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The following series was translated from the original Dutch by Willem Rabbelier and Cor Snabel of the Netherlands. It is published with their permission on The Olive Tree Genealogy pages.

Ships Sailing from Netherlands Holland to New Netherland New York

The first journeys (until about 1620) took place primarily via the northern route to Newfoundland and then by means of the Labrador stream southward, along the coast. This route had been in use for decades by French, English and Portuguese fishermen.

From about 1620 however, the southern route became customary: Republic Spain the Canary Islands and then, aided by the strong North-Equatorial Stream and the north-easterly trade winds a short Atlantic crossing to the Antilles, and with the Antilles Stream northward to the American continent, where the Gulf Stream guided the ships northward.

This southern route was known to the Dutch since their salt-trade on Venezuela and the Caribbee. An even more southern route (known since the time of the Dutch slave-traders who sailed for West-Africa and America) which led the ships via the Cape Verde Islands and the following Guinea Stream to the Guinea Gulf. After that the ships sailed to the Brazilian coast up to the Caribbee, with help of the Benguela and South Equatorial Stream.

The return journey to the Republic differed from the outjourney -- this route was shorter, thanks to the North Atlantic Gulfstream and westerly off-shore winds. Almost home, most of the time the English Channel was used, but sometimes, when Spanish warships were present, the voyage to the Republic had to go via Scotland and the North Sea.


One has to realize that the crossing between Amsterdam (A'dam) or Texel and New Amsterdam lasted between one and a half up to two and a half months. Due to the ocean currents, the trip to the Republic was normally a bit shorter than the voyage to New Amsterdam.

The ship Houttuin made in 1642 the fastest journey in 51 days, leaving Texel June 14th and arriving in New Amsterdam Aug. 4th after a happy and speedy voyagefn1

Kiliaen van Rensselaer thought the 147 days journey of the Koning David in 1641 lasted too long.fn2

The fastest crossing from New Amsterdam to the Republic was made by the Vergulde Bever in 1658. "The good Lord ..... after a prosperous voyage allowed her after 34 days to arrive at Texel"fn3

The slowest journey was the one of the Rensselaerswijck in 1636/1637. On Sept. 25th 1636 the Rensselaerswijck left Amsterdam under captain Jan Tjepkesz. Schellinger, with 12 crew-members and 38 colonists. Due to a storm the ship ended up in Plymouth England, where a drunken colonist killed another colonist. Before the British authorities had solved this matter and allowed the ship to leave Plymouth it was early Jan. 1637. The Rensselaerswijck arrived at New Amsterdam in early March, sailed on to Rensselaerswijck the same month to deliver the colonists and returned to the Republic, where it arrived in Nov. 1637, again after a delay in Plymouth.

Kiliaen van Rensselaer was not pleased, for the delays in Plymouth and the non-loyal attitude of his captain Schellinger had cost him a lot of money. In Dec. 1637 he decided to sell the Rensselaerswijck.


fn1Van Rensselaers Bowier Manuscripts p 645

fn2VRBM p 620

fn3Correspondence of Jeremias van Rensselaer 1651-1674 p 133-4

Nieuw-Nederland in de zeventiende eeuw.
Jaap Jacobs
Uitgeverij Prometheus/Bert Bakker Amsterdam, 1999
ISBN 90 5333 803 9

J.A. Jacobs 1989

Choose from the Marine Museum Series
Introduction to Marine Museum Series
List of all ships sailing from Netherlands to the New World 1609 - 1674
List of all ships sailing from the New World to the Netherlands 1609 - 1674
#1: Dutch First Presence in the Atlantic Area
#2: The Isle of Texel
#3: The West Indies Company/West-Indische Compagnie (WIC)
#4: The Crossing: Routes and Duration
#5: Colonist Arrivals in the New World Between 1624-1640
#6: Colonist Arrivals in the New World Between 1641-1657
#7: Colonist Arrivals in the New World Between 1658-1660
#8: Colonist Arrivals in the New World Between 1661-1664
#9: Privateering Under W.I.C. Command
#10: Food on Board Ship
#11: Harbour Procedures in New Amsterdam


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