Vessel behaviour analysis plays an important role in maritime situational awareness. However, available technology still provides only limited approaches to vessel behaviour analysis. In this paper, we propose a visual analytics framework to interactively explore the characteristics of vessel behaviour by means of integrating visualisation with data mining and a human-computer interaction controlling model, which combines human insight with the enormous storage and processing capacities of computers to gain insight into vessel behaviour. In addition, we provide multiple views for visually analysing vessel trajectories, densities and speeds. Case studies with 15 days' AIS data collected from the middle Hankou channel to Yangluo channel in the Yangtze River demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach.