The NV Nederlandsch-Amerikaansche Stoomvaart-Maatschappij (NASM), founded in 1873, was soon popularly dubbed Holland America Line (HAL), a name that became official several years later. The Nieuwe Waterweg was opened in 1872 and allowed Rotterdam to grow into a word-class port and city.
HAL operated its first regular service on New York at the time. From 1873 until the Second World War, HAL transported businessmen, tourists and migrants to and from America. During the war, the HAL vessels were deployed for allied purposes, and all sailors on board virtually sailed throughout the war. Truly heroic indeed! After the war, MS Westerdam sailed from Rotterdam on 28 June 1946, and in the time that followed many migrants from all over Europe embarked to sail toward a new future. (tk)
The Kop van Zuid is an extension of the city centre
During 1901-1917 the HAL management building was constructed at the head of the Wilhelminapier. The HAL head office at this location was closed in 1984. In the 1990s, new plans were drawn up for this Kop van Zuid area, which marked the start of the extension to the city centre on the south bank. Hotel New York was the first project. In those days, when Erasmus Bridge had not yet been constructed, the watertaxi became a fact. Meanwhile, its services have been extended and improved, and still a fun thing to do! Since Day One, the popular Hotel New York contributed considerably to the success of Kop van Zuid. Between the modern high-rises, the respect for the old has remained (see photo).
A little note: In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Marshall Aid (1997), former US president Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary came to Rotterdam. Wilhelminakade was already popularly dubbed Holland Amerikakade. On the occasion of the celebration and the formal visit of the Clintons, the then mayor of Rotterdam, Bram Peper, announced that Holland Amerikakade would become the official name. (see photo).