Special Occasions

Over the years the Holland America Line and associated organizations also issued tiles commemorating special occasions. The tiles (in five different dimensions) are arranged according to the year of issue.

This one-off made tile (6″x 6″) of the ss Ryndam (1951-1972) was offered by Chapman College in 1969 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.

Two 1985 tiles (4,5″x 4,5″) of the Nieuw Amsterdam III and Holland America Westours, specialized tour operator in Alaska. In 1971 Westours has been incorporated by Holland America Line. The companies have been owned by Carnival Corporation since 1987 (Westours) and 1989 (HAL).

3 nieuw amsterdam 1985 2 westours alaska 1985

Tile (7”x 4”)  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.


These 3,5″x 3,5″ tiles deviate in size. The third tile is a smaller version of the tile from the 2009 Mariner Collection series, with a picture of the ss Obdam (3.983 brt. 1889-1898).

6 members of the mariner society 7 a tradition continues 8 ss obdam klein

On the occasion of the first time that a Holland America Line ship enters a port, known as “maiden call”, the port authorities receive a plaque to which this tile (6″x 6″) is mounted. On the right the tile with the new logo.

9 maiden call tegel 9a

The Prinsendam sailing under the name Royal Viking Sun was launched in 1988 and was added to the HAL-fleet in 2002. On May 24, 2014 the Prinsendam entered the port of IJmuiden for the first time, on the occasion of which the Holland America Line presented a plaque to the port authorities. In the meantime the Prinsendam has been sold to the German shipping company Phoenix Reisen and will sail under the name ms Amera.

During our 62-day journey in March 2019, 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 a plaque.

The series of which these tiles are a part (eight tiles 6″x 6″), has been issued under the name “Collector Series” in the 90’s and relate to the renewal of the fleet. The tiles could be bought on the particular ships in 1995 and 1996.

10 maasdam collector serie 1996 11 nieuw amsterdam collector serie 1996 12 rotterdam collector serie 1996 13 ryndam collector serie 1996 14 statendam collector serie 1996 15 veendam collector serie 16 westerdam collector serie 1996

This tile (6″x 6″) is issued on the occasion of the fact that in 1996, with the arrival of the ms Maasdam, for the first time in 25 years a Holland America Line ship moored in the port of Rotterdam. The last time it was the ss Rotterdam V that in 1971 docked for a major overhaul.

17 maasdam 1996

 The tiles of the Seattle skyline (the site of the current headquarters) and the typical Dutch countryside (where the company started in 1873) mark the celebration of the 125th anniversary of the Holland America Line in 1998 (4″x 4″). The Mariner Society Cruise tile depicts “Windmill at Wijk bij Duurstede” from the Dutch landscape painter Jacob van Ruisdael (1629-1682), on display in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

4 maasdam 125 hal in 1998 5 mariners society cruise

Tiles issued by “Vereniging De Lijn” in 2000 and its sister organization in the United States and Canada (4″x 4″ (2) and 6″x 6″ (1) respectively).

Vereniging De Lijn is a Dutch 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.

19 vereniging de lijn 2000 20 vereniging de lijn chapter amerika 21 chapter amerika 2e lustrum

This tile (6″x 6″) marks the occasion of the 130 year Holland America Line anniversary in 2003. The festivities were enhanced by the simultaneous arrival of the Rotterdam and Oosterdam.

21 hal 130 jaar 2003

These six tiles in my collection (5″x 5″) 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. During the construction of the ms Oosterdam in 2003, Dingemans received the order from Mickey Arison (chairman of the central controlling company Carnival) to make a number of traditional Dutch sample tiles to be randomly placed in the bathrooms of passenger cabins.

This led to the commission of six sample tiles to the Meenaam (Friesland, the Netherlands) based factory de Albarello, specialized in fabricating tile tableaus. In the meantime it appears that the tiles are placed in bathrooms of passenger cabins on board of the Westerdam III, launched in 2004.


Besides the aforementioned sailing ship tiles and the tiles from the pair with the 17th century millstone collar, the tile below was also produced by De Albarello in 2003. I received this tile, exclusively made for the Holland America Line, from Frans Dingemans.
32a 32b
In addition, Captain Albert Schoonderbeek sent me a copy of several pages from the Holland America Line “artbook”, available on board providing information on artwork found in the ships.
??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????

Two tile tableaus and eight other tiles also decorate bathrooms on the ms Oosterdam and ms Zuiderdam. Eventually 1400 entirely hand-painted replicas were made by Albarello. Since 2016 Albarello belongs to the Goedewaagen concern.



HAL-0140002 HAL-0140001 HAL-0140005 HAL-0140006 Albarello-010012 Albarello-010013 Albarello-010011 Albarello-010004

These 6 sets of 2 tiles (6″x 6″) decorate the bathrooms of the Zuiderdam (2002) and Westerdam (2003). It entails tiles picturing the classical windmill landscapes and VOC ships. The tiles were made exclusively for Holland America Line by the “Harlinger Aardewerk- en Tegelfabriek”, also commissioned by “VFD” Architect bureau.

paar 1 paar 2 paar 3 paar 4 paar 5 paar 6

Half a 3D-tile of the ms Westerdam III (5,5″x 1,2″x 0,3″). The Westerdam came into service in 2004.

28 28a

The tile on the left (6″x 6″) marks the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the HAL Pension Foundation in 2007. Several hundred of the foundation connected retirees (mainly officers and office staff) were allowed, with partner, a free 7-day cruise with the Rotterdam to Norway. In the same year the opening of the new Holland America Line Office in Rotterdam took place, for which the smaller tile (4″x 4″) was issued.

22 stichting pensioenfonds hal 2007 18 opening HAL kantoor in 2007

Oval tile (4,7″x 3,7″) of the 5th Avoya Travel/American Express national conference, that was held December 2 to 9, 2012 on board of the Nieuw Amsterdam.

With an invitation for the annual Centurions Cruise (a 7-day Alaska cruise – spring 2013) , Holland America Line awarded the best (HAL) selling travel agencies in the United States and Canada (4″x 4″).

26 avoya travel 2012 27 centurions 2013 27a

The Holland America line hosted its Centurions – the line’s top travel sellers – again on a cruise in 2014. This time aboard the Nieuw Amsterdam to the Caribbean. During the voyage the agents participated in product-knowledge seminars. See the tile at the bottom of this menu.

This tile was presented in 2013 on the ss Rotterdam V, that on August 4, 2008 was moored in the city of Rotterdam. The ship is operated by Westcord Hotels as a hotel and catering facility (6″x 6″).

23 rotterdam 2008-2012

The Mariner Society advised me that this curious Sales Department tile (4″x 4″) was given out to travel partners during sales calls made by Business Development Managers.


The tile at the left commemorates the Farewell Voyage of the ms Statendam (V), a grand 30-day Transpacific Crossing from Seattle to Singapore. 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. T

The second tile commemorates the Farewell Voyage of the ms Ryndam (III), a grand 28-days Far East Explorer voyage, departing Venice, Italy, October 3, 2015 en route to Singapore.


Margaret Binnendyk, former director of the Mariner Society, sent me this tile, exclusively made at the time for members of the HAL President Club.

35 President Club

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 4 tiles (4”x 4” and 6”x 6”) is issued in a very limited edition of only 54 sets, produced by pottery ’t Delftsche Huys. The tiles commemorate four periodes of the Nieuw Amsterdam: pre-war 1938-1940, war 1941-1946, post-war in black 1947-1956 and post-war in grey 1957-1974.

48a pre-war 1938-1940 49a war 1941-1946 50a post-war 1947-1956 black 51a post-war 1957-1974 grey 52a pre-war 1938-1940 53a war 1941-1946 54a post-war 1947-1956 black 55a post-war 1957-1974 grey

In addition of the aforementioned series dr. Nico Guns also releases other tiles. The tile below (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.

ss rotterdam 15x15 P1210446


On the occasion of the Prinsendam leaving the fleet, 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 fractionnally 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 Royal Goedewaagen impressed hallmark.

I bought these two tiles, probably made in China, in the shop on board ms Maasdam.

Tile (4”x 4”) of the historic Transatlantic voyage of the Rotterdam (VII) to New York on the occasion of the (coming) 150th anniversary of the Holland America Line, available exclusively for the guests of the ship during this voyage which began October 15th, 2022.

On the tile you cTan see three old HAL logos: the first logo with the letters NASM, the logo with the Halve Maen against the backgound of the Nieuw Amsterdam, and at the bottom left the so-called tri-wave logo that the company used in the 1970s of the last century. The tile is made at Royal Goedewaagen but this time to a Holland America Line design.

Tile (4”x4”) issued on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Holland America Line on April 18, 2023.

This exclusive Delft tile (5.8”x 5.8”) commemorates the Legendary Voyages of Holland America Line, showcasing specially curated itineraries that bring guests to distant corners of the world. Exclusively available to those embarking on Legendary Voyages. The voyages are offered on the Nieuw Amsterdam, Volendam, Westerdam and Zaandam.