Start planning your cruise and book your excursions in Rotterdam
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.