Canal Cruise Amsterdam – which boat company is the best? updated 2020

Most people visiting Amsterdam will go take the canal cruise of Amsterdam. It’s one of the most popular activities you can do in Amsterdam. Since 2010, the canals of Amsterdam is a recognized UNESCO heritage site. The experience is meant for everyone: young and old. You can take this tour for different reasons:

  • Learn more about the rich history of Amsterdam
  • Get to know interesting facts about the canals
  • Dinner cruise
  • Romantic reasons (propose on the canals or a date)
  • Amsterdam Light Festival
  • relaxing on the canals by boat

Amsterdam celebrated the 400th birthday of the canals in 2013. Their primary function was to trade quicker back in those days, using boats as transportation. It was also a way to expand the city, by reclaiming the land by defying the natural surroundings. Amsterdam is on a lot of points on -8Meters below sea level.

Buying tickets for different companies can happen online. This prevents lines and finding a ticket office. Do keep in mind that you would have a special place to “hop on” the boat.

A canal tour is mostly 1 hour, this can be different depending on what boat tour you take. We have a list of top 10 boat touring agencies/operators in Amsterdam. They each are specialized differently. You can get different boats big/small. With food? only with a small group of friends, or a big group? check out which is best suited for you. This list is sorted by popularity. Keep in mind the boats can have different pick-up points.

Blue Boat Company

Blue boat company
Photo by Jimmy Baikovicius source

The Blue Boat Company offers a variety of tours. Take a tour during the day for 75 minutes. Or experience the view on the evening tour which is 90 minutes. Tours for kids are also available where they can learn and enjoy about Amsterdam, although the language might be in Dutch. If you are in groups of 25 or bigger, you can take the lunch/buffet or drinking cruises.

Amsterdam Canal Cruises

Amsterdam canal cruises

With similar cruises, and also boat Amsterdam Canal Cruises is very comparable with the Blue boat company. They offer multiple activities and tickets for things to do in Amsterdam.


Boat canal trip amsterdam

See the 100 highlights of Amsterdam and the canals. Listen to every story of every bridge and canals. See museums like Anne Frank from the boat, or other sightseeing possibilities only with this tour. Their audio guide is in 19 different languages.

If you require flexibility as in Hop on Hop off, where you’d like they offer that option as well. The boat would stop at a safe place for you to get out or on.

Lovers Canal Cruises

Lovers Amsterdam Canal Cruises

With boats offering drinks and food, they distinguish themselves with audio guide based on GPS, free map of Amsterdam and comfort of the modern world.

Flagship Amsterdam Canal Cruise

very personal tours, without an audio guide but with knowledgable people about Amsterdam. If it doesn’t rain take this one. It’s an open boat in a very relaxed atmosphere with lots of entertainment. With the passion of the hostess and skipper, you will surely enjoy this trip. Canal Cruises

With competitive pricing and different types of boats, you can enjoy the canals of Amsterdam. Have a party on their boat, buffet or just an audio-guided tour. They offer private boats with a skipper and cruises for standard and premium class.

Leemstar Amsterdam

Leemstart Boat
image from

Perfect for small groups and private tours through Amsterdam. Leemstar has been operating for over 30 years and has authentic (and sometimes replica) boats with added comfort. It’s a more intimate experience to go through Amsterdam like this.

Amsterdam Boat adventures

During the winters they close. But with a bit smaller boats they go to places where the big boats don’t go. with 18.50 you can join a public tour or if you’d like you can take a private tour where the rates start at 150 euro per hour. They take a maximum up to 12 people with them. This ensures an intimate and personal Amsterdam canal cruise experience . This boat touring company is run by a family.

Pure boats

They have 3 unique boats from 12-30 guests. It can all be private or with public groups. They make a big effort for their canal cruisers to enjoy the trip. The price is also a lot different, but your experience will also be a lot more extraordinary.

Amsterdam Boat Events

This canal cruise is for private and group events. They specialize in dining, drinking and general group events. Make the are you a group of 20-50 than this is the Canal cruise you want. Custom and tailored to your group. Best for team building and work events.

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