The Ultimate Guide to Canal Cruise in Amsterdam


Flagship Canal Cruise Amsterdam

Flagship Canal Cruise Amsterdam

From sightseeing tours to dinner cruises, Flagship Canal Cruises in Amsterdam offer various boat trips to explore the city by canal. This guide covers the cruise types, tickets, sights, durations, pros and cons, reviews, and tips to help you choose and plan your perfect Amsterdam canal cruise.

Flagship Canal Cruises is one of the most popular cruise Providers in Amsterdsam and provides an excellent opportunity to discover the heart of Amsterdam from its beautiful waterways. With a variety of cruise options available, you’re sure to find the perfect fit whether you’re a first-time visitor or frequent traveler to the city. 

Read on to learn more about the different Flagship cruise types, ticket pricing, trip duration, the pros and cons of each option, and what past travelers have to say about their experiences. A canal cruise with Flagship is an ideal way to see Amsterdam’s highlights and make memories that will last a lifetime. Let’s go.

About Flagship Canal Cruises in Amsterdam

Flagship Canal Cruises Company was started in 2017 by three entrepreneurs, Eduke, Raimon and Silver, who aimed to differentiate the company from other major cruise companies operating in Amsterdam. They sought to provide a more personalized experience compared to the audio-guided tours and impersonal service offered by competitors. 

The company focuses on true Amsterdam hospitality with complimentary drinks and enthusiastic local tour guides. Flagship Canal Cruises operates a fleet of 46 electric boats with many different kind of cruises.

According to Tripadvisor, Flagship Canal Cruises Company was ranked the second best day cruise in the world in 2018. In 2019, Tripadvisor and customers voted the company the number one best day cruise globally. The company attributes this success to its customers and over 250 employees.

Flagship Cruises Types

Flagship Canal Cruises offers several cruise types to spotlight Amsterdam’s allure from the vantage point of its scenic canals:

The Luxury Saloon Boat Canal Cruise is a 60 minute daytime tour along the waterways with stops at famous landmarks. Guests are treated to unlimited drinks and Dutch cheese onboard the boat’s refined, open interior. Knowledgeable guides entertain and inform passengers.

For sightseeing along UNESCO-listed canals, this Amsterdam Luxury Cruise hits top attractions like the Golden Bend and Skinny Bridge on an intimate electric boat with an expert captain. This 60 minute day cruise immerses you in the destination’s rich history.

To see Amsterdam sparkle at night, the Amsterdam Evening Cruise showcases illuminated bridges, monuments and vistas on a relaxing 60 minute tour. With smaller boats and fewer crowds, the evening vibe is serene. Drinks can be purchased onboard.

Through unique themes and tailored experiences, Flagship’s diverse cruising options capture Amsterdam’s vibrant spirit and beauty by day or night.

Here are the most popular cruises by Flagship company:

Flagship Canal Cruise - Tickets & Prices

The Luxury Saloon Boat Canal Cruise starts at €32.50 per person for a 60 minute daytime tour including unlimited drinks and cheese.

The Amsterdam Luxury Cruise is €19.95 per person for a 60 minute scenic cruise along UNESCO-listed canals. No food or drinks are included.

For evening sightseeing, the Amsterdam Evening Cruise is priced from €19.95 per person for a 60 minute after-hours tour with pay-as-you-go drinks on board to enjoy illuminated views.

Tickets for these public tours can be purchased in advance on Flagship’s website for the best rates and availability. Discounts may apply. Private charters are also available starting at 2 hours.

Cruise Starting Price Duration Inclusions
Luxury Saloon Boat Canal Cruise €32.50 per person 60 minutes Unlimited drinks and cheese
Amsterdam Luxury Cruise €19.95 per person 60 minutes None
Amsterdam Evening Cruise €19.95 per person 60 minutes Pay-as-you-go bar

Where you should buy Tickets for Flagship Canal Cruises in Amsterdam?

There are a few convenient options for purchasing tickets for Flagship Canal Cruises in Amsterdam. The best way to purchase tickets, is by well-known platforms which offer to order tickets in advance and discounts. Some of the most popular ones are “Tiqets” which is considered a very well-known online tickets platform, or “Getyourguide” which is also a very popular website.

Another recommended way to secure tickets, is directly through the Flagship Canal Cruises website. Here you can view available time slots for their different boats, choose your preferred cruise time, date, and boat size, and book online. Booking directly allows you to take advantage of any web-only discounts or deals.

You can also purchase tickets in person at the Flagship Canal Cruises ticket booth located at the docks near Rederij P. Kooij. The booth is open during cruising hours and staff can provide information and help you book the perfect cruise. Paying in cash is accepted.

Another option is getting tickets at tourist information centers around Amsterdam. The I Amsterdam Visitor Center on Damrak and other locations sell tickets for Flagship cruises and other major attractions.

Booking directly through the company website or ticket booth ensures the best prices, terms and availability. With various booking options, getting tickets for a relaxing Flagship Canal Cruise to explore Amsterdam by water is easy and accessible to all.

Flagship Top Departure Locations

Flagship Canal Cruises provides public and private cruise options in Amsterdam with different departure points:

For public cruises, there are four centrally located embarkation spots:

  • The Anne Frank House on Prinsengracht Canal, near the famous museum and Amsterdam’s city center.
  • The docks outside the iconic Rijksmuseum on Museum Square.
  • Right at Central Station along the water on Prins Hendrikkade for easy access.
  • In the heart of the Red Light District on Oudezijds Voorburgwal canal.

For private charters, the main departure point is at Oosterdokskade 8, next to the Sea Palace restaurant and near Central Station. Custom boarding locations within Amsterdam are available for an additional fee.

With public cruises leaving from recognizable museums, train stations and neighborhoods, passengers can easily find their departure point. Private cruises offer more flexibility to start your personalized tour from a preferred embarkation spot along the city’s scenic canals.

Cruise Type Departure Locations
Public Cruises
  • Anne Frank House on Prinsengracht Canal
  • Rijksmuseum on Museum Square
  • Central Station on Prins Hendrikkade
  • Red Light District on Oudezijds Voorburgwal canal
Private Cruises
  • Main departure dock at Oosterdokskade 8 near Central Station
  • Additional locations available for a fee
How long is Amsterdam Canal cruise

Boarding Times and Duration

Flagship’s regular public tours through Amsterdam’s scenic canals typically take about 60 minutes. Boarding for public cruises starts approximately 15-30 minutes prior to departure time. Passengers should arrive at the specified dock to check-in and board at least 15 minutes before the cruise is scheduled to leave. Public cruises operate on a fixed time schedule.

Private charters with Flagship require a minimum 2 hour rental of the boat. You can work with the company to determine your desired boarding time when booking the private cruise. 

Unlike public tours, private cruises allow flexibility in the start time and do not run on a fixed schedule. Your party can take the full 2 hours to leisurely explore Amsterdam by water at your own pace. Arriving 15 minutes early for boarding is still recommended to complete the check-in process and safety briefing.

What to Expect On Board?

Flagship’s boats have open seating arranged to allow optimal viewing from all areas. Passengers can move about to take in views from different sides as the cruise progresses. Friendly staff are available to point out sights and landmarks along the route. An audio guide provides commentary during public tours to highlight key attractions and provide history about Amsterdam.

The main cabin area on boats provides cozy indoor seating in case of inclement weather. The interiors feature comfortable benches, decor touches like live plants, and large viewing windows. Heating is available on board during colder months.

Food and beverages can be purchased during all cruises. Public tours have a cash bar selling local beers, wine, soft drinks and snacks. Private charters offer catering packages with customized menus and a variety of dining options tailored to your preferences.

Modern amenities like USB ports for charging devices are available. While taking in 360 degree views of Amsterdam’s charming scenery, you can capture lasting memories with cameras. The relaxed pace and flexible seating arrangements make for an effortless, enjoyable experience on the water.

Key Sights Seen on Flagship Canal Cruises

Unlike rigidly planned tours, Flagship cruises offer flexibility for skippers to highlight different routes and sights. Popular stops include gliding past the world-famous Anne Frank House museum and its evocative external architecture. The charming Jordaan neighborhood reveals Amsterdam’s quaint canal-side homes and shops.

The impressive Rijksmuseum comes into view during many cruises. This iconic museum houses masterpieces from the Dutch Golden Age. The Nine Streets shopping district charms with its boutique filled lanes.

One highlight is floating by the Golden Bend, home to lavish 17th century mansions of wealthy residents. Here the canal architecture is at its finest.

No cruise is complete without seeing the iconic Skinny Bridge (Magere Brug), especially at night when it glows in a romantic atmosphere. This landmark bridge over the Amstel river captures quintessential Amsterdam.

On private charters, guests can discuss with the captain to personalize their route and ensure they see their most desired landmarks. Flagship cruises provide flexibility to tailor sightseeing highlights.

Insider Tips for Flagship Canal Cruises in Amsterdam

  • Opt for a small, uncovered boat for touring Amsterdam’s canals to get 360 degree unobstructed views. The open design makes for great photo opportunities.
  • Sit near the bow or stern of the boat to have the best vantage points along the route. However, move around to see both sides as you cruise along.
  • Chat with your captain or guide for personalized recommendations on attractions, restaurants, hidden local gems, and other insider knowledge. They have extensive insight.
  • Bring layers of clothing to stay comfortable since Amsterdam’s weather and winds can shift. A jacket and scarf are advisable even in summer.
  • Capture both day and night cruises if time permits to experience Amsterdam’s different moods during golden hour versus after dark when landmarks are illuminated.
  • Purchase drinks on board to toast the vacation as you take in the atmosphere. Cheese boards are also available.
  • Arrive for boarding 15 minutes before departure time to check-in, get your bearings on the boat, and snap photos before pulling away.
Best Canal Cruises in Amsterdam

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time of day to take a cruise?

Flagship offers daytime and evening cruise options. Day cruises allow you to see top sights and architecture, while evening cruises showcase illuminated cityscapes. The choice depends on your preferences.

What is the difference between public and private cruises?

Public cruises follow a set route and schedule with other passengers. Private charters allow you to customize details like timing, catering and departure point.

How far in advance should I book?

Reserve your cruise as early as possible, especially in peak season. Public cruises tend to sell out weeks or months in advance. Last minute tickets may have limited availability.

Can I bring food and drinks on board?

Outside food and beverages are not allowed on public tours. However, you can purchase drinks from the onboard bar. Private charters can arrange catering.

Are there bathrooms available during the cruise?

Most boats have an interior bathroom. For vessels without, stops can be made if required. Cruise duration is only 60 minutes.

Is narration or commentary provided?

Public cruises have pre-recorded audio guides. Private tours include a personal captain/guide to share local insights and tailor narration.

What is the cancellation and refund policy?

Review the website for the latest cancellation policies. Refund eligibility depends on advance notice provided.

Do cruises operate year-round?

Cruises run March to November, then closed from December to February during Amsterdam’s off-season when demand is lower.

Flagship Canal Cruise - Pros and Cons


  • Flexible public and private cruise options to suit different needs
  • Affordable pricing starting at €19.95 per person
  • Smaller electric boats provide an intimate, eco-friendly experience
  • Day & evening cruises available to see different views
  • Complimentary drinks/cheese on select cruises
  • Experienced captains and knowledgeable guides
  • See top Amsterdam sights like the Skinny Bridge and Anne Frank House
  • Captures the charm and history of Amsterdam from the canals


  • Public cruises can sell out weeks/months in advance
  • Evening cruises have more limited schedule
  • Food/drinks generally not included on basic public tours
  • Audio guides on public cruises less personalized than private guides
  • Open boats can be cold in inclement weather
  • Crowds and traffic can occasionally impact experience
  • Cancellation policies are strict, flexibility limited
  • Operational only March to November, closed in winter months

Traveler Reviews of Flagships Cruises

“We did the evening canal cruise and it was the highlight of our trip! The boat was small and intimate, our guide was fantastic, and seeing Amsterdam lit up at night was magical.”

“I was hesitant about the cheese and wine cruise because it seemed touristy but it totally exceeded expectations. Unlimited drinks and cheeses made for a fun, indulgent evening.”

“The basic daytime cruise gave us a perfect overview of Amsterdam from the water. It’s a must-do but I wish drinks were included like on some of the other options.”

“We splurged on a private cruise for my mom’s birthday. Our captain customized the route just for us and provided amazing insights into the city she never would have known otherwise.”

“The only downside was the rain but that’s not their fault. Our guide gave us great restaurant recs for after and the hot drinks on board warmed us up.”

“We almost didn’t make our cruise because I messed up the time but they managed to squeeze us on the next one. The staff were so accommodating and understanding.”

“I liked the smaller electric boats versus massive crowded tour boats. It felt more special and we could see everything without crowds blocking the views.”

Overall most travelers seem very impressed with Flagship’s intimate and informative cruises, highlighting the staff, ease of booking, and unique perspectives of Amsterdam as major assets. The ability to customize experiences is also valued.

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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