The Ultimate Guide to Canal Cruise in Amsterdam


Canal Cruise Amsterdam at Night – Read this before you book tickets!

Canal Cruise Amsterdam at Night - Read this before you book tickets!

Visiting Amsterdam soon? You should consider taking night cruise in Amsterdam's beautiful canal. This guide will cover all the details you need to know before booking your tickets. Read on!

As dusk settles over Amsterdam, the city transforms into a glittering wonderland. Canal cruises at night offer an intimate perspective of Amsterdam, from sunset sightseeing tours to cocktail cruises gliding by bridges illuminated after dark.

Read on for our guide to experiencing Amsterdam’s scenic waterways after the sun goes down.

Top night Canal Cruise Offerings

Twilight and sunset cruises allow you to relax on a 1-2 hour night sail while admiring the city transform as it becomes artfully illuminated after dark. For a special dining experience, multi-course dinner cruises pair gourmet meals with gorgeous canal views during 2-3 hour evening tours. Drinks and cocktail cruises add in selections of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to sip while cruising by Amsterdam’s bridges and buildings glittering at night.

During festival seasons like the Amsterdam Light Festival, holiday lights cruises spotlight colorful displays along the canals. Many companies also offer evening cruises with live entertainment like jazz concerts or DJ dance parties onboard.

For a private and customized nighttime canal experience, travelers can book their own exclusive evening charter tailored to their group’s wishes. And themed evening cruises run the gamut from wine tastings to comedy shows to provide unique perspectives after dark.

Booking Tickets to Your night Canal Cruise

For the best rates and availability, it’s advisable to reserve night canal cruise tickets directly through the tour operator’s website well in advance of your intended date. Look for categories like “Evening Cruise” or “Night Cruise” when browsing the company’s offerings. For private charters, book as early as possible, ideally 1-2 months in advance since these fill up quickly, especially during peak spring and summer seasons.

Be sure to check the embarkation and disembarkation times and locations when reserving so you can coordinate your plans before and after the evening cruise conveniently. If booking a dinner cruise, try to reserve a table with optimal waterfront views of the scenic canals during your meal for the most unique dining experience. 

For special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, or proposals, you can also arrange flowers, cakes, or other celebratory touches through the cruise operator ahead of time. Handling the logistics and add-ons in advance helps ensure a smooth, magical evening canal cruise experience.

Top Departure Points for night Cruises

Most night canal cruise tours embark from conveniently located docks right in Amsterdam’s city center. This allows easy access on foot for travelers staying in nearby accommodations or visiting surrounding attractions before boarding.

Popular centrally located docks include across from Amsterdam Central Station, alongside the famous Anne Frank House museum, behind the Bloemenmarkt Floating Flower Market, and next to the Hermitage Amsterdam museum.

Companies like Blue Boat Company, Lovers, Wetlands Safari, Those Dam Boat Guys, and many others offer night cruise departures from one or more of these prime spots. Being situated right in the heart of Amsterdam allows travelers to simply walk from hotels, restaurants, landmarks, and public transportation directly to the boarding area.

The city center location also means cruises can quickly get out amid the scenic canal routes, picturesque bridges, and charming architecture Amsteram is known for without needing to traverse less interesting outer areas first. Proximity to the action makes for smooth, short transitions into a great evening on the water.

Company Evening Cruise Types
Blue Boat Company Sunset Canal Cruise
Wetlands Safari Weekend Night Cruises
Those Dam Boat Guys DJ Party Cruise

Insider Tips for an Ideal Evening Cruise

  • For fewer crowds, cruise earlier around sunset or on weeknights.
  • Dress warmly – temperatures drop after dark, especially on open boats.
  • Book a private tour for unique proposals, birthdays, anniversaries or celebrations.
  • Take romantic photos embracing with canal houses lit up in the background.
  • Bring a tripod for great low-light shots of bridges, buildings, and moonlight reflections.
  • Splurge on a private dining table with waterfront views if available.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time for a nighttime cruise?

Around sunset or early evening to experience the city transitioning from day to night. Later tours may end after 11pm.

What food and drinks are included?

Standard sightseeing cruises may not include food or drinks. Verify options for dining, cocktail, and specialty cruises.

How is navigation different than daytime cruises?

It follows the same routes, just with additional lighting. Experienced captains are very familiar with cruising after dark.

Do prices differ between day and night cruises?

Yes, evening cruises are sometimes more expensive due to longer durations, inclusion of meals/drinks, and high demand.

Are evening cruises suitable for young children?

Children are welcome on twilight cruises, but very late tours may not be ideal for those who get tired early.

What did travelers think about night cruise in Amsterdam?

“We did the night cruise and seeing the canal houses and bridges lit up as the sun set was so romantic”.

“Bundling up under the blankets on the open boat while cruising after dark gave such an intimate feel with nothing blocking the views”.

“They had a 2-for-1 drink special on our sunset cruise which was a great bonus”.

“The on-deck dance floor on the DJ party cruise was so much fun with the wind blowing through your hair”.

“We splurged on a private nighttime cruise for our anniversary and the staff went above and beyond decorating the boat beautifully with flowers and candles”.

“The jazz trio performing live during our evening cruise really made it a one-of-a-kind Amsterdam experience”.

“Seeing the canal houses glowing alongside the dark water was this gorgeous sight I’ll never forget”.

“We did the dinner cruise and watching the city lights come on while enjoying a gourmet meal was incredible”.

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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