Amsterdam Canal Cruises

Amsterdam Canal Cruise Overview

Explore the city’s impressive waterways with a unique canal cruise Amsterdam experience, and get a chance to learn about the centurie's worth of history of the 165 canals present here. Acting as the perfect backdrop to the historical centre of the city of Amsterdam, the canals here are some of its most popular landmarks and attractions. Furthermore, the canal ring of Amsterdam is also a recognised UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the best things that you can do here is to go on a cruise.

Offering stunning views of the city’s sights and attractions from a unique vantage point, a canal cruise Amsterdam is also one of the most memorable ways to explore the city. Most of the canal cruises in Amsterdam last for up to an hour, and offer you a chance to discover a myriad of interesting facts and trivia about the city.

From the hop-on-hop-off cruises, to a romantic dinner cruise, as well as guided tours and canal cruises just for children, you can indulge in a wide array of tours with the best canal cruise Amsterdam. Nicknamed as the Venice of the North, you can also get insights into the rich cultural and artistic history of the ancient canal city during a canal cruise here.

Dating back to almost 400 years, these canal networks also connect every part of the city, and a cruise here is the best way to enjoy the tranquillity that these canals are known for.

Types of Canal Cruises in Amsterdam

City Canal Cruise

One of the best canal cruises Amsterdam is the city cruise, wherein luxurious boats take you on a memorable journey through the many canals in the city, thereby offering you scenic views of the iconic landmarks of Amsterdam. Having a duration of around 75 minutes, a city canal cruise also passes nearby the famous 17th century canal houses in the historic centre of the city, along with other attractions, such as the modern areas at the IJ, the Westerkerk and the Skinny Bridge, among others. You can also see the Anne Frank House as you pass along the canal in front of it, while getting a chance to witness how this ancient city has transformed into a beautiful 21st century modern city.

Evening Cruise

The Amsterdam evening canal cruise is one of the best cruises that you can enjoy in this city. While Amsterdam is beautiful during the day, at night, it gets illuminated by twinkling lights, and has an entirely different vibe. During the evening cruise, you can see the hundreds of bridges and iconic landmarks and houses of Amsterdam completely lit up as you sail through the canals, which is nothing short of a sight for sore eyes. This cruise is also complete with an audio guide, which offers you all the information that you need to know about the city of Amsterdam.

New York Pizza Cruise

Amongst the more unique and some of the best canal cruises Amsterdam is the New York Pizza cruise, where you get to discover the best of this city from the waters, while also tucking in to delicious pizza on the way. Simply relax as you sail through the beautiful and quaint canals here, past the iconic sights of Amsterdam for an hour. And while marvelling at attractions here, including the historic bridges, merchant houses and the famous districts, gorge on original New York Pizza with your loved ones. All you have to do is choose one of the delicious pizzas from the menu, including margherita pizza, pepperoni pizza, Hawaii pizza, Californian veggie pizza and more, before you step aboard the canal cruise Amsterdam.

Drag Queen Bingo Cruise

Ranking amongst the most unique canal cruises Amsterdam is the Drag Queen Bingo Cruise, where you will get a chance to explore the canals for an hour and a half while you play the most interesting game of bingo of your life. What makes this game even better is that you get to play with drag queen Skyla and host Coby, who make your cruise an experience to remember. Complete with singing, comedy as well as surprise gifts, the Drag Queen Bingo Cruise also includes unlimited drinks and a wide array of snacks for you to tuck in to.

Kids Cruise

Those who are looking for the best canal cruise Amsterdam for children, must avail the Kids Cruise here, which is specifically for the young visitors of the city and includes an interesting audio story about pirates as well. Children can listen to the story of the Freshwater Pirates as adults enjoy their own audio during the only kid’s cruise in the entire region. The total duration of the Kids Cruise is 75 minutes, and guarantees that your little ones will have a lot of fun while sailing along the waters of the Amsterdam canals.

Hop on Hop off Cruise

The hop on off canal cruise Amsterdam is one of the most enjoyable and relaxed cruises in the city, where you can also admire the many famous sights and attractions of Amsterdam, from the historic bridges and buildings, to the magnificent Westerkerk as well as the narrowest house of the city. During this cruise, canal boats stop along some of the most famous canals near the major landmarks of the city, such as the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum as well as the Anne Frank House, where you can hop off the boat. Other stops for this cruise include Vondelpark, City Hall, the Red-Light District or Old Town, the Historical City Centre, Skinny Bridge, Albert Cuyp Market, Westerpark and Prinseneiland.

Wine and Cheese Cruise

The wine and cheese canal cruise Amsterdam is amongst the most unique cruises in the city. Perfect for those who wish to simply relax after a day of sightseeing here, the wine and cheese cruise is also a great option for anyone who wishes to spend some time with their near and dear ones in a unique and offbeat way. So, you can soak in the vistas of the city with a glass of wine in one hand, and a piece of cheese in the other, while also discovering the rich history of Amsterdam during this cruise.

Blue Sky Boat

The Blue Sky Boat is the best canal cruise Amsterdam, during which you can enjoy a cruise just like the locals here. Sitting inside a small open boat, you get to enjoy some of the most beautiful views of the city from the canals, while also indulging in gorgeous photography, as you pass by attractions like the Westerkerk and the Anne Frank House. Owing to the small size of the boat, you will also get a chance to see the smallest canals in this 75-minute boat tour. The Blue Sky Boat cruise lets you experience Amsterdam at its best.

Sights Covered On Amsterdam Canal Cruise

Amsterdam Canals

Amsterdam Canals are the best sights that you can enjoy during the cruise in this city. The canal network of Amsterdam consists of 165 canals of big and small sizes, and cover over 100 kilometres of area. They are also built in concentric circles alongside some of the most important and historic monuments and landmarks of the city. During the cruise, you can get a chance to explore these ancient as well as modern canals, which have become an important mode of trade and transportation in the Dutch region.

Amstel River

The Amstel River is the site of the iconic canals of Amsterdam, and has played a very significant role in the making of the ambience as well as the identity of this city. The entire city of Amsterdam was built on the grounds around this river, and you can find a wide array of landmarks, historic structures as well as buildings near the river, including the Blauwbrug, the Hermitage Museum, Anne Frank House and more.

Magere Brug

One of the best attractions that you can see during a canal cruise Amsterdam is the Magere Brug, or the Skinny Bridge, which is built over the Amstel River, and is amongst the most iconic bridges in the city. The bridge is made of white-painted wood, and connects the banks of the river at Kerkstraat. It also gets its name because it is very narrow.

De Negen Straatjes

Also known as the Nine Little Streets, De Negen Straatjes is a quaint neighbourhood in Amsterdam that you will get a chance to witness within the larger western canal belt here. Dating back to the early 17th century, this area is quite picturesque, and features vintage and designer boutiques, shops, cosy cafes and more. The cobbled side streets of this neighbourhood are also great for enjoying relaxing strolls.

Dancing Houses

Considered to be an important symbol of the city of Amsterdam, the Dancing Houses are crooked houses found alongside the canal system in the city. They get their name due to their structures, which were built on stilts due to the nearby areas being very swampy. Dating back to the 17th century, these houses are still standing to this day, and have become a major tourist attraction in Amsterdam.

Anne Frank House

Quite possibly the most famous of all sights that you can see during a canal cruise Amsterdam is the Anne Frank House. The hiding place of Anne Frank, which now served as the biographical museum dedicated to this Jewish wartime diarist, the Anne Frank House close to Westerkerk, on the Prinsengracht canal. It is here where the writer and her family hid many years ago, and where you can get an insight into her belongings, the rooms and other artefacts.

NEMO Museum

Dating back to 1923, the NEMO Museum, or the NEMO Science Museum, is located in the Oosterdokseiland neighbourhood of Amsterdam. It is also one of the most magnificent structures that you can see during a canal cruise in Amsterdam. Said to be the largest science centre, and the eighth most visited museum in all of the Netherlands, the NEMO Museum is home to five impressive stories of a variety of scientific exhibits and displays.

Maritime Museum

Also known as the National Maritime Museum, this museum is home to one of the largest and most notable maritime collections in the whole world. From models of ships and paintings, to scale models, weapons as well as world maps, this museum has it all, making it one of the best sights to see during a canal cruise in Amsterdam. Additionally, it is here where you can witness 500 years of the Dutch maritime history.

Royal Theater Carré

A neo-renaissance theatre, located near Waterlooplein, next to the Amstel River in Amsterdam, Royal Theatre Carre dates back to 1887, and is a popular place used for concerts, musicals as well as cabaret performances. It is also known for having been the site of some of the best national, international as well as world-class theatre productions in the region.

Amsterdam Canal Cruise Tips

  • It is advisable to reach the boarding point of the canal cruise Amsterdam at least 15 minutes prior to your time of departure

  • It is always recommended to book your tickets to the canal cruise Amsterdam in advance, since these cruises are a popular activity in the city, with tickets often getting sold out at the offline ticketing venues

  • When availing a cruise, you must ensure that you check all the details mentioned in the tickets, including the cruise timings, the boarding point, inclusions as well as exclusions of the cruise, etc.

  • You must always carry a valid ID proof (passport, driver’s license, etc.) along with your ticket during the cruise

Amsterdam Canal Cruise Tours FAQ's

Is it important to book Amsterdam Canal Cruise tickets in advance?

Yes, it is quite important to book the canal cruise Amsterdam tickets in advance. Canal cruises are some of the most popular things to do in Amsterdam. So, pre booking your tickets for the canal cruise Amsterdam will help you save time, energy as well as money. Additionally, it will ensure that you have booked a cruise of your choice, the tickets to which tend to often get sold out quickly at the offline ticketing centres.

What is the duration for canal cruises in Amsterdam?

A typical canal cruise Amsterdam takes anywhere between one hour, or 60 minutes, to an hour and a half, or 90 minutes. Throughout this time, you can get a chance to discover some of the major attractions of the city of Amsterdam, including its many bridges and historic monuments, grand merchant houses as well as age-old churches, among others.

Is the Amsterdam Canal Cruise wheelchair accessible?

Yes, the canal cruises Amsterdam are mostly wheelchair accessible. Typically, larger canal cruise boats are accessible for the disabled visitors, including those in wheelchairs. There are many wheelchair-friendly tours throughout the Amsterdam city centre as well.

Is the Amsterdam Canal Cruise worth experiencing?

Yes, a canal cruise Amsterdam is definitely worth experiencing. The canals in Amsterdam date back to the 17th century, and give the city its title of “Venice of the North.” Additionally, the canal ring area of the city is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making these some of the most significant factors of the city’s rich history. During a canal cruise Amsterdam, you can also admire some of the major tourist attractions of the city from the waters, making it a very unique and worthwhile experience to indulge in.

Can I feel seasick during the Amsterdam Canal Cruise?

No, it is very unlikely that you will feel seasick during the Amsterdam canal cruise. Since the boats sail within the city centre, with calm waters, getting seasick is a rather impossible phenomenon during a canal cruise.


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