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A Guide to the Caribbean and West Indies Cruise Trip Photograph Album

Finding aid created by Gabriela Gasca.

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections

Descriptive Summary

Title: Caribbean and West Indies Cruise Trip Photograph Album
Dates: 1935 February 3-14
Abstract: Photographic album containing photographs taken during a cruise trip aboard the S. S. Rotterdam while sailing through the Caribbean and the West Indies in 1935.
Extent: .01 Linear Feet. 1 Volume.
Identification: MSS 0461
Language(s): English
Note: This guide is available in Spanish at

Biographical/Historical Note

The origin of the Holland America Line goes all the way back to the nineteenth century. It was then when Dutch merchants began to use a new route thorough the Maas River towards the Atlantic. One example is the establishment of the Holland-America Line. In 1870, a group of entrepreneurs founded the C.V. Plate Reuchlin company in hopes of establishing a transatlantic route from Rotterdam to the Americas. On October 15th, 1872 the Rotterdam I sailed to New York after it was brought to the founders of the company. The ship carried 70 passengers and 800 tons of merchandise. The Rotterdam II was built in 1886 and was the first cruise ship to reach the opening of the Kieler Canal. In 1908, the Rotterdam IV sailed to the West Indies from New York. The company decided to paint the ship white to give it a cruise-like appearance. This ship was the first to have an enclosed promenade deck for first-class passengers. The Rotterdam IV was also the largest Dutch ship for two decades until it stopped service in the year 1939.

Scope and Content

This album contains photographs of a cruise taken aboard the S.S. Rotterdam of the Holland American Line in 1935. Within the album, there are photographs of people and places such as the coastal city La Guaira (La Guyra), street views of St. Thomas, huts in St. Thomas, Venezuelan fish sellers, and a pack train over the Andes Mountains. The creator of the album marked the trip route in the cruise map. The cruise began in New York, sailed to Port-Au-Prince, and then cruised to Curaçao. After Curaçao, the ship sailed to Venezuela, St. Thomas, and then back to New York. The assorted ephemera includes eleven daily programs for activities on the ship, blank autograph pages, and a dozen menus and event programs.

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open for research.

Administrative Information

Alternate Form of Finding Aid

This guide is available in Spanish at

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Caribbean and West Indies Cruise Trip Photograph Album, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

Purchased in 2018.

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Caribbean Area.
Cruise lines.
Haiti -- Port-au-Prince.
Holland Amerika Lijn.
United States Virgin Islands -- Saint Thomas (Island)
West Indies.

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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