World Port Days Rotterdam - location, dates, activities

World Port Days Rotterdam - location, dates, activities

World Port Days (Wereldhavendagen) in Rotterdam is the largest annual maritime event in the Netherlands. It features numerous activities on the quay, demonstrations on the water and excursions that go deeper into the harbour. In addition, there is an extensive cultural program in the city. World Port Days is known to draw upwards of 380,000 visitors.

World Port Days Rotterdam 2023

The 46th edition of the World Port Days will take place in Rotterdam on 1, 2 and 3 September 2023. The team of the Netherlands' largest annual maritime event is organizing a jubilee edition with countless activities for young and old on the quays, ship demonstrations and excursions on land and water.
World Port Days Rotterdam 📷 Anne Reitsma FotografieWorld Port Days Rotterdam 📷 Anne Reitsma Fotografie

Challenges and solutions of the future

During the World Port Days, young and old can discover why the port of Rotterdam is such a special place. Every day, countless professionals use smart technology to manage the import and export of hundreds of tonnes of goods, containers and ships in a clean, efficient and safe manner. Innovative start-ups and multinationals work here on the sustainable solutions of the future. It is a dynamic, diverse and inclusive place, where there are career opportunities for everyone. Special flora and fauna, protected nature areas and walking and cycling routes also make the port a liveable neighbour for Rotterdam and a green attraction for lovers of nature and recreation on and around the water.
At the same time, the world around us is changing. Brexit and the COVID-19 crisis showed that the global trade in raw materials and goods is vulnerable. Currently, the world is experiencing the consequences of the war in Ukraine. These are major challenges for the port of Rotterdam, which is already in transition. For example, the port wants to emit 55% less CO2 by 2030 and be completely emission-free by 2050. In the years to come, thousands of new people will be needed to fill the vacancies associated with the energy transition and digitalization of the port.
World Port Days Rotterdam 📷 Anne Reitsma FotografieWorld Port Days Rotterdam 📷 Anne Reitsma Fotografie

Programme 2023

During the World Port Days 2023, taking place on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd September, dozens of harbour companies will set up stands on the quays, showcasing a plethora of activities.

Daytime Activities:

  • Visitors have the opportunity to board a variety of ships, including a 200-metre vessel from the container giant, Maersk, docked at Wilhelminakade.
  • Mourik, an infrastructure and industrial company, will display innovative technical gadgets at Parkkade, including a clean excavator powered by hydrogen.
  • HEBO Maritiemservice's remarkable crane ship at the Holland Amerikakade will be seen working on bridges and locks, and also lifting super yachts in and out of the water.
  • At Veerhaven, attendees can discover Seabubbles: cutting-edge, silent hydrofoil boats designed to offer an eco-friendly solution to urban traffic congestion by transporting individuals from point A to B via waterways.
  • The Royal Marines will kick off the show programme on Friday, 1st September at 10 am with a parachute landing. All participating ships will also give a nautical salute by simultaneously sounding their horns.
  • The Royal Navy will conduct daily demonstrations, including anti-piracy and submarine combat exercises.
  • P&O ferries will demonstrate the intricate process of turning a large ship on the river, highlighting the precision required in navigation.

Special Saturday Evening Show:

  • This year's Saturday evening show introduces a unique segment: ‘Lights for Sophia’. Ships in the parade will be illuminated in honour of the Erasmus MC Sophia Children's Hospital, with patients from the hospital participating in the show.
  • Dutch sensation, Emma Heesters, known for her YouTube covers with over 5.5 million followers, will perform during the evening show from the middle of the Maas river. Her chart-topping tracks like ‘Waar Ga Je Heen’ and ‘Loop Niet Weg’ will echo across the waters.
  • The evening will culminate in a grand fireworks display, launched from a pontoon near the Erasmus Bridge.

Races and Competitions:

  • Every day, four electric E1 RaceBirds will compete against each other on the water, reaching speeds of up to 93km/h. At the E1 quay stand on Kop van Zuid, visitors can delve into this sustainable racing method and even try out an E1 race simulator.
  • On Saturday, the Maasrace sloops will compete against each other, with the Dutch Marine Rowing challenge finishing under the Erasmus Bridge. The Rotterdam Offshore Sailing Team will compete on both Friday and Sunday.

Markets and Catering:

  • The nautical market makes its return to the quays.
  • New additions include nine catering squares, ensuring visitors have a plethora of dining options.


Almost the entire programme of the Wereldhavendagen is free to visit. Exceptions are the excursions and boat trips, for which ticket sales begin on 14 August 2023 at 12:00. It is already possible to order tickets for the day cruise of P&O ferries on the website of the Wereldhavendagen. Pre-registration is also necessary for the programme in the halls of MATCH (not for the job market).
World Port Days Rotterdam by Anne Reitsma Fotografie 004World Port Days Rotterdam by Anne Reitsma Fotografie 004

Location: Erasmus Bridge Rotterdam area

World Port Days Rotterdam 📷 Anne Reitsma FotografieWorld Port Days Rotterdam 📷 Anne Reitsma Fotografie

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