The words innovative and inspiring sum up Rotterdam, a major port city in the Dutch province of South Holland. The Netherlands' second largest city has a diverse community, a captivating maritime history, and an abundance of excellent museums.
The city is like an exhibition of futuristic architecture, an achievement made even more remarkable given Rotterdam was literally razed to the ground during World War II. The north side of the city is easy to discover on foot. The Maritime Museum has vintage ships and exhibits that trace the city's seafaring history, while the Pilgrim Fathers Church is the site where pilgrims worshipped before embarking for America.[ReadMoreMob]
The rapid expansion of Rotterdam’s art scene, and the surge of quality dining and drinking venues make the port one of Europe's most exciting cities. The 17th century Delfshaven neighbourhood is home to canal side boutiques and shopping, and is one area of Rotterdam that still offers an impression of what the city looked like before the bombings. [ReadMore]
Split by the imposing Nieuwe Maas shipping channel, the city is crossed by a collection of tunnels and bridges, notably the dramatic Erasmusbrug – nicknamed “the swan”. The innovative Cube Houses, tilted at 45 degrees, are a quirky discovery, as is the Schouwburgplein square. The renowned Blijdorp Zoological Garden, is also worth a visit.
The Windmills at Kinderdijk
The UNESCO-listed Windmills of Kinderdijk were built in 1740 to keep the low lying lands of Alblasserwaard dry. The 19 beautiful windmills stand as part of a larger water management system to prevent floods, and today they represent the wonders of the Dutch water management program.
The medieval city of Delft is lined with narrow canal streets full of stunning architecture and fascinating history. It's most famous for its Delftware, the unique blue and white pottery which was originally duplicated from the porcelain made in the 17th century by Chinese artists.
If you love architecture then a visit to Rotterdam – with its patchwork of architectural styles – is a must. Icons of the Nieuwe Bouwen era stand beside the typical reconstructionarchitecture from the sixties, seventies and eighties. They clash cheerfully with the hypermodern landmarks that have been built in recent decennia: the Erasmusbrug, Rotterdam Central Station, De Rotterdam, the Timmerhuis and of course the Markthal. The unique Cube Houses are one of the city’s most iconic architectural attractions. Designed by Dutch architect Piet Blom, this residential development stands apart as its homes are literally cubes, tilted over by 45 degrees.
Known as Europe’s busiest port, Rotterdam has a rich maritime and seafaring history. The Rotterdam Maritime Museum brings this important history to life with a permanent collection, special exhibitions and historic ships and cranes that allow you to experience how Rotterdam’s world port began on this very spot.
Cruises to Rotterdam
Departs: Newcastle • Sat 24 Apr 2021
7 nights • Balmoral • L2111
- Bypassing coastal ports, Balmoral will take you inland to uncover the unique highlights of a trio of Belgian and Dutch cities, from tempting diamonds and chocolates to iconic canals and fragrant flora.
- Make the most of an overnight stay in Antwerp to explore at leisure – prized possessions such as the legendary diamond district, Royal Museum of Fine Arts and quintessentially Belgian chocolate shops await.
- In the Netherlands, Rotterdam’s contemporary architecture and culture offers an interesting contrast, while in Amsterdam, you could explore the famous waterways and revel in the springtime splendour of the Keukenhof Gardens tulip fields.
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Departs: Southampton • Fri 09 Apr 2021
7 nights • Braemar • M2108
- Stimulate your senses on this indulgent springtime cruise, with chances to smell seasonal floral scents, indulge with sumptuous chocolates and see iconic sights, as Braemar takes you closer to stunning cities.
- After a short foray to Honfleur, stop overnight in Antwerp to explore the legendary diamond district, revel in the city’s architecture, arts and culture and sample wares from artisan Belgian chocolatiers.
- You’ll also visit futuristic Rotterdam and Amsterdam where you can tour the Dutch capital’s famous canals and marvel at the seasonal splendour of millions of tulips in spring bloom at the Keukenhof Gardens.
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Departs: Dover • Sat 01 May 2021
5 nights • Bolette • T2110
- With a destination to explore every single day, plenty of highlights awaiting discovery in each, and evenings of scenic cruising to enjoy too, this five-night escape is a rewarding Bank Holiday break.
- After a day in contemporary Rotterdam, a specially timed visit to Amsterdam will afford a chance to visit the Keukenhof Gardens revel in the seasonal colours and scents of iconic tulips fields.
- An overnight stay in Antwerp allows ample time for exploration: you can uncover gems such as the legendary diamond district and Royal Museum of Fine Arts, and indulge with authentic Belgian chocolates.
From £599ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Southampton • Fri 28 May 2021
5 nights • Braemar • M2112
- A rewarding journey from start to finish, this enriching five-night triple city break offers a blend of impressive sights, cultural delights, tempting flavours and a taste of the Fred. Olsen experience.
- Enjoy two rewarding days in the Netherlands: you’ll sail the Niewe Maas to futuristic Rotterdam and visit Amsterdam for a chance to take in its world-famous attractions and explore the iconic canals.
- In Belgium, enjoy ample time to uncover the gems of Antwerp, such as Grote Markt, the Diamond District and traditional Belgian chocolate shops, at leisure during an overnight stay.
From £699ppFares Explained | What's Included