Maritiem Museum Rotterdam






Professor Splash's adventure in the port


In the exhibit 'Professor Splash', children aged from 4 to 10 can join in exciting adventures in the wonderful port world of Professor Splash and his friends Captain Cork, Sai-Lng, Mecha Mo and the rescue dog Dipper.

Professor Splash and his friends have just come back from a long journey and are about to leave again for a new adventure when the children meet them in their home port at the Rotterdam Maritime Museum. All sorts of things still have to be done, and the children can lend a helping hand: sorting fish, loading and unloading ships, deciding on the destination... and a fire breaks out as well! As they play, they learn all sorts of things about various types of ships, working in the port, navigation and how products such as their own toys are transported by ship from all over the world to the Netherlands. Between the tasks, the children discover the adventures that the professor and his friends have as they travel around the world. They have to watch out for Master Scurvy. He is always lying in wait in his ship the Hot Rod, ready to make things awkward for Professor Splash.

With thanks to


The Maritime Museum's collection is one of the best in the world. But did you know that the collection largely only exists thanks to donations and financial support from private individuals, companies and funds? So our collection is not only there for the visitors, but to a significant extent because of the visitors. Thanks to them, we are able to use the exhibits to tell the tale of the maritime world of past, present and future. We are very grateful for this and would like to show our gratitude in the ‘With thanks to...’ exhibition. Admire the prize exhibits from the collection, learn about the donors - some of whom may quite surprise you - and discover what makes each of these gifts so special for both the giver and the museum.

MainPort Live – Feel the Rhythm of Rotterdam Port!


Rotterdam is a world famous port city. But what can you see of this grandeur in the centre of the city? The old inland ports now have another purpose, as large ships no longer go up the river. The hustle and bustle of the active port is now farther and farther from the city. The exhibition MainPort Live brings the world class port back to the heart of Rotterdam!

Light, sound and action will make you experience the world’s largest port in miniature. You can watch the ships ‘real-time’ and explore the history of the port of Rotterdam with the tima navigator in the control room.  

Sex & The Sea - By Greenaway / Boddeke


In the exhibition ‘Sex & The Sea’, the British film director Peter Greenaway and the Dutch multimedia director Saskia Boddeke have produced an experience for visitors (16+) in which they put themselves in the place of the seamen. Visitors are encouraged to feel the same emotions of homesickness and sexual desire as seamen are faced with when they are at sea for months on end and staying in unfamiliar ports. Far away from their homes, other norms and values can sometimes hold sway. Will the passing sailor allow himself to be tempted in these exotic locations? Does he have a different girl in every port? Does the lonely sailor write home every day? Or may a young hothead see the shape of a mermaid when a manatee appears? Greenaway and Boddeke have translated this into an artistic film project comprising images of maritime erotic artworks, pin-ups, mermaids, postcards, photographs and unique quotes from seamen about lust. This film project is complemented by additional objects such as a real mermaid, tattoos and sperm whale teeth, with erotic maritime shows, voluptuous ships' decorations and model ships with poetic names such as 'The Mermaid'.

Living on the water


The Netherlands is genuinely a country of water - and where there’s water, there are people living on it. But what makes people want to live on the water? And what makes people who live on the water love it so much? Everyone who is used to terra firma under their feet wonders sometimes what it is like to live on a houseboat. Is there enough space? Do you get seasick? What's it like in winter? What kind of boats can you live on? How do you get your mail? This family exhibition lets you see what living on the water in the Netherlands is typically like, using models of various houseboats and waterborne accommodation (a pontoon houseboat, a boat conversion and a water villa). Have a look at these lovely exhibits with their detailed interiors, four of which were made specially for 'Living on the Water'. Listen to the interviews with houseboat residents who will tell you everything about their very different reasons - and the love they have in common - for living on the water. Have a look at the inside of a tiny deckhouse and arrange things in a houseboat so that it will not float at a skew angle. Then you can have a nice stroll in the museum harbour with the free family walk that takes you past the most unusual vessels.

This exhibition 'Living on the water' can be seen to 14 March 2016.

Impressions of Dutch maritime history


Michiel de Ruyter: naval hero or pirate? The Golden Age: when was that exactly? And the Vikings: did they come from Scandinavia or from Normandy? Discover how the maritime history of the Netherlands really unfolded in an exhibition that can be read like a history book. From the tree trunk canoe of prehistory to the Delta Works. This oeuvre exhibition at the Maritime Museum Rotterdam shows how shipping laid the foundation of our Dutch culture, richly illustrated by the gems from the museum’s centuries-old collection.

Sea Palaces


What would it be like to stay on such an impressively tall ship, with twelve passenger decks and a tropical swimming paradise and tennis court on board? You can experience what it is like to go on a holiday on a cruise liner like that at the 'Sea Palaces. On holiday with a cruise ship' exhibition. You can relax in a deckchair by the swimming pool just like a real passenger, sit at the captain's table for dinner and find out everything about cruise travel. Think of the 10.000 suitcases that go on board, the trick of folding bath towels into swans, and the special cruise money that was used for payments on board in old days. Unusual objects from the Rotterdam Maritime Museum's collection illustrate the historical development, such as unique photographs, splendidly illustrated posters and original costumes of the Black Seahorse theatrical company.

Maritime Museum Backstage


Museums put on exhibitions - everyone knows that. What goes on behind the scenes before we put an exhibit on show is less well known, though. The exhibition entitled ‘Backstage at the Maritime Museum’ uses four themes (collecting, restoration, collection management and research) to give you an idea of what goes on behind the scenes at the museum. Each theme is illustrated using items from the collection.

The jewel in the crown is the Mataró model, the oldest model ship in Western Europe. Unique research has been carried out over recent years into the significance of this exceptional piece. The model can now be seen again in the museum, where it reveals its secrets.

The Burgerhout Panorama is also not to be missed. The three paintings, two metres high and up to ten metres wide, are the largest maritime paintings in the Netherlands after the Mesdag Panorama. The canvases proudly depict the history of the Burgerhout shipyard in Rotterdam, giving a unique insight into the versatility and professional skill of Rotterdam's shipbuilders. They had been kept rolled up in the depot for years, but the Burgerhout Panorama has been thoroughly restored and now has the place it deserves in the museum.