Amsterdam Canal Cruises – from the Budget to the Luxury Options

A complete guide about all Canal Cruises in Amsterdam

No Amsterdam travel is complete without a canal cruise. The city of Amsterdam is made up of 25% navigable canals, numerous bridges recount the streets, and plenty of attractions that sit close to the water. So, a canal cruise is a must during your trip.

Do you know which canal cruise in Amsterdam is best for you? Check out the options, our list of recommended ones, and the low-cost canal cruises.

Amsterdam Canal Cruise

⭐ Our Favorite

Searching for a canal cruise in Amsterdam is difficult when facing many options. So, without further ado, here is MY favorite canal cruise. Why? Check it out:

  • The route is the most well-known and used route.
  • The boat has open-air and closed areas, perfect for cold or sunny days.
  • You can opt for the basic cruise or upgrade and have cheese and wine on board.
  • You can choose between two boarding points, depending on which one is easiest for you.
  • Live guide in English telling the best facts and curiosities of Amsterdam.
  • The price is very competitive: 21 euros for a regular cruise, and 34 euros for a cruise with cheese and wine.

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The 3 Best Canal Cruises in Amsterdam

These are three favorite and most highly sought-after canal cruises in Amsterdam by locals and tourists alike. You can see in the table the comparison between the three best options for canal cruises in Amsterdam. Below we have also described each option in detail so you can be sure of your choice. However, it is important to note that all three options are in high demand, so you must book in advance.

Compare the three Best Canal Cruises in Amsterdam:

Compare the three Best Canal Cruises in Amsterdam

Our Favorite
Duration
Duration

1 hour

1 hour

1,5 hour

Live Guide
Live Guide

🇺🇸

🇺🇸

🇺🇸

Audio Guide
Audio Guide


Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai

Boat Type
Boat Type

with open and closed Deck

In Summer: Open-air only
In Winter: Boat with closed deck

with open and closed Deck

Food & Drinks
Food & Drinks

Option to upgrade with cheese and wine

Bar on board to purchase drinks

A Snack-box with chips, popcorn, stroopwafels, and salted peanuts with a soft drink, beer, or glass of wine

Taxes
Taxes

All taxes included

All taxes included

All taxes included

Boarding
Boarding

In Front of Anne Frank House
Central Station

Central Station
Anne Frank House
Rijksmuseum

Opposite the Hard Rock Cafe.

Price
Price

21 Euro
34 Euro (w/ Cheese & Wine)

21 Euro

31 Euro

Link
Link

Each of the three best Amsterdam canal cruises in detail

  1. Amsterdam Boat Tour

    01 Amsterdam Canal Cruise with Wine & Cheese

    My favorite canal cruise of Amsterdam did not take this podium for anything. Besides a comfortable, new, and well-equipped boat, this tour offers the option to add cheese and wine tasting to the tour. The cheese portions are very generous and the wine consumption is (really) unlimited. You get a sightseeing and gastronomic experience at the same time, and all for a very fair price. The guide on board tells numerous facts and curiosities and makes the experience very personal and enjoyable.

  2. Luxury city tour in open boat

    02 Open Boat Canal Cruise with Bar on board

    This Amsterdam Canal Cruise is a great cruise for the summer months. The boat is completely open and you have a 360° view of the route. On board, you have at your disposal a bar with drinks (to be purchased) and you can cool off while admiring the landscape. The boat is very spacious and has a comfortable structure. In winter, the boat that cruises along is all indoors and also provides a great experience, but with a more limited view.

  3. 22-Amsterdam-Boat-Tour-GYG

    03 Evening Canal Cruise with Snackbox

    Amsterdam is also very much worth seeing at night! If you want to close a day of sightseeing with a night canal cruise this is the perfect option. It lasts 1.5 hours and has an audio guide in 9 languages. This is a more intimate option for those who really want to enjoy the experience without a live guide. The tour also includes a Snack-box with some Dutch delicatessen and you can opt for a soft drink, a beer, or a wine.

The Best Low-Cost Canal Cruises in Amsterdam

Are you looking for just a ride on a canal without cheese, wine, or other extras? We have selected 3 options for low-cost Cruises in Amsterdam:

Check Out the Details of Each of the Low-Cost Amsterdam Canal Cruise Options:

  1. 01

    Lovers Amsterdam Canal Cruise

    Boat tour in Amsterdam Old City
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    This is a great option for an Amsterdam Canal Cruise. The boat has a very modern style, with a glass ceiling, and a nice interior space. In the summer the roof is open. In the winter, the boat is well insulated.
    The tour lasts one hour. Another great advantage of this Amsterdam Canal Cruise is the boarding point. Here you have three options, all very well located in the center of Amsterdam: in front of the Anne Frank House, near Central Station, and also near Leidse Square.

    The tour includes a free audio guide in many languages: Spanish, Thai, Turkish, Catalan, Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Arabic, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Korean, Czech, Croatian

    Tip: This cruise is included in the I Amsterdam Card. With this City Card, you can enjoy other attractions in addition to this one without paying anything extra than the price of your City Card.

  2. 02

    Stromma Netherlands - Highlights Canal Cruise

    Boat tour in Amsterdam
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    This low-cost canal cruise in Amsterdam is similar to the 60-minute round-trip option. Both take place during the day and show you the city’s highlights. The difference is that this boat tour is about 15 minutes long, a little more budget-friendly, and you have a live guide on board. The English-speaking guide tells you all sorts of interesting facts and is also available for questions, but many visitors from other countries feel more comfortable with an audio guide in your native language: Spanish, Thai, Turkish, Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Arabic, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian. On board a beautiful boat in Amsterdam nothing stands in your way to enjoy a canal tour!

    Tip: This Amsterdam Canal Cruise option is included in both Go City Pass options: Amsterdam All-Inclusive & Amsterdam Explorer Pass

  3. 03

    Blue Boat Amsterdam Canal Cruise

    Boat tour in Amsterdam
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    Is there a better Amsterdam activity than a cruise through the city’s numerous canals? I think not! A canal cruise is the best way to explore the many canals and an absolute must for every Amsterdam visitor. Especially this canal cruise is incredibly popular with visitors, because here the price-performance ratio is simply right.

    During the 75-minute ride through the narrow canals, you will see in the Gouden Bocht some of the most beautiful gabled houses of the city. In addition, you pass under numerous bridges, including the Magere Brug. By the way, it is said that couples who kiss here stay together forever! During the canal trip you will learn many other stories and interesting facts. The commentaries are in many languages with an audio-guide!

    Tip: This Canal Cruise is also included in the I Amsterdam Card.

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How to Save Money in Amsterdam?

Savings-tip

If you want to visit other attractions alongside a canal cruise, isn’t it better to secure a ticket that you pay for once and don’t worry about anymore? We have listed all the Amsterdam City Passes here, so you can see how each works. If you want to check the best option for your trip, you can use our calculator: Amsterdam City Pass Saving Calculator. On the fly, you see the most cost-effective option based on the attractions and activities you want to experience in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam City Pass Saving Calculator

 

Amsterdam Canal Cruises with Drinks

Does a canal cruise with a party atmosphere pique your interest? These Amsterdam Canal Cruises options offer an open bar! You heard that right! Whether it’s a late afternoon happy hour or even drinks before lunch, the important thing to know is that drinks are free and unlimited during the Amsterdam Canal Cruise route.

All the Details of the Canal Cruises with Unlimited Drinks

Check out the detailed information on each of the options. Choose the Canal Cruise in Amsterdam with drinks that suit you and secure your place on board. Important: If you are traveling with children under 18, please note that some options below have different prices for children & teenagers, while others charge full price.

  1. 01

    Amsterdam: Canal Booze Cruise

    Boat tour in Amsterdam
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    This Amsterdam Canal Cruise is perfect if you are looking for a less touristic option. With a smaller boat than others, you can join this tour by shared boat or book it as a private tour for you and your group. The tour includes unlimited drinks (beer, wine, and soda).

    The tour is accompanied by an English and Dutch-speaking guide. This tour does not include an audio guide. Boarding takes place in a central location within the famous Red Light District.

  2. 02

    Amsterdam: Evening Canal Cruise with Unlimited Drinks

    Boat tour in Amsterdam
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    Are you looking for a late-afternoon cruise in Amsterdam? This Amsterdam Canal Cruise starts at 5 pm and has options until 7:30 pm. So you can plan this Amsterdam canal cruise after a long day of sightseeing. The boat is great for the summer since it is open-air. Included are unlimited drinks. The tour lasts 1 hour, and there is a live English-speaking guide. The tour does not include audio guides in other languages.

    The boarding point is centrally located in the Red Light District.

  3. 03

    Amsterdam: Open Bar Red-Light District Cruise

    Boat tour in Amsterdam
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    Are you in a party mood? This one-hour canal cruise takes you to see the main sights of Amsterdam. Accompanied by a live guide in English, you will learn about all the curiosities and information of the city.

    The boarding takes place at the Red Light District, and you have unlimited beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages on board.

    This boat tour in Amsterdam does not include an audio guide in other languages, nor does it include food.

Amsterdam Canal Cruises with Food & Drinks

There is nothing better than a good lunch and drinks to enjoy a canal cruise in Amsterdam. We have separated the best options for boat tours that offer unlimited drinks and some kind of snack, quick meal, or appetizer.

Canal Cruise w/ Drinks & Food

Our Favorite
Popular

Duration

Duration

60 min

75 min

75 min

90 min

Route

Route

Canal Cruise

Canal Cruise

River Cruise

Canal Cruise

Live-Guide

Live-Guide

🇺🇸

🇺🇸

🇺🇸

🇺🇸

Audio-Guide

Audio-Guide

Boat-Type

Boat-Type

Small boat with Open-Air and Indoor Areas

Small boat with Open-Air and Indoor Areas

Large Double-deck Ship

Small boat with Open-Air area

Drinks

Drinks

Unlimited Wine, Beer and Sodas

Unlimited Beer, Wine, and Soft Drinks

Drinks not included. Available for purchase

Unlimited Beer, Wine, and Soft Drinks

Food

Food

Dutch Cheeses

1 Pizza of your choice
Cookie Dough Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Unlimited Dutch Pancakes with several options of sweet and savory fillings

Typical Dutch snacks: Sausages, Cheeses, Sweets, and Cookies

Boarding-Point

Boarding-Point

Anne Frank House
Central Station

Central Station

NDSM F4 Ferry-Station

Rijksmuseum
Central Station

Taxes

Taxes

Price

Price

34 Euro

34 Euro

22 Euro

40 Euro

Website

Website

*Canal Cruise or River Cruise? What is the difference?

All the Details About the Best Amsterdam Canal Cruises with Food and Drinks

  1. 01

    Amsterdam Canal Cruise with Cheese & Wine

    Boat tour in Amsterdam
    Amsterdam Boat Tour
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    Amsterdam meanders 160 canals, so a charter tour is perfect for sightseeing because, in no time, you can discover the city’s best highlights aboard a small boat! This boat tour is perfect for those with little time but do not want to miss it to sail through the UNESCO World Heritage Site! A Live guide provides you (in English) with all the essential information about the culture and history of the world-famous city. Depending on how it suits you, you can choose the main station or opposite the Anne Frank Museum as starting points.

    Our Tipp: If you want to upgrade your classic Amsterdam boat tour. Here you can even include cheese and wine in your experience.

  2. 02

    Amsterdam Canal Cruise with Pizza & Drinks

    Boat tour in Amsterdam
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    On this canal cruise, you can enjoy pizza and a beverage (wine or beer). For 75 minutes, you can enjoy your pizza and unlimited drinks. The best is yet to come: The pizza is delivered warm to your hands on board!

    You choose which pizza you want when you book your tour online: Pepperoni, Hawaii, Marguerita, Vegan Marguerita, Chilli Chicken, or California Vegetarian.

    For the kids, you can choose the child’s Marguerita pizza that’s priced accordingly.

    This canal cruise in Amsterdam also includes unlimited beer, wine, and soft drinks. For dessert, you even get a wonderful cookie sandwich with ice cream.

  3. 03

    Amsterdam River Cruise with Dutch Pancakes

    Boat tour in Amsterdam
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    Please be aware: This is not a canal cruise option; it’s a river cruise!

    The route of this boat tour does not go through the canals of Amsterdam’s historic city center but instead sails along the River IJ. The route allows you to see Amsterdam’s sights, including the city’s northern side, such as the Eye Film Museum, the magnificent A’DAM Lookout building, and the historic Central Station.

    In addition to a special navigation route, this boat tour takes place on a much larger, double-decker ship. For 75 minutes on board, you will have incredible traditional Dutch pancakes. You can fill your pancakes with various sweet and savory options.

    Drinks are not included in this tour but are available for purchase.

    Another big attraction is the children’s area, with a large ball pool and recreational activities for young passengers to keep them entertained.

    As this is a larger ship than a traditional canal cruise, it is important to know that the boarding point is on the north side of Amsterdam. You take the F4 ferry “NDSM” from Central Station to NDSM. The ferry is free of charge and leaves every 30 minutes.

  4. 04

    Amsterdam Canal Cruise with Drinks & Dutch Snacks

    Boat tour in Amsterdam
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    During the 1.5 hours you spend on this cruise, you sail along Amsterdam’s amazing canals. This cruise includes unlimited Heineken beer, soda, and wine. You can enjoy great Dutch snacks like sausages, cheese, sweets, and crackers along the way.

    You have two options for boarding: in front of the Rijksmuseum or the Central Station.

    On board, a live guide in English tells you many anecdotes, curiosities, and facts about the city. Unfortunately, this option does not offer an audio guide in other languages.

Fun and Exotic Canal Cruises in Amsterdam

Do you want to get away from the obvious and classic options? We have selected the most exotic and fun boat tours in Amsterdam. Check out the options and book in advance!

  1. Amsterdam-Smoke and Lounge City Boat CruiseGYG

    01 Amsterdam: Smoke and Lounge City Boat Cruise

    In the purest Amsterdam vibe, this canal cruise offers a 70-minute experience around the city’s most beautiful canals. The special thing about this boat tour is the possibility of smoking inside the boat. Even shisha fans can book a Shisha for 25 euros on board. Those who prefer to smoke cigarettes and similar are free to bring their own cigarettes for consumption along this tour without bothering the other passengers since everyone is on board this canal cruise for the same reason.

    Another distinction is that the facts and curiosities told by the live English-speaking guide differ from the traditional boat tours. Here, you will get to know alternative facts and curiosities. You get to know much more about Amsterdam’s B-side. Two drinks are included in this tour as well.

    There is no sale of cigarettes or cannabis on board. You need to bring what you consume.

  2. Amsterdam-Nighlife-clubs-cruise-gyg

    02 Amsterdam: nightlife and canal cruise

    Enjoy culture during the day and party at night in Amsterdam! With this beautiful combo ticket, you can experience the best of both worlds in the Dutch capital. You get a 2-day ticket for Amsterdam’s nightlife, giving you access to 20 clubs for free. On top of that, a cruise on the city’s legendary canals is included, where you can let your hangover relax. What more could you want?

  3. Amsterdam Sail IJ River

    03 Amsterdam IJ River Sailboat

    You get to sail down the IJ River for two hours and admire the Amsterdam skyline aboard a majestic 3-master sailing ship.

    Unlike the other classic options, this boat tour sails along the IJ River and not through the canals. The sailing ship is very spacious, with several tables and comfortable lounge seats.

    Drinks and food are not included but are available for sale on board. However, each passenger gets a welcome drink upon boarding.

    The captain shares information and curiosities about Amsterdam via audio system. Still, the tour does not offer an audio guide in other languages.

    The boarding of this sailboat tour on the IJ River takes place on the north side of Amsterdam. You must board a free ferry (F3) that runs every 30 minutes from Central Station to Buiksloterweg. The boarding is a 2-minute walk from the ferry station.

The Best Dinner Cruises in Amsterdam

  1. 01

    Amsterdam: Dinner Cruise with 4-Course Menu

    Boat tour in Amsterdam
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    This Amsterdam Dinner Cruise is quite the special experience for your trip, offering a 3 course-dinner accompanied by wine, beer, and soft drinks.

    When booking, you choose from a meat, fish, or vegetarian menu. All options include soup for starters and a delicious tiramisu with Dutch stroopwafels for dessert.

    Boarding takes place in the center of Amsterdam very close to Central Station.

  2. 02

    Amsterdam: Private BBQ Cruise with Personal Chef & Drinks

    Boat tour in Amsterdam
    Private BBQ-Bootsfahrt Amsterdam
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    On my first visit to Amsterdam, I was still wistfully watching the many locals cruising the canals of Amsterdam in their private boats in the summer and enjoying life. With this beautiful tour, you can do just that: Grab family and friends and enjoy a (hopefully sunny) afternoon with a BBQ or vegetarian menu on board, plus unlimited (alcoholic) drinks!

    As with all other boat trips, you sail past the Anne Frank House, the Rijksmuseum, and over the most important canals of the city. Note: The price is valid for up to 10 people!

What to Consider When Booking an Amsterdam Canal Cruise?

Here are some tips to consider when selecting the best Amsterdam canal cruise option.

  • The boat tour routes in Amsterdam are divided into two options: 1. Canal Cruise and 2. River Cruise.
  • Canal Cruise: 90% of the options listed here are the traditional Canal Cruise that takes you through the historic center of Amsterdam. These boats are usually smaller and shallower to navigate shallower and narrower canals.
  • The River Cruises navigate the IJ River. These are larger boats like ships, sailing boats, etc. that do not enter the canals but take you to see the Amsterdam skyline as well as the northern side of the city.
  • Consider the time of year of your trip to Amsterdam. Some canal cruises are perfect for summer because they are open-air. If you want a more isolated and closed option, winter may be best for you.
  • If you are traveling with guests under 18 and want a canal cruise with drinks, go for the options that offer drinks and food. These Amsterdam canal cruise options are more family and child friendly. They can offer a more enjoyable and lower-priced option for children.
  • Don’t forget to bring your ID. All canal cruises in Amsterdam require the presentation of documentation on board.
  • Book in advance. Make sure you book your canal cruise in advance.
  • Flexibility. Had to change your travel plans? Bad weather? No problem. Depending on the option, you can cancel your canal cruise in Amsterdam from 1 day to 1 hour before departure time. The cancellation process through Get Your Guide is hassle-free.

Frequently Asked Questions about Canal Cruises in Amsterdam

Is it worth it to take a canal cruise in Amsterdam?

Yes, a canal cruise in Amsterdam is a must-do in the city. Whether you opt for an economy option or a dinner cruise, admiring Amsterdam from the water is a highly recommended experience.

How long is a canal cruise in Amsterdam?

Most canal cruises in Amsterdam last 1 hour. Longer options with drinks and food included last on average 1.5 to 2 hours.

How much does a canal cruise in Amsterdam cost?

The lowest cost canal cruises in Amsterdam are 15 euros. The options with drinks and food cost around 30 euros. Dinner cruise options in Amsterdam cost around 80 euros.

What is the best time to take a canal cruise in Amsterdam?

In summer, avoid boat trips in Amsterdam during 12 pm until 3 pm. The sun can be very strong, and you may feel uncomfortable in the heat. In summer, opt for a canal cruise in the late afternoon. In winter, we recommend a morning boat trip to enjoy the sunlight.

If you are looking for a different experience, the evening boat tours are amazing. However, consider that in summer, the sun sets much later than in winter.

Do I need to book a canal cruise in Amsterdam in advance?

Yes, Amsterdam is one of the most visited cities in the world. The number of tourists who book a canal cruise in Amsterdam is enormous. So, make sure you book your canal cruise in advance. If you need to cancel, please be aware that canal cruises allow cancellation between 1 day and 1 hour before departure, depending on the option chosen.

Is there a toilet on the canal cruise in Amsterdam?

Most canal cruises in Amsterdam have a toilet on board.

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About the author

Das Reisen ist meine große Leidenschaft. Ich liebe es, die Wanderwege in Rio de Janeiro zu erkunden, die besten Strände in Miami zu entdecken, die ältesten Museen in Rom zu besuchen und noch die besten Gerichte in Paris zu verkosten.

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