United Netherlands Navigation Company

United Netherlands Navigation Company

The United Netherlands Navigation Company was formed 30 April 1920 by eight partners; the Royal Netherlands Steamship Company (KNSM), Nederland Stoomvaart Maats, Rotterdam Lloyd, Royal Packet Navigation Company (KPM), Java China Japan Line (JCJL), Holland America Line, S.M. ‘De Maas’ (Van Ommeren), and Van Nievelt, Goudriaan & Company.

VNS took over the following routes:-

  • Holland-British India Line from Holland America Line and Van Ommeren
  • Holland-Australia Line from Rotterdam Lloyd
  • Holland-East Asia Line from Nederland S.M. and Van Nievelt, Goudriaan
  • Holland-West Africa Line in conjunction with Holland Steamship Company and Royal Holland Lloyd (KHL)
  • Holland-East Africa Line

In 1924, VNS combined the Holland-East Africa Line, which had served Dutch interests of the Uasin Gishu plateau area of Kenya from the turn of the century, and the Holland-South Africa Line, the latter founded in 1919 with financial support from the Dutch Government for five years.

The first sailing to South Africa was made by the chartered Dorp in December 1919, and then six vessels were purchased over the next two years. The Holland-South Africa Line was liquidated in 1932, and the VNS then took over the fleet of five vessels with ‘fontein’ suffixes to their name and its goodwill for the Holland-Africa Line.

Thus, by 1932, the routes served by VNS were to West Africa, South Africa, East Africa, the Far East, Australia and India.



  • Walter Herdzik