At first sight, you might not suspect it, but this ship – the Christiaan Brunings – was built in Amsterdam in 1900 as an icebreaker. The steeply angled bow has a draught of just 20 centimetres at the front, which helps it break the ice. This vessel still uses a coal-fired steam engine. It is a representative of the age of steamships, of which very few still survive. In addition to being an icebreaker, the ship had a second role to play, as the boat for a board of directors. This unusual dual function makes it highly practical and functional, while at the same time looking very impressive. During the 1960s, the Christiaan Brunings was actually written off by its owners, the Dutch Department of Public Works, and destined to be scrapped, but instead in 1968 the museum took the initiative to restore the steamship and give it a new lease of life. Since then, dedicated volunteers have helped to maintain the ship and welcome visitors on board. The steamship sails regularly during the summer months.
Het Scheepvaartmuseum (The National Maritime Museum) shows the strong connection between the maritime world and society as a whole, and more specifically the impact of this on the lives of many individuals. The collection of The National Maritime Museum is one of the largest and most notable maritime collections in the world with approximately 400,000 objects, including paintings, models of ships, navigation instruments, and maps of the world. Discover 500 years of Dutch Maritime history as well as its strong links to today’s society and the society of the future.