Holland America Line

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HAL logo

Holland America Line, headquartered in Seattle, Washington, is a cruise ship line, originally an operator of passenger and cargo ships.

Founded in 1873 as the Netherlands-America Steamship Company, the company ran regular trans-Atlantic service between the Netherlands and the United States, and later to the Dutch East Indies as well. It was acquired by Carnival Corporation in 1989.

In 1971, HAL abandoned its passenger service and switched to running cruise ships fulltime. It has since earned a reputation among cruise lines for classic elegance; the decor of its ships recall the great age of Dutch exploration, and include numerous pieces of original artwork and artifacts. HAL is also known for the wide variety of destinations it sails to, and after obtaining government approval to visit Antarctica in the 1980's, the line now visits all seven continents; it's ms Prinsendam also sails an annual "Grand World Voyage" that usually last more than 150 days.

As of 2005, the line operates thirteen ships. All have a dark blue hull with white superstructure, and have names ending in "dam", some of which have been used for different ships over the years.

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Half Moon Cay, HAL's private island
In addition to its fleet of cruise ships, Holland America also owns the Westmark hotel chain which operates in Alaska and the Yukon, the bus companies Gray Line of Seattle and Gray Line of Alaska, and Worldwide Shore Services, which provides warehouse and logistical support for the company. It also owns and operates the high end Windstar Cruises, with which HAL shares it's headquarters in Seattle's Lower Queen Anne district. Finally, HAL owns Half Moon Cay, its own private island in the Caribbean; nearly all of the line's cruises through the region spend at least a day there.

Ships in service:

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The ms Westerdam, HAL's newest ship and the third member of the "Compass Point" family of Vista-class ships.
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The ms Amsterdam (foreground) and ms Zaandam docked in Juneau, Alaska in May 2002.


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