Long, very long...
The length of the journey varied, depending what kind of passage they could afford. The average was six to seven weeks. Ds. H.P.Scholte (Dutch reverend who founded Pella, Iowa) went with the S.S. Sarah Sands and that journey took only 13 days, while Van Raalte's journey took 54 days.
In shortMany immigrants started at a Dutch harbor (such as Rotterdam), went to New Orleans, Louisiana (a large southern American port), and traveled via the Mississippi River to Michigan. Many did it that way, but others went to New York and made their way to Michigan on land. Dominie. Van Raalte went to New York, and then to Michigan.
The startThe first journeys taken to the US by the Dutch were in 1620, and they left from "Delftshaven", the Netherlands, and went to "Southampton", England. Then the journey went on, to the US.
William Bradford (leader of the Puritans): "Everywhere were tears and sighing, they said the fervent prayers. After that, they hugged each other and they said goodbye, with much tears." When the ship the Speedwell (a three-master of 60 tons) left, there were musketschots, the passengers fired them, to say goodbye to their friends and family, who stayed 'at home'. All of the emigrants were pilgrims, the people who stayed at home, called them that way, or "the Pilgrim Fathers".
Passenger: "I'm scared for the journey, the Atlantic Ocean is still unsave. The weather changes very fast. And there is told that there are many monsters, which eat the ships." (one there was a ship, called the Squirrel, at its journey, and from another ship they saw that all the lanterns went out, and then the ship dissapeared for ever)
There had been many disasters with the ships. Once there was a ship, which got into a storm, and was driven off one's course so heavily, that the journey took 6 months longer. 150 people were dead, because of food shortage, and the people who survived, had a precarious future, in a inhospitable and thick afforested area, where were many enemies.
DemandFrom Rotterdam left, in 1846 and 1847, ships to America, with a capicity of 300 to 550 tons, which were small for the Dutch. When they travelled to the US, they tooked emigrants with them, and to the Netherlands, they took American grain with them, because of the high demand for it in their home port. If the immigrants had to wait in the harbor, they had the right to get a place for the night. If they had to wait more than three days, they also got food. The problem was that there had to be an immigrant who knew his rights, and demanded it. If there wasn't, the ship company took advantage of them.
The times of dispairNot every journey went wrong, but many did have problems:
"normally you couldn't survive the journey. We were treated like cattle. You slept under clammy feather eider-downs. We couldn't do very much. The journey was a hell, the food were potatoes and some grey peas"All food had to be prepared by themselves, as well, and little water was available. Weather often proved a problem and the ships ran into many storms. Many people died due to low sanitation.