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Cruising the port with Spido

Spido’s beautifully crafted tour boats have become a fixture on the Maas River in Rotterdam. Water plays an essential role in the history of this unique port city and every year, hundreds of thousands of visitors take a cruise of the Rotterdam harbours. Board a Spido tour boat at one of the docks next to the Erasmus Bridge and explore Rotterdam from the water.

Spido started as a modest ferry service in 1919. Today, the company has a fleet of 5 modern canal boats that tour the port of Rotterdam and beyond. From Willemsplein under the Erasmus Bridge, boats depart for trips through the city’s international harbour. These tours are either 75 minutes or 2.5 hours long. You may also book one of the frequent theme tours: enjoy a lazy Sunday brunch, live jazz music, high tea, dinner or a film screening while cruising through the port of Rotterdam.

Spido tour on the Maas
Spido tour on the Maas
Willemsplein, departure point of the Spido

Classic excursion: harbour cruise

Spido’s most popular tour is a 75-minute cruise of Europe’s largest port. This cruise sails along the Nieuwe Maas via the historic Veer and Leuve harbours on the city centre side and then across to the Rijn, Maas and Waal harbours. In addition to huge ocean-going vessels and bustling transhipment terminals, the tour also includes famous Rotterdam icons such as the bridges across the Maas, the Kop van Zuid and the Euromast. The longer tour takes 2.5 hours and also sails along Pernis and the oil ports to the Botlek.

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Spido, Willemsplein 85, 3016 DR Rotterdam

Further away: the second Maasvlakte

The Dutch coastline looks very different since the opening of the second Maasvlakte in 2013. The figures are impressive: it took 7 million tons of stone and 20,000 concrete blocks to build this several kilometre-long sea wall. Around 240 million cubic metres of sand was sprayed – this is enough to fill Rotterdam’s stadium De Kuip to the brim 160 times. From the Erasmus Bridge, Spido sails via the Nieuwe Waterweg to this newest part of the Netherlands. Along the way you can disembark and visit the interactive information centre FutureLand.

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The Second Maasvlakte

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Second Maasvlakte, Rotterdam

Tour the Rotterdam harbour with Spido

Summer day trip: the Willemstad fortress

Willemstad is a small picturesque fortress town. The trip there is already a pleasure: departing from downtown Rotterdam, Spido sails across the Nieuwe Maas via the Botlek to the Oude Maas and then across the Haringvliet, while you sit back and enjoy a sumptuous lunch served onboard. Upon arrival in Willemstad you disembark for a guided walking tour through the historic inner harbour; visit the monumental city centre and the well preserved fortress walls. Then the boat returns to Rotterdam via Hollands Diep, the Dordtsche Kil and the Oude Maas.

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Willemstad, Rotterdam

Photo credits

  • Willemsplein, departure point of the Spido:
  • The Second Maasvlakte: Fred Inklaar, Flickr
  • Tour the Rotterdam harbour with Spido: Patricia Hofmeester, Shutterstock