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“Not just for the men” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Het Scheepvaartmuseum National Maritime Museum

Het Scheepvaartmuseum National Maritime Museum
Kattenburgerplein 1, 1018 KK Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Formerly Netherlands Maritime Museum)
31 20 52 32 222
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$71*
and up
Ranked #28 of 247 Attractions in Amsterdam
Type: Specialty Museums, Museums
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Owner description: Het Scheepvaartmuseum, the National Maritime Museum, tells inspiring stories of how the sea is in our genes. Come and enjoy the stimulating, interactive exhibitions and the stunning 17th century building.
Eastbourne, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Not just for the men”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

This was probably our highlight and a total surprise.Very well laid out with an amazing collection of artefacts. The film show had an amusing twist at the end!

Visited July 2013
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Sluis, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
“Master and Commander, for real”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

I've got a thing for tall ships, as I find it amazing that people were able to cross oceans on those magnificent wooden structures. In my opinion a tall ship is infinitely more beautiful than the most luxurious present day cruise ship. So visiting this museum, and especially the Amsterdam VOC ship was high on the list.

The former naval storehouse, in which the museum is housed, is an impressive building. My friend and I walked 40 minutes from our hotel in downtown Amsterdam to reach this museum and just approaching the massive white building and the tall ship was a real treat.
When finally entering the museum the courtyard with the glass roof is stunning. It reminded me very much of the British Museum, but I find this roof more beautiful. It also fits the museum as inspiration for its construction was found in naval maps and compasses.

We spent about 3 hours in this museum, but in all honesty, we haven't visited that much. We studied the map of the museum and concluded that only the east section and VOC ship would be of interest to us. In addition we also spent time having lunch at the museum restaurant and browsing the museum shop.
Almost the entire west section is aimed at children, the south section entails nothing more than the entrance/exit, and the north section contains among others the two ships (including the Amsterdam). Of the east section we only visited the second floor as we had to keep track of time on our last day in the city.

I decided to start my visit with the Sea Voyage, a 25-minute virtual adventure on the sea, taking place in the north section of the museum. I thought it would be a nice introduction, where I would be given - via projections / film - a story about a tall ship's voyage in the Golden Century. Instead it's a mixture of projections telling the visitor about the start of a journey, the voyage itself with its discoveries and perils, and the happiness of safely arriving back in port. The story is told via all sorts of ships.
As an adult you can skip this part entirely, but children (over 8, younger is not admitted) will like it, although one kid in my group was terrified at certain moments.
Keep in mind that staff gives the introduction in Dutch and English but all audio during the 25-minute voyage is given in Dutch only. Nevertheless, it's a highly visual experience, and one can easily follow the story without understanding Dutch.

Next we visited the Amsterdam VOC ship, moored next to the museum. Some other reviewer described it as a toy replica for children to climb on, which I think is insulting. Captain Hook's ship in Disneyland is a toy ship, this is a real ship. It's an almost exact replica of the 18th-century Amsterdam which was wrecked off the English coast. It's got all the parts and isn't shiny or polished.
I would have been entirely satisfied with just standing on deck, but instead you can actually discover all areas of the ship: the hold, orlop deck, main deck and half deck with its different passenger and crew cabins. You can try to take a nap in a sailor's hammock, sit at the officer's dinner table, peep inside the galley, lift cargo or sit in the captain's office chair. You can live a little bit of history. What's not to like?

In the east section we only viewed the maritime paintings (stunning, one could stare at them forever), the ship ornaments, navigation instruments and photo albums. I'm sure the other half would have been interesting as well with apparently a display of globes, yachts and glass, silver and porcelain.

The restaurant was fine, good menu, decent prices, friendly service. The gift shop offers a nice variety of products, I guess anyone can find something that they like.

In all, I liked what I've seen, but having studied the museum sections on the map and compare it with the size of the building I can't help but think they can do better. For instance, I would have liked the bigger picture. I missed having a history overview as the museum is bits and pieces. On the other hand, it is an excellent museum to visit with children.

Visited July 2013
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New York/CT Area
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Creatively captures the essence of a great maritime history”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013

Imaginative multimedia presentations, handsome, entertaining and informative. Mixes artistic, social, technical and historical information in ways interesting to children and adults.

Visited July 2013
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Walsall, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Too big!!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

Probably really fascinating for those more interest in Maritime matters than me - we only visited as was next door to Science Centre NEMO and also because entry was included with the IAMsterdam Card - the "Amsterdam" ship was fascinating - but we didn't visit any of the other parts of the museum - but it seemed HUGE - perhaps a little too vast to hold the interest of the average visitor - but worth going if you have an inclusive card, even if just to board the ship!

Visited July 2013
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Ballarat, Australia
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Beautiful Building”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

Very interesting history of the Dutch East Indies. The building itself is beautiful and well worth looking at. This part is free. The museum is very child friendly as well, with lots of hands on activities.

Visited April 2013
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