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Boat Cruises in Amsterdam You Need to Experience

Boat Cruises in Amsterdam You Need to Experience

Picture of Tom Coggins
Updated: 30 December 2017

Amsterdam’s inner city revolves around a series of concentric canals and waterways that were mainly built during the 17th century. As many tour companies operate on these stunning waterways, it is possible to discover large parts of the city entirely by boat and spend hours meandering through Amsterdam’s iconic canals and rivers. 

Blue Pepper Candlelight Cruise

One of Amsterdam’s most popular Indonesian restaurants, Blue Pepper, organises weekly candlelight dinner cruises, where guests are treated to an elegant dinner while seated inside a luxurious barge. Although the cruises usually set sail on Saturdays, Blue Pepper also arranges special events during holidays such as romantic dinners on Valentine’s Day or a tour on New Year’s Eve that’s centred around the city’s famous fireworks displays.

De Pannenkoekenboot

During this 75-minute river cruise, guests are treated to an unlimited supply of delicious Dutch pancakes (with toppings) and shown around Amsterdam’s historic harbour. The boat docks at NDSM-Werf in Amsterdam-Noord and weighs anchor several times per day.

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De Pannenkoekenboot sailing through Amsterdam’s harbour | © Michael Coghlan / Flickr

Gs Brunch Boat

The first (and only) brunch boat in the world cruises through Amsterdam’s canals every weekend. The boat is managed by a local brunch restaurant called Gs Really Nice Place, whose menu includes many incredible breakfast items such as Eggs Benedict, homemade waffles and avocado on toasted bagels.

Amsterdam Light Festival

Every year between November until the end of January, dozens of illuminated artworks are installed on Amsterdam canals during a citywide light festival. Several tour operators organise special canal cruises during the festival that allow patrons to experience the event’s dazzling artworks from the water.

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An installation at Amsterdam Light Festival 2013 | © UrbanUrban_ru / Flickr

Superclub Cruise

This large, multi-functional boat was originally designed to ferry passengers, but has since been converted into a state-of-the-art entertainment venue. The boat sails along the river IJ during events and features several classy facilities including a bar, restaurant and nightclub.

Amsterdam Burger Cruise

Over the course of this 90-minute cruise, passengers get to chow down on a gourmet black angus beef burger (or vegan patty) and access an unlimited supply of booze while marveling at Amsterdam’s historic sights. There’s a tour guide onboard too, who recounts Amsterdam’s history to passengers in Spanish or English.

Blue Boat

Blue Boat ranks among the largest tour operators in Amsterdam and offer several different types of cruises through the city’s canals, ranging from 75-minute, open-air excursions in dinghies to family-orientated experiences on larger barges. The company also organises special cruises during public holidays like Pride and lets private parties rent out their boats for events, including official wedding ceremonies.

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Get hitched on Amsterdam’s canals with Blue Boat | © pixabay