Captain Stephen J. Card M.N.I.

Maritime Artist


In Card's series aboard Rotterdam VI, he depicts Rotterdam I at sea and Rotterdam II sailing into the Verrazano Narrows passage at New York. Rotterdam III is shown in the English Channel by moonlight, and Rotterdam IV is arriving at Cowes Roads, Southampton. "I've painted Rotterdam IV with white hull," he reports. "For about a year, 1933-34, the ship was painted white, because she was to sail in the tropics." The story goes that the white hull was too difficult to keep clean, so the company repainted the ship the following year, but Card's painting captures an interesting moment in the ship's history.


s.s. Rotterdam I

Rotterdam I (1872-1883) is shown in a strong breeze in mid-Atlantic on a crossing c. 1875.

s.s. Rotterdam II

Rotterdam II (1886-1899) is shown in the Verrazano Narrows at the end of a voyage to New York on a summer morning in 1887.

s.s. Rotterdam III

The painting shows Rotterdam III (1897-1906) under a full moon on the last night of a crossing from New York to Rotterdam in 1900.

s.s. Rotterdam IV

The fourth Rotterdam (1908-1940) is shown arriving in Cowes Roads during a voyage from Rotterdam to New York in 1934.


Rotterdam V is depicted arriving at the company's Hoboken pier on a snowy January in 1961; her hull is painted the dove gray in use by the line at the time.

"In my painting of the Rotterdam VI, I've shown her at anchor in Bali as she would appear on a world cruise," he says. "I know the ship is not scheduled to call there on the first world cruise, but I feel that it's symbolic of the close traditional ties with the Indonesian people always shared by the people of Holland America."

s.s. Rotterdam V

Rotterdam V(1959-1997) arriving at Pier 5, Holland America's Hoboken Terminal, in January, 1961.

m.s. Rotterdam VI

The sixth ship (1997-) to bear a name rich in the proud history of Holland America Line is shown lying at anchor in Padang Bai, Bali, during a world cruise.

All images are copyright © by Captain Stephen J. Card and used with permission of Captain Card and Carmania Press.

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19 January 2004. Revised 31 October 2014.