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Spido boat tours. The Nieuwe Maas River has flowed through Rotterdam for 700 years, dividing the city in two and acting as the city's lifeline. A continual procession of some 30,000 oceangoing ships and some 130,000 river barges passes annually through Rotterdam to and from the North Sea. A top option for visitors to see the city's waterfront is to take a 75-minute boat tour (€10.50) with the very popular Spido boat tours. They offer a range of excursions lasting from just over an hour to a full day, while a variety of water taxis and water buses also operates in the Waterstad (the docks and harbors along the banks of the river). Willemsplein 85, Rotterdam, 3016 DR. 010/275-9988. www.spido.nl.
For those with an interest in Rotterdam's recent history, pick up a map from the tourist office called "Along the Fire Boundary." It has details of three self-guided walking routes that trace the edge of the area destroyed by the bombing of May 14, 1940, with detailed historical notes.
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