Maritime Museum

Learn everything about the Port of Rotterdam in the past and present and admire the rare historic ships open-air at Leuvehaven.

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The Maritime Museum of Rotterdam

The Maritime Museum Rotterdam merged with the Harbour Museum of Rotterdam, which was located next door. The Maritime Museum Rotterdam displays more than half a million nautical objects related to ships and travel such as ship models, paintings, atlases, ship charts and globes, shipbuilding blueprints, photos, films and videos, navigation instruments, nautical instruments, ship’s furnishings and personal documents and clothing.

Collection of ship models

A part of the Maritime Museum Rotterdam dates back to 1852, when the Model Room for the Royal Dutch Yachting Club was created. This Model Room was the basis for a public municipal museum created in 1874, which makes the Maritime Museum Rotterdam the oldest maritime museum of the Netherlands. The important collection of ship models spans seven centuries and contains a large part of the ship types which were used in the Netherlands for hundreds of years. One of the top pieces of the Maritime Museum Rotterdam is the Mataró that dates back to early 15th century and which is the oldest ship model in Western Europe.

Offshore Experience Rotterdam

The Maritime Museum Rotterdam displays a number of interesting themed exhibitions. These exhibitions change every now and then but some are semi- permanent. The most important exhibitions are currently ‘Masterpieces’ and the ‘Offshore Experience’ (from 8 years). ‘Masterpieces’ shows a selection of 25 of the best items from the museum collection. The Interactive Offshore Experience takes place on an oil rig and at the sea bottom. Officially equipped with yellow vests and a helmet you can discover all kinds of offshore jobs. As a marshaller you can guide a helicopter to the heli platform or you can navigate with a big ship. Really great for kids!

Playground Maritime Museum

Kids between 4 and 10 years can step into the maritime world in a playful manner in the port of Professor Splash. Kids must help him and his friends Captain Cork, Sai-Ling, Mecha Mo and Float to prepare them for their trip around the world. They have to load and unload ships, get the fish nets, lift containers and cook a meal in the galley. On board of Professor Splash’ futuristic ship, your kids will learn about the museum collection. The Maritime Museum Rotterdam also offers an outdoor rooftop harbour playground.

Museum ship De Buffel

The Maritime Museum Rotterdam was also known of the 19th century naval ship ‘De Buffel’ that served the Royal Dutch Navy for many years. Unfortunately the museum doesn´t own the ship anymore, but it can still be visited in the city of Hellevoetsluis.

Historic ships Leuvehaven

Besides the indoor collection, The Maritime Museum Rotterdam also displays many ships of the former Harbour Museum outside. At Leuvehaven you’ll find historic ships as well as cranes, a tugboat, a lighthouse, a steam powered grain elevator and a locomotor.

Verolme Pavillon Rotterdam

A tour at huge open-air area of the Maritime Museum Rotterdam begins at the Verolme Pavilion, located at the Leuvehaven. Within this pavilion you can see many exhibits and movies about the port of Rotterdam in the past and present. Stroll through the historical Leuvehaven harbour surrounded by many historic ships. In July and August and on Sundays you can usually join a trip on one of the steam tugboats. There are regular demonstrations of old crafts organised at the warehouses of the Maritime Museum Rotterdam. Admission to the outdoor quays and landings of Leuvehaven is free, but for boarding the ships or attending a demonstration or a tour you need to purchase a ticket.

Historic Shipyard Koningspoort

The historic shipyard Koningspoort is an auxiliary branch of the Maritime Museum Rotterdam, which is located at the beautiful Old Harbour of Rotterdam. At Koningspoort ship owners can restore their historic ships. If you can’t get enough of the Port of Rotterdam you can combine your visit to the Maritime Museum Rotterdam with a Spido Harbour Tour, which departs near the Erasmus Bridge.


Q How can I get to Maritime Museum by public transport?

The Leuvehaven is within walking distance from Coolsingel and Lijnbaan. From Rotterdam Central Station, get there by metro, Station Beurs.

Q Is there a parking close to Maritime Museum?

Pay to park your car in the Westblaak or Beursplein parking.