Amsterdam Canal Cruise Guide 2023

Canal Cruise Amsterdam

Amsterdam Canal Cruise Guide 2023

Amsterdam’s canals are one of the city’s most iconic features, and exploring them by boat is a must-do activity for any traveler. A canal cruise is a great way to see the city from a different perspective and learn about its history and culture. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about Amsterdam canal cruises.

Types of Canal Cruises

There are many different types of canal cruises in Amsterdam, from basic sightseeing tours to romantic dinner cruises. Some of the most popular types of canal cruises include:

  • Sightseeing Canal Cruise: A classic canal cruise that takes you past Amsterdam’s most famous landmarks, such as the Anne Frank House, the Rijksmuseum, and the Westerkerk.
  • Evening Canal Cruise: A romantic and atmospheric cruise that takes you through Amsterdam’s canals at night, when the city is beautifully lit up.
  • Dinner Canal Cruise: A luxurious cruise that includes a multi-course dinner and drinks, as you sail past the city’s sights and enjoy the ambiance of the canals.
  • Hop-On Hop-Off Canal Cruise: A flexible and convenient way to explore the city’s canals, with the option to get off at any of the stops along the route and explore the area on foot.

Choosing a Canal Cruise

When choosing a canal cruise, consider the following factors:

  • Duration: Canal cruises can last from 1 to 2 hours or longer, so choose a cruise that fits your schedule.
  • Type: Decide which type of canal cruise suits your interests and budget, whether it’s a basic sightseeing tour or a romantic dinner cruise.
  • Operator: There are many canal cruise operators in Amsterdam, so do your research and choose a reputable company with good reviews.
  • Departure Point: Canal cruises depart from various locations around the city, so choose a departure point that is convenient for you.

Tips for Your Canal Cruise

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your Amsterdam canal cruise:

  • Dress Appropriately: The weather in Amsterdam can be unpredictable, so dress in layers and bring a waterproof jacket in case of rain.
  • Arrive Early: Arrive at the departure point early to ensure you have enough time to board and find a good seat.
  • Listen to the Commentary: Most canal cruises provide audio commentary in multiple languages, so listen to the commentary to learn about the history and culture of the city.
  • Bring a Camera: The canals of Amsterdam offer many great photo opportunities, so bring a camera or smartphone to capture the sights.
  • Respect Other Passengers: Be considerate of other passengers on the boat, and avoid making noise or disturbing others.
  • Tip the Crew: It’s customary to tip the crew on a canal cruise in Amsterdam, so bring some cash to leave a gratuity if you’re satisfied with the service.

Information to Know Before Your Canal Cruise


Some canal boats are accessible for wheelchair users, but it’s important to check with the operator beforehand. Some boats have stairs or limited space, so it’s best to check in advance.

Food and Drink

Many canal cruises offer drinks and snacks for purchase onboard, but some also offer a full bar or meal options. It’s always a good idea to check the menu and prices beforehand to avoid any surprises.

Private Canal Cruises

If you’re traveling with a group or want a more exclusive experience, consider booking a private canal cruise. Private canal cruises can be customized to your interests and needs and can be a great option for special occasions or corporate events.

Canal Cruise Combinations

Many canal cruise operators offer combination tickets that include access to other attractions, such as the Van Gogh Museum or the Rijksmuseum. If you plan on visiting these attractions, it’s worth checking to see if there is a discounted ticket available.

Best Time for a Canal Cruise

Canal cruises operate year-round, but the best time to take a canal cruise is during the spring and summer months when the weather is warmer, and the canals are in full bloom. However, if you’re looking for a quieter and more peaceful experience, consider taking a canal cruise during the fall or winter months.

Overall, a canal cruise in Amsterdam is a must-do activity that offers a unique and picturesque view of the city. With many types of canal cruises to choose from, there’s something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner cruise or a family-friendly sightseeing tour. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the sights and sounds of Amsterdam’s beautiful canals.

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