4/8/2014: Latest update with new acquisitions and contributions from other collectors. New tiles in "other".
Holland America Line has issued ceramic tiles to celebrate events or to
give to customers as a welcome gift since the early 1900-s. Little is
known about these first tiles, like quantities and occasion at which
they were issued. The early tiles we are aware of are made by
the Plateel bakkerij Zuid Holland (PZH) from Gouda, The Netherlands.
They are full color handpainted images of some of the early Holland
America Line ships, such as the ss Rotterdam IV that is depicted in the
earliest tile chapter on this site. The tile is 6" x 6" and
has only the logo of PZH on the back.
The next tiles we are aware of are modeled after the 17th and 18th
century classic Blue Delft tiles with the text "Compliments of the
Holland America Line" and originate most likely from the 1960-s. Again,
we know very little of the quantities and occasions of the production
of these tiles. Finally in the early tiles we count the Delft Blue
tiles of the 1970/1980 era, where we find different texts on the on the
reverse side and the tri-wave logo used by the Line in the era.
this first series, there seems to have been a before the
Holland America Line started two new programs which involved
The first program was the Inaugural
Voyage program, where each
passenger that participated in the Inaugural Voyage of a new vessel
received a 6" x 6" Delft Blue ceramic tile. The first tile in this
series was the Statendam Inaugural tile of 1993 and the program still
continues with the issue of the latest Inaugural tile celebrating the
newest Nieuw Amsterdam addition to the fleet in 2010.
The second program
was the World
Voyage program, where each passenger
that participated in the World Voyage of that year received one of a
series of mostly four, sometimes three 6" x 6" Delft Blue ceramic
tiles. The first set of
tiles in this series was issued during the 1993
ss Rotterdam World Cruise. The World Voyage tile program seems to have
been discontinued in 2008, to be restarted in 2012 with the ms
Amsterdam World Voyage..
it was clear that the passengers liked the tiles, the Mariner
Society which had existed since the first ss Statendam World Cruise of
1958, started to award her members with a 4" x 4" Blue Delft ceramic
tile upon completion of each voyage taken with the Line's vessels. This
program still exists today and is extremely popular with collectors.
Each tile has an indication if it is in my
collection. I appreciate any offer of tiles I currently do not have. A
lot of the information and images of tiles come from Captain A. J.
Schoonderbeek of the Holland America Line, who's knowledge of every
aspect of the history of the Line is legendary. A 75 - 100 page book about the Holland
America Line ceramic tiles is in
progress and is expected to see daylight at the end of this year. The
image on the right shows a concept layout of the front cover. Anyone
interested in wanting to know more about it or obtaining a copy of this
first Collector's Reference Library volume can contact me at my email
Comments, additions and suggestions are welcome, please email me at
tiemen @ halpostcards . com. To see the currently known tiles
in each category, please click on the appropriate tag on the top of
this page. Happy