Europeans were first lured to explore the oceans of the world centuries ago. Many countries and cultures have grown prosperous economies since then in ports built on the efforts of these first inspired sailors. Today, curious travelers are tempted to explore the history, industry and scale of Europe’s fascinating port cities.
Start in Rotterdam in The Netherlands, the largest port in Europe. Visit during its annual World Port Days for a festive look behind the scenes of the port and industrial area. Enjoy ship tours, naval activities, maritime exhibitions and music. Explore the FutureLand Information Center and witness the ongoing construction of the city’s new port, Maasvlakte 2, in this historic land reclamation project to be completed in 2033.
After looking ahead to the future, stare into the past in Grimsby, Great Britain. Explore docks built to handle steam trawlers and the facilities for processing fish. Then head to the Fishing Heritage Center, whose exhibits include the trawler Ross Tiger. Walk the authentic concrete fish market built by the London & North Eastern Railway in 1934 to really catch the fisherman spirit.
Find yourself in the present once again at the Port of Antwerp in Belgium. An economic and industrial juggernaut bordering the city of Antwerp, the river Scheldt proudly flows through its heart. Tour the port by boat for a close look at its daily workings, or simply watch the passing ships from the quayside. Most surprising of all are the wide vistas, nature reserves, and the nearby picturesque village of Lillo welcoming you to explore.
Explore Monaco’s glamorous port city on the Mediterranean. After docking, be sure to place your bets at the infamous Monte-Carlo Casino not far from the shoreline. Shop in La Condamine, a food market with everything from fresh pasta to yummy espresso.
From the deck of a touring ship, or with feet firmly planted on the shore, make way to experience the historic and awe-inspiring industrious port cities of Europe.