Cruising the Canals
Taking a canal cruise in Amsterdam
Cruising the canals of AmsterdamAmsterdam has 165 canals spanned by more than 1,200 bridges, so no trip is complete without a boat trip on a canal.
There are two main types of canal boat trip:
- Hop-on/hop-off Canal Bus (think of it like a city bus or ferry, making regular stop on a set rounds; as such, it is covered on its own page in the "getting around" section).
- Canal cruises in a glass-roofed boat with multilingual commentary.
There is no better way to get a feel for this city or to see its gabled houses, lithe bridges, busy harbor, and some unforgettable sights (such as the unlikely Cat Boat, home to about 150 of the furry felines who are supposed to detest being anywhere near water).
Inside an Amsterdam Canal cruise boatMost tours last an hour and depart from the Damrak or near the Rijksmuseum or Muntplein. They run every 15 to 30 minutes in summer (9am to 10pm), every 45 minutes in winter (10am to 4pm), and cost around €13 to €18 for a 60 to 90-minute cruise. (Fancier, longer, or thematic cruise—by candlelight or with dinner—can cost from €19 up to €75.)
Similar tours are operated by more companies than you could shake an oar at, so here are just a few: Blue Boat Company (tel. +31-(0)20-679-1370, www.blueboat.nl) Amsterdam Canal Cruises (tel. 020-626-5636, www.amsterdamcanalcruises.nl) and Holland International (tel. 020-625-3035, www.hir.nl).
- I Amsterdam Card City Pass (includes a free cruise)
- Amsterdam Canals Dinner Cruise
- Amsterdam Canals Candlelight Cruise
- Amsterdam Canals Pizza Cruise
- Highlights of Amsterdam Sightseeing Cruise
- Amsterdam City Sightseeing Tour (includes a cruise)
- Essential Amsterdam Package (canal cruise, all-day bike rental, and entry to either the Rijkmusuem, Van Gogh Museum, or Heinken Experience)
- Keukenhof Gardens Day Trip, Amsterdam Canal Ride and Van Gogh Museum