Experience the sea-faring customs and aquatic glory of Rotterdam. The city is one of the largest ports in the world, so it makes sense that most attractions maintain a strong connection to the water. From the reconstruction of a sunken battleship to the underwater zoo to a maritime museums, senior travel tours on the Romantic Rhine, Dutch Windmills & Germany's Highlights tour can witness the best water wonders of this modern port city.
The SS Rotterdam is the biggest passenger ship ever built on Dutch soil. From 1959 until 2000, this giant charter sailed the seas, but now it's open to the public. Tour the bow, wheelhouse, sports decks, cards room and captain's cabin, all of which give visitors an authentic impression about what life was like aboard. At the Experience Centre, guests can "travel" to New York in only a few minutes. The vessel is also a great place to have a dinner or drink.
Rotterdam Zoo Blijdorp
Move from floating on water to standing underwater in Rotterdam Zoo, one of the Holland's biggest attractions. Since its opening in 1857, the zoo has nearly doubled in size. The "Diergaarde Blijdorp," as the Dutch call it, welcomes more than 1.5 million visitors every year to its diversity of habitats, ranging from a savanna to tropical park to ice cave. As delightful as gazing at the crocodiles in the river or watching polar bears swim is, one of the highlights of the zoo is the Oceanium. This 70-foot-long tunnel cuts through the bottom of the sea, where through the glass above visitors can admire the marine life, including sharks, turtles, sea otters and king penguins.
Built in 1960, the Euromast is an observation tower ranked among the World Federation of Great Towers. It has a crow's nest platform 315 feet above ground that contains two restaurants with 360-degree views of the sea. The foundation consists of 131 concrete piles, reinforced by 1.9 million pounds as a counterweight to the overhead structure.
Reconstruction of ship De Delft
At the historical shipyard and museum in Delfshaven, the legendary ship De Delft is being reconstructed. The original ship was built in 1783 and was used to protect convoys of merchant-ships of the Dutch East India Company in European waters. However, the 60-gun ship sank in 1797 while fighting the British in the Battle of Camperdown. The battle marked the end of the Netherlands as a major naval power. Yet, almost 200 years afterward, the shipwreck was found. Today, senior travel groups can see pieces of wreck in the museum as well as the replica of the legendary ship that's 206 feet long and 187 feet tall.
Erasmus Bridge spans 2,624 feet over the Mass River and connects the northern and southern parts of Rotterdam. The suspension bridge, considered an architectural masterpiece, has a 456-feet high steel pylon secured with 40 cables. The shape of the white pylon gave the bridge its nickname, "The Swan." Walking or biking across the bridge gives visitors sublime views of the river and the largest harbor in Europe.
Maritime Museum Rotterdam
Like its port, the Maritime Museum Rotterdam is massive. The building houses more than 1 million maritime objects and an array of interactive experiences for affordable travel. Watch the history of the port of Rotterdam unfold in the naval ships from 1868 and beyond. Exhibits include high-tech maritime trades for those interested in Rotterdam's role in flow of goods, Sea Palaces, which provides the experience of a holiday cruise liner and Maritime Museum Backstage, a behind-the-scenes look at the recovery of some of the precious items seen in the museum.