De Rotterdam

History Wilhelminapier

The Wilhelminapier is an international hotspot where the dynamics of living, working and enjoying recreation in the city are fully integrated. OVG, KPN, Havenbedrijf Rotterdam and Holland America Line all have offices here, the availability of more than 1,400 apartments and penthouses brings people together. 

The Wilhelminapier is named after Queen Wilhelmina, who first visited Rotterdam Harbour in 1890 as the ten-year-old heir to the throne occupied by Willem III. That visit left a big impression, with the Prinsessekade subsequently being renamed the Wilhelminakade. 

From 1873 to 1978, the pier was used by the Holland America Line as a ship terminal. It was from here that passengers departed for North America and Canada. At the end of the 19th century, the pier became particularly busy with emigrants using it as a departure point. Between 1870 and 1900 more than 90,000 cabin-class passengers and 400,000 third class passengers crossed the Atlantic from here in search of a better life. 

Slowly but surely, competition arrived from the airline industry and by the 1970s the only ships seen here were for pleasure cruising. And now, the time has come for the Wilhelminapier to become a new destination as an area for living, working and recreation.