The East Indiaman was the largest cargo ship used by the Dutch East India Company or VOC (in Dutch: Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie). During the 17th and 18th centuries ships like these were used to sail to Asia and bring back goods like spices, porcelain, tea, silk and textiles from Asia to Europe. The average journey took about eight months. All East Indiamen combined made nearly five thousand voyages.
The National Maritime Museum
The collection of The Dutch National Maritime Museum is one of the largest and most notable maritime collections in the world. Here, you can learn about 500 years of Dutch maritime history and discover its strong links with the society of today and the future. Admire its extensive collections of paintings, navigation instruments, ship models and maps of the world. The collection’s eye-catcher is undoutedly the replica of the East Indiaman moored in front of the museum building. Large cargo ships like this one were used to transport spices, porcelain, tea, silk and textiles from Asia to Europe. But the range of exhibitions at the National Maritime Museum is wider than simply showcasing artefacts of the past. Contemporary art and photography, an exhibition about the whale and interactive and virtual reality experiences are also featured at the museum.
The National Maritime Museum boasts a large collection of historical instruments that were used at sea. You can buy replicas of many of these instruments in our museum shop. Have a look at the full collection and take your pick!