Rotterdam is lucky to be situated along one of the Rhine River’s main distributaries, the Nieuwe Mass. This body of water has brought economic prosperity to the city, but as Rotterdam becomes a more and more desirable destination due to its lively culture and fantastic architectural landmarks, the water becomes the best way to see the city in all its glory. There’s a great many options that will cover any and all of your boating needs, from small inflatable speed-boats that give you an adrenaline-filled ride around the river to large, graceful tour boats that guide you into all the nooks and crannies of the city and its massive port.
The classic guided harbor cruise along the Rhine can be booked through PlacePass, which will bring you to all of the most important points along the harbor (including parts of the industrial shipyards) and describe to you everything that you see. There are also extended tours that can take you even deeper into the industrial harbor and let you steep yourself in the rich maritime history of Rotterdam all the more.
If you’re interested in that kind of old-school harbor cruise with a twist, then you can also book a journey aboard the Pannenkoekenboot. On this pancake extravaganza, you’ll still get that beautiful tour of the harbor. This time, however, it’ll be accompanied by an all-you-can-eat feast of Dutch pancakes. They continuously fly out of the boat’s kitchen throughout the voyage, and you can customize them to your heart’s content. There’s savory or sweet varieties, cooked with apples or bacon or just enjoyed plain, and you can dig in while floating by some of Rotterdam’s most memorable landmarks. If you want the food and a more in-depth tour of the harbor, you can also do a brunch cruise—it’ll give you much more time to eat pancakes and to see more of the sights.
Of course, seeing the harbor from the water doesn’t necessarily mean you have to take a slow-moving cruise boat. For a little more excitement and a lot more fun, you can take a higher speed water transport like a RIB—these tours take a lot less time than the more traditional harbor cruise, but the boats are also moving quite a bit faster! This perfect for the adrenaline junky in all of us, just don’t be surprised if you get a little wet.
Finally, Rotterdam’s extensive water taxi system is another quick and efficient way to get around the city’s waterfront while still being able to enjoy the harbor. Why wait in city traffic when you could be zipping across the Rhine in a speedy custom black-and-yellow boat? It’s even heated, in case you’re looking to get around in the cold winter months. Book online, show up at the water, and travel in style!