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Hundreds of historic ships dock at Rotterdam's Heritage Harbours

The Landelijke Vereniging tot Behoud van het Historisch Bedrijfsvaartuig (LVBHB) is celebrating its 50th anniversary. To celebrate, there is a 1,000-kilometre heritage tour with hundreds of historic ships, right across the Netherlands. From 24 to 26 July, the ships will moor at the Heritage Harbours. An exhibition will be set up on the 'Terra Nova' at the working jetty opposite the White House and a number of ships can be visited by appointment.

Historic commercial shipping was engine of the Dutch economy and nowadays cultural heritage still in full use for residential, recreational or charter shipping. Old films about Rotterdam Shipping and old harbours will be shown in the tjalk at Stadswerf Koningspoort in the Old Harbour.

The National Association for the Preservation of Historic Commercial Vessels was founded in 1974 by private enthusiasts. Old commercial vessels were being scrapped en masse at the time. The vessels had become too small to compete in the scaling-up of inland navigation. Thanks to the efforts of private owners, a unique fleet of historic ships has been preserved. In fact, the Netherlands has the largest fleet of sailing heritage in the world. The LVBHB has around two thousand members, most of whom own a historic ship.

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