The Ultimate Guide to Canal Cruise in Amsterdam


Amsterdam Canal Drinking Cruise – Which cruise will you choose?

Amsterdam Canal Drinking Cruise - What options do you have

Specialty drinking cruises in Amsterdam cater to those looking to imbibe cocktails, wine, beer, and more while admiring gorgeous canal views. This guide covers the top boozy tour options, tips for booking, and how to maximize the indulgent experience.

Sipping drinks while cruising past Amsterdam’s beautiful bridges, canal houses, and city lights makes for an indulgent night out. Specialty drinking cruises cater to those looking to imbibe as they take in sights from a relaxing new perspective on the water. Read on for our guide to selecting, booking, and maximizing Amsterdam boozy canal cruises.

Popular Drinking Cruise Offerings in Amsterdam

Cocktail cruises allow you to sip unlimited cocktails from a full bar onboard while admiring views along popular Amsterdam canal routes. Wine tasting cruises offer samples of fine wines, often paired with cheeses and other light fare, as you take in the scenery. Beer tasting cruises give you a flight of local Dutch beers such as Heineken and Amstel to savor while cruising past charming bridges and canal houses. 

Some companies offer open bar cruises where beer, wine, and cocktails are included in the overall tour price so you can imbibe freely during your time on the water. For an entertaining experience, themed event cruises like salsa dance parties or comedy shows incorporate drinking into the atmosphere. 

Multi-course dinner cruises allow you to pair fine wines and cocktails with your meal while soaking in gorgeous canal views. And during seasonal events like the holidays, specialty tours may feature festive drinks like mulled wine to enhance the cheerful ambience. 

There are diverse boozy canal cruise options available whether you’re a wine lover, casual drinker, beer aficionado, or just seeking a lively floating experience unlike any other in Amsterdam.

Top Providers for Drinking Canal Cruise in Amsterdam

Wetlands Safari operates a popular Amsterdam beer tasting cruise where you can sample five regional Dutch beers while cruising through the city center. Their small open boats provide an intimate vibe.

Those Dam Boat Guys are known for their all-you-can-drink cocktail cruises allowing unlimited cocktails for the duration of the tour from their onboard bar. They also offer special holiday mulled wine tours.

Rent Boat Amsterdam provides private charters where you can bring your own alcohol and snacks to enjoy. It’s a more flexible way to design your own drinking cruise.

Friendship Amsterdam offers daily cocktail making classes onboard as you sail along seeing the top sights. You’ll sip your freshly made creations.

Blue Boat Company does wine and cheese pairing cruises highlighting great Netherlands wines with local pairings narrated by experts.

Amsterdam Boat Company has a 3-hour cruise with an open bar plus a live DJ dance party atmosphere in the evening time slots for a high-energy vibe.

There are lots of unique evening drinking cruise options available from established Amsterdam operators to suit different interests and group sizes whether you seek a lively party or laid-back wine tasting.

Tickets for drinking cruise in Amsterdam - How much does it cost?

Standard 1-hour cocktail cruises tickets range from €20-30 per person when booked in advance online. More central departures and prime weekend nights cost more. Two-hour wine and beer tasting cruises average around €50-70 per person depending on specific inclusions like cheese pairings. More elaborate tastings cost more.

Open bar cruises allowing unlimited drinks for 1-2 hours tend to run €35-60 per person. Pre-paying drinks keeps costs reasonable. Dinner cruises with drinks included generally range from €75-120+ per person, but this bundles dining with an open bar.

For private chartered boats, per person rates start around €30 per hour but lower with larger groups splitting the base hourly boat cost of €150-300. Themed event cruises like DJ dance parties carry VIP event pricing, typically €40-60 per ticket. More elaborate concepts cost more. Holiday drinking cruises around New Year’s or Christmas see significant demand so prices jump 20-30% higher than other months.

Overall, you can expect to pay €20+ per hour on the low-end, and up to €100+ per person for lavish experiences like holiday dinner cruises with premium drinks. But booking in advance yields the best fares.

Here are the most popular Amsterdam drinking canal cruises

Where you should buy tickets?

There are many platforms which offer to order Amsterdam canal cruise tickets in advance. Some of the most popular ones are “Tiqets” which is a Netherlands company, or “Getyourguide” which consider a very well-known online tickets platform.

Another good way to secure tickets is to book directly through the canal cruise company’s website. This gives you access to advance purchase discounts and guarantees your spots for your preferred departure time and date. Third party resellers often jack up pricing.

If you are already in Amsterdam, tickets can also be purchased at the cruise operator’s dock kiosk on the day of departure. However, tours can sell out so walk-up availability is limited during peak times.

Some local tourism shops and hotel concierges sell packaged Amsterdam canal cruise deals that may include drinking cruise options. But once again, pricing is usually inflated compared to direct bookings.

When buying as part of a bigger Amsterdam city pass or bundling package, verify details on if drinks are included or need separate purchase depending on the cruise style you select as part of your bundle.

No matter where you buy tickets, advance direct bookings yield the best rates for Amsterdam canal drinking cruises. Booking 1-2 months out locks in availability for sought after weekend and holiday departures when demand surges.

Aim to purchase tickets online directly through the operator as soon as you confirm your Amsterdam trip dates to secure your seats for the ideal drinking cruise experience.

Booking Tips

Here are some additional tips for booking a drinking cruise on Amsterdam’s famous canals:

  • Purchase tickets directly through the cruise company’s website well in advance for the lowest fares and to ensure availability, especially for peak days.
  • Carefully read the full cruise details before booking so you know exactly what is included in terms of drinks, duration, format, etc. There can be variation.
  • For private chartered cruises, inquire 1-2 months ahead to give time for planning. Outline your ideal charter details.
  • Book dinnertime or sunset evening cruises to enjoy the city illuminations with your drinks.
  • For special occasions like birthdays, bachelor/bachelorette parties, pre-paying drink packages helps budgeting.
  • See if any promo codes are available on operators’ social media or email lists to save on your booking.
  • Understand the cancellation and rescheduling policies in case plans change. Many tickets are non-refundable.
  • Read reviews of the different drinking cruise companies to find one that best suits your preferences.
  • Arrive at the boarding dock at least 15 minutes before scheduled departure time to check in.
How long is Amsterdam Canal cruise

The Capacity

Small Open Canal Boats: Some companies like Wetlands Safari use small open boats that accommodate only 10-20 people maximum. The intimate scale ensures a more relaxed social vibe.

Traditional Enclosed Cruisers: Most standard public drinking cruises use the covered tour boats seating around 50-75 passengers. They offer protection from the elements.

Large Event Boats: Boats focused on lively dance parties or DJ sets may allow over 100 guests onboard. They have full event amenities.

Luxury Yachts: Private charter yachts can hold anywhere from 10 to 50 depending on the size of vessel booked. More exclusive.

Small Boat Rentals: For DIY cruising, companies rent out small self-piloted vessels for 2-10 passengers. Requires a sober pilot.

When selecting your ideal Amsterdam drinking cruise, consider factors like the scale of experience you want from large high-energy event to small VIP charter. The boat’s capacity influences the overall ambience and how personalized the experience can be.

Cruise Type Typical Capacity
Small Open Canal Boats 10-20 guests
Standard Enclosed Cruisers 50-75 guests
Large Event Boats 100+ guests
Private Yacht Charters 10-50 guests
Self-Piloted Boat Rentals 2-10 guests

Amsterdam drinking Cruises Departure Points

Central City Center Docks: Many drinking cruises depart from centrally located docks near Dam Square, the Red Light District, and Anne Frank House for easy access.

Hermitage Dock: The port near the Hermitage Museum is popular for its proximity to entertainment areas and nightlife.

Rembrandtplein: Docks around Rembrandtplein offer quick entry into the bustling Nightlife District for evening party cruises.

Westerdok Harbor: Westerdok near Central Station provides boat access both to the city center and western destinations like Haarlemmermeer.

Eastern Harbor Area: Docks on KNSM Island and NDSM Wharf cater to cruises around trendy new development areas in Amsterdam East.

RAI Docks: Departures from the RAI allow cruising along the Amstel River into the southern canal neighborhoods.

Jetties across the city offer easy canal access. Many drinking cruise companies can accommodate custom pick-ups at hotels, restaurants, or locations central to your group

What to Expect During a Private Canal Cruise?

Dedicated Staff: Your private tour will have boat staff focused entirely on your party with no other passengers outside your group. The staff aims to provide seamless, attentive service tailored to your cruise.

Customized Route: One major perk of private charters is designing your own custom route along the canals. See iconic sights or go off the beaten path – you decide the course.

Personalized Experience: The experience can be fully personalized to your group’s preferences, from catering and decorations to music and activities onboard. Make it unique.

Groups and Events: The intimate setting is ideal for group events, corporate functions, bachelor/bachelorette parties, birthdays, weddings, or just gathering friends and family.

Local Insider Knowledge: Your captain and guide will share their extensive local insights about Amsterdam’s culture, history, architecture and beyond over the cruise.

Food and Drinks: Most boats allow bringing your own food and drinks or having catering arranged onboard. Some offer full bar service.

Photos and Memories: Professional photos and videos can memorialize the occasion. Private cruises create memories that last a lifetime.

Insider Tips

Here are some insider tips for having the best experience on an Amsterdam canal drinking cruise:

  • Pace yourself and stay hydrated with water between alcoholic beverages – boats lack restrooms and tours last 1-2+ hours.
  • Book a private charter for special occasions like birthdays, bachelor/bachelorette parties, or corporate events.
  • For lower prices, opt for happy hour timing around 6-8pm rather than pricey late night tours at their alcohol serving cutoff times.
  • Designate 1-2 responsible friends to abstain from drinking and document fun memories through photos/videos.
  • Bring snacks like chips and nuts to help soak up alcohol consumed onboard.
  • Engage with your guide – many love recommending great local bars and breweries to try out after.
  • For open boats, bundle up with layers, hats, gloves and wear waterproof shoes and pants in case of splashing.
  • Don’t underestimate the wind on the water – tie back long hair and be careful with hats.
  • If booking a private charter, customize your route, music, catering and more to design your perfect experience.
  • Ask about drink package add-ons like including shots for birthdays or champagne for proposals.
How long is Amsterdam Canal cruise

Top Sights in Drinking Cruise in Amsterdam

Here are some top sights and landmarks commonly passed on drinking cruises along Amsterdam’s scenic canals:

The Skinny Bridge (Magere Brug): This elegant arched bridge over the Amstel River makes for great photo opportunities, especially at twilight. Anne Frank House: Passengers can view the secret annex where Anne Frank hid during WWII. Nine Little Streets (Negen Straatjes): This area is known for its charming cafes, shops, and architecture. Royal Palace of Amsterdam: The palace dates back to the Golden Age and overlooks the water on Dam Square.

Bloemenmarkt: Amsterdam’s famous floating flower market features colorful stands selling tulips and other floral displays. Leidseplein: One of Amsterdam’s most vibrant nightlife squares, surrounded by bars, clubs, and restaurants. Hermitage Amsterdam: This satellite of the Hermitage Museum in Russia showcases rotating, world-class exhibits.

Magna Plaza: The former post office turned shopping center provides a beautiful Neo-Gothic facade along the route. Seven Bridges: The iconic seven consecutive bridges crossing the elegant Reguliersgracht canal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are drinks included or do they need to be purchased onboard?

This depends on the cruise – some include unlimited drinks in the ticket price, others require buying drinks individually from the boat’s cash bar.

What are the age requirements for drinking cruises?

The minimum age is usually 18+ or 21+ depending on the operator. Valid photo ID is required and enforced.

Do the boats have restroom facilities?

Most do not have restrooms due to their small size, so use the facilities before departure. Tours are generally 1-2 hours.

What food is available during drinking cruises?

Most boats only offer light snacks for purchase like chips, nuts, or cheeseboards. Eat a meal before your cruise.

How is safety and behavior enforced?

While a fun atmosphere is encouraged, belligerent intoxicated behavior is not tolerated and will result in removal for everyone’s safety.

What should you do if the weather is rainy or cold?

Dress appropriately with layers and rain gear. Some boats have interior cabins. Tours proceed rain or shine but may adjust routes if severe.

Drinking Canal Cruises Tours - Pros and Cons


  • Unique perspective of Amsterdam’s famous canals while being able to imbibe
  • Often less expensive than drinking at bars and clubs
  • Social atmosphere to meet fellow travelers
  • Built-in activity – no need to bar-hop around the city
  • Drink packages available on some cruises for budgeting
  • Scenic photo opportunities along the routes
  • Private charters allow customization and exclusivity



  • Can become a rowdy environment on larger party boats
  • Drinks can get expensive if paying per item from cash bars
  • Lack of restrooms and confined space
  • Requires dressing appropriately for weather and water conditions
  • Timed duration means you can’t leave early if wanting to stop drinking
  • Pending weather cancellations and potential for motion sickness
  • Noise restrictions so not ideal for late-night revelry


Traveler Reviews of drinking Cruises in Amsterdam

“The unlimited drinks package we booked was amazing value – 2 hours of cruising with top shelf liquor for one price”.

“They had blankets available which were crucial for staying cozy on the open boat deck at night”.

“The beer tasting paired perfectly with seeing iconic sights like the Anne Frank House”.

“I loved how you could bring your own snacks and music to create your ideal vibe on our private charter”.

“Maybe too much partying by the end, but the vibe was really fun at the beginning. I’d do a shorter cruise next time”.

“Fantastic nightlife cruise! The DJ and upbeat atmosphere were awesome as we danced sailing under the bridges”.

“A bit pricey for what was included. Drinks weren’t premium quality”.

“The host was hilarious and they made specialty cocktails to represent different landmarks we passed”.

More useful information about Amsterdam Canal Cruises

We are a group of travelers who love to explore and write about Amsterdam. Over the years, we have gained extensive experience with cruising over the Canals in Amsterdam. Here, you could find all the essential information you need to know about Amsterdam Canal Cruises, including the different types of cruise, prices, tickets, operating hours, departure points, and many more.


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