The museum is run by De Binnenvaart association (established 1990), which also runs the shore-based Binnenvaartcentrum. Binnenvaartcentrum collects documents relating to inland shipping in the Netherlands and elsewhere.
The museum is centered around the René Siegfried, a decommissioned pusher boat (Dutch: duwboot, a type of working vessel used on inland waterways). René Siegfried was built in 1963 by De Biesbosch for the Strasbourg-based Compagnie Française de Navigation Rhénane (CNFR). In its day, it was one of the most powerful pusher boats on the River Rhine, a major European waterway. It had a crew of 11, later reduced to 9. In 1989, it was taken out of service because of overcapacity in the industry. It was saved from being scrapped, its engines were removed, and it was converted into a floating restaurant containing items of historical interest, moored on the Rhine at Nierstein in southern Germany. In 2004, it was put on the market for sale; and the vereniging bought it, took it to the Netherlands, and refurbished it as a museum. It has been added to the Dutch Nationaal Register Maritiem Erfgoed ('National Register of Maritime Heritage').
In 2008, the association acquired a decommissioned Rhine LASH carrier (registration number CG S 6013), and installed it as an extension to the museum. It is an example of one of the types of unpowered cargo carrier which René Siegfried would have pushed.
In 2018, the association acquired the French-built riverboat Marot, and added it to their collection. Marot is a surviving example of a Franse motor ('French motor boat'), one of several such boats built during the postwar years under the Marshall Plan to help European recovery. It was fitted out in 1953 at De Biesbosch as a Rhine working riverboat. It was in service for 65 years (in 1970, it was renamed Jan van Voorst), and was retired in 2018.
Lastly, in 2018, the museum acquired de 'Veerdienst 3' (Ferry 3) from the city of Dordrecht. She has a 120Hp Bolnes engine and is used for entertainment cruises in the waters around Dordrecht.
The museum is staffed by volunteers (and as a consequence opening times are limited), and entry is free. In addition to its displays of model ships, memorabilia, and the like, the museum has put on several series of themed exhibitions. A centrepiece of the permanent display is the afterpart of the hull of De Jonge Jacob, a wooden cargo carrier (a hektjalk) which wrecked in the Dordtsche Kil near Dordrecht in 1858, and which was partially raised in 2006.