Rotterdam’s harbor and seafaring legacy is best experienced from the water. The iconic Spido boats journey along the most fascinating parts of the River Maas and Port of Rotterdam, giving passengers a glimpse into the city’s history, as well as highlighting its modern innovations. Aboard a Spido, passengers are also perfectly positioned to admire the city center’s modern skyline and internationally renowned architecture.
- Marvel at Rotterdam’s skyline and architecture from the water.
- Learn the history behind one of the world’s largest and oldest shipping ports.
- Choose a tour, day trip or themed cruise to experience the best of Rotterdam.
Experience Rotterdam’s harbor
Rotterdam’s maritime history dates back several centuries and has shaped the city as it exists today. Home to the largest port in Europe – and for many years the world – Rotterdam once connected Europe with the US, as the Holland America Line transported tens of thousands of passengers, along with cargo, from Rotterdam to New York.
Today, the central harbor offers a fascinating insight into the city’s past, as well as the modern outlook and architecture that sets the city apart. The best way to take it all in is aboard a Spido, Rotterdam’s fleet of tour boats that travel along the River Maas and around the most interesting points of the harbor. Via a selection of tours, cruises and day trips, you can explore Rotterdam’s remarkable architecture, historic buildings and breathtaking sights from the comfort of a well-equipped boat.
See Rotterdam from the water
Spido was founded in 1919 to provide transport across the harbor. Following the Second World War it sought a new purpose as a cruise operator, providing guided tours of the new buildings, bridges and shipping infrastructure that remained. A typical harbor tour travels through the historic shipyards and docks of Rotterdam’s Scheepvaartkwartier (maritime district) including the former headquarters of the Holland America Line, which has since been transformed into Hotel New York.
Aboard the boat, you can also enjoy detailed views of Rotterdam’s remarkable architecture. The city center was largely rebuilt after World War II and the buildings, skyscrapers and bridges have been designed with a daring, forward-thinking approach. The Erasmus Bridge (referred to locally as ‘The Swan’), the towering Euromast and the modern skyscrapers along the Wilhelminakade pier are particularly striking examples of the distinctive architectural style. The Spido’s open upper deck also provide excellent photo opportunities, and drinks and snacks are available to purchase on board.
Specialized tours and events
Aside from the popular harbor tours, Spido offers day trips and themed cruises. Take an extended tour into the Port of Rotterdam, or a day cruise to the to explore the expansion of the port; choose a ‘Hop on, hop off’ option that pairs bus and boat to see Rotterdam’s sights at your own pace; or even combine a Spido ticket with entrance to other attractions, such as the Wereldmuseum (where you can view the world’s cultural treasures that made their way to Rotterdam), the Maritime Museum or the Euromast. Seasonal tours are also available.
All Spido boats are wheelchair-accessible.
Dine at the authentic oyster bar in Hotel New York: an inspiring historic location where passengers once stood in line to purchase tickets for voyages to America.