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“Great museum with some rough edges”

Red Star Line Museum
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1 Hour Antwerp Citytourbus
Ranked #5 of 156 things to do in Antwerp
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Antwerp, Belgium
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Great museum with some rough edges”
Reviewed December 7, 2013 via mobile

As an Antwerp local I decided to visit our newest museum on a Saturday. The peak hours (3-4pm) are very crowded but I went at 1pm and had most of the displays for myself.

This museum's prime focus is on the people's journey rather then on the company itself, a very personal touch. Information is very good and understandable, would not recommend a visit if you are not truly interested.

This said there are some points of improvement: the displays are in Dutch only, this could be troublesome for our American visitors(they do sell guides). Also there is a tower with a view but the view is better on top of the MAS(skip the tower if there is a line)

Tip: book in advance to avoid the rush hour(you can see the spots left in each time slot)

Visited December 2013
Thank MaartenVL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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807 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
380 reviews
171 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
“Fascinating account of emigrants' experiences”
Reviewed December 4, 2013

The building has been thoughtfully renovated and the museum's exhibits are plentiful. It was fascinating to find out about the experience of 2,000,000 emigrants who left Europe for America and Canada in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The museum focuses on the personal experiences of individuals and families who made the journey to begin new lives. Although I learned a lot from my visit, I think more information in English and other languages woud make it even more appealing to other visitors. I bought the excellent museum guide in English from the museum shop which is packed with information, photos and emigrants' stories.

Visited November 2013
Thank JZHendry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antwerp, Belgium
Level 6 Contributor
131 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“On two sides of the rainbow you'll find a treasure”
Reviewed November 27, 2013

When talking about migration to America, one will often refer to Ellis Island.
A museum, a landmark, respecting the tragedy and hope of millions. A treasure helping you to understand migration, even today.

Just imagine a rainbow ending in Ellis island,crossing the Atlantic ocean and starting in the city of Antwerp, Belgium. You will discover two treasures at the each side of that rainbow.

The Red star museum is the perfect match for Ellis Island. A destination which meant the beginning of an epic journey for more than 2 million people migrating to America. This museum is filled with touching personal testimonials of famous and unknown immigrants. The resaturation of the original location has been done by the same people working at Ellis Island. This increases even the value of both sites.

Take time 2,5 to 3-4 hours and listen, read and enjoy interactivity with the voyagers of the past and present.

Talk a walk to the tower and enjoy the view and the river and the harbor, just imagine your ready for a long journey acccross the ocean!

Visited November 2013
Thank Arnaud d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
360 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 273 helpful votes
“Thought provoking museum”
Reviewed November 9, 2013

New museum, so still has the odd teething problem, focusing on the emigration from Antwerp to the USA aboard the Red Star Line. The museum works because it focuses largely on the people rather than the ships.

Moving stories of people trekking across Europe to face the stress and humiliation of passing through Antwerp. Having your clothes and possessions boiled to remove bugs and having to pass a medical possibly after years of walking to cross Europe was bad enough but then facing another medical on Ellis Island resulted in many heartbreaking stories as families were broken up.

The queuing system and the waste of a great building with an ordinary cafe are examples of where this place can get better but definitely worth a visit

Visited November 2013
Thank zonda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antwerp, Belgium
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“interesting museum, but room for improvement”
Reviewed November 7, 2013

The museum itself is quite nice and interesting, but as it still very new there is room for improvement. For example, I was very surprised to see that most of the information accompanying the exhibits was in Dutch only: visitors speaking other languages were given a written translation at the entry, which is not very practical and makes them somehow second-rate visitors. I think that a museum with the ambition to attract visitors from all over the world should post the information at the exhibits in at least three languages (Dutch, English and French), all the more so since the museum is about an international subject par excellence: migration.

Ik hoop dat de beheerders van het museum deze opinie (die ik blijkbaar deel met andere bezoekers) ter harte zullen nemen en de nodige aanpassingen zullen doen.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank Alexander441
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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