The Canal Boat Tour.......The tour that nearly everybody does!
I wasn't going to do it, but was told it was a "must" by Dutch people I know - I really don't think it is a must.
I didn't think much of it as most of the sights I had already seen through doing a lot of walking, also, taking photos through the rounded glass made it very hard to get good results. I had already walked nearly all the areas it went and had good views of the canals by standing in the centre of a bridge, not much different to being on the boat.
I feel, if you have seen a lot when walking the city, then don't bother with the tour.
If you have arrived and haven't done anything yet, then go for it and get a feel for the city.
It was Ok that was all.
I went with the tour company by Central Station.
COST in 2016 = 16 euros.
Leave it up to you to decide!
On Aug 20th my family and I were visiting Amsterdam, and decided to enjoy the canal cruise by Lovers Canal Cruises. When we bought the tickets, nobody informed us that a part of the canals would be closed during the day, nor anybody informed us when we boarded the boat, nor when we left it at the first stop. The result was that, when we returned to the boat stop, we had to wait more than two hours under the sunshine until the next boat arrived. We asked for a partial reinbursement (at least the two extra hours we had to pay for the car parking), but they did not even consider our request. VERY ARROGANT AND NOT CONSUMER ORIENTED. I DON'T RECOMMEND THEM. THERE ARE ENOUGH ALTERNATIVE TOURS
Amsterdam is a Port City made of various Canals that lie perpendicular to the Main Harbor as such the most popular activity and best way to experience Amsterdam is to ride a Canal Tour in and around Amsterdam. of which there are more than 200 kinds of canal boats that the different canal tour companies offer which tourist go for a stroll around the canals of Amsterdam. These Canal Boats offer general half day or 1 hour tours in and around the famous canals of which you can see the various attractions in and around Amsterdam from the Canals. Some offer dinner and romantic night cruise and buffet lunch as well and cocktail parties as the canal boats can sit from 40 to 80 people (depends on the boat length (the boat width however is constant so that the canal boats can go through the various bridges that line the canals.
A standard 1 hour ride along the Amsterdam Canals start at 15 Euros per person including kids and if coupled with a buffet dinner or cocktails, will cost 35 euros and up per person. the canal boat tours The main pier and docking area of the Canal Boats is along Amsterdam Centraal, along Stationplein and Prins Kendrikkade Street. Different canal boats start their tours at 9:00 am up to 10:00 pm.
Amsterdam known for it's canals and bridges and of course the boats too, where there are 2,500 houseboats just in Amsterdam. So, beside walking to enjoy this city, we can take a tour along the canals with boats that offer different price, and also we can rent boat and drive by our own too.
When I went to Amsterdam to do a boat tour I went with my exchange students from India. It was the first I ever went to Amsterdam for real. I went to Amsterdam before, but just for concerts or Schiphol Airport, but never really into Amsterdam the city itself so it was a new experience for myself too!
But if you ever go to Amsterdam you either have to book an organized boat tour with a guide or you can hire a boat somewhere and you go exploring the 'grachten' by yourself
The best way to see Amsterdam is taking your own boat out, so you can see the canals in your own time and pace.
We rented a boat at www.canalmotorboats.com and it is the best thing to see Amsterdam from the water, forget the big tourist boats. Simple and easy booking online and they got pillows and blankets and also a map of the canals, to easy and lots of fun.
It happened that the Bleu Boats cruises were at moorings in front of my hotel near the Leidseplein.
From a cruise years ago I remember that as these boats are low on water, so that they can pass under the bridges, the view on the houses along the canals is not best. The first thing one sees are the walls of the quays and the cars parked on these quays. You have to stand and strain your neck to see something of the city especially on the smaller canals called "grachten".
You will see more of the city by walking along the canals. But I admit that when it rains the boat is more comfortable.
The dinner cruise of 2 1/2 hour is priced at 67,50 € per person for a 4 course meal with drinks included.
I cannot tell you if the announced "culinary highlights" are really highlights or not.
In the evening I used to drink a beer at the terrace on the Singel Gracht and it seemed that the best way of cruising on the Amsterdam canals was to get some friends having their own boat.
Amsterdam is defined by its waterways, so it is only fitting to see the city from a boat. There are plenty of tour operators, who usually offer 1 hour round trips for a price between 10-15 €. Often, an audiosystem allows you to follow the explanation of a guide in your language of choice via headphones. When choosing a boat, I would advise to book an "open boat"-tour or at last a partly open roof as photography though the windows can be tricky. Departure times can vary, but are usually every half-hour in summer season and every hour in winter season.
I think that a canal cruise is very important for first timers in Amsterdam. There is so much to see and learn about hence it makes a great introduction to the city. I think that the pretty houses and stately buildings are delightful. You will usually get an audio guide in most languages as well which is vital to the entire exercise.
Cruises are regular and not too expensive.
In the summertime, the canals can still be dense with sailing traffic. Strictly pleasure-cruising, privately and commercially.
15000 pleasure boats are registered in Amsterdam and the city is a favourite destination for private yachts from Germany and France. Eight local marina's serve their needs and two big new ones are under construction. A few times a year, at big events like the Queen's Day and the Gay Parade, traffic jams on the canals can get quite serious. Rest assured that on an average day, canal-tour boats dominate the scene on the usually quiet waterways.
An Amsterdam Canal Cruise is most popular tourist attraction in the country. A diverse fleet of around 200 tour boats carry more than 3 million passengers a year, offering a waterborne variety of almost every form of entertainment that's available in Amsterdam.
Canal Cruises Amsterdam
From an intimate exclusive candlelight dinner with five star service on an antique ‘Saloonboat’ to Canal buses, Theatre Cruises and Disco Dances with Deejays and live music on party-ships.
If you want to explore the canals on your own, there are two options. One is to work for your mileage on a pedal-boat. Canal Company (www.canal.nl) has 200 of them available at 5 locations. Or you can experience the silent leisure of an electrically powered sloop.
In Amsterdam, there are so many companies that organise canal boat tours which leave from the piers of the Damrak Street close by to the central railway station.
The history of Amsterdam is intimately connected with water. Its 165 canals were created over the centuries to stimulate trade and transport and reclaim land to expand the city. They continue define the city’s landscape and in 2010 Amsterdam's canal ring was recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Besides providing a stunning backdrop to the city’s historical centre, floating down Amsterdam’s canals is one of the most memorable ways to discover the city. Whether you’re a first-time or frequent visitor, everything in Amsterdam seems a bit more magical when viewed from a boat.
I love to explore Amsterdam every time mostly by foot as walking, to see narrow streets and so, but besides, from the boat on the canal, you can catch more details rather than being on the land to see and to photograph ...
Its a "must to do" for Amsterdam ... :)
As in Strasbourg, an interesting rainy day activity in Amsterdam is to take a boat trip around the city.
I call it a rainy day activity because when the weather is nice you will obviously prefer to be out cycling rather than just sitting in a boat.
There are several companies that do canal boat tours, leaving from the piers at the street called Damrak near the central station. I took a tour by a company called Rederij Plas, which was fine but I have no way of knowing if it was better or worse than any of the other tours.
As in Strasbourg, I was the only person on the boat who had a map and was following along to keep track of where we were going. I am always amazed that nobody else does this, as one of the main purposes of such a tour is to start getting oriented and start learning your way around.
At thirty-five different places on the tour there were recorded commentaries in Dutch, German, French and English, which were fun because I could try to understand some of the Dutch (which I have never learned, but can sometimes figure out from German and English), and then use the other three languages to see if I was right.
Second photo: The Central Railway Station and Smits Koffiehuis, which is a fancy restaurant and not a "Coffee Shop".
Third photo: One of the Seven Bridges.
Fourth photo: The opera house in the rain, as seen from the tour boat.
Fifth photo: One of the tourist boats going past the opera house (not on the same day, obviously).