Rotterdam cruise port with Erasmus Bridge

Amsterdam Airport / City to Rotterdam Cruise Port: Guide to Seamless DIY Transfers

Sailing from Rotterdam cruise port? Rotterdam cruise port has grown to become the more popular embarkation port than Amsterdam in recent years. Most international cruisers though will still fly into Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS). Some cruisers will want to stay overnight in Amsterdam city centre to enjoy the sights before traveling to Rotterdam cruise port. So I’ll cover both DIY transfer routes from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) and from Amsterdam city centre to Rotterdam cruise port in this blog post.

Staying overnight in Rotterdam instead? If you’re flying in the day before but choosing to stay overnight in Rotterdam before your cruise, then check out my DIY Guide to Rotterdam cruise port for things to do, or even my DIY day-trip guide from Rotterdam to the UNESCO Heritage listed Kinderdijk Windmills.

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Amsterdam Airport / City to Rotterdam Cruise Port: Are DIY Transfers Easy? ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž (Smooth Sailing)

Transferring from Amsterdam Airport or Amsterdam City Centre to Rotterdam Cruise Port is easy and straightforward, thanks to the Netherlands’ incredibly efficient and well-connected public transportation system. No traffic! You can easily navigate the journey on your own. And here’s why I rated this DIY transfer as ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž (Smooth Sailing):

  • Seamless Train Connections: Direct trains from Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam Centraal Station make reaching Rotterdam Centraal a quick and convenient option, with some services even offering non-stop journeys.
  • Contactless Convenience: Ticketing is a breeze with contactless payment options now available (since June 2023). Simply tap your card or phone at the start and end of your journey for effortless travel.
  • Frequent Trams & Metro: Once in Rotterdam, frequent trams provide a direct link to the cruise terminal, with the metro offering a reliable backup option.

Also, there’s loads of signs in English, making it easy to navigate even for first time visitors. So read on to find out how you can get to Rotterdam cruise port seamlessly!

Rotterdam Cruise Port Essentials: All You Need To Know

  • Rotterdam Cruise Port Address: Wilhelminakade 699, 3072 AP Rotterdam, Netherlands โ€“ Iโ€™ve marked this on my Rotterdam cruise port map below ๐Ÿ‘‡
  • Currency: Euros
  • Language: Dutch
  • Official Websites: Rotterdam.info is the official tourism website, official Rotterdam cruise port schedule on Cruise Port Rotterdam
  • Recommended Transport App: I prefer Citymapper to navigate public transit in both Amsterdam & Rotterdam but Google Maps will work too!
  • eSim for roaming in Netherlands: For a great data connection without the huge roaming fees, use an eSim data pack from Airalo. I always recommend having a smartphone with a valid plan when youโ€™re at port touring independently. Get US$3 off your first eSIM data pack from Airalo when you use ROXANN1666 when you sign up or apply it at checkout
  • My Rotterdam Cruise Port Map: ๐Ÿ‘‡ Click on the upper right hand corner to see a bigger version. Use buttons on bottom left to zoom in/out. If map is not loading, click here to see it directly on Google Maps.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) to Rotterdam Cruise Port: Your Options

  • Distance: Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) is located 62 km (~38 miles) from Rotterdam Cruise Port.
  • Journey Time:
    • Train: Direct trains take about 40-60 minutes from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport station to Rotterdam Central station. From there, Rotterdam cruise port is a short metro ride away (~ 15 minutes)
    • Bus: Direct coach services from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Rotterdam Central take about 50 minutes, perhaps a little more depending on traffic. Rotterdam cruise port is then a short metro ride away.
    • Taxi / Uber: Uber is available in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Catch a taxi from the official taxi stand and do not accept rides from unlicensed taxis at Schiphol. You’ll sometimes see unlicensed drivers soliciting customers. The official taxis have a blue number plate. Taxis will take 45-60 minutes, depending on traffic. I remember Uber quoting me about โ‚ฌ100 – โ‚ฌ120.

I’ll cover the train and bus options in detail below. The rail network in the Netherlands is one of the best in Europe, so if you have wheeled luggage (even a check-in bag) that you’re comfortable rolling along on flat ground, then you’ll likely have no issues with a DIY transfer with train/metro to Rotterdam. Escalators and lifts will be available at stations.

1. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Rotterdam Cruise Port: Guide to DIY Train Transfers

Typical NS regional train in Netherlands, with yellow and blue painting on outside of carriages
NS Regional Trains in Netherlands | Image by Naty Photography from Pixabay
  • Find Schiphol Airport Train Station: The train station is located directly below the airport’s arrivals hall. There’s great English signage, so just follow the signs.
  • Timetables: Use NS’s English website to check timetables
  • Train Frequency: Usually multiple trains an hour. Note that some Intercity direct non-stop trains carry a small supplement. You’ll see these marked when you search the timetables.
  • Luggage: You’ll find luggage racks on Dutch trains, both on ends of carriages as well as above your seats.
  • Tickets: Easiest is to pay by contactless card. You’ll be charged the same price as the e-ticket price you see online when you search for timetables.
    • Contactless OV-Pay: Operating since June 2023, you can pay for rail travel in the Netherlands using a contactless card. (Yes, even international credit cards and debit cards will work.) To be charged correctly, each person needs to have his/her own card and must tap in and tap out at the destination. I’d recommend using a credit card – Mastercard and Visa works, but not Amex. For debit cards, you’ll see a small balance temporarily on hold and refunded if not used in a few days’ time. Physical cards, Apple Pay / Google Pay on phones and smart watches work too.
    • Online Tickets: You can also purchase tickets online using NS’s website or download its app. Note if you want a physical ticket from the station, including one purchased from a machine, there’s a โ‚ฌ1 charge for using a once-off paper ticket.
    • Price: One way tickets are โ‚ฌ14.50 with the faster non-stop trains typically attracting a โ‚ฌ2.90 supplement.

Insider Tip: If you’re traveling with kids aged 4-11 years, then buy them a “Railrunner” ticket for โ‚ฌ2.50. This is valid for unlimited trains all day, all around the Netherlands! (Kids are allowed to travel independently on trains in Netherlands, but they’ll likely be with you for the whole journey, right?). It’s easier to purchase the Railrunner ticket online and adults can travel using a contactless card. At the station, โ‚ฌ1 extra is charged for a single-use physical ticket.

  • Arrival at Rotterdam Centraal Station: Once in Rotterdam Centraal Station, you have two options – to take the tram or the metro. If you’ve got a check-in bag, taking the tram will be easier.
  • Tram to Rotterdam Cruise Port: Rotterdam Centraal Tram station is just outside the train station. It’s easy to spot as you’ll see the tram tracks straight away. Catch #Tram 23 or #Tram 125 directly to the cruise port. Trams leave frequently, usually every few minutes during day time.
    • Tram tickets: Yes, you’ve guessed it! It’s easiest to pay with a contactless card. Just tap in when you hop on the tram and don’t forget to tap out when you alight. (If you don’t tap out, you’ll be charged the maximum fare, as the system doesn’t know how far you’ve travelled). Fares will be around โ‚ฌ1.50. For kids, give them a separate card to pay as the Railrunner ticket only covers rail journeys.
    • Journey Time: Under 10 minutes.
    • Alight at Wilhelminaplein station This is the first stop after the Erasmus Bridge, so you can get ready to jump off as the tram is crossing the bridge. From Wilhelminaplein station, the cruise port is a few minutes walk away on flat ground. See this marked on my map above ๐Ÿ‘†
  • (Alternative) Metro to Rotterdam Cruise Port: Follow signs from Rotterdam Central Station to Rotterdam Central Metro station. Take Line D/E to Wilhelminaplein station (4 stops). Once you exit and get up to ground level, the cruise port is about a 3-minute walk on flat ground away.

2. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Rotterdam Cruise Port: DIY Coach Transfers

Flixbus runs direct coaches from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Rotterdam Central Station and is a good backup option. Prices are variable depending on how full the coach service is. Some one-way fares are as low as โ‚ฌ5 if purchased in advance online.

Coaches stop at Rotterdam Central Station. From there, take the tram or metro as above to get to Rotterdam cruise port.

Amsterdam City Centre to Rotterdam Cruise Port: Your Options

Tram in Amsterdam, next to a line of taxis
Catch a tram to Amsterdam Centraal Station!
  • Distance: Amsterdam City Centre is located 80 km (~50 miles) from Rotterdam Cruise Port.
  • Journey Time:
    • Train: Direct trains take about 40 to 75 minutes from Amsterdam Centraal station to Rotterdam Centraal station. From there, Rotterdam cruise port is a short metro ride away (~ 15 minutes). Non-stop direct services (~40 minutes) are Intercity direct trains & will cost slightly more.
    • Taxi / Uber: Uber is available in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The official taxis have a blue number plate. Taxis will take 45-60 minutes, depending on traffic. Your hotel can call a licensed taxi or arrange a transfer for you. I remember Uber quoting me about โ‚ฌ120 – โ‚ฌ150.

Amsterdam city centre is incredibly well connected by trams. If you’re staying in the city centre, you should have no issues hopping onto a tram to Amsterdam Centraal station. Alternatively, some trains will stop at Amsterdam Sloterdijk station, which may be closer to your hotel, before continuing on to Haarlem, Leiden, Den Haag (The Hague) and Delft before stopping at Rotterdam Centraal.

Aerial view of Amsterdam Centraal Station in Amsterdam, with roof marked Amsterdam in large letters
Aerial View of Amsterdam Centraal Station | Image by Michael BuรŸmann from Pixabay
  • Timetables: Use NS’s English website to check timetables
  • Train Frequency: Usually multiple trains an hour. Note that some Intercity direct non-stop trains carry a small supplement. You’ll see these marked when you search the timetables.
  • Luggage: You’ll find luggage racks on Dutch trains, both on ends of carriages as well as above your seats.
  • Tickets: Easiest is to pay by contactless card. You’ll be charged the same price as the e-ticket price you see online when you search for timetables.
    • Contactless OV-Pay: Operating since June 2023, you can pay for rail travel in the Netherlands using a contactless card. (Yes, even international credit cards and debit cards will work.) To be charged correctly, each person needs to have his/her own card and must tap in and tap out at the destination. I’d recommend using a credit card – Mastercard and Visa works, but not Amex. For debit cards, you’ll see a small balance temporarily on hold and refunded if not used in a few days’ time. Physical cards, Apple Pay / Google Pay on phones and smart watches work too.
    • Online Tickets: You can also purchase tickets online using NS’s website or download its app. Note if you want a physical ticket from the station, including one purchased from a machine, there’s a โ‚ฌ1 charge for using a once-off paper ticket.
    • Price: One way tickets are โ‚ฌ17.90 with the faster non-stop trains typically attracting a โ‚ฌ2.90 supplement.
  • Arrival at Rotterdam Centraal Station: Once in Rotterdam Centraal Station, you have two options – to take the tram or the metro. If you’ve got a check-in bag, taking the tram will be easier.
  • Tram to Rotterdam Cruise Port: Rotterdam Centraal Tram station is just outside the train station. It’s easy to spot as you’ll see the tram tracks straight away. Catch #Tram 23 or #Tram 125 directly to the cruise port. Trams leave frequently, usually every few minutes during day time.
    • Tram tickets: Yes, you’ve guessed it! It’s easiest to pay with a contactless card. Just tap in when you hop on the tram and don’t forget to tap out when you alight. (If you don’t tap out, you’ll be charged the maximum fare, as the system doesn’t know how far you’ve travelled). Fares will be around โ‚ฌ1.50. For kids, give them a separate card to pay as the Railrunner ticket only covers rail journeys.
    • Journey Time: Under 10 minutes.
    • Alight at Wilhelminaplein station This is the first stop after the Erasmus Bridge, so you can get ready to jump off as the tram is crossing the bridge. From Wilhelminaplein station, the cruise port is a few minutes walk away on flat ground. See this marked on my map above ๐Ÿ‘†
  • (Alternative) Metro to Rotterdam Cruise Port: Follow signs from Rotterdam Central Station to Rotterdam Central Metro station. Take Line D/E to Wilhelminaplein station (4 stops). Once you exit and get up to ground level, the cruise port is about a 3-minute walk on flat ground away.

Featured Image by nschaten from Pixabay

Bon Voyage and smooth sailing! I hope this guide has helped you navigate the journey from Amsterdam to Rotterdam cruise port with ease. Wishing you safe travels and an unforgettable cruise from Rotterdam. If you found this guide helpful, please share it with your fellow cruisers in your roll call groups. Happy cruising!

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