Holland America Line has partnered with The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, the non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the landmarks.The partnership is to celebrate the cruise line’s 150-year journey from immigrant carrier to consumer ocean liner fleet.
The historic partnership, which kicked off October 26 as Holland America Line completed the recreation of the brand’s first-ever sailing from Rotterdam to New York City, features on-board video content across Holland America’s entire fleet produced by an Ellis Island researcher, as well as a curated exhibit launching in 2023 at Ellis Island detailing the brand’s historical prominence in bringing 1 in 10 immigrants from Europe to the United States.
The cruise line, which was founded in the Netherlands in 1873 as the Netherlands-American Steamship Company, was primarily a carrier of immigrants from Europe to the United States until well after the turn of the century, carrying nearly 2 million passengers to new lives in the New World. Holland America Line was the first to do away with “Steerage class” altogether, renaming it “Emigrants Class” where unlike the competition, guests were served three square meals. It is this level of care and attention to detail – a tradition and hallmark of the brand that has continued to this day – that was the impetus for its nickname at the time: “The Spotless Fleet.” Holland America Line provided everything from doctors and a pre-departure hotel complete with English lessons and classes on American civics to ensure passengers a safe journey to New York; and in fact, 99% of the immigrants carried on the fleet were cleared for entry through Ellis Island, a tremendous feat at the time.