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Amsterdam Canal Boat Tours -- my head is swimming with options.

Amsterdam Canal Boat Tours -- my head is swimming with options.

Old Apr 27th, 2006, 10:35 PM
  #1  
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Amsterdam Canal Boat Tours -- my head is swimming with options.

In researching my upcoming trip to Amsterdam, I've already found 10 Canal Boat Tour Companies. I'm trying to figure out which one offers the most comfortable & interesting tour. Or are they all pretty much the same? In my experience some tour operators are better than others, but I have nothing to go on here, and would appreciate some first hand advice!

Thanks.
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Old Apr 27th, 2006, 11:27 PM
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There is not much difference, other then the place they leave from.
I have been on TUI and Lovers, both near Central station. But also Kooy near Spui is very good.
There is a difference between the 1 hr. canalboatrides and the hopon/hopfoff museum boats.
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Old Apr 28th, 2006, 01:41 AM
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If I recall correctly, the museum boat ride is a means to get from A to B, without commentary.

If it's relevant at all, the ones right by Centraal Station have some steep-ish steps down to the landing stage, the ones further down Damrak seem to be closer to street level.

You might as well play it by ear once you get to Amsterdam, but I would think the deciding factor for you might be which is more conveniently located.
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Old Apr 28th, 2006, 07:42 AM
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I agree - just take the one easiet to get to from your hotel/apt.
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Old Apr 28th, 2006, 07:44 AM
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MaureenB
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It's simple to just hop on a canal tour whenever you please. No need to plan in advance.
 
Old Apr 28th, 2006, 08:06 AM
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Thanks for the responses. I've read so much about standing in line for tickets, that I've been trying to get as much organized ahead as much as possible. It is nice to know that the canal tours can be "played by ear".

I did see that the museum boat is sort of like a water bus and follows a schedule with regard to when and where you can hop on/off; and that the tours generally leave from a specific spot and last a specific amount of time, with no stops.

Thanks for suggesting we find one near our hotel. I didn't realize they were scattered. We want to take one the afternoon of our arrival day (partially to keep ourselves from going to bed immediately, after an overnight flight...), and the possibility of finding one located near our hotel is very appealing.
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Old Apr 28th, 2006, 11:03 AM
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I would ask your hotel receptionist which is nearest. And don't forget that, once you've got your travel pass or strippenkaart, you can also make yourself a circular tour by tram, changing at Centraal Station and outside the Concertgebouw, No 5 one way, No 16 or 24 the other way.

http://www.gvb.nl/english/default.asp
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Old Apr 28th, 2006, 11:12 AM
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Some nuances in canal boat tours:

some go thru the Redlight District canals - many don't - especially bigger boats that can't fit the tinier canals there

some go out into the port area - this makes a far more interesting trip to me - the active harbor has lots of real ships on it and from there you get the classic view of Amsterdam from across the water, much as traders arriving by sea did in the 16-1700s, Amsterdam's heyday as a sea port - you'll see the unique gabled Flemish-styled facades lining the seafront.
Otherwise most are the same - some offer wine and cheese cruises some just boat tours.
But at least take one boat tour.
And you can do your own tour via pedalos that you can rent at several locations and pedal yourself around the myriad of canals.
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Old Apr 28th, 2006, 12:46 PM
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There's a cruise dock at the canal just behind/beneath the Hard Rock Cafe, offside from Leidseplein...
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Old Apr 29th, 2006, 08:06 AM
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These are exactly the types of tips I am looking for. Thanks!
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Old Apr 29th, 2006, 08:23 AM
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We took a Lovers cruise in March which started and ended in front of the Central Railroad Station. I thought it was just ok, in part, because the PA system did not function well enough to hear the commentary over the chatter of other passengers. Also, our ititnerary was not as encompassing as I had expected. I would try a different company given the opportunity.
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