Leisure and recreational sailing

All the information you need for a safe trip through the port of Rotterdam.

If you are navigating the rivers and ports in the Rotterdam region, be sure to prepare yourself thoroughly. Maritime and inland shipping make intensive use of these rivers and ports. This requires extra alertness on the part of yachting and recreational sailors, especially where navigation channels split, and at port entrances. Here you will find all the information you need to prepare for your stay or trip.

The Harbour Master's Division of the Port of Rotterdam Authority controls shipping in the Rotterdam port area. The Harbour Master’s traffic management system ensures that all shipping movements, including recreational navigation, run safely and smoothly. The Harbour Master Division’s staff enforce the regulations.

Rules in the port of Rotterdam

Navigation in the navigation channels and the port basins is subject to rules. There are Government Rules, such as the Inland Waterways Police Regulations (BPR) and local rules, such as the Rotterdam Port Management By-Laws 2010. For your own safety, the following rules apply in the port of Rotterdam:

  • Listen to the channels designated for this purpose. This is mandatory when you have a VHF on board.
  • Keep to the starboard bank as much as possible.
  • If you are on a sailboat make sure that the engine is always ready for use.
  • Pleasure craft are forbidden to enter the ports unless they are mooring in a marina or a shipyard located within the port.
  • Pleasure craft are only allowed to moor in marinas. Naturally they are also allowed to moor at the mooring piles of bridges and locks, but then only for short periods of time.
  • Discharging substances into surface waters is prohibited. Most marinas have port reception facilities for engine oil, cleaning rags and oil filters, for example.
  • You can use the Berghaven at Hook of Holland as an emergency port. In that case you must request permission from the Hook of Holland Traffic Centre, VHF channel 11 or telephone +31 (0)10-252 28 01.

General tips for recreational boating

River conditions can be rough, especially when river currents and wind are moving in opposite directions. Seagoing and inland vessels can generate waves as well. Make thorough preparations for your trip and carefully monitor shipping announcements.The website Safe Boating! (Varen doe je samen!) contains additional tips for your sailing trip.

Current water levels, flow, wind and visibility

Check out the current weather conditions in the Port of Rotterdam.

Sailing Routes

Pleasure craft coming from the direction of Gouda can also reach Rotterdam through a back route via the Ringvaart through the Zuidplaspolder and the Rotte. This route is not as fast, but is quieter than the Nieuwe Maas. Keep in mind that heights and depths along this route are limited.

Be especially alert at the following areas in the Rotterdam port area:
• Oude Maas – Nieuwe Maas near Vlaardingen
• Oude Maas – Hartelkanaal
• Delfshavense Schie – Delftse Schie
• Nieuwe Maas – Noord – Lek
• Oude Maas – Spui

All waterway junctions are displayed on the detailed charts in the waterway junction booklets (knooppuntenboekjes). The charts show how to safely and smoothly navigate through these waterway junctions.

The KNRM Helpt App

The Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution (KNRM) Helpt app helps you to prepare yourself for your trip. The app provides information about the weather, wave heights and tides. In addition, the app helps you prepare a sailing plan. And should you perchance require assistance, the app provides a direct link to the Coast Guard or the KNRM Alarm Centre.


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:

Harbour Coordination Centre
+31 (0)10 252 1000

Bridges and locks

The Municipality of Rotterdam provides information about the bridges and locks in Rotterdam.

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