The guided tour offered a commentary of the major sights in an unhurried and not overly intrusive manner. The boat weaves its way up and down the Amsterdam canals, cautiously proceeding over the many junctions. After a time, it gets a little difficult to decide whether or not you’ve passed down a canal earlier, as even the waterside houses take on a very similar appearance. Many exude wealth and would be able to tell fantastic stories of the days when Amsterdam was a thriving trading port. Marvel at the amazingly high windows as posh houses rub shoulders with grand warehouses and gaze on the extravagant façades of many of the houses.
There are so many bridges (over 1,200 in total), and their design features differ greatly. The "standard" arched is by far the most common and I guess the most inconvenient, as it prohibits two boats passing under at the same time. I’m not sure what the protocol is, but I did detect that the "driver" of one other vessel incurred the wrath of ours. The grand ornately carved multi-arched bridge that stands proudly over the canal and the utilitarian specimen under which we could hear the rushing of tyres as cyclists pedalled furiously over them. We glimpsed the famous Magere Grug ("skinny bridge"), and I was moderately disappointed to hear that this was a 1960’s replica
of the 1670s bridge. Realistically, I knew it couldn’t be the original, but I would have like it to be. It is fascinating to watch the raising mechanism at work, if you get the chance.
At one point we ventured out to sea—the water became much choppier and there were signs of industrial Amsterdam. We sailed past "The Amsterdam," a colourful replica of an 1854 clipper. This is part of one of Amsterdam’s many museums but we were just happy to view and photograph it from our boat. Quite close to here was the impressive liner like building that is NEMO, an interactive science museum. What inspiration to integrate a building into the watery surrounds!
We enjoyed the trip but not sure how it helped orient us. It seems to me Amsterdam is confusing to sail through and to walk round. We were constantly lost!
Results 1-10of 24 Reviews
October 1, 2009
From journal Three Nights in Amsterdam
October 29, 2006
From journal G-rated Amsterdam
December 18, 2005
From journal Amsterdam-A Forward Thinking City
by Wildcat Dianne
November 6, 2005
The canals of Amsterdam are plentiful and are a source of living and commerce for the city of Amsterdam. Monique and I found a tour company near the Anne Frankhuis that cost about $10 USD for each of us, and we paid and waited for the next available boat to come in from touring the canals with another bunch of tourists.
After a few minutes, the next boat arrived and as Monique and I boarded, our pictures were taken by a photographer to be bought after the tour ended. It's a cheesy souvenir but worth it if you like that kind of thing. I lost my photo moving.
Seeing Amsterdam's old merchant houses from the canal boats does justice and you see a lot more than if you are on foot. Most of these homes date from the 16th and 17th Centuries and the wider the house, the richer the merchant who could afford to pay the steep taxes that were slapped on Amsterdam's people at this time.
Along the way, we saw many houseboats dotting the canal banks with people living in them. Due to a huge housing shortage in Amsterdam along with high rents, people who chose to live in Amsterdam will buy or rent houseboats because it is a cheaper way to live. They are of many shapes, sizes, and colors, and if you like the idea of millions of tourists peaking into your windows and lives, this is the way to live in Amsterdam.
Our boat tour went under many bridge into the IJsselmeer, Amsterdam's harbor, which is one of the largest harbors in the world and several huge ships were docked there waiting for goods to be loaded on board.
The tours last about 1-2 hours and can be taken during the day or evening and are well worth your time when you visit Amsterdam.
From journal A Dutch Treat: My Adventures in The Netherlands.
August 15, 2005
From journal Amsterdam in May
by Ed Hahn
Hong Kong, China
August 11, 2005
All the stops are located near the major museums, attractions, and shopping areas. The day pass is actually good for a day and a half if you time it right, since it expires at noon the next day. We hop on and off as often as we like. There is a Dutch/English pre-recorded commentary that provides interesting information when we can hear it over our fellow passengers' conversations.
We use it to take us places where we want to walk, and then pick it up again after we've explored an area on foot. At one point, the captain graciously allows us to disembark at a non-scheduled, unused dock near the Dutch Resistance Museum, saving us a long hike.
Seeing the hundreds of different types of houseboats on the canals and appreciating the architecture of the large and small houses along the same canals is worth the price of the fare alone.
I'm sure it would enhance your appreciation of Amsterdam, as it did ours.
From journal Amsterdam - City of Art, History, and Contrasts
June 15, 2005
But the tour guide is from the US and moved to Amsterdam. He knew so much about the area, and there was no language barrier. He told us to grab a beer or whatever we wanted to take on the boat so we could relax, ask questions, and see the area. I learned more about Amsterdam on that boat ride and still had a fun time. We met some cool people there, too.
From journal Supper Club
December 30, 2004
From journal Ambling Around Amsterdam's Museums
by wanderer 2005
December 29, 2004
The boats can seat quite a few people, and the announcements were in both French and English. I'm sure they have recordings in other languages as well. The windows slide open for picture-taking, and the roof is also glass. The boats do have a SMALL bathroom at the rear of the boat, just in case you need it.
No food is allowed, but you can bring water bottles.
Take a step back in time as you pass by the Anne Frank House, the narrowest house in Amsterdam, and other landmarks.
From journal Walking in Amsterdam
Glen Mills, Pennsylvania
November 5, 2004
From journal The one and only--Amsterdam