Nieuw Amsterdam in the Straits - SS Nieuw Amsterdam
Ocean Liner Painting of Holland America Lines liner SS Nieuw Amsterdam
Considered by many to be the most well-balanced of all the ships operated by Holland-America line, Nieuw Amsterdam was named after the original Dutch title for the settlement that later became New York.
Launched by Queen Wilhelmina in 1937, the ship boasted a tonnage of nearly 37,000 tons. With no obvious preparations for the addition of war material Nieuw Amsterdam became known throughout Europe as the "Ship of Peace", this also aiding in her status as the Dutch ship of state. Tastefully modern with Art Deco interiors and pastel colour schemes, she was the epitome of Dutch design and craftsmanship, being called the "Ship of Tomorrow" by some commentators at the time.
The ship made her maiden voyage on 10th May 1938 and was highly profitable before Hitler's invasion of the Netherlands in 1940 brought her passenger service to a temporary halt. She ws in the USA at the time and with consent from the Dutch government in exile, the ship was refitted into a Troopship for the rest of the war.
Following war service, the ship underwent an eighteen month refit which not only restored her to her pre-war glory but also added to her displacement by some 400 tons. Unlike other pre-war liners, Nieuw Amsterdam was to remain profitable even into the jet age, a consequence of being refitted several times and beginning a successful cruise life. Even as late as 1967 she received new engines and it was only in 1974 that newer cruise ships made her untenable and she was sent for breaking up.