Does anyone else sing the song Rotterdam (or anywhere) by The Beautiful South in their heads (or out loud) every time Rotterdam is mentioned or is it just me? On my last cruise on the Queen Elizabeth we were away for 4 nights and had 2 sea days and only one port, Rotterdam. Here’s a guide based on mine and some of our fellow passenger’s experience on what you can do in Rotterdam and where you can travel to in a day:
Stay on the ship
I have docked up twice in Rotterdam and was pleasantly surprised that you dock up in the heart of the city and views from the deck were lovely in comparison to in many ports. If you fancied a quiet day by the pool, then this would be a lovely option for some.
Sight-seeing in Rotterdam
Popular areas to visit in Rotterdam include the Old harbour which boasts restored historic boats, this is a short walk from the Maritime Museum. You can visit the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen if you’re an art fan as this has a fantastic collection of paintings, sculptures, applied and deco. If you want to relax with some good food and drinks or browse shops and stalls then Markthal is a great place to visit and is a stunning building in itself! If you are travelling with children, then Rotterdam Zoo or Plaswijckpark are both great for a day out to entertain the children!
Take a train to Delft
This was where we went for our day docked up in Rotterdam. My sister Katy had visited before when she was in Rotterdam and wanted to show me this beautiful town. We got the shuttle with Cunard and walked the rest of the way to Central station Rotterdam. In a quick 10-minute train journey we were in Delft and the station is a very short walk away from the centre which is just like a mini Amsterdam with beautiful streets with canals, bicycles everywhere and a lovely square. We did a bit of souvenir shopping and then sat outside of a restaurant in the square with a couple of glasses of wine soaking up the sunshine and atmosphere there. It was especially lovely as a very talented lady was singing in the square. I would recommend going here if you don’t want to travel too far and would like a relaxing day in a very picturesque town.
Take a train to Amsterdam
It seemed like half the ship were choosing this option. There is an express train route which connects Rotterdam to Amsterdam in just 45 minutes, so this is a great option for a day trip. I have been to Amsterdam a few times before, so we didn’t choose this option this time but our friends on the ship made the journey and had lots of fun on canal boat trips, getting lost through the streets of Amsterdam and visiting all the attractions. Two people we spoke to had pre-booked Anne Frank house online as otherwise they would have to queue for hours. This is a great idea as Anne Frank House is a must see and a very moving Museum.
There are also many tours you can book with the cruise-line if you enjoy an organised tour and most cruise ships also arrange a coach to take you to Amsterdam and tours in both cities.