Canal Cruises

Price guide: Expensive

Quays in front of Centraal Station, Amsterdam

Price guide: Expensive

Canal cruises
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By Fred Mawer, your Amsterdam expert

I write for The Daily Telegraph, The .... Read more
#19 of 20
expert-rated things to do in Amsterdam
Expert overall rating:3.8 out of 5
Value for money:
3.9
3.9
Recommended for:
Couples, Families with teenagers, Families with younger children, First-time travellers, Honeymooners, Great views / scenery, Relaxation, Romance

Expert review of Canal Cruises

A leisurely boat tour along the canals is a touristy but relaxing way to explore Amsterdam.

Ok - let me be honest: I'm not a big fan of the classic boat tours on offer. As you glide along the canals in your low-slung, glass-topped vessel, you're insulated from the city, and you have to endure uninspiring, taped commentaries, often in multiple languages. That said, the tours are very popular, and are a thoroughly relaxing way to get an overview of the city. You can also opt for a hop-on, hop-off arrangement, tieing in your travels with stops at the main sights and museums. Canal Bus offers four such itineraries, and, under its Canal Hopper brand, also a hop-on, hop-off service in small (12-seater) open boats - an appealing option if it's warm. (In good weather, note that the larger glass-topped vessels open their retractable roofs).

For more information on boat trips, see How to get around Amsterdam

Price advice: 

Canal Bus hop-on-hop-off tickets, good for 24 hours, cost 22 euros, with children aged 4-11 half price. Canal Hopper day tickets cost 22 euros, while a round-trip ticket costs 17 euros.

Expert tips: 
Non-stop canal tours are about half the price of the hop-on-hop-off ones. There are lots of options available from the dock outside the Centraal Station.
Reservations are not possible on Canal Bus or Canal Hopper tours.
Starting points include the quays in front of the Centraal Station.

More information on Canal Cruises:

Price guide:
Expensive
Type:
Boat trip, Tour
Address:
Quays in front of Centraal Station, Amsterdam
Telephone:
020 623 9886
Website:
http://www.canal.nl
Months open:
All year round
Opening times:
Canal Bus times vary by season, route and day of the week. Canal Hopper services run late March to late October, daily in July and August, Fri-Sun at other times. See www.canal.nl for schedules.
Indoor/outdoor?:
Outdoor

Have you been to Canal Cruises? Would you recommended it?

Community comments (2)

We did a canal cruise as part of our IAmsterdam package.
Being on the water gives a different perspective.
Yes, the pre-recorded commentary in four languages was a tad tiresome but the information itself was interesting.
We're glad we did a canal cruise.

The hop on hop off option is a nice easy way to sere the city. there are three routes and tickets are valid for 24 hours. Make sure that each member of your party gets a voucher book for discounted admission to a variety of attractions.