Between 1900 and 1910 many Dutch workers are employed at the neighbouring German port of Emden. Passenger ships sail from there, but mainly for pleasure cruises in the summer. Egbert Wagenborg spots an opportunity and sees that there is a need for a regular passenger service throughout the year. Therefore, Egbert asks engineering company Van Dam & Gorter in Uithuizen to convert a river tug into a passenger ship and she is christened "Anna Meika". A scheduled passenger and cargo service between Delfzijl and Emden is launched on 15 May 1905. From 1907, "Anna Meika" also sails three times a week to Borkum. Wagenborg’s Passagiersdiensten (passenger services) is born. In 1908 a custom-built passenger vessel - the steel steamship "Vooruitgang" - is taken into service alongside the "Anna Meika". Shortly afterwards the "Anna Meika" is rechristened "Vooruitgang II" and returns to the tugboat fleet. The Vooruitgang II is then sold in 1911, releasing the name for a new Vooruitgang II.

Ferry 'Vooruitgang' was delivered in 1908
Ferry 'Vooruitgang' was delivered in 1908

The Voortuigang II is the ship that determined the shipping company's well-known trademark. Vooruitgang II originally had three white bands around a black funnel but when one of the bands was affected by rust, Egbert decided that two bands was "quite enough". At that time the ships also sailed under their own flag where the Delfzijl colours red-white-red are divided into diagonal sections. The white left and red right sections are adorned with the letters EW and DZ. As a final touch, the black funnel with the two white bands was placed in the middle of the flag.

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