Navvies on the Line – the Best Canal Waterways to Boat on

There is a very good reason they call the Dutch capital the ‘Venice of the North’. Amsterdam is famous for its stunning and elaborate waterways. You can rent a holiday apartment for the duration of your stay to explore the 165 canals which grace the beautiful city. It’s a paradise for boaters and canal cruises are one of Amsterdam’s top tourist attractions. Visitors can choose between a wide array of different ways in which to explore the waterways in and around Amsterdam. It doesn’t always have to be a party boat, in fact visitors have many options when it comes to choosing a quieter tour that includes getting to know a little bit about the city, its culture and the surrounding landscapes.

Canal in Amsterdam

Flickr Creative Commons – Barbara Walsh

Quiet and romantic boat tours

Those who want to combine exploring the city with a romantic candlelight dinner on an antique boat will not be disappointed. Amsterdam offers trips on a beautiful wooden boat from the 19th century. Spend almost 3 hours taking in the city without having a tour guide interrupting your enjoyment. The captain will highlight some of the point of interests while you get to relax and enjoy an amazing three course candlelight dinner.

Do It Yourself tours

Do you feel active and energetic? Then why not hire a boat? You will not need a special sailing licence for most of the boats and that way you can spend a fun afternoon exploring the parts of Amsterdam you’re most interested in.

A day cruise with a personal touch

Most day cruises are very similar to one another. The retired couple has lived in Amsterdam all their lives and they humour their passengers with personal anecdotes and insider knowledge. You’ll be picked up and dropped off at the same point to avoid confusion.

Canal and museum combination tours

You can combine two popular attractions and save quite a bit of time and money. Make your canal cruise more interesting by coupling it with a visit to one of the following attractions: the Heineken Experience, the Van Gogh Museum, Madame Tussauds, the Amsterdam Dungeon or the Rijksmuseum.

Pancake tours

Who doesn’t like pancakes? Fans of the delicious cake should incorporate it in their exploration of the city by going on a canal tour on the Pannenkoekenboot (pancake boat). You’ll cruise along the IJ river for about an hour and during that time you can not only enjoy the sights but also indulge in as many pancakes as you want. You can choose from some of your favourite toppings including pineapple or typically Dutch chocolate sprinkles.

A canal cruise in Amsterdam is a fantastic way of getting to know the stunning capital of the Netherlands. You can just kick back, relax and gently float towards all the most interesting sights. Since there are so many boat tour providers, you’ll be able to choose a cruise that best suits your interests making your trip to the Dutch capital a truly unique experience.

Join the Conversation


  1. says: Fabiana

    Those do it yourself tours sound amazing! I like going at my own pace.

  2. says: Kevin

    Such a beautiful city. The canals really come alive on Queens day! Or I guess it’s going to be Kings day now!

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