The Netherlands is a water country with many waterways. Some of these waterways are used by Waterbus for transportation of people. The Waterbus, formerly known as the Fast Ferry or Aqualiner, is a fast and comfortable ferry service in the Rotterdam and Dordrecht region. Apart from being a public transport facility with regular service, this unique means of transport offers a select view of the waterfront cities and various tourist attractions.
Pedestrians and cyclists can use the Waterbus with pick-up places in modern Rotterdam with the largest port in Europe as far as Dordrecht. In the summer, there is also a direct connection to Kinderdijk. Bicycles can usually be taken on the Waterbus free of charge, depending on the hustle and bustle. Cargo bikes, scooters and mopeds are only allowed when the steward gives permission. The schedule of Waterbus Rotterdam takes into account office hours and tries to respond to busy crowds, if necessary.
The Waterbus Rotterdam fleet
Waterbus Rotterdam has no less than fourteen ships and has twenty-one stops along the rivers that connect Rotterdam and Dordrecht. The largest Waterbus in the fleet has room for one hundred and fifty passengers. The difference between this largest and smallest ship is almost twenty-two metres. The skilled crew is the face of Waterbus Rotterdam, and the captain even sails in extreme weather conditions. The ships have a passenger deck where a steward answers all your questions, and you can buy your ticket.
Waterbus Rotterdam is a joint venture of Aquabus BV and has been active in this way since 2010. Nevertheless, public transport on the Maas and Merwede has been available for about twenty years. With approximately 1.9 million passengers a year, it is an essential link in public transport in Rotterdam and the Drechtsteden. The main clients of the Waterbus are therefore the Municipality of Rotterdam, the Drechtsteden, the Province of South Holland and the Port of Rotterdam Authority.
Routes and moorings
The best known Waterbus Rotterdam route is between Rotterdam and Dordrecht and the three Drecht cities; Sliedrecht, Zwijndrecht and Papendrecht. There are also many stops in the surrounding Maas cities, such as Alblasserdam, Ridderkerk, Krimpen aan de IJssel and Hendrik Ido Ambacht. Travelling with the Waterbus is fun and comfortable, with a detailed description of the stops and the line you are going to take. You can travel with the Waterbus between the early morning and the beginning of the evening.
Although most people who use the Waterbus do so for commuting, you can also use this public transport to visit tourist attractions. In the summer, for example, you can take the Waterbus to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Kinderdijk. Within half an hour you’ll be in front of the famous windmills when you get on board in Rotterdam or Dordrecht. From the Willemskade at the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam city centre, you can also go to the ss Rotterdam or national park the Hollandse Biesbosch.
Check-in and ticketing
Since Waterbus Rotterdam is part of the public transport network in the Netherlands, it is possible you check-in and pays the ticket with the public transport chipcard. This ticket is also the cheapest fare. For those who do not have a public transport chipcard, it is possible to buy an e-ticket online before departure. Online you will find various options such as one-way or return tickets, packages, family tickets and day tickets. On the Waterbus you can also buy a ticket, this is a bit more expensive than paying with an OV-chipkaart or an e-ticket. Tickets can be purchased online from 0.98 euro per person and on the Waterbus from 2 euro per person.
It is not possible to book a trip with the Waterbus because it is part of the public transport network. However, groups of ten or more can apply for a group discount. Especially outside rush hours (from 09:00 to 15:30) it is easier to travel in a group as it is less crowded. Waterbus Rotterdam also offers a day ticket that allows you to travel to and from all stops. Day tickets are available online from 10.50 euro per person. Children up to and including 3 years old travel for free, and the age categories 4 to 11 year and 65+ get a discount.