series 2015-2016. The tile can be found in the menu Inaugural Tiles.
Another new addition to my collection is this two-part, hand painted tile tableau from 1983 from the ss Veendam III (1973-1984), produced in the Dutch porcelain factory ‘t Delftsche Huys in Waddinxveen (since 1981). This Veendam (23.372 GT with accommodation for 713 passengers) is the former ss Argentina, built in 1958 for the Moore-McCormack Lines. The tableau can be found in the menu Earlier Tiles.
The recent purchase of the tile of the ss Ryndam, part of the 7-part “Collector Series” (see the menu Special Occasions), also completes this series in my collection.
March 1, 2016
Initially, I mentionned that these 6 tiles were exclusively made for the Holland America Line by De Albarello b.v. commissioned by VFD architects, the firm of ir. Frans Dingemans, responsible for 32 years of interior design of Holland America Line ships. I also noted that, in 2003 during the building of the ms Oosterdam, ir.Dingemans received the commission from mr. Micky Arison (chairman of the umbrella organization Carnival) to have a number of traditional tiles made, either randomly or as a tableau to be placed in the bathrooms of the passenger ships.
Furthermore, I mentionned that the handpainted tiles were probably never produced for budgetary reasons. In the meantime, it appears that this is not correct. Captain Albert Schoonderbeek (presently instructor of nautical personnel, see www. hollandamericablog.com) called my attention to the fact that the tiles were placed on board of the ms Westerdam III, launched in 2004. Upon request ms Westerdam captain Vincent Smit has confirmed this. The tiles have been placed in bathrooms of the passenger cabins. This is verified by the enclosed picture sent from captain Vincent Smit.
January 1, 2016
Sunday 17 January 2016 from 1 to 5 p.m. the yearly new years reception from “De Lijn“ associaton will take place on the ss Rotterdam V, moored in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The association counts more than 2000 members comprised of former and present HAL employees and other interested persons. Therefore, I have selected the tile for January that marks the end of the sailing career of the ss Rotterdam V as the Holland America Line flagship. You can read more in the menu “World Voyages”. You can become a member of “De Lijn” association for only € 27.50 per year, for which you will also receive six richly illustrated magazines (see: www.verenigingdelijn.nl).
Every year “De Lijn” association looks forward to the participation of members of the sister organization in the US and Canada (Association “De Lijn North American Chapter”). The newest tile of this sister organization can be found in the menu “Special Occasions”.
In the menu “Mariner Collection” I have added at the bottom of “Deviating Tiles” a new tile picturing the Ryndam I on which the ship is inaccurately presented as “ms” (motorship). The tile is most probably a misprint and does not appear in the official series list of the Holland America Line from 1998 (8 pieces). The tile of the Ryndam I is correctly represented on the series list with the indication “ss” for a steamship.
Shown below is the tile of the Halve Maen from the sixties described in the menu “Earlier Tiles”. Last month I discovered that around 1973, when the HAL introduced their new tri-wave aqua-white-aqua logo, a second version of this tile was issued with the same text on the back as in the sixties using the aforementioned logo. I have an example of both tiles in my collection.
December 1, 2015
This update concerns three new tiles. So far oval tiles are only issued on the Amsterdam and Prinsendam.
The tile of the 10th world voyage of the Amsterdam in 2015 (114 days) depicts the sailing route beginning and ending in Fort Lauderdale. The Amsterdam visits 45 ports in 25 countries and 6 continents. The tile is listed in the menu “World Voyages”.
Thanks to captain Albert Schoonderbeek I could add these two tiles of the Prinsendam to my collection. Unfortunately this time not the high standard of Royal Goedewaagen: the tiles are almost a copy of the 2014 tiles. The tiles are listed in the menu “Grand Voyages”.
November 22, 2015
During the largest European collectors exhibition in the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht on Saturday November 21, 2015, the annual Dutch Collector Award was presented. The DCA is an initiative of the magazine Verzamelen in cooperation with the Verzamelaars Jaarbeurs. It offers collectors a platform for recognition and appreciation. With my Holland America Line tile collection I was one of the three nominees in the category “men”.
November 1, 2015
This new acquisition is a tile tableau of the ss Volendam I (15.434 brt. 1922-1952) that served as a troop transportship to and from Nederlands Indië (former Dutch Indies) after World War II. It is confirmed that the Volendam made two of these homebound trips, departing from Tanjung Priok on May 3 and October 30, 1949, arriving in Rotterdam on June 1 and November 28, 1949 respectively.
The tile tableau was donated by the family Maten in 1949 “commemorating the homecoming with the ss Volendam from Indonesia”. In the city archives of Rotterdam the origin of the name Maten on this tableau is still being researched. The tableau is listed in the menu “Earlier Tiles”.
This tile tableau also comes from the enormous collection of Clive Hellinga who lives on the island of Schiermonnikoog (the Netherlands). As aforementioned Clive is among the top three shipping collectors. His collection includes articles dating from the initial Holland America Line period (1873 -). Clive is prepared to contribute to a large shipping exhibition, expected to take place in 2016 in the Goedewaagen Museum in Nieuw-Buinen.
October 5, 2015
These two new acquisitions are pendants from the tiles of the Mariner Collection series 2007 and 2009, respectively. They depict the ss Statendam III (1929-1940), the first and only ship from Holland America Line with three smokestacks. Both tiles can be found in the menu “Mariner Collection”, where more information is available.
September 1, 2015
In August I had the opportunity to add two tile tableaus to my collection. The tile tableau of the Nieuw Amsterdam from 1982, featured in the month June/July homepage, was not yet in my collection. The tableau comes from the enormous collection of Clive Hellinga who lives on the island of Schiermonnikoog (The Netherlands). Clive is one of the top three shipping collectors, possessing, among other items, all plates ever produced by Royal Goedewaagen, commissioned by Holland America Line. The relevance of his collection is emphasized by the fact that Royal Goedewaagen itself nor the Goedewaagen museum possesses all plates. The tile tableau is listed in the menu “Earlier Tiles”.
The next six tiles were made exclusively for Holland America Line by De Albarello b.v., commissioned by the VFD Architects bureau from Frans Dingemans, which has been responsible for 32 years for the interior design of HAL ships. You can read more about it in the menu “Special Occasions”.
August 1, 2015
This new tile in my collection (with a picture on both sides) is a 1913 Wedgwood Calendar Tile. The front reads “Pier 46 Mystic Wharves B.& M.R.R. Terminal, Boston 906 feet long 240072 square feet”. The steamer at the right is Holland America Line ss Amsteldijk (see the menu “Earlier Tiles”).
July 1, 2015
Captain Albert Schoonderbeek surprised me and sent these new tiles (see the menu “Grand Voyages”).
June 1, 2015
Ryan Driver, a former shopkeeper on the Prinsendam called my attention to the issuing of the 3rd tile (in the 1st segment) commemorating the 66-day Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage of the Prinsendam in 2007. Thanks to Ryan, I was able to add this tile to my collection.
During our trip this year with the Rotterdam to the Far east, I met Jan Dost, who took the World Voyage 2014 with the Amsterdam. Jan sent me a picture of the tile issued for that cruise. The tile is not yet in the collection, but the photo is a valuable addition to the catalogue.
May 22, 2015
The tile left represents the sailing route of the “Circle of the Sun” world voyage of the Prinsendam in 2006 (4th segment). The tile of the 3rd segment is missing in my collection; I have no scan of that tile.
The tile on the right represents the route of the “Dream of Discovery” world voyage of the Amsterdam in 2007 (4th segment). With this new aquisition this series is complete.
May 7, 2015
Half a 3D-tile of the ms Westerdam III, a gift from maritime collector Ton Blanker, specialized in uniforms, buttons and cap badges. The tile is placed in the menu “Special Occasions”.
April 10, 2015
These three tiles are a gift from former chief housekeeper Peter van den Bemt. The tiles have been manufactured in the Danish ceramics factory Randers Tronholm; in 1969 they were for sale on board the ships. The tiles are placed in the menu “Early Tiles”.
April 5, 2015
Vereniging De Lijn is a society of retired Holland America Line employees, which promotes contact between retired, former and current Holland America Line employees and interested people. Vereniging De Lijn is established on December 10, 1988 in The Netherlands and has more than 2000 members. On August 25, 2005 a group of retired Holland America Line employees started Association De Lijn (Dutch for “The Line”). The North American chapter of Association De Lijn has more than 300 members. This tile commemorates her 5th anniversary; it is a gift from Brian Porter, member of the Association. The tile is placed in the menu “Special Occasions”.