The Ultimate Guide to Canal Cruise in Amsterdam


Lovers Canal Cruises in Amsterdam – Is It Worth it?

Lovers Canal Cruises in Amsterdam

"Lovers" is the largest Cruise company in Amsterdam canals and the most popular among travelers. What exactly do they offer? Which cruise you should choose? How much does it cost? And what are the departure locations? Here is a full guide for Lovers Canal Cruise in Amsterdam!

Gliding through Amsterdam atop the crisscrossing canals that earned it the nickname “Venice of the North” is an iconic way to explore the city. Lover’s Canal Cruises offers a variety of daytime and Evening sightseeing tours to take you through these scenic waterways past top landmarks and under charming bridges.

Expert guides provide commentary highlighting fascinating histories while you soak in one-of-a-kind views of gabled canal houses and houseboats. With departures from the heart of Amsterdam near the Anne Frank House or Central Station, Lover’s Canal Cruises provide lasting memories and a relaxed way to discover what makes this European capital so captivating.

Read on for more details about these iconic Amsterdam tours.

Types of Lover's Amsterdam Canal Cruises

Lover’s offers a range of cruise options to suit different interests:

  • Daytime Sightseeing Cruises: The classic 60-90 minute canal tour with live commentary in 8 languages spotlighting major sights, history, and fun facts.
  • Evening/Night Cruises: Experience Amsterdam’s canal network magically illuminated after dark on a 90 minute evening cruise.
  • Private Boat Rentals: Explore the canals independently aboard your own private vessel for up to 7 passengers. Electric and luxurious saloon boat options.
  • Themed Cruises: Specialty public tours like wine tasting cruises, jazz cruises, or New Year’s Eve fireworks cruises.
  • Private Tours: Book your own exclusive private vessel and guide for groups up to 20 people. Fully customize your experience.

Lovers Canal Cruises - Tickets and Prices

It’s advisable to book your Lover’s Canal Cruise online in advance since walk-up tickets may be limited, especially during peak season. Tickets can be booked directly through the Lover’s website or third party resellers.

Prices average around €18 for adults and €9 for children 4-12 on standard public daytime cruises. Private rentals, evening, and specialty tours cost more. Booking early can also allow you to take advantage of discounts for online bookings, children, and groups.

There are many platforms which offer to order Lovers 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.

Here are the most popular Amsterdam cruises of "Lovers":

Lovers Canal Cruises - Departure Times and Duration

Lover’s public sightseeing cruises run daily from 9:30AM to 6PM, with boarding beginning 15 minutes prior to departure. Evening cruises run from 6PM to 10PM.

Tours last approximately 75-90 minutes, providing ample time to admire Amsterdam’s top waterside sights while learning about Dutch culture and heritage from expert local guides.

For a flexible self-guided experience, private electric boat rentals can be booked for 1 to 3 hours between 9AM and 11PM daily. You pilot the boat yourself along your chosen route.

Lover's Central Amsterdam Departure Locations

Lover’s sightseeing cruises and private boat rentals depart from two centrally located docks:

  • Keizersgracht across from the Anne Frank House
  • Prinsengracht near the Anne Frank House

Some companies also offer hotel pick-up/drop-off service within city limits for an additional fee.

Tour Type Departure Locations
Public Sightseeing Cruises Keizersgracht across from Anne Frank House
Private Boat Rentals Prinsengracht near Anne Frank House
Private Tours Keizersgracht across from Anne Frank House

What to Expect On Board a Lover's Cruise

Lover’s Amsterdam canal cruises aim to inform and entertain passengers:

  • Panoramic windows provide ideal viewing of bridges, canals, historic buildings, and other architectural landmarks.
  • Experienced local captains/guides give live commentary in 8 languages highlighting sites and backgrounds. Many have decades of experience navigating Amsterdam’s waterways.
  • Comfortable seating and climate control allow you to relax and enjoy the scenery regardless of weather conditions outside.
  • Restrooms are available onboard all vessels along with snacks and drinks for purchase.
  • Private boat rentals give you the freedom to independently pilot and direct your own route along the canals.

Top Sights Spotlighted on Lover's Canal Cruises

Gliding along in your Lover’s canal boat, you’ll be surrounded by quintessential Amsterdam sights:

  • The Skinny Bridge (Magere Brug) – Cruise under the iconic arched bridge over the Amstel River.
  • Anne Frank House – See the secret annex where Anne Frank and others hid during WWII.
  • 9 Little Streets (Negen Straatjes) – Admire the charming boutiques and cafes of this picturesque neighborhood.
  • Historic Mansions – Marvel at elegant residences lining the canals dating back to Amsterdam’s Golden Age.
  • Houseboat Museum – Peek inside quirky houseboats that serve as unique floating homes.
  • Westerkerk – View the distinctive church that towers over the Jordaan district.
  • Seven Bridges – Watch seven bridges gracefully arch over the Reguliersgracht canal.

Tips for Maximizing Your Lover's Canal Cruise

Follow these tips to make the most of your time aboard a Lover’s canal boat:

  • Book early to secure discount fares and your preferred departure time slots, especially in summer.
  • For the best experience on public tours, grab a seat at the front or back for optimal forward-facing views.
  • Dress warmly in layers, even in summer – open waters and winds can make it breezy.
  • Engage with your guide by asking questions during live commentary – they love sharing insider knowledge!
  • On private rentals, take your time navigating narrower side canals for a more intimate canal experience.
  • Bring a camera to capture stunning photos of landmarks and scenery from unique on-the-water perspectives.

Frequently Asked Questions About Lover's Canal Cruises

How long do the canal cruises last?

Most Lover’s public tours run 75-90 minutes. Private rentals can be booked for 1-3 hour periods.

What languages are the tours offered in?

Public tours feature live commentary in 8 languages: English, Dutch, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Mandarin Chinese.

Are food and drinks available?

Snacks and drinks can be purchased aboard. You can also bring your own food and non-alcoholic drinks. Some evening and specialty cruises include drinks or a meal.

Can children take the cruises?

Yes, discounted child tickets are available for ages 4-12. But note some evening/specialty cruises are 18 and up only.

Are private cruises available?

Yes, Lover’s offers private boats with your own pilot that can be fully customized based on your group size and preferences.

Can you reserve specific seats?

On public tours, seats are first come first served. Private tours allow you to reserve seats.

Are restrooms available onboard?

Yes, Lover’s vessels are equipped with restroom facilities for passenger use.

Reviews and recommendations from real users about Lover's Canal Cruises:

“Everything we wanted for our first canal cruise in Amsterdam. Picturesque route, entertaining guide, smooth trip.” – Jennifer M.

“The private boat tour was the highlight of visiting Amsterdam! Our guide tailored the entire experience just for our group”.

“So much better than crowded hop-on hop-off tours. Intimate and cozy way to see the scenic canals”.

“Fantastic family-friendly cruise. The kids loved waving to people along the canals”.

The Perfect Way to Experience Amsterdam's Iconic Canals

With varied tour styles from public daytime cruises to private evening rentals, Lover’s Canal Cruises offer the perfect way to take in the charm of Amsterdam from the city’s scenic canal network. Expert local guides help unlock the history and culture of the Dutch capital during these laid-back on-the-water tours.

Lovers Canal Cruises - Pros and Cons


  • Convenient central location near major attractions like the Anne Frank House
  • Expert local captains and guides with extensive knowledge
  • Informative live commentary provided in multiple languages
  • Ability to pre-book tickets online in advance
  • Both public and private tour options available
  • Onboard snacks, drinks and restrooms available
  • Scenic routes passing through Amsterdam’s iconic canals and under picturesque bridges


  • Public tours can sometimes feel crowded or rushed
  • Commentary is not provided on private self-guided boat rentals
  • Food options are limited to snacks and drinks for purchase; no meals served
  • Private boat pricing can be expensive for larger groups
  • Public seating is first come, first served; no seat reservations
  • Weather-dependent outdoor activity – can be cold or wet
  • Not wheelchair accessible

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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