HAL-Holland America announced it will partner with The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to preserving the eponymous landmarks, in order to celebrate the line's "150-year journey from immigrant carrier to consumer ocean liner fleet."
The new partnership, which kicks off on October 26th as HAL completes the recreation of the brand's first sailing from Rotterdam to New York, features onboard video content across the entire fleet of HAL produced by an Ellis Island researcher, and a curated exhibit launching in 2023 at Ellis Island detailing the historical prominence in bringing 1 in 10 immigrants out of Europe to the United States.
The collaboration is launching with a joint talk between Bill Miller, noted cruise historian, and Stephen Lean, director of The American Family Immigration History Center at Ellis Island, detailing the immigrant experience during the late 1800s. The new presentation will be available on-demand fleetwide. Noting the industry's, and particularly Holland America's, importance in the immigrant voyage from Europe to the US, the Foundation will curate an exhibit in the History Center available for visitors from February through to April 2023.
The cruise company, which was founded in the Netherlands back in 1873 as the Netherlands-American Steamship Company, was a carrier of immigrants from Europe to the US until well after the turn of the century, carrying ~2 million passengers to new lives. HAL was the first to do away with the "Steerage class" altogether, renaming it "Emigrants Class" where guests were served 3 square meals. It is the level of care and attention to detail, a hallmark of the brand that continues to this day, and was the impetus for the nickname at the time: "The Spotless Fleet."
Holland America began the recreation of its first voyage with a sendoff on October 15 from the Netherlands. The ship will sail past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island as she arrives in New York at around 7:00 a.m. on October 26.