Rotterdam

Bars, clubs and 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

8 results found

  • AMSTERDAM AT YOUR OWN PACE

    CITY TOUR

    RTM09

    If you like to explore on your own and take your time in visiting cities at your leisure, this is the excursion not to miss. A 1-hour coach drive will take you to Amsterdam where you will have some 4 hours to do whatever you like. This city has so much to offer so, pick up a map and choose your perfect destination for the day. Dam Square, the Royal Palace and Nieuwe Kerk, the museum district and Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, these are only some of Amsterdam attractions. However, as the choice is completely yours, just make sure to be on time at the meeting point to catch your coach taking you back to Rotterdam. Please note: this excursion is only for guests aboard MSC Orchestra and is available on the second day. A helper to get on/off the coach must accompany wheelchair guests. Wheelchairs must be foldable, as the coach has no ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.
    • 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

    • Adults£39.00Price per person

    • Children£29.00Price per person

  • AMSTERDAM CITY TOUR & CANAL CRUISE

    CITY TOUR

    RTM08

    An hour coach drive will take you to Amsterdam for an interesting exploration of this important city. Upon your arrival, your first encounter with the city will be on the water, enjoying an hour-long canal cruise through the historic centre, admiring the gabled historic buildings such as Anne Frank’s house, Westerchurch, the Twin Houses and Amsterdam’s historic bridges from the water. The second part of your tour will be a sightseeing coach drive of the city passing its main sites: Dam Square, the Royal Palace and Nieuwe Kerk, the museum district and Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, just to mention a few. Some free time for independent exploration will follow before boarding your coach again and driving back to Rotterdam. Please note: this excursion is only for guests aboard MSC Orchestra and is available on the second day. It is not suitable for guests using a wheelchair.
    • No guide available

    • Limited seats

    • Duration
      6 h

    • Adults£62.00Price per person

    • Children£45.00Price per person

  • DELFT & LA HAGUE HIGHLIGHTS

    CITY TOUR

    RTM02

    Our journey will take us to the beautiful city of Delft, famous for the painter Johannes Vermeer and its Delft Blue Pottery. We will start our excursion with a nice walking tour, a view of the static town hall and the “Grote kerk” where all the Dutch Royals have their last resting place. After we will continue to the famous city of The Hague where the Dutch government is residing. Stroll through the “Binnenhof” and see where our Prime Minister’s office is located, wonder back in time and enjoy the atmosphere of the middle ages. Continue the city tour and pass by the Peace Palace, the home of the International Court of Justice. It is one of the most photographed landmarks of The Hague so of course we will make a brief stop here to make sure you have that photograph as well. Drive by the world famous Kurhaus hotel, located along the boulevard of the beach of Scheveningen where you will have some free time. Taste one of the famous Dutch herrings, eat a “patatje met” or simply enjoy the Dutch coastline. Please note: this tour is available only for guests aboard MSC Orchestra and is run on the 1 day. It is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair.
    • No guide available

    • Limited seats

    • Duration
      5 h

    • Adults£55.00Price per person

    • Children£39.00Price per person

  • DISCOVER THE CITY OF ROTTERDAM

    CITY TOUR

    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 will 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 is 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: this tour is available only for guests aboard MSC Orchestra and is run on the 1 day. A helper to get on/off the coach must accompany wheelchair guests. Wheelchairs must be foldable, as the coach has no ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.
    • 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
      3 h

    • Adults£42.00Price per person

    • Children£35.00Price per person

  • GOUDA

    CITY TOUR

    RTM04

    After an approximately 30 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. Do not 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: this tour is available only for guests aboard MSC Orchestra and is run on the 1 day. Although this tour includes periods of walking, it can be suitable for wheelchair guests on condition a helper to get on/off the coach accompanies them. Wheelchairs must be foldable, as the coach has no ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.
    • 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

    • Adults£42.00Price per person

    • Children£35.00Price per person

  • WALKING TOUR IN AMSTERDAM RED LIGHT DISTRICT

    CITY TOUR

    RTM05

    The Red Light district, who does not know this area in Amsterdam? Join us on a 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. However, 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. A 1-hour coach drive will take you back to Rotterdam and to your cruise ship. Please note: this tour is only for guests aboard MSC Orchestra and is available at night on the first day. It is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair.
    • Drink included

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

    • No guide available

    • Limited seats

    • Duration
      5 h

    • Adults£59.00Price per person

    • Children£45.00Price per person

  • KINDERDIJK

    CULTURE AND HISTORY

    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 will 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 some free time to walk around the windmills before returning to Rotterdam and have a photo stop at the famous cube houses. Return to your cruise ship. Please note: this tour is only for guests aboard MSC Orchestra and is available on the second day. It is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties or using a wheelchair.
    • No guide available

    • Limited seats

    • Duration
      4 h

    • Adults£49.00Price per person

    • Children£42.00Price per person

  • KEUKENHOF

    NATURAL WONDERS

    RTM07

    Your visit to the world’s largest flower garden – Keukenhof – begins with a 1-hour drive through the Netherland’s lovely countryside, including its famous “Dune and Bulb Region”, a major flower-growing area. The fields between Haarlem and Leiden are ablaze with the varied colours of daffodils, narcissus, hyacinths and tulips. This breathtaking display is matched only by the seven-million-strong flower exhibition at the spacious Keukenhof Park. A guided tour of the park will be followed by time to explore on your own and purchase some bulbs to take home. Please note: this excursion is only for guests aboard MSC Orchestra and is available on the second day. Flower bulbs may be subject to certain customs restrictions. A helper to get on/off the coach must accompany wheelchair guests. Wheelchairs must be foldable, as the coach has no ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.
    • 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
      4 h

    • Adults£59.00Price per person

    • Children£45.00Price per person

The excursions in the programme above are intended to provide MSC Cruises guests with an idea of the different tours which 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 programmes 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.