Canal Boat Tours, Amsterdam
LIFE ON WATER IS VERY DIFFERENT FROM LIFE ASHORE....
Some INFO for you...
reservations: phone +31 (0)20 623 98 86
HOLLAND INTERNATIONAL CRUISE DEPARTMENT
Pier opposite Central Railway Station
Prins Hendrikkade 33 a
Phone: +31 (20) 622 77 88
REDERIJ LOVERS / MUSEUMBOOT
Prins Hendrikkade opp. nr. 26
Phone: +31 (0)20 530 10 90
Stationsplein 8 (Central Station)
Phone: +31 0(20) 530 10 90
At the beginning of the tour they take a picture of you.....
The tour on the Grachten takes about 1 1/2 hours , you pass by a lot of interesting places of Amsterdam. On our tour there was a guiding voice in english, german, dutch and japanese.
Take a canal boat tour of the gorgeous city if you can. In fact if you are on a layover at the Airport I would recommend that you hop on a quick train to the city centre and take a canal tour. They are only about two to three hours long and are a great way to become aquainted to this lovely city. There are several stops where your can board the boats through out the city including at the Amstel Train Station. There are also day tickets that you can purchase and use through the day as an alternative means of transportation.
While on the boat a cruise guide will give you information on the various sight that you pass as you snake your way around the canals. They also give you information about the canals themselves and how they periodically flush the water out back into the sea.
Fondest memory: The canal boat tour of Amsterdam is a photographers dream. Do not forget you camera and bring lots of film on your voyage. There will be lots of photo opportunities.
Tuesday dawned another sunny, chilly day. After breakfast we took the tram to Central Station and purchased passes for the Canal Bus. A one day pass is good till noon the next day but at E15 each it wasn't cheap. Our first stop was the Maritime or Scheepvart Museum. It was a square, multi-storied stone building built on16,000 pilings. Inside was not quite what I had expected. There were many model ships of varying sizes, weapons displays and displays of Dutch trade routes. It was generally dark inside this musuem and not as interesting as I had hoped. It was hard to find the elevators so we ended up climbing the stairs a lot. There was a full size saiing vessel in the water outside the museum but we did not take the tour- maybe next time. We had to meet the canal bus at a set time to make the ride and we hopped on board and rode to the Tropen Museum stop. There was a tiny dock for the Tropen Museum area (near the Zoo) and a 2 block walk to the musuem. I enjoyed this museum much more than the Maritime.
Fondest memory: The Tropen Musuem was large and very well lit in an ornate building. There were many displays from tropical countries where the Dutch had establshed trade and colonies. There were many hands-on features where you could switch things on. I particularly enjoyed the displays from South Aftica-probably because it is close to where our daughter is in Botswana. We were getting hungry by then so looked at the schedule for the canal bus and hurried to the dock. We rode to the Waterlooplein stop, cruising through the market and found a felafel shop for lunch. We picked up a focacia at a nearby bakery for dinner and headed back through the flea market to the canal bus stop. The bus was very late and when it finally arrived the driver announced that it was broken so we waited another 20 minutes for a replacement. We rode all the way to the Jordaan then walked back to the hotel. I would not recommend the Canal Bus as a means of travel- trams are much faster and more convenient. The regular canal boats are more interesting and give better information as you ride around.
Taking canal cruise provides an opportunity to see the city in an entirely different way.
Fondest memory: Cruising around on a canal tour can be very romantic especially at dusk or at night when everything (including the bridges!) is all lit up.
There are so many favorite sites and places to see in and around this city, choosing only one is impossible. Incredible people truly made Amsterdam my favorite destination. From the open air markets, to the wealth of culture and fantastic art museums, to great dining, partying and happiness everywhere I went.
One thing you must do is SEE Amsterdam from it's canals. A daytime and nighttime canal sightseeing tour is an absolute must if you want to feel this cities heartbeat.
The Wine and Cheese candlelight canal tour by Kooy was one of the most enjoyable 2-hours of total relaxation I experienced all week. 'Museumboot' during the day is another all day adventure not to be missed. (Please see my amsterdam travelogue for more pix and details)
Fondest memory: Queensday 'Koninginnedag' parties and street festival extravaganza on Queen's birthday! This one-day (ahem...2-day) party was so 'goed', I'll be there next year decked out in my brightest orange attire.
And ohhh how I miss those Stroopwafels...
Well, one has to take one of the ubiquitous canal cruises (they were about 6 Euros). They last about an hour and they give you a feel for the city. Quite relaxing too.
Fondest memory: Everybody spoke English and I found the Dutch to be (in general) polite and pleasant. I didn't even try to speak the local lingo.
Houses like this one pictured, :) are built with a very noticeable leaning characteristic. It's a bit strange to see, and not an accident.
If you lived on the upper floors, you'd be glad, too. Makes getting your heavy furniture inside much easier when winch and pulleys are used. I saw several homes where the ropes were still out on the pulleys.
Many different gables catch the eye, too.
It may sound corny but if you have never been to Amsterdam or only have limited time do take a canaltrip. Amsterdam from the water is Amsterdam at its best.
See 'off the beaten track' for a real tip!
Fondest memory: Watching the sun rise over the 'IJ' after a night on the town on the ferry between central station and the north.
Having a drink with friends at one of the many cafe terasses on the 'Nieuwmarkt' in the old center.
Take a boat tour along the river. It was very fun for me, and you receive a broad range of facts and myths about the city itself. This also gives you a good perspective on the life Amsterdam residents live, with their crowded living quarters, boat-houses, and bike-riding traditions.
Fondest memory: The view of seven bridges in a row from the glass-covered boat 'cruise'.
My highest reccomendation is one of the many tours. You can get on a bus or a cannal barge and see everything, amazing buildings, markets, the bridges and even the 'red-light district' which is not as bad as people expect. try a tour... it's great.
Fondest memory: this isn't for everyone but the 'double reggae' bar and coffee shop is the boy-o.
I had great beer (if you ask for 'big-beer' you get a litre) nice smoke and real old-school reggae and dub beats. the guy serving was friendly and made me real welcome. Its a nice laid-back place. some may find coffee shops a bit intimidating but don't, go in, inhale and grab a drink.
Walk around and take a canal tour. There are more bridges in Amsterdam than in Venice. The buildings are narrow and pitched forward, some are leaning to the right or left. Be sure to notice how different one is from the next.
Fondest memory: Trying to cross the street admist bikes, cars, trams, and people that know where they are going. Giggling through the Sex Museum is fun as well.
I'm not sure the exact amount of canals and bridges in Amsterdam, but I'm sure the Canal Cruise is the nicest thing of touring the city, and that's also a great way to see the city from a different perspective.
Night cruise are especially enchanting, as many of the bridges are illuminated and the whole scene takes on something of an unreal quality.
DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know that Amsterdam has 165 canals, 1281 bridges, 70 cruise boats, 8 wooden drawbridges, 2500 houseboats and ones and 120 water bikes? Hiring a boat or bicycle to discover all of this is definitely worth the effort.
A canal cruise is definitely the most original way of seeing Amsterdam. Leisurely float along through the city and admire the narrow streets and paths. The authentic Amsterdam is full of surprises!
SPECIAL CRUISE BOATS
Various boat companies in Amsterdam offer special cruise cruises. For example the Artis Express which takes you from Central Station via the VOC ship and the Tropics Museum to Artis (zoo). Do you want to visit more places of interest? Then board the museum boat. This boat visits all the famous museums in Amsterdam. From the Anne Frank House to the Rijksmuseum. Yet the museum boat can also drop you off at the Kalverstraat or the Magna Plaza. Have you ever seen a bus on water? The Canal Bus provides a regular service between important museums, shopping districts and attractions. However, you can also cycle on the water using a Canal Bike. With these Canal Bikes you can venture out on your own and discover Amsterdam whilst keeping fit.
Take a tour on the canals! You will see a different view of the city. I took a trip early in the morning before the rush, so the skipper had more time to explain things (he turned off the taperecorder).
One interesting thing I learned was that they used to pay tax according to the width of the houses. This is the reason why so many are very narrow. But then they can be very long!