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When to do a Canal Cruise in Amsterdam

When is the best time to do a private canal cruise in Amsterdam?

Drifting through Amsterdam’s picture perfect canals on a boutique boat? Yes, it really is as good as it sounds, whatever the season on your private canal cruise.

But there are of course some particularly beautiful times of the year to discover the 165 canals of Amsterdam. Read on to find out the best time to book a canal cruise!

Private Canal Cruise Amsterdam

From Summer’s Sunrise to Sunset on your Amsterdam canal cruise

In the warmer months from spring into summer, the canals are teeming with boats of all different shapes and sizes: from kayaks to classic sloops, made up of groups of both locals and tourists. Get onboard with Amsterdam’s favorite activity, sit back, relax, and explore the city and it’s iconic sights like the Westerkerk, the Skinny Bridge and the dancing houses on the Amstel, in this totally unique way.

The best time of day for your Amsterdam canal cruise is to take out a boat is in the late afternoon into the warm summer’s evening. Catch that beautiful golden hour as the sun cools off, and watch the twinkling lights across the city and over the bridges turn on. It’s an experience you just can’t miss! Enjoy a cold drink from the fully stocked bar, and nibble on the carefully selected Dutch snack platter as you discover the sights of the city from your very own boat.

Of course, for the early risers, a sunrise cruise on a summer’s day is incredibly romantic. For those of you considering an ideal time to cruise for an unforgettable proposal moment, this would certainly be it. There’s something particularly magical about quietly meandering down the canals as the city wakes up. We can arrange for you to have a delicious breakfast and coffee onboard as well, just ask!

Private Canal Cruise Amsterdam drawbridge

Magical Autumn and Winter Canal Cruises:

You might think that the only time you can really enjoy a canal cruise in Amsterdam is over the spring and summer seasons when the weather permits. But seeing as this is a city very much accustomed to (more than a little!) rain, a cosy and covered canal cruise is a top notch activity for those rainy days too! Check out its feature in our top tips on ‘What to do in Amsterdam when it Rains’.

In the winter months, boats are heated and covered, and are surprisingly snug! With a glass of warming “gluhwein” or a hot chocolate in hand, winter time boat trips offer a truly magical experience. We would recommend cruising in the evening, so you can really cosy up with a hot drink and watch the dazzling lights of the city reflect upon the waterways.

Amsterdam Light Festival

Special Events: the Amsterdam Light Festival

Canalside events are of course hugely popular in Amsterdam throughout the year – the famous Pride parade and King’s Day celebrations are of course the ones which immediately come to mind. But there’s another Amsterdam canal cruise worthy event that stands out by far: the Amsterdam Light Festival.

Every year between the start of December and the end of January, Amsterdam Light Festival illuminates the bridges and canals of the city. The light festival is made up of a spectacular collection of art installations, each created in response to a different theme each year. Exploring these magical art works by boat means you are completely immersed in the dazzling festival experience: an unmissable event!

During the Light Festival canal cruise boats are of course heated, and completely covered. Sip on your drink of choice from the locally influenced bar and feast on a handpicked and personalised selection of snacks as you cosy up under luxuriously soft blankets…

Find out more about Amsterdam Light Festival and arrange your cruise with us here.

What we can offer

For our boat cruises we work together with our friends at Pure Boats Amsterdam: consistently top-rated, and totally unrivalled when it comes to their stunning fleet of boutique electric boats.

Whether it’s a shared experience with a small group of like-minded visitors, or a private cruise with the boat all to yourselves (plus a skilled and charming captain!), a cruise with Pure Boats is sure to surpass your every expectation. Find out more about what we can offer when it comes to arranging a canal cruise.


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