“Darling of the Dutch” – Holland-America Line’s trans-Atlantic Liner SS Nieuw Amsterdam on Youtube.

The Steamship Liner S.S. Nieuw Amsterdam was a Dutch ocean liner built in Rotterdam for the Holland America Line.

This Nieuw Amsterdam, the second of three Holland America ships with that name, is considered by many to have been Holland America’s finest ship.

To this day SS Nieuw Amsterdam is still regarded as one of the most beautiful ships to be built. With her stunning silhouette she was a well balanced ship. Her elegant lines were highlighted with her black hull, as well as her two perfectly proportioned funnels and two tall masts. At the time, she was also the largest Dutch ship to be built.

Originally she was to be named Prinsendam, however during construction, Holland America Line (HAL) decided to name their new flagship Nieuw Amsterdam, in honor the settlement of the Dutch in Nieuw Amsterdam, today’s City of New York. Nieuw Amsterdam was also given the honor of being the Dutch “Ship of State.” Unlike other ships of her time being built (especially British and American ships) her design did not include any military ingredient, despite the threateningpolitical situation of the day. SS Nieuw Amsterdam was launched by HRH Queen Wilhelmina on April 10, 1937 and was completed on March 21, 1938.

William H. Miller’s new book on the HAL liner can be pre-ordered by clicking here.

She was often affectionately nicknamed the “Darling of the Dutch” and was truly a most elegant and handsome ship.   Nieuw Amsterdam quickly became famed for new standards being set, with her interior design and magnificent Art Deco décor was far superior to anything seen before. Her interiors were decorated in pastel colors and although she had spacious public rooms, the color scheme used gave her an even larger feel. Her first class restaurant was her most celebrated room, having a Moroccan leather ceiling and Murano-glass lighting fixtures, columns overlaid in gold leaf, her walls were in Ivory, all this and with tinted mirrors, and superb satinwood furniture, this was one of the finest Art Deco restaurants afloat. Located on Promenade Deck immediately aft of the Smoking Room was the delightful Stuyvesant Cafè, a popular venue indeed. There were two swimming pools on-board, one outdoor and the other indoors on E-deck. It featured an expensive Delft tiled which was an impressive sight

This much loved Holland America Line ship had a most eventful career including service as a troopship during the Second World War but was eventually retired from service and scrapped in 1974.

S. S. Nieuw Amsterdam after launching in late 1930s.

S. S. Nieuw Amsterdam taking on fuel – New York – 1960s.


About Michael L. Grace

MICHAEL L. GRACE is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. SNOOPY continues to be one of the most produced shows (amateur & stock) in America/Worldwide and has had long running productions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and in London's West End. There are over 100 individual productions every year. He has written movies for TV, including the award-winning thriller LADY KILLER, various pilots and developed screenplays for Kevin Costner and John Travolta. Besides co-writing and co-producing SNOOPY, he wrote and produced the one-man play KENNEDY. He produced P.S. YOUR CAT IS DEAD by pulitzer prize winning author James Kirkwood. He wrote the stage thriller FINAL CUT which had productions in the UK, South Africa and Australia. His one-man play, KENNEDY - THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH, was developed for HBO and has starred Andrew Stevens, Gregory Harrison and Joseph Bottoms. He has recently been involved in European productions with CLT-UFA, Europe's leading commercial television and radio broadcaster. He wrote MOWs THE DOLL COLLECTION, THE BOTTOM LINE and LAST WITNESS for German television. While in college and graduate school he worked as a foreign correspondent for COMBAT, the famous leftwing Paris daily, and as a travel writer. He visited more than 50 countries. He struggled as an actor, then joined the enemy and entered the training program at William Morris. He became a publicist and worked for Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, at Paramount and MGM. He followed with a brief stint as a story executive, working in the frantic horror genre period of the early 80s and wrote THE UNSEEN. He went onto write for episodic television and develop series pilots. He was a continuing writer on such series such as LOVE BOAT, PAPER DOLLS, and KNOTS LANDING. He developed screenplays for such major award winning directors as Nicolas Meyers, Tony Richardson and J. Lee Thompson. He has written for all the major networks and studios. He has been hired numerous times as a script doctor, doing many uncredited rewrites on TV movies and features. He is currently writing A PERSON OF INTEREST, a thriller novel, and, IT'S THE LOVE BOAT... AND HOW IT CHANGED CRUISING BY SHIP a non-fiction book dealing with how the hit TV series as a major cultural phenomenon and altered the style of cruising by ship. He was raised in Los Angeles. He attended St. Paul's, USC and the Pasadena Playhouse. He received a B.A from San Francisco State University where he majored in theatre arts and minored in creative writing. He is listed as a SFSU leading alumni. He also apprenticed at ACT - The American Conservatory Theatre. For a brief period he had intentions of becoming an Episcopal(Anglican) priest and attended seminary at Kelham Theological College in the UK. When "the calling" wasn't there, he left seminary and did graduate work at the American University of Beirut. He has guest lectured at USC, UC San Diego, McGill, Univ. of London and the Univ. of Texas on the business aspects of making a living and surviving as a writer, focusing on development hell, in the Hollywood entertainment industry. Grace is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America, the Dramatist Guild and former regional chairman of the Steamship Historical Society of America. He resides in Palm Springs.

Leave a Reply