Staying on a houseboat in Amsterdam

Oct 20th, 2009, 07:00 AM
  #1  
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Staying on a houseboat in Amsterdam

Our next trip in early July is in the planning stages. We plan to go to Amsterdam for 4 nights and Paris for 4 nights, taking the train between cities. We are looking into staying on a houseboat while in Amsterdam. We've never been there and are not sure of the areas that are best to stay in if on a houseboat. I have looked at this site http://www.houseboathotel.nl/accommo...k53_guestroom/ and wonder if anyone has any knowledge of the area and the website that is dealing with this particular houseboat.

We have never been to Amsterdam before and look forward to renting bikes, touring, and sitting aboard the deck of a houseboat just relaxing. Any info on Amsterdam is good. We have been to Paris many times and try to include it on every visit to Europe. As a matter of fact we just returned from Paris and had a great time listening to music. One place we went was the club Duc des Lombards. I highly recommend it on Friday or Saturday nights after midnight for free admission to the jam session.
opaldog is offline  
Oct 20th, 2009, 07:07 AM
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the location IMO is great - not actually smack in the centre however but in a calm area with tram service and a relatively short walk to many major sites. I can only comment on the area - great IMO - the Amstel is still full of ships and is known for its white hump-backed wooden bridges.
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Oct 20th, 2009, 07:10 AM
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May I suggest this houseboat.
My sister and i stayed here in 2006 and loved it.

http://www.vrbo.com/82969
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Oct 20th, 2009, 07:49 AM
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The location of the first boat is good. You can get a tram into the centre or even walk - it isn't very far. You are close to the Stopera, and the Waterlooplein market.
It sounds as though the second boat (jetsetj's boat) is in the same area.
hetismij is offline  
Oct 20th, 2009, 09:50 AM
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Thanks for the information everyone. jetsetj: the houseboat that you stayed on, is it accomodations for only one party at a time or does the landlord live on board? I have seen this with other houseboats. Also, the balcony in front, was it large enough to sit on comfortably and were you able to sit on top of the houseboat? Thanks.
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Oct 20th, 2009, 09:58 AM
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amsterdam has had a huge problem with houseboats and sewage - the sewage traditionally has gone into canals and the city is cracking down - the upshot of articles i read is that you could have to cope with an unpleasant smell - just wondering if anyone experienced that?
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Oct 20th, 2009, 10:03 AM
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I agree that the location on the Amstel is a good one. I once spent an uncomfortable month moored just behind Central Station on the Ij, where there is a lot of heavy barge and other commercial traffic. The barge location on the Amstel, however would be much quieter. You probably will not even realize you are afloat. Those barges are really big things, and it takes a lot to get them rolling.

I envy you. You will have a grand time, I'm sure, in Amsterdam.

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Oct 20th, 2009, 10:09 AM
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Palenque,

I think that is a thing of the past. All of Amsterdam's sewage used to flow directly into the canals, and it took a lot of opening sluices, and working with the tides to flush the city enough to be livable. For many years, now, the city has spent a great deal of money and effort to put in a sewage system that keeps the canals clean. I suspect that the crackdown on boat effluent is the last effort to clean up what is a tiny, tiny, fraction of the remaining pollution.

Someone from Holland correct me if I am wrong.

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Oct 20th, 2009, 10:21 AM
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It is illegal to allow raw sewage to flow into waterways. Houseboats are on main drainage usually, even in Amsterdam. They are connected by a flexible pipe. If they are not then they must have a foul water tank which needs emptying regularly.
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Oct 20th, 2009, 11:17 AM
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things thankfully have been solved fairly quickly then over a year ago when an article in the NYTimes detailed how many non-compliance boats there were and how to make them compliant often cost as much as the boat was worth or something. but i would think any barge owner renting one out and wanting good recommendations, etc would have proper sanitary facilities.
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Oct 20th, 2009, 11:18 AM
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The sewage thing is something I hadn't thought of. Glad to know that it shouldn't be a problem. jetsetj, is the area of the boat the same as the link to the boat that I posted?
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Oct 20th, 2009, 12:15 PM
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opaldog,

The location of both houseboats is OK, except that they are in Amsterdam. If you want to sit out on the deck bring an umbrella. I would rather sit at the Cafe Luxembourg at the Spui.
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Oct 20th, 2009, 12:17 PM
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The canals are still regularly flushed out, though not as often as in the past. Many boats have been removed from the Amsterdam canals, some for non compliance of the sewerage rules, but mostly for non payment of mooring rights/licences to use the canals.

Opal Dog have a look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwCZkHu1A6I. It certainly sounds to be in the same area, though not on the Amstel but a side canal.
hetismij is offline  
Oct 20th, 2009, 03:08 PM
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hetismij: That is the same houseboat on the vrbo link that jetsetj gave. It does look interesting. In your opinion is that a good place to be?
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Oct 20th, 2009, 05:38 PM
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Great location, beatiful place to stay. Wish our houseboats in Seattle had the same relaxed rental laws as they do in Amsterdam. We have a minimum 3 month rental period now. http://SeattleHome.com
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Oct 20th, 2009, 06:10 PM
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We stayed in a houseboat last spring and saw (or perhaps I should say smelled) no sewage problems. It was nicer than an apartment as we were the only couple on the boat; I didn't like the idea of those where the owner lives on half of the boat, nor where the boat has been divided into multiple apartments.

I think it is common with apartments and houseboats that you pay a premium for a stay less than a week. i.e., that daily rate is usually lower if you stay for a full week.

I don't think I would pick July. You will miss the tulip season and the weather will be warmer, and air conditioning is rare. Amsterdam is easy to walk. We bought a strip of tickets for the trams, and ended up leaving the bulk of them for the rental agent's son. Almost anywhere you will stay you will be within a short walk of some of the world's greatest art, and The Hague, with even more great art, is a short train ride away.

Unless you are skilled cyclists, I would avoid bicycling in the city. They are fairly aggressive about people who don't keep up with the flow, or even with pedestrians who get in their way.
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Oct 20th, 2009, 06:23 PM
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cleveland brown: Do you have a website of the boat that you stayed in? We are choosing early July because I am unable to get away from work until the end of June. We always have a family gathering on the 4th so hence we chose the 5th. I can deal with warm weather as long as it isn't stifling. I suppose places do have fans.
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Oct 21st, 2009, 06:26 AM
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Opaldog,

I recognized the economic faculty of the unversity of amsterdam in the youtube link that hetismij gave you. This means that the location of the houseboat is about a 5 min walk from the location of the houseboat you linked to yourself. I'm agreeing with the other posters that both are excellent locations.

The big brown building behind the boat in the picture you linked to is the Hermitage museum. The boat is on a pretty quiet side of the river but some barges do pass through there (only at certain times). Also, especially in summer you will have loads of people passing by in boats having fun and making noise. Although I think that, if anything, this will most likely just be fun to watch instead of being annoying. You're a block away from the Utrechtse straat which has loads of nice little restaurants to eat. Rembrandt square is also around the corner with lots of (somewhat touristy) bars. Also the subway/tram and a big supermarket are within a 5 min walk.

Although also a matter of personal preference, I would say, that most people would rarely feel the need for aircon in Amsterdam. It's seldom warm enough. You'll be lucky if you are here during a time when it's really needed. Then again, like I said, it's also a matter of personal preference. In my opinion july is an excellent time.
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Oct 21st, 2009, 08:49 AM
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Vakantie: thanks for the feedback. I'm definitely thinking this would be a good spot to rent. I would enjoy sitting back and watching the people passing in boats; that will be one of my activities. July sounds good for us.
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Oct 21st, 2009, 08:51 AM
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Ours was at
http://www.houseboathotel.nl/
accommodation_amsterdam/houseboat_rent_b026/

It is on a smaller canal where the only traffic was tour boats.

We never sat on the terrace; the boat is moored nose in, and to get to the terrace you have to walk a path on the roof the length of the boat, so we just sat inside with the windows open and waved to the tourist boats. It has a washer/dryer, which I always look for, but we tend to stay longer than a few days (we were there two weeks in an abnormally warm spring), but the boat has good ventilation and was very comfortable.
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