World Port Days returns to Rotterdam for its 45th edition on 2, 3 and 4 September 2022. After two years of coronavirus restrictions, the team responsible for the biggest annual maritime event in the country is organising a jubilee edition, with lots to see and do for visitors of all ages – activities on the quayside, demonstrations onboard ship and excursions on land and water. The event was announced on Thursday afternoon with the traditional kick-off in front of a big crowd at the Van Ghent Barracks in Rotterdam.
World Port Days 2022 celebrates a triple jubilee: it’s not just the 45th edition of the event, the Port of Rotterdam Authority is also marking its 90th year of operation and the Nieuwe Waterweg its 150th anniversary. This makes 2022 stand out as a historic year worth honouring. After being forced to schedule online events or stripped-down versions for the past two years due to coronavirus measures, with this year’s event the World Port Days Foundation aims at creating an edition that will feel just like old times for the hundreds of thousands of expected visitors.
‘At the same time, we’re taking some of the things we developed over the past couple of years along into the future,’ says Sabine Bruijnincx, Director of the World Port Days Foundation. ‘This means that we will be keeping some of the online programming we developed during the pandemic, and this year we’re organising even more activities for young people. We’re also accelerating our sustainability goals: World Port Days is one of eleven event organisers who have signed on to the Duurzame Deal with the city of Rotterdam and Rotterdam Festivals.’
Challenges and future-proof solutions
During World Port Days, visitors young and old can discover what still makes the Port of Rotterdam such a special place in 2022. Each day a legion of professionals with their smart technology guide the movement of numerous of ships and containers, ensuring the import and export of hundreds of tons of goods proceeds efficiently, safely and without hazard. This is the place where innovative start-ups and multinationals work on sustainable solutions for the future. It’s a dynamic, diverse and inclusive environment, with career opportunities for everybody. Unique flora and fauna, protected nature areas, and hiking and cycling routes make the port an attractive neighbour for the city of Rotterdam, and a green magnet for nature lovers and water sport enthusiasts.
But the world around us is changing at a fast pace. Brexit and the coronavirus crisis showed us that global trade in resources and goods is highly vulnerable. Right now, the world is dealing with the impact of the war in Ukraine. These changes form the biggest challenge to the Port of Rotterdam, where the transition was already well underway. For example, the port has the goal of decreasing carbon emissions by 55% by 2030, and becoming completely emission-free by 2050. Thousands of new people will be needed in the coming years to fill the job vacancies demanded by the energy transition and digitisation of the port.
During the kick-off, Sabine Bruijnincx took time to contemplate the situation: ‘World Port Days 2022 is not just a jubilee edition. It’s a time to make up a balance sheet. What have we achieved? How prepared are we? And where should we be heading? During the weekend of 2, 3 and 4 September, visitors can get acquainted with all the companies, people and solutions that make the Port of Rotterdam a safe, smart, sustainable and liveable space, where there’s career opportunities for everybody and we’re working hard on the future.’
During World Port Days 2022, visitors can partake in numerous activities on the quays around the Erasmus Bridge, enjoy spectacular shows on the water, or go on excursions on land and water in the port area. On Friday, 2 September, we’re holding the traditional programme dedicated to schools and young people. And for anyone who would rather experience the port of Rotterdam from home, there is also an online programme.
The full programme for World Port Days 2022 will be announced in early July. Ticket sales for excursions go on sale in mid-August. It is possible to order tickets on the website of World Port Days for the excursion with P&O from today.
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