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Recreational sailing

11 May 2021
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If you plan to sail in the port of Rotterdam, be extra alert and prepare your trip thoroughly.

The port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe and extends over a length of 42 kilometres. It is a beautiful and fascinating but also busy area where sea-going and inland shipping make intensive use of the river and ports.


Use current port maps in your preparation and plan your route in advance. Make a sailing plan and keep in mind that there is ebb and flow in the port of Rotterdam. Make sure you check the tides before you set out so that you can take the current into account during your trip. Up-to-date data on tides and currents can be found on the Riverguide app.

Technical preparation

  • Check out which VHF channels are relevant for you, both for sector channels as well as bridges and locks.
  • Technical preparation is an absolute must before you set off. Make sure your boat is in order so you do not encounter any problems on the way. For more information on the technical preparation, please visit Safe boating.
  • Riverguide: Download the app (Dutch only), so that you can see what's going on around you. To do so, switch on the map layer AIS. Riverguide also provides you with all relevant data for sailing from A to B, including current data and the latest Shipping Announcements.


You will encounter a great deal of sea-going and inland vessels along the way. Vessels that are bigger and faster than your boat and create heavy swells that may cause problems for you. Take this into consideration.

Keep to the starboard bank and listen to the designated VHF channels. This is compulsory when you have a VHF on board. Please note that pleasure craft are not permitted to enter port basins unless they are going to moor at a shipyard for repair or in a marina. As a recreational boatman you can only moor in the marinas.

If you plan to spend the night in a marina, you can check the Riverguide app and marina map layer.

Roeiers op de Nieuwe Maas, Rotterdam.
Rowers on the Nieuwe Maas, port of Rotterdam.

Golden rules

  • Keep to the starboard bank.
  • Listen out on the VHF and report if necessary and when requested to do so.
  • Take a look back every now and then.
  • Navigate your crossing as straight as possible and such that you have a clear view of the port entrance.

Safety has top priority in the port of Rotterdam We endeavour to make the port as safe as possible, but we cannot do this alone. Take responsibility, because as a skipper you are always responsible for your (own) safe navigation.

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Traffic Centres

If you are experiencing (nautical) problems on board, report to one of the following with a request for assistance or a berth:
+31 (0)10-252 28 01 Hook of Holland Traffic Centre
+31 (0)10-252 26 01 Rotterdam Traffic Centre
or VHF channel 11.

Harbour Coordination Centre

For general nautical information, contact the Harbour Coordination Centre.
VHF channel 11 or via phone number.

More information? Contact:

Harbour Coordination Centre
Harbour Coordination Centre