exhibitions

The National Maritime Museum shows how the sea has shaped Dutch culture. Some of our exhibitions bring historic events and personal stories to life. Others display the showpieces from our world-famous collection. We have special exhibitions for everyone, even our very youngest visitors. All exhibitions have explanatory texts in English.

 
 

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all exhibitions

 
 
 
 

east indiaman amsterdam


step back in time


Experience the Amsterdam! With our new fun activities you can really get a sense of how life used to be on an East Indiaman. Continue>

the atlases


Go on a journey with the maps and atlases that forever changed how we see the world.

Continue>

the dark chapter


the dark chapter


This exhibition takes you step by step through the dramatic story of the slave ship named the Leusden. Along the way, you will discover the economic background to the slave trade and the conditions during the ship's journey. Contine>

see you in the golden age


no golden age without the sea


In the Netherlands, we refer to the 17th century as our Golden Age. In those days, the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands was one of the richest and most powerful countries in the world. And that was primarily thanks to seafaring. Continue >

the tale of the whale


from sea monster to endangered species


In the 16th century, man knew little of the whale. For the most part, it was thought to be a fearsome sea monster. But that changed when Dutch sailor Willem Barentsz went on a voyage of exploration to the Arctic Ocean... Continue>


port 24/7


a world-class port


From potato chips to sneakers to iPods. Almost all products pass through the port of Amsterdam before being shipped to the rest of the world. Continue>

voyage at sea


come on board for an exciting sea voyage


Voyage at Sea is an amazingly exciting virtual adventure at sea. Join our voyage and get to know the people and the stories behind these important objects from our collection. A startling experience awaits you. Continue>

sal & lori and circus at sea


especially for the little ones


This exhibition is especially for children up to the age of 6. We begin in a fairytale, undersea world where you can swim with the fish - or even become one, if you like. It may be a little dark, but many things give off light - even fish! Continue>

the paintings


paintings of holland’s glory


In the 17th century, a lively market for paintings of sea scenes emerged in the Netherlands. The maritime industry had become a major driver for the economy, in addition to being a source of national pride. People wanted to be reminded of the ships, the ports, the sea battles, the heroism and the storms, even in their own homes... Continue>

the navigational instruments


the art of knowing where you are


Finding your way is easy these days, thanks to satellite navigation. In olden times, navigating was much more difficult - especially at sea. The Navigational Instruments will give you an idea of how inventive the sailors of yesteryear were. Continue>

the photo albums


tales from bygone days


The National Maritime Museum has a huge collection of photo albums dating from the early years of photography. The photos show a beautiful and personal picture of sea travel and exotic destinations. They are a document of what life was like in those days. Continue>

the ship decorations


raw beauty and pure craftsmanship


A ship’s ornaments do not make a ship sail better, yet ships have been decorated in all times and in all places. Greeks, Romans, Vikings and Dutchmen: they all decorated their ships with paintings, woodcuts, statues and images packed full of symbolism. Continue>

the yacht models


the timelessness of ostentation


Even as early as the 17th century, people who could afford to loved to show off their richly decorated yachts. This exhibit of ship models presents a beautiful picture of luxury pleasure craft through the ages. Continue>

the glass, silver and porcelain


style with a story


Naval heroes, regents and merchants were often given lavish gifts as a token of gratitude for services rendered or in commemoration of extraordinary events. These glasses, plates, dishes, and other pieces are all exquisite specimens of fine craftsmanship and each has a stirring story behind it, from the glass depicting an entire naval battle to the dishware eaten from by a sultan. Continue>