Rotterdam

Bars, clubs and a string of first-rate festivals
The Kunsthal and the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum
One of the largest harbours in the world

Find Northern Europe Cruises

Rotterdam

A melting pot of cultures

Your MSC cruise will lay anchor in the largest port in the world, Rotterdam, is a no-nonsense working-class city lying at the heart of a maze of rivers and artificial waterways that together form the outlet of the rivers Rijn (Rhine) and Maas (Meuse). After devastating damage during World War II, Rotterdam has grown into a vibrant, forceful city dotted with first division cultural attractions.
Your MSC cruise of Northern Europe will give you the opportunity to see that the immense land reclamation work hasn’t obliterated its earthy character though: its tough grittiness is part of its appeal, as are its boisterous bars and clubs.

Amongst the most interesting attractions to enjoy during your vacation in Holland, is Rotterdam’s Kunsthal, the museum of contemporary art, and the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum, which has an outstanding art collection including representative works from almost all the most important Dutch painters: both are in the city’s designated culture zone, the Museumpark.

Other interesting sites to visit on an MSC excursion are the Oude Haven, the city’s oldest harbour, ravaged during World War II but sympathetically redeveloped, and Delfs haven, an antique harbour that managed to survive the bombs pretty much intact. Rotterdam also boasts a string of first-rate festivals, including the much-lauded North Sea Jazz Festival and the colourful Summer Carnival.

The postwar period saw the rapid reconstruction of the docks and, when huge container ships and oil tankers made the existing port facilities obsolete, Rotterdammers promptly built an entirely new deep-sea port, the Europoort, jutting out into the North Sea some 25 km to the west of the old town. Completed in 1968, the Europoort is able to welcome the largest ships in the world, amongst which also the MSC cruise ships.

Must see places in Rotterdam

Discover our excursions

7 results found

  • Amsterdam at your own pace

    CITY TOUR
    • No guide available

    • Wheelchair and disabled-friendly tour – Wheelchair guests must be accompanied by their own helper to get on/off the coach. Wheelchairs must be foldable as the coach is not provided with ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.

    • Duration
      6 h

    • AdultsR614Price per person

    • ChildrenR468Price per person

    RTM09

    Amsterdam at your own pace
  • Amsterdam city tour and canal cruise

    CITY TOUR
    • No guide available

    • Limited seats

    • Duration
      6 h

    • AdultsR1052Price per person

    • ChildrenR760Price per person

    RTM08

    Amsterdam city tour and canal cruise
  • Delft & La Hague Highlights

    CITY TOUR
    • No guide available

    • Limited seats

    • Duration
      5 h

    • AdultsR906Price per person

    • ChildrenR657Price per person

    RTM02

    Delft & La Hague Highlights
  • DISCOVER THE CITY OF ROTTERDAM

    CITY TOUR
    • No guide available

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      3 h

    • AdultsR716Price per person

    • ChildrenR570Price per person

    RTM01

    Your tour begins as you board your coach and travel past creative and modern architectural sights, including the Weena building, Café Rotterdam, Schouwburgplein and Kop van Zuid. You'll witness Coolsingel, the main street of the central area of Rotterdam on the right bank of the Maas. At the near end of this wide street stands the Town Hall (Stadhuis), built between 1914 and 1920 in Dutch Renaissance style. View the 607-foot tall Euromast tower. The city center also boasts pre-war architecture such as the Van Nelle Factory, one of the most important historic industrial buildings in the Netherlands, and the Huis Sonneveld. The innovative and adventurous period after the war is expressed in such structures as the Groothandelsgebouw, one of the first major buildings built after the bombing of Rotterdam in the Second World War, the Kunsthal, the Luxor Theater and the Erasmus Bridge.Your tour continues with a photo stop at Cube Houses. Next on your itinerary is a brief walking tour of Delfshaven, a borough of Rotterdam on the right bank of river Nieuwe Maas. It was from here that the "Pilgrim Fathers" set out on their epic journey to America in 1620. It's also the birthplace of Erasmus. Halt at the Veerhaven, for a great view on Hotel New York and your cruise ship. After this short stop, you will make your way back to the ship. Please note: As this tour involves longer periods of walking, it is not recommended for guests with mobility problems or using a wheelchair.
  • GOUDA

    CITY TOUR
    • No guide available

    • Wheelchair and disabled-friendly tour – Wheelchair guests must be accompanied by their own helper to get on/off the coach. Wheelchairs must be foldable as the coach is not provided with ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.

    • Limited seats

    • Duration
      4 h

    • AdultsR716Price per person

    • ChildrenR511Price per person

    RTM04

    After an approximately 45 minute drive we arrive into Gouda and discover the historic town center with its centuries-old history. Admire the picturesque town hall, the famous St. John’s Church (the longest church in the Netherlands) and the atmospheric canals with their sidewalk cafes. Together with your knowledagble guide you will explore the town and stroll down to the Goudse Waag (Gouda Weigh House) and charming streets. You will be amazed by what you see. Besides the irresistible taste of Gouda cheese, the delicious smell of syrup waffles will make your mouth water. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Once you have tasted the delights of Gouda, literally and figuratively, you might never want to leave. Welcome to Gouda! Please note: although this tour includes periods of walking, it can be suitable for wheelchair guests on condition they are accompanied by a paying helper to provide assistance with getting on and off the coach and that wheelchairs are collapsible/foldable since the coach has neither a ramp nor a lift. Guests using a wheelchair who would like to participate in this tour are requested to contact the Shore Excursions’ Desk promptly once they are on board so that arrangements can be made.
  • WALKING TOUR IN AMSTERDAM RED LIGHT
    DISTRICT

    CITY TOUR
    • Drink included

    • Shooting videos and/or taking pictures is not allowed or subject to fee

    • No guide available

    • Limited seats

    • Duration
      5 h

    • AdultsR1008Price per person

    • ChildrenR760Price per person

    RTM05

    The Red Light district, who does not know this area in Amsterdam? Join us on an pleasant tour to one of the most famous district in Amsterdam. An approx. 1.5 hour coach drive will take you to Amsterdam where, after leaving your coach, you will enjoy a walking tour to “De Wallen”, the original name of the district, a real tourist attraction today. Explore the network of alleys and take a look at the several window cabins rented by the “famous ladies” and illuminated with red lights. But this district is much more as it is one of the oldest areas in Amsterdam, with architecture and layout typical of the XIV century. During your walk you will pass by the old church, Zeedjik and Warmoesstraat until reaching a historical bar called “In de Waag” where you will enjoy a nice drink. An 1-hour coach drive will take you back to Rotterdam and to your cruise ship. Please note: this tour is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair and is not recommendable to children.
  • KINDERDIJK

    CULTURE AND HISTORY
    • No guide available

    • Limited seats

    • Duration
      4 h

    • AdultsR803Price per person

    • ChildrenR716Price per person

    RTM06

    Join us on a tour to the land of windmills. Although windmills are vanishing from the Dutch landscape, Kinderdijk boasts the largest collection of windmills in the Netherlands with 19, many in working order. Built around 1740, the windmills of Kinderdijk are now on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The name of this charming village comes from the time of the St. Elisabeth flood in 1421, when the villagers found a baby (kind) on the dike (dijk). The remaining 19 windmills are lined up along the water to pump the extra water to the canal to keep the village dry. After a short walk to the entrance you will enter the Kinderdijk Theatre, located in the Wisboom Pump house. On four surrounding screens public figures explain the story of Kinderdijk. You'll walk over uneven ground to explore the windmills, and then take a tour of the interior of a working mill. The Museum-windmill exhibits life and work on the windmills in the last century. The windmills will operate with ample wind, and visitors can watch and experience the works of the windmill. Raging sails pass, a scoop-wheel turns and water is pumped up. The miller on the scene provides explanation. Next, you will have a photo stop at the famous cube houses before returning to your cruise ship. Please note: this tour is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair.

The excursions in the programme above are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise. 
Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.
 
Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

Netherlands

The land of the wooden clogs
The land of the wooden clogs

Although almost half of it was once under water, the Netherlands is one of the most urbanized – and densely populated – nations on earth, with a huge amount of interest packed into a relatively small area.

A holiday to the Netherlands will help you understand why it’s a remarkable country, a largely man-made affair, around half of which lies at or below sea level. One-fifth of the Netherlands is made up of… water. Without protection, two-thirds of the country would be regularly flooded.

The lowest point in the Netherlands – at seven metres below sea level – is also Europe’s lowest point. A cruise to the Netherlands means a fertile, pancake-flat landscape gridded with drainage ditches and canals, beneath huge open skies, while the country’s towns and villages are often pristine and unchanged places of gabled townhouses, pretty canals and church spires.

Despite the country’s diminutive dimensions, each town is often a profoundly separate place with its own distinct identity – indeed there’s perhaps nowhere else in the world where you can hear so many different accents, even dialects, in such a small area.

In spring and summer the bulb fields provide bold splashes of colour, and in the west and north the long coastline is marked by mile upon mile of protective dune, backing onto wide stretches of perfect sandy beach.