Docking the Amsterdam


‘Docking the Amsterdam’ is an innovative, long-term project to transform an 18th century shipwreck into a public display on maritime history, global connections and colonial past. A story that deserves to be told in an immersive way, to bring onboard partners and sponsors to turn ambition into reality.


Meet the Amsterdam, one of most important archeological shipwrecks from the 18th century. The ship constructed to trade and sail the world, ran aground near Hastings (UK) in 1749, due to a raging storm during her maiden voyage. Intriguingly, the hull remains intact to this day, including its original cargo, awaiting to be uncovered together with all the stories it beholds.
The VOC Amsterdam foundation asked Deloitte to support them with one if the largest and challenging maritime projects of all time: ‘Docking the Amsterdam’. The ultimate goal: uncover the Amsterdam in its full extent by lifting, transporting and eventually displaying it in a huge aquarium in the City of Amsterdam. Catering for a thrilling underwater museum with world’s first live excavation by divers in a basin.
This grand project has many interesting perspectives, from important archaeological research using the latest technologies to unique design of the museum with sustainable architecture, education for maritime archaeologists & students and new ways to explore our shared colonial history.
The museum is expected to open in 2025 (the 750th anniversary of the City of Amsterdam), but in order to make this happen, close collaboration with stakeholders such as the municipality of Amsterdam, salvage companies, private and public funds as well as other Dutch and British (local) authorities is required. Hence the foundation asked for a platform that resembles their bold ambition and brings to life the various aspects of the ship & project, to bring onboard partners and sponsors along the journey.


The website takes the visitor on an odyssey that shows the transformation of an archeological wreck into a timeless landmark of innovation. Throughout three chapters, visitors can seamlessly discover historical highlights, gain a perspective on our shared colonial heritage that shaped our existing society and get a glimpse of the future vision of the project. The visual design with parallax effects combines historical elements with a contemporary style to emphasize the connection between past, present and future.
A wide range of content was selected, enriched and developed in close collaboration with archeological experts from the City of Amsterdam and the Rijksmuseum. Like an interactive scale model of the shipyard, explaining how the VOC managed to build ships like the Amsterdam in an industrialized way. Webcam footage shows the actual wreck during low-tide, alongside photographs of artifacts discovered during trial excavations. Data points based on different archives sources plotted on a historical map of the City of Amsterdam unravels the supplier network of the VOC, completed with professions and even exact addresses. Last but not least, a 360° model makes the future vision tangible by illustrating how the wreck will be lifted and finally displayed in a large aquarium catering as an experience lab.
Through this rich way of interactive storytelling the fundamental principles of the ship’s heritage and wider project - exploration, collaboration and innovation have been brought to life, allowing the VOC Amsterdam foundation to attract and inform partners and sponsors to turn ambition into reality.

Bureau(s) waarmee is samengewerkt

Rijksmuseum, City of Amsterdam

Deloitte Digital

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