From 1932 to 1960, the Mercator was the training ship for officers of the Belgian merchant navy. Now it is anchored in Ostend as a museum ship and can be visited.

Discover the history of the Mercator and its treasure trove of objects collected during long circumnavigations.

Maritieme Wandeling

Walk along the most remarkable places of fishing culture, the bustling harbor life and the unique maritime heritage. The maritime character that Ostend molds and forms into the City by the Sea.

This walk takes you to various maritime locations such as the Mercator, the Oosteroever, the Visserskaai, the Vissersplein and so many more.

The walk is 7.7 km long. The plan can be picked up free of charge at Tourism Ostend.

More information about the walk can be found on the website


The Vistrap is an open-air fish market, created during the expansion of the harbor in the 19th century.

Already early in the morning you will find the freshest North Sea fish and Ostend shrimps here. For early risers, it is certainly worthwhile to come and watch the landing of the fish around 6.30 am.


The Oosteroever is a lesser-known side of Ostend, but worth the visit at least as much. It's the ideal place to enjoy nature and get a breath of fresh air. You look for miles over the sea and other beautiful views and you can walk for hours in the dunes. Some well-known landmarks on the Oosteroever are Fort Napoleon and the lighthouse Lange Nelle. You will also find relics from Ostend's war past, such as the military construction De Halve Maan and some bunkers.

More information and great tips can be found at

De Nele

The 'Nele' is designed after the historic Ostend two-masted sloop. She was launched on May 7, 2005 and soon after made her first sailing trip.

The classic lines and seaworthiness evoke nostalgia.

You can see the Nele at her berth in the Mercatordok. Since she occasionally goes out, she may not be in her permanent berth at the time of your visit.


Currently closed for renovation.

The last Icelandic vessel has finally been pulled onto dry land. The exhibition and the decorated Amandine give you a good idea of the rough life on board an Icelandic vessel. Several scenes depict the activities on the boat. An intense experience for all the senses.