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Vessel spotting

11 May 2021
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Inland vessels, container giants, tankers, cruise ships – there are many different types of vessels in the Rotterdam port area. Fortunately, there are many places where they can be looked at and photographed, to be added to the collections of many an enthusiastic spotter. Some of the finest locations are provided below.

Norwegian Epic arrives in Rotterdam

Parading along cruise ships at Wilhelminakade

In the cruise season, cruise ships often measuring 200 to 300 metres long moor at Wilhelminakade every week. A ship’s horn heralds the arrival of ship’s from far away. Many Rotterdam residents and tourists love to watch the ships enter the port.

Ships at the Maasmond

Slag Maasmond

The entrance to the port of Rotterdam, where some 30,000 vessels sail by every year. This means you can watch about 80 vessels enter the port right in front of you per day. Are you feeling peckish? You can find Smickel-Inn snack bar at Slag Maasmond, also known as the ‘Balcony of Europe’.

Landtong Rozenburg

The road on the 9-kilometre-long peninsula takes you to the very tip at the end. On your way there, you pass Calandpark, where Scottish Highlanders roam. The farthest point of the Landtong offers spectacular views across the Nieuwe Waterweg and the Calandkanaal with its huge tankers, pipe layers and drilling platforms.

Hoek van Holland

From the Noorderpier you have a splendid view across the Maas Entrance and the cranes and industry on the Maasvlakte. These sea-going vessels are monitored and guided by radar from Hoek van Holland Traffic Centre, guiding them smoothly and safely through the port.

Filming and photography

Are you curious about other magnificent public filming and photography locations? View our tips.

The port of Rotterdam is photogenic in all its diversity. From beautiful views, to innovative developments and from surprising nature to the most impressive ships. Whoever manages to portray the harbor best will be the Photographer of the Month. Every month the editors choose the best, most beautiful or nicest photo. The winning photographer will receive a nice gift.

AIDA Perla arrives at Wilhelminakade with RPA13 in the background


The guests of AIDA Cruises shipping company frequently use the cruise terminal at the Wilhelminapier. In the cruise season, the AIDAprima, AIDAperla and AIDAcosma moor here on a regular basis. Interesting fact: the AIDAperla, the sister ship of AIDAprima, was taken into service in 2017. It is ultramodern and uses the cleaner LNG (liquefied natural gas) for its power when berthed

Frequently asked questions

When and at what time does a cruise ship arrive?

For the actual arrival and departure times, we refer to Cruise Port Rotterdam.

How do I get to the cruise terminal, and where can I park?

Detailed directions, including parking information, are provided on the Cruise Port Rotterdam website.

Where can I find the arrival and departure times of sea-going vessels?

View the planned calls of sea-going ships to the port of Rotterdam.

What is on in Rotterdam?

Visit Port Pavilion or download the Rotterdam Tourist App to explore port city Rotterdam.