Amsterdam Hoek is a suburb of Port Elizabeth and it is situated on the on the eastern bank of the Swartkops River, formerly known as the Zwartkops River. The name of the settlement was taken from the ship "Amsterdam" which was wrecked near the mouth of the Swartkops River in December 1817. It is said that the ship was badly damaged during a storm upon her return from Batavia. The captain ran her onto the beach where most of the crew survived. Amsterdam Hoek is a portion of the farm Amsterdam Flats, the names of which hail from the ill-fated ship.
Up until the early seventies Amsterdam Hoek resembled very much a typical fisherman’s village. Many of the buildings were nothing more that corrugated tin shanties. By the years 2000 most of these older fisherman’s shacks had been replaced by modern buildings.
The houses built literally on reclaimed land, fishing remains very popular in this area. Not far out to sea, and only several kilometres from the Swartkops River mouth is St Croix Island which served in its day also as a whaling station.