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150 years of Maritime Museum Rotterdam

This year, the Maritime Museum Rotterdam celebrates its 150th anniversary. We are commemorating this milestone with a year-long series of festive activities, a dedicated jubilee website, and a delectable birthday offer at our museum café: a slice of apple pie for only 150 cents.

It all began at Veerkade.

There, the former clubhouse of the Royal Yacht Club was located, opened in 1852 by King Willem III. His brother, Prince Hendrik, the chairman of the Yacht Club, decided in 1874 to exhibit the collected items from Rotterdam shipowners, scientists, and collectors to the general public - thereby laying the foundation for the current Maritime Museum.

Today, we manage a collection that ranks among the world's top. We are proud to have been inspiring people with maritime stories and objects from the past and present for 150 years - with a glimpse into the future.

What do we have in store for this year?

Our jubilee website: a journey full of stories

We are launching our special jubilee website. Join us on a journey through 150 years of maritime history.

We showcase collection pieces, special exhibitions, collaborations, and individuals who have been significant to the museum and/or maritime history. Navigating from our masterpiece – the Mataró model – to one of the smallest pieces: a 5 cm sundial. From Prince Hendrik to Joop de Haas and from the museum café "Het Lage Licht" to "IJssalon Loeve."

Een drukke museumhaven op een zomerse dag

A summer full of activities

This summer, we're going all out: from June to early September, we have special, enjoyable, and spectacular maritime activities planned. For enthusiasts and the whole family, children can participate in various hands-on activities while parents relax on a beach chair by the quay. Here's a glimpse of what's in store:

  • Demonstration of 'City Grain Sucker 19'
    For the first time, the restored 'City Grain Sucker 19' will be powered up to transfer grain from the coaster 'Zeemeeuw' to another ship, which will transport the grain to a mill.
  • Steam Event
    Various ships from our collection, such as the 'Volharding 1' and the 'Dockyard V,' will be steam-powered in early June. An event where steam enthusiasts can indulge their passion!
  • Live concerts in the museum harbor
    From mid-June, music will fill the new floating stage at the guest pier. We kick off with an anniversary concert, and until September, various Rotterdam artists will perform.
  • Floating Pasar
    On August 15, the colorful Floating Pasar will be our guest in the museum harbor. The pasar is created to celebrate Indonesian culture and life on the day of the Dutch East Indies Remembrance. A festival with music, dance, exhibitions, and a food market.
  • Harbor Kitchens
    From almond truffles from Morocco to zigni from Eritrea: throughout the summer, snacks from all corners of the world are available at the Harbor Kitchens. Rotterdammers with diverse backgrounds come together for food, drinks, and the exchange of (maritime) stories and experiences.
  • Historical voyages
    A special jubilee edition where our fleet sails the Maas River again. An excellent opportunity to sail along with our 'Havendienst 2,' 'Havendienst 20,' the 'Dockyard V,' or the 'Volharding 1.'
  • Reconstruction of lifeboat
    This summer, in our workshops, the reconstruction of the lifeboat of our coaster 'Zeemeeuw' begins, carried out by our experienced volunteers together with students from the Rotterdam Wood and Furniture College.
  • Maritime Festival and fleet review
    This year, we celebrate an extra special edition of the Maritime Festival, coinciding with the World Port Days. During the daytime show of the World Port Days on the Nieuwe Maas, we showcase the development of 150 years of maritime history with a fleet review of our historical ships.
Maritiem Festival
  • Scheepshondenparade 
    Dogs steal the show on this day. Especially for the celebration of the anniversary, owners and dogs have the opportunity to take a cheerful boat trip through the Maritime District.
  • At a birthday, cake is a must.
    For just 150 cents, you can order a delicious piece of apple pie to accompany your cup of tea or coffee all year round at our museum café Het Lage Licht.

Maritime passion in six portraits

We asked six people to share their maritime stories – their passion for the sea – with us.

What drives them? What makes their hearts beat faster when they are on the water? Why have they chosen a life so closely connected to the sea?

Their unique maritime experiences provide us with a captivating insight into the diversity and depth of the relationship between humans and the sea.

As the Maritime Museum Rotterdam, we make the often invisible maritime world visible and continually inspire new generations to look beyond the horizon. We do this with contemporary exhibitions and events. By sharing stories, but also collecting new stories that reflect the current human perspective on the maritime world. This is how we now collect the heritage of the future.

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