The Ultimate Guide to Canal Cruise in Amsterdam


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Amsterdam Canal Cruise - The Best Way to See Amsterdam!

Taking a canal cruise in Amsterdam is a fantastic way to explore the city’s iconic waterways and historic architecture. As you glide through the picturesque canals, you’ll witness the charming 17th-century houses, beautiful bridges, and vibrant neighborhoods that make Amsterdam so unique.

The relaxing boat ride offers a different perspective of the city, allowing you to appreciate its beauty and learn about its fascinating history through informative audio guides or live commentary. Whether you choose a daytime or evening cruise, you’ll experience the essence of Amsterdam and create unforgettable memories in one of Europe’s most enchanting cities.

Unique Views

The canal cruise offers unique views of Amsterdam’s world-famous gabled houses, which lean charmingly over the water. You’ll pass by historic landmarks, such as the Anne Frank House and the Rijksmuseum, gaining a new appreciation for their architecture. The cruise also takes you through lesser-known neighborhoods, revealing hidden gems and secret gardens that are inaccessible by foot.

Relaxing Way to Tour

A canal cruise provides a relaxing way to tour Amsterdam without the stress of navigating crowded streets. You can sit back, unwind, and let the boat guide you through the city’s waterways. The gentle motion of the water and the tranquil atmosphere create a serene experience, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of Amsterdam.

Intimate Experience

The intimate setting of a canal cruise allows you to experience Amsterdam in a more personal way. With smaller boat sizes, you’ll have a closer view of the city’s details, from the intricate facades of the buildings to the daily life of locals along the canals. This intimate atmosphere creates a sense of connection with the city and its history.

A Canal Cruise through the Jordaan in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Canal Cruise Types

Select from sightseeing, dining, leisurely riverboat or multi-attraction packages to match your Amsterdam travel budget, timeline and interests:

1 Hour Canal Cruise

The 1-hour canal cruise is the most popular sightseeing tour in Amsterdam. The boat will take you past famous landmarks such as the Amsterdam Central Station, the Anne Frank House, and the Heineken Experience. You’ll also discover hidden corners of the city that are often overlooked by tourists, giving you a comprehensive overview of Amsterdam’s highlights.

  • Best Suited For: Perfect for first-time visitors, families, couples, and history enthusiasts.
  • Duration: 1 hour.
  • Price Range: Prices for a 1-hour canal cruise in Amsterdam typically range from €15 to €20 per person.

Night Canal Cruise

Amsterdam’s night canal cruises provide a magical way to experience the city. Gliding through illuminated waterways, you’ll be enchanted by twinkling lights and stunning reflections of historic buildings. The evening atmosphere creates a serene, romantic ambiance perfect for couples or those seeking a memorable way to discover Amsterdam’s beauty after dark.

  • Best Suited For: Couples, romantics, and those seeking enchanting atmospheres.
  • Duration: Night canal cruises typically last between 1 to 2 hours.
  • Price Range: Night canal cruise prices range from €20 to €30 per person.

Dinner Cruise

Amsterdam’s canal dinner cruises offer a memorable way to combine sightseeing with a gourmet dining experience. As you navigate the city’s waterways, you’ll be treated to views of illuminated landmarks and charming neighborhoods, creating a unique atmosphere for your meal. The setting provides a pleasant backdrop for a special occasion or a romantic evening out, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of Amsterdam while savoring a delicious dinner on board.

  • Best Suited For: Best for couples, special occasions, foodies, and sightseeing diners.
  • Duration: Canal dinner cruises usually last 2 to 3 hours.
  • Price Range: 80-170€ per person. 

Private canal cruises

Private canal cruises in Amsterdam offer a personalized and intimate way to explore the city’s waterways. With a boat exclusively for your group, you can customize the route and duration of the tour to suit your preferences. This luxurious experience allows you to enjoy the beauty of Amsterdam’s canals at your own pace, with the undivided attention of your knowledgeable guide.

  • Best For: Best for families, friends, small groups, and customized experiences.
  • Duration: Private canal cruises can range from 1 to 3 hours.
  • Price Range: Private canal cruise prices vary, starting from €150 per boat.

Top Sights You Will See

During an Amsterdam canal cruise, you’ll encounter a wealth of iconic sights and historic landmarks. Some of the top attractions include the stunning 17th-century canal houses, with their distinctive gabled facades and charming architecture. You’ll pass by the Anne Frank House, where the famous diarist hid during World War II, and the Heineken Experience, a former brewery turned interactive museum.

Other notable sights include the Rijksmuseum, home to masterpieces by Dutch artists like Rembrandt and Vermeer, and the Skinny Bridge, a beautiful white drawbridge known for its romantic atmosphere. Throughout your cruise, you’ll also discover hidden gems and picturesque neighborhoods, offering a comprehensive overview of Amsterdam’s captivating beauty.

Here are some of the top sights you will see a long Amsterdam Canal Cruise:

Top Amsterdam Canal Cruise Providers


Lovers, a leading canal cruise provider in Amsterdam, offers a variety of tours on comfortable boats. Knowledgeable guides share insights about the city’s history and culture as you pass iconic landmarks. With daytime, evening, and themed cruises available, Lovers ensures a memorable experience for visitors exploring Amsterdam’s picturesque waterways.

Blue Boat

Blue Boat, a reputable Amsterdam canal cruise operator, offers modern electric boats and unique tours. With daytime, evening, and themed cruises like cheese and wine tasting, their knowledgeable guides provide informative commentary in multiple languages. Focusing on comfort, sustainability, and service, Blue Boat ensures an enjoyable, eco-friendly way to explore Amsterdam’s canals.


Flagship Amsterdam is a premier canal cruise company offering luxurious experiences on the city’s waterways. Their stylish, glass-topped boats provide panoramic views of Amsterdam’s iconic sights. With a range of cruise options, including fine dining experiences and private charters, Flagship caters to those seeking a high-end, memorable way to discover the city’s beauty.


Stromma is a well-known canal cruise operator in Amsterdam, offering a variety of tours to explore the city’s waterways. With a fleet of comfortable boats and audio guides available in multiple languages, Stromma provides informative and engaging experiences for visitors. Their popular hop-on, hop-off cruise allows for flexible sightseeing at your own pace.

Plan Your Trip

Amsterdam Canal Cruise: Damrak Pier Open Departure

Amsterdam Canal Cruise Insider Tips

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

  • Timing is key: To avoid crowds, consider booking a cruise early in the morning or later in the evening. Sunset cruises offer a particularly beautiful and romantic atmosphere.
  • Choose the right type of cruise: With various options available, select a cruise that aligns with your interests. Whether you prefer a classic sightseeing tour, a themed cruise, or a luxurious dining experience, there’s a canal cruise to suit your preferences.
  • Dress appropriately: Amsterdam’s weather can be unpredictable, so be sure to check the forecast and dress accordingly. Bring a light jacket or sweater, even in summer, as it can get breezy on the water.
  • Sit outside if possible: While most canal boats offer both indoor and outdoor seating, sitting outside allows you to fully immerse yourself in the experience and capture better photos of the sights.
  • Bring a camera: Amsterdam’s canals are incredibly photogenic, so don’t forget to bring a camera or smartphone to capture the stunning views and memorable moments.
  • Listen to the audio guide or commentary: Many cruises offer informative audio guides or live commentary, which provide valuable insights into Amsterdam’s history, architecture, and culture. Take advantage of this information to enrich your experience.
  • Combine your cruise with other attractions: Many canal cruise companies offer combination tickets that include entry to popular Amsterdam attractions, such as the Rijksmuseum or the Anne Frank House. This can be a convenient and cost-effective way to explore the city.
  • Be prepared for all weather conditions: In case of rain, most canal boats have covered seating areas, so your experience won’t be hindered. However, it’s still a good idea to bring a small umbrella or raincoat, just in case.
  • Book in advance: During peak season, canal cruises can be very popular. To ensure your preferred date, time, and cruise type, consider booking your tickets in advance online or through your hotel concierge.
  • Enjoy the experience: Amsterdam’s canals are a unique and enchanting feature of the city. Take the time to relax, soak in the atmosphere, and appreciate the beauty of your surroundings during your canal cruise.


What is the best time to take a canal cruise in Amsterdam?

The best time to take a canal cruise depends on your preferences. Early morning and late evening cruises tend to be less crowded. Sunset cruises offer a romantic atmosphere, while daytime cruises provide better visibility for sightseeing.

How long do Amsterdam canal cruises typically last?

Most canal cruises in Amsterdam last between 1 to 2 hours. The most popular option is the 1-hour cruise, which provides a comprehensive overview of the main canals and sights. Longer cruises, ranging from 1.5 to 2 hours, offer a more in-depth exploration of the city’s waterways.

What types of canal cruises are available in Amsterdam?

Amsterdam offers a variety of canal cruise options, including classic sightseeing tours, hop-on hop-off cruises, dinner cruises, and themed cruises like wine and cheese tasting or cocktail cruises. Private charter cruises are also available for a more personalized experience.

Are canal cruises wheelchair accessible?

Many canal cruise companies in Amsterdam offer wheelchair-accessible boats. However, it’s always best to check with the specific company before booking to ensure they can accommodate your needs.

Do canal cruises operate year-round?

Yes, canal cruises in Amsterdam operate throughout the year, although the frequency of departures may vary depending on the season. Some companies may offer special winter cruises, such as Christmas-themed tours or New Year’s Eve cruises.

What languages are available for the audio guide or commentary?

Most canal cruise companies offer audio guides or live commentary in multiple languages, including English, Dutch, German, French, Spanish, and Italian. Some may also offer additional languages, so it’s best to check with the specific company for their available options.

Can I bring food and drinks on board?

Some canal cruise companies allow you to bring your own food and drinks on board, while others may have restrictions or only allow items purchased from their on-board bar or restaurant. It’s best to check the specific policies of the cruise company you choose.

Do I need to book canal cruise tickets in advance?

While it’s not always necessary to book in advance, it’s recommended, especially during peak tourist seasons. Booking ahead ensures your preferred date, time, and cruise type are available and can sometimes offer discounted rates compared to purchasing tickets on the spot.

What should I wear on a canal cruise?

Dress comfortably and appropriately for the weather. Amsterdam’s weather can be unpredictable, so bringing a light jacket or sweater is advised, even in summer. If you’re taking an evening cruise, you may want to bring an extra layer as it can get chilly on the water.

Are canal cruises suitable for children?

Yes, most canal cruises in Amsterdam are family-friendly and suitable for children. Some companies may even offer special kid-focused audio guides or activities to keep younger passengers engaged during the tour.

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