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Have you heard of East Vancouver photographer Walter Frost?

  • Walter Edwin Frost (1898-1988) was an avid amateur photographer interested in ships, trains, and the city of Vancouver.

  • Walter entrusted his extensive collection of 13,369 images including 83 photos of Holland-America Line freighters and passenger ships docked on Vancouver's waterfront to the City of Vancouver Archives in 1985.  

  • Walter's body of work demonstrates in crisp, clear black & white photographs how the nature of shipping and naval architecture have evolved.

For more about Walter, click here.

What is HAL | VAS?

  • Or that VAS was the radio callsign of the former Vancouver Harbour Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) Centre?

Why 2020?


This year marked:


  • 100 years since the Holland-America Line began its North Pacific Coast service

  • 75 years since the end of the Second World War

  • 45 years since HAL's first Alaska cruise

The S.S. Eemdyk (2) inaugurated HAL's North Pacific Coast service when she arrived in Vancouver on September 29, 1920 to load 5,000 cases of B.C. salmon and general cargo destined for continental Europe.

When the  Second World War ended in 1945, only nine of Holland-America Line's 25 ships were left and 264 employees had lost their lives after answering the call to serve in the Allied war effort. HAL's flagship, the passenger liner S.S. Nieuw Amsterdam sailed more than half a million miles during the war, transporting 400,000 military personnel.

In 1975, HAL's M.S. Prinsendam completed HAL's first Alaska cruise on the Inside Passage itinerary. 

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