Welcome to the Rotterdam cruise port guide. Think about the Netherlands and you will probably think of canals, old warehouses and wooden shoes. Rotterdam is complete opposite. It is the 2nd largest city in the Netherlands with 625.000 inhabitants and it is like no other city in the country. Rotterdam is famous for its skyline, its port and cultural divine. It has a few of the top museums in the Netherlands, the UNESCO world heritage sights just a bus ride away and architecture to die for. Even if you would rather skip the big city and go into the countryside Rotterdams train system or water busses can take you anywhere in no time. See underneath what your options are.
Rotterdam is known for its architecture and the Cubic houses are a true masterpiece. The architect Piet Blom had the idea in the 70’s to create a village of tree houses. The result is 38 cubes that appear to be this forest in the city. One of the houses are open for inside visits where you can discover the crazy way of living in one of these houses.
When your ship is docked this will be first thing to catch your attention. It connects your dock with the city centre on the other side. Cross it by foot, tram or taxi.
The area around the cruise terminal in Rotterdam is quite nice. You will find museums, hotels and shops here. One of the unique buildings next to the cruise terminal is the historical Hotel New York. This is the former Holland America Line headquarters where thousands would leave their homeland to find a better life across the Atlantic. Today you’ll find a hotel inside, where they have nice coffee and typical Dutch pastry.
If you are looking for the absolute Dutch landscape you simply have to visit the windmills at Kinderdijk. This UNESCO world heritage site features 19 windmills from the 18th century. Learn what the Dutch love about them and why they need them. You even have the opportunity to visit one from the inside. This sight is picture perfect where culture and history come together. Reach it by shore excursion or with the local water taxi.
The shopaholics amongst up should make sure to drop by Koopgoot. This is the largest shopping district of Rotterdam where you will find all your local specialtes and big brands.
This protestant church is the only remnant of medieval Rotterdam. It was built in the 15th and 16th century and it still stands proudly today in the city centre of Rotterdam.
If you take a look at a map you will see that Rotterdam is not directly located at sea. To reach the cruise terminal of Rotterdam your ship needs to sail up the New Waterway which will take +/- 3 hours. During this time you will sailing through the largest port of Europe with here and there your typical Dutch landscape. The structure you see on the picture is the Maeslandkering. This is one of the largest moving structures on earth designed to keep the lands of the Dutch dry.
Your cruise ship will dock at Rotterdam’s cruise dock at the Wilhelmindakade. You will find a great cruise terminal here with some facilities. Read all about Rotterdam’s cruise terminal in our full cruise port guide.
This zoo is one of the oldest and most popular zoos in the Netherlands. Go for a nice day out and explore this large facility.
At the new Rotterdam Central Station you will find quick and frequent services to Delft, Gouda and Amsterdam. If you would like to escape the busy city these 2 might be 2 great alternatives. The train takes about 15 minutes to reach Delft and departs every 10 minutes. The train to Gouda takes about 20 minutes and departs every 10 minutes. Take the metro (line D or E) or the tram (line 20, 23 or 25) to the central station.
The Steam Ship Rotterdam was launched in 1958 and retired in 2000. She was build for the transatlantic service and became a full-time cruise ship in 1969. She is now permanently moored as a hotel and museum. Drop by for tour of the ship or a nice cup of coffee.
The Euromast is the eye-catcher of Rotterdam. You’ll find an observation tower 96 meter above the ground. Go for a nice dinner or prearrange to go abseiling from this iconic building.