William Van Doorn
ONE of the most popular of the trans-Atlantic lines engaged in passenger service between New York and the European continent is the Holland-America Line, widely rimed for its staunch vessels and its excellent serv- :e; but this is only one feature of the activities f that line, which is really the most important steamship organization of the Netherlands. The -ate of the organization of the line was on April :>. 1873, when, at the instigation of Sir Otto Reuchlin and A. Plate, Esq., a number of bank- 75 and manufacturers met and organized to establish a service between the Netherlands and the L nited States which should be an efficient medium r personal travel and carrying of freights.
The line began with a service of two steamers, rrre "Rotterdam" and the "Maas," small pioneer ships, from which has grown the present large :nd important fleet of passenger and freight steamers, tenders, lighters, etc., which with other essels now building to repair the damages caused v the war will amount to 238,410 tons.
The present organization is under the patronage of the Prince Consort of the Netherlands, the officers being J. Rypperda Wierdsma, president Adrion Gips, and W. F. Piek, managing directors; and the board of directors is composed :£ W. Westerman, president; W. F. Leemans, vice-president; D. Ellis Van Raalte, secretary; and S. P. Van Eeghen, Th. A. Fruin, I. J. Havelaar, H. Van Kempen, Jan Lels, W. A. Mees, E. P. De Monchy, F. S. Van Nierop, L. A. E. Suermondt, C. W. F. P. Baron Sweerts De Landas Wyborgh and J. H. Veder.
The New York service of the company is a passenger service from New York via Boulogne sar Mer and Plymouth to Rotterdam. There are also regular sailings between Rotterdam and -Antwerp to Cuba, Mexico, New Orleans and back to Rotterdam, and there is a regular freight service between Boston, Philadelphia, Norfolk, Newport News, New Orleans, Savannah to Rot- re rdam; from Galveston to Rotterdam and from New York to the Dutch East Indies (Java) and back to New York via Suez, Panama or the Cape of Good Hope, and occasional sailings from Xew York via South America back to Rotterdam.
The Holland-America Line is the only regular Dutch steamship line between the United States and Holland, and its fleet includes the passenger steamers "Ryndam," "Noordarn," "Nieuw Am-sterdam" and "Rotterdam," and the freight steamers "Zijldijk," "Soestdijk," "Amsteldijk," "Sloterdijk," "Maartensdijk," "Gorredijk," "Beu- kelsdijk," "Waaldijk," "Poeldijk," "Andijk," "Sommelsdijk," "Maasdijk," "Zuiderdijk," "Oos- terdijk," "Westerdijk," "Veendijk," "Ijseldijk," and "Schiedijk." There are also in course of construction two steamers replacing the "Noor- derdijk" and the "Zaandijk," aggregating 11,000 tons register, and two passenger and freight ves-sels, aggregating 20,000 tons, and fifteen freight boats aggregating 150,000 tons.
The passenger steamers of the Holland-America Line, famed for their classic elegance of ap-pointment, were all built by Harland and Wolff, Ltd., at Belfast, Ireland. The service was disturbed by the war, although during the first three years of the conflict the New York service was conducted with almost normal regularity, but in the period after the United States entered the war sailings were much less frequent. An important new feature in the service of this line was the establishing of the direct freight service to the Dutch East Indies, which continues as a great improvement over the old way of sending and receiving freight from those islands via Holland.
The New York house is under the very able management of Mr. Van Doorn, who is general manager and agent for the line, which is now re-suming as rapidly as they can be organized the regular services which were so popular and val-uable before the war period.
There is no line of steamers between New York and European ports which has more sincere and devoted friends than the Holland-America Line has among those that have made the trip on these steamships. The vessels are fast, but have never developed into racers. They offer a maximum of comfort to the voyager with safety and all the appointments that make enjoyable sea voyages to Britain, France, or to Central Europe via railways radiating from Rotterdam in every direction.