What’s The Best Canal Cruise Company In Amsterdam?

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So, you’re going to Amsterdam? Great choice!

The city is beautiful. It’s full of rich history, gorgeous architecture, and lots for a tourist to see and do. There’s a reason it’s one of Europe’s leading travel destinations.

One of the highlights of any trip to Amsterdam has to be the canal cruises. You get to sail along the city, taking in the sights, letting the stresses of modern-day life melt away under a warm sun.

Whether going with a family, or on a cutesy date for two, there are plenty of cruises to suit your needs.

There is a large market for it, so as such, there are a lot of tour providers. So much so that it can actually be quite daunting to pick one. That’s what this article is here for, to let you know what the best group to go with is, and what they offer.

Canal Cruise Company Amsterdam Review

Reederij Kooij

Reederij Kooij is a well-respected, family-owned business that has been in operation for close to 100 years. The fleet can take you all across the canals of Amsterdam, showing you the greatest sights of the city.

The company was created by a father and son duo in 1922, who started out with just one motorized boat. To their surprise, after doing up the pre-owned boat, they found out that it had a canal cruise license. They took advantage of this, and the rest is history.

The Germans confiscated the boats during World War 2. Still, post-war, with the help of Canadian forces, the family were able to navigate mine infested waters to bring the fleet back home from Emden, North Germany.

After that, the company passed down from generation to generation, growing with each new son, until it reached the point it’s at now, as one of Amsterdam’s leading tour providers.

Review:

This canal company offers one-hour long tours that depart every 30 minutes, so people are never stuck waiting for too long. The tour comes with audio guides in 10 different languages, which is absolutely fantastic.

All of the boats are equipped with a toilet, heater, and sliding roof, meaning that you won’t get caught out needing to use the bathroom or in the rain. The standard cruise costs a very affordable €12 euro per adult, and €8 euro per child.

The company also offers a variety of different tours for different occasions. It has a romantic

candlelight cruise that costs €31.50 per adult, and €16 euro per child up to the age of 14. This cruise is perfect for a date night with a two-hour-long trip that comes with wine, cheese, and salted biscuits, making it great value for money.

Not only that, but it comes with a live, multi-lingual guide, a private table, atmospheric candlelight, and background noise. Once again, all of these boats have toilets and built-in heating.

These cruises run from April to October, and depart every night at 9:00pm, so make sure you book in advance.

It also offers two more options that are on the higher end of things.

First is the private boat cruise. You rent out a boat that can fit up to 40 people that costs €280 euro per hour. That sounds like a lot, but with a full house, it’s only €7 euro per person per hour.

If you want to have a bigger party than 40, it charges an additional cost per person. The price is calculated after you return the boat, which can be done almost anywhere in Amsterdam.

After 5:00pm, you need to hire out the boat for at least two-hours, meaning a minimum cost of €560 euro, which can be annoying.

It also offers a variation of this package, which comes with drinks, making it great for weddings or business get-togethers. This starts at the same price of €280 euro per hour.

Reederij Kooij has a very unique fleet of boats. Nearly all of the vessels are historic tour boats that have been maintained in their original condition. Each has undergone restoration to bring them up to modern standards, while not sacrificing the authentic rustic feel of the boat.

The company has a total of six different types of boats and can serve for any occasion. It has open-roofed ones for warm sunny days, and closed roof boats with heaters, for a romantic rainy, moonlit cruise date.

Not only that, but the boats sail off of electricity! Making them safe for the environment.

The company is partnered with a local catering provider. This allows you to organize food and drinks for your guests easily should you choose to go with one of the grander, more expensive options. The boats are great for meetings, weddings, and birthdays.

Pros/cons

Pros:

  • A historic fleet that has kept a rustic and original feel
  • A range of prices to suit all customers
  • Custom catering
  • Electric boats
  • Options that are great for parties
  • Multi-lingual guides

Cons:

  • For more expensive options, your depart times are limited
  • Can get costly if you are booking out private boats for long periods, especially if you aren’t charging guests
  • Some options are seasonally dependent

Wrapping Up

As was said, the canal tours of Amsterdam can be a memorable and fantastic experience. Many companies are offering this experience to you, but none of them do it as well as Reederij Kooij.

It has loads of options for you to choose from, suiting family days out, business meetings, parties, or date nights.

It is partnered with caterers. Combine that with the massive private boats that you can rent, and you have a sure-fire recipe for a great party.

The cost ranges in price, meaning you can have a nice, low-key tour of the canals at little expense, or, you can have a luxurious night with wine by candlelight; it’s entirely up to you.

It’s a family-owned business, so you know there is no corporate shadiness going on. This is evident by the fact that almost the entire fleet is electric, with plans in place to fully convert all the boats by 2025. So you can have guilt-free rides knowing that the environment is no worse off for it.