Every year dozens of cruise ships arrive in Rotterdam. What is planned in the near future and what do these cruise ships actually mean for the city? To find out, we talked with Nick Hoogeweij, Executive Manager of Cruise Port Rotterdam.
Read our interview with Nick below to find out more about the Rotterdam cruise world!
This year eight cruise ships will arrive in Rotterdam that have never been to our city before. Very special! Nick likes to highlight two beautiful cruise ships.
"On February 26, 'Global Mercy', a brand new ship from shipping company Mercy Ships, will come to Rotterdam. This is a unique opportunity to admire the Global Mercy up close. These ships can normally be found on the African coast, where they moor with volunteers who perform medical procedures."
But that is not the only special ship that comes to Rotterdam this year. Nick: "In addition, the 'Rotterdam', of the Holland America Line, comes to the port for her christening in the spring. This cruise ship has Rotterdam written on her stern twice. No other ship has this."
Check out the Cruise Calls on the website of Cruise Port Rotterdam.
"It is expected that more than 100 ships will come to Rotterdam this year."
What good is it to us, all these cruise ships that dock in our city every year? Besides the fact that you can just admire the beautiful ships, there are even more advantages for our port city.
"Each cruise ship that docks at the port yields 750,000 to a million for the port and city. This is conservatively calculated. You should think about 50% for port-related matters and 50% for the city, such as catering, hotels and shops, " according to Nick.
Of course, the cruise ships provide visits in the city. The passengers often disembark from the cruise ship and in some cases they spend the night in Rotterdam. Nick: "In addition, there are many people who book a tour, for example to Kinderdijk, Dordrecht, but also a nice tour in Rotterdam Centre itself. More than 90% of the passengers enter our beautiful Rotterdam."
What do passengers generally like best about doing on their own initiative in Rotterdam Centre? Nick knows the answer: "Shopping is very popular in Rotterdam."
"I don't have a specific favourite. A number of ships come to the quay more often, such as AIDA, P&O and Holland America Line, and these are recognized by the locals. The cool thing about these ships is that Rotterdammers also come to see when they come in. It's beautiful to see that this is alive among the people of Rotterdam and that people like to welcome the ships and share the images.”
Nick has been with Cruise Port Rotterdam for six years and has already gained a lot of experience in the industry. "The great thing about the cruise industry is that it is a mix of different facets: shipping, hospitality and tourism. This mix makes it an amazing whole. And when you see what it does to a city, it gives a wonderful feeling and I am making this contribution to the city and port together with a great team."
"When you see what happens in Rotterdam when a cruise ship arrives, it is very special. It does not matter what time it is, there are always people watching. That is unique and really part of our port city."
The cruise industry has also suffered in the past two years because of the pandemic.
"I think the cruise world has shown that it is flexible and that it is safe to travel. Hygiene was already a top priority and that has only been further developed with very strict protocols. For example, passengers are tested before boarding and tested during a cruise and there is a very high vaccination rate.”
So is it safe to travel on a cruise ship at this moment? According to Nick, it certainly is: "I can say with full conviction that cruising is currently one of the safest ways of travelling and going on a holiday. This is partly due to the strict proven protocols and their enforcement."