How could a visit of Rotterdam be complete without having a look into the harbor? The Port of Rotterdam is the largest seaport in Europe (and even outside Asia). Thus, during our summer trip in 2020, we just had to have a small look into the vast area. Luckily, we just made it for a 17:00 hrs cruise – the terrible organization at the Euromast decreased our comfortable time buffer to the demand to run to the pier in order to just make it in time. Here is our experience with Spido, one of the largest providers. We took the standard cruise, which was roughly 80 minutes. For naval enthusiasts, I definitely recommend to take the large cruise (which was not available during our time in Rotterdam).
The Spido cruises depart from Willemsplein, a location right next to the famous Erasmusbrug (Erasmus Bridge). There is a tram station close to the pier, but it is also just a short walking distance from city center. If you arrive by car, you may make use of a parking garage next to the bridge. There are also ferries which are part of the public transport.
As said, we did the compact cruise due to time and schedule restrictions. Overall, I would definitely recommend to go for longer tours as the Port of Rotterdam is really fascinating. The price for the online ticket was about 15 Euro. There are combo tickets, e.g. with the Euromast tower. Due to Covid-19, there have just been a few cruises per day. As you also can see by the number of ships they drive, there is significantly higher frequency under “normal” conditions.
Spido Rotterdam Harbor Cruise – The Fleet
Spido is operating Port of Rotterdam cruises with a fleet of six boats. The smallest, Ostara, is just used for special cruises. Our tour was with their oldest ship, the 1995 Marco Polo, which features a lovely open room upper deck and a nice lower deck with a total capacity of 200 people. Spido even has two ships which can transport 300 people.
The trip was taken during Covid-19 conditions. Thus, there were just quite few people and visitors only went to the lower deck to use the toilet or to buy a drink at the bar. The upper deck was relaxed seating and felt safe also despite the Covid-19 situation.
Spido Rotterdam Harbor Cruise – The Cruise
The cruise took a short trip to the North and went under the Erasmus Bridge, so that you can enjoy the views of the bridge. Then the trip headed along the Nieuwe Maas to the harbor area. The first part of the cruise, however, also showed some of the non-naval city sights like the Euromast tower. Announcements are made in Dutch, English, German and French.
You feel to get into the harbor area when the cruise turns South into the Waalhaven with its huge intercontinental freight ships. You get comparably close to the harbor facilities. The announcements from the tour crew are precise, but not excessive.
When entering the smaller Maashaven, you pass the famous SS Rotterdam, a former cruise ship, which nowadays hosts restaurants and even an escape room, but is also a hotel. Another landmark you are passing is the Hotel New York, which is the former headquarter of the Holland America Line. From there, it is only a short cruise back to the Spido pier.
Spido Rotterdam Harbor Cruise – Services
The Marco Polo has two bars, one on the upper deck and one on the lower deck. During our cruise, only the lower deck bar was in use. The staff was very friendly and the prices on board the ship were surprisingly fair. The ship offered sanitary facilities.
Spido Rotterdam Harbor Cruise – My View
I really loved our short cruise through the Port of Rotterdam. The ships are very nice and the Covid-19 concept was fine (you just cannot control passengers too much, unfortunately).The crew and the tour announcements were very good as well. When In Rotterdam the next time, I would definitely go for the longer cruise with Spido again.