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A weekend trip to Rotterdam gives us chance to try out some of the city centre mooring options.
We opted for the most direct route to Rotterdam, via the Noord to Alblasserdam and then turned left onto the Nieuwe Maas straight to Rotterdam. It was a fine day, but a stiff wind made the inside helm the most popular option. It only took two hours to cover the 12 miles and having taken the 1pm bridge lift out of the Nieuwe Haven we were safely tied up in the Veerhaven by three. We took the last free visitor's place close to the harbour office, but it might have been possible to squeeze one or two more boats in if people had been willing to raft up.
I wrote in the book that the berths are affected by wash, and having spent a night there now, I can confirm that this is pretty accurate. It's not awful, but you definitely notice the boat rocking about, as well as the slapping of water on the hull all night. We were also not overly impressed with the electricity - it tripped out every time we switched on the kettle and was explained away later as 'not working very well' by the harbour master. By the morning we'd had enough and decided to scoot over to City Marina where things are a bit more organised. The HM at the Veerhaven was supposed to be on duty from 4-7pm and again 9-10am in the morning, but we'd failed to catch up with him during either of these slots and it was only when we started up the engines that he appeared as if by magic and collected his dues!
City Marina couldn't be more different, starting from their efficient response to our bridge request on the VHF and allocation of a super-wide berth, close to the facilities. The toilets and showers here have to be seen to be believed - it's more like being in a hotel than a harbour, and even though there seem to be quite a few people living on board there is never a queue to get in.
Moored in the shadow of Jan's new office in the Maastoren we couldn't resist staying a few days and having a taste of city life.
Time: 2h 8'
Average speed: 5.6kts
Max speed: 13.6kts