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Amstel River Tours & Tickets

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Amstel River
The Amstel is the great river that runs through Amsterdam and whose water was diverted into the city’s famous canals. The city was first built around the river, giving it the name Amstel Dam, and today the waterway is flows past modern buildings and charming houseboats before winding its way into the Dutch countryside.

The Basics
Follow the path along the Amstel to find a number of city landmarks including the Hermitage Museum, the Royal Theater Carre, and the iconic Skinny Bridge (Magere Brug). Once you get to Amsterdam South, the river makes way for a beautiful path along which locals cycle, sail, and enjoy a stroll before turning into bucolic meadows and rural villages.

Most tours in Amsterdam include a stop along the Amstel. If you want to explore like a local, hop on a bike tour to explore the city’s highlights, including the Amstel path. Numerous river cruise options are also available to see the city via the Amstel and numerous canals. To save on admission fees, combine attractions such as the Rembrandt House Museum, the Rijksmuseum, and Keukenhof Gardens (in the spring) with a city tour of Amsterdam.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The Amstel is a must-visit for all visitors to Amsterdam, as it is the city’s main watery artery.
  • Don comfortable walking shoes to enjoy strolling along the riverside path.
  • Boat tours of Amsterdam make it easy for wheelchair users and those with limited mobility to see the Amstel and the city’s main attractions.

How to Get There
The Amstel is easily accessible from many points in Amsterdam. The best way to experience it, and many city landmarks, is on a river and canal cruise. If you prefer to stay on land, head to the Hermitage Museum and the Skinny Bridge to walk along the riverbank without leaving the city.

When to Get There

Amsterdam sees huge crowds of travelers during the summer months. Try to visit during spring or autumn, when there are fewer people and less chance for rain. The city really comes alive when the tulips are in bloom, generally between the end of March and the end of May.

The Lifeblood of Amsterdam
The Amstel is more than just a transportation waterway in Amsterdam. Since the days of early settlers, the river has provided the most vital irrigation resource and was even diverted to the Amstel Brewery to keep its stock of beer chilled. The river was also an inspiration for many artists, including Rembrandt and Mondrian. The dams, which wind their way through Amsterdam and the Netherlands, are a feat of engineering and provide water and transportation for thousands of Dutch citizens.
Address: Amstel River, Amsterdam, Netherlands
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73 Tours and Activities to Experience Amstel River

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1-Hour Luxury Canal Tour starting at Anne Frank House AmsterdamDay Cruises

1-Hour Luxury Canal Tour starting at Anne Frank House Amsterdam

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Glide through Amsterdam's canals in style and comfort aboard a luxury open-air boat with no windows or walls between you and the sights. Settle into comfy cushioned seats, and warm up with provided blankets and a drink from the cash bar if the weather is chilly. The 1-hour cruise departs multiple times daily from the Anne Frank House, so it's easy to fit into most sightseeing itineraries.
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  • 1 hour
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  • 1 hour
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  • Free Cancellation

Small partly covered boat - All drinks included - 60 Minutes - Live guideHop-on Hop-off Tours

Small partly covered boat - All drinks included - 60 Minutes - Live guide

star-4.5
The best way to explore the UNESCO-listed Amsterdam Canal Ring is indisputably by boat. Get a different perspective of the Dutch capital while avoiding the crowds on land during this relaxing canal cruise that, unlike other similar tours, includes unlimited Heineken beer, wine, and soft drinks for a budget-friendly price. Plus, more than 10 departure times throughout the day mean you can slot the cruise into almost any schedule.
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  • 1 hour
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  • 1 hour
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All drinks included - live guide - Amsterdam Light Festival CruiseNight Cruises

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All drinks included - live guide - Amsterdam Light Festival Cruise

star-4.5
Get on board of one of our comfortable boats. Sail the canals and experience the Amsterdam Light Festival from the water in an intimate setting.Our hosts and captains will make sure that you have the best canal cruise of your life! They will guide you through the canals of Amsterdam and tell you everything you need to know about the artworks of the Amsterdam Light Festival. From the comfort of our boat you can enjoy Amsterdam from the water. The cruise takes approximately 75 minutes and lets you enjoy the Amsterdam Light Festival from the water with all drinks included, prices are between €24,50 and €27,50.Our boat offers a see-through cover, and an open rear side to have the opportunity to take photo's of all the artworks we pass by during the cruise. The cushions inside are heated, and we offer blankets to keep you warm during the cruise while you can sip from a nice mulled wine to keep you warm. Will we see you on board during the Amsterdam Light Festival?
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes
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$28
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes
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90min Salon Boat Cruise - All drinks & snacks incl. - departure @ Pulitzer HotelDay Cruises

90min Salon Boat Cruise - All drinks & snacks incl. - departure @ Pulitzer Hotel

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Cruise down the famous canals of Amsterdam during this 1-hour boat tour. Hop aboard the Royal Agatha captains boat, a closed vessel, to avoid the chilly weather during the winter boats. Sit back and enjoy the beautiful city pass you by and see landmarks while sipping on a warm beverage—available for purchase on board.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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Winter Wonder Boat Special - The Amsterdam Light Festival!Cultural Tours

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Winter Wonder Boat Special - The Amsterdam Light Festival!

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We take you for an unforgettable expedition through the illuminated canals. The open-air exhibition "Disrupt!" is the eighth edition of Amsterdam Light Festival. From 28 November 2019 to 19 January 2020 Amsterdam will again be the stage for international light art. On the MANA you will learn everything about the 20 artworks. The tour is live guided by our trained captain & friendly hostess. And there are a limit amount of spot to keep the tour personal. There is a fully equipped bar, including fresh local beers and tasty winter cocktails. We also have hot drinks and glühwein (mulled wine) to keep you warm! The first drink is included in the price, cheers!
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  • 75 to 90 minutes
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  • 75 to 90 minutes
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Amsterdam Combo: Heineken Experience & 1-Hour Canal CruiseSuper Savers

Amsterdam Combo: Heineken Experience & 1-Hour Canal Cruise

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Combine two of Amsterdam’s top-selling experiences and save money with a Super Saver Heineken Experience and canal cruise package—a convenient and budget-friendly choice that’s ideal for first-time visitors. Guarantee your entry to the often sold-out Heineken Experience by booking in advance and get unobstructed views of Amsterdam’s UNESCO-listed waterways, without the crowds on land, during a canal cruise—a quintessential Amsterdam experience.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes

Amsterdam Light Festival cruiseDay Cruises

Amsterdam Light Festival cruise

star-4.5
During the cold winter months the city of Amsterdam will be transformed into the famous Amsterdam Light Festival. An 80 minutes evening cruise with beautiful, illuminated artwork on the Amsterdam canals with Friendship Amsterdam • 80-minute cruise along the artworks • including a (warm) welcome drink of your choice from our Dutch bar • Amsterdam’s most unique and trendy boats • Heated seats, blankets and covered sloops • Live guide skipper and host(ess) • Variety of hot & cold drinks on board
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  • 1 hour 20 minutes
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$27
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  • 1 hour 20 minutes
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NEW: Evening Canal Cruise- drinks & snacks incl.- Starting at Anne Frank HouseDay Cruises

NEW: Evening Canal Cruise- drinks & snacks incl.- Starting at Anne Frank House

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On our 90 minute all drinks and snacks inclusive evening cruise you will explore Amsterdam, its famous landmarks, culture, and rich trading history whilst relaxing on our covered and heated saloon boat. At night all the bridges light up in the city so it will feel like sailing through a fairytale. The cruise will be done with a small group of people, so expect an interactive tour, with enough space for questions and any needed recommendations for your further stay in Amsterdam.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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Amsterdam Lovers Light Festival Cruise - Central StationDay Cruises

Amsterdam Lovers Light Festival Cruise - Central Station

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In the dark winter months, Amsterdam is traditionally transformed into a beautiful open light museum during the Amsterdam Light Festival. Modern artists from all over the world make spectacular light artworks that can be found all over the city center of Amsterdam. The best way to enjoy these artworks is during an Amsterdam Light Festival canal cruise. From the Amsterdam canals, you have a first-class view of the light art while you can relax and look around. The Amsterdam Light Festival route is designed in such a way that you can see all the artworks in the canals and on the quay.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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Amsterdam walking tour with canal cruise (unlimited drinks)Cultural Tours

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Amsterdam walking tour with canal cruise (unlimited drinks)

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The perfect combination to know the Venice of the North. Starting with a walking tour through the city center combined with a 1h canal cruise with all drinks included (beer, wine or soft drinks).A unique vision of the city which has a unique style of combining history with pure entertainment. The walking tour covers the main sights of the inner city. and the canal cruise route takes us through the principal canals, Amstel River and seven bridges, some of Amsterdam’s most notable locations. You can’t truly experience the city without getting to know its waterways!On this tour, you’ll hear the stories you’d never hear otherwise. With an expert guide, you’ll experience the history of this city, from its start as a muddy village on the River Amstel, to the wild history of prostitution and drug decriminalization to the tragedy of Anne Frank’s story and Nazi occupation, the aim is to give you a perfect introduction to this city.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
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$39
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  • 3 to 4 hours
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Nr1 Best Rated Walking Tour of Amsterdam on TripAdvisorCultural Tours

Nr1 Best Rated Walking Tour of Amsterdam on TripAdvisor

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Discover the fascinating history of the most liberal city in the world with FreeDam Tours - the best-rated walking tour in Amsterdam! On this unique tip-based tour * you will discover how freedom and tolerance shaped the city and its people throughout the ages.Your super local guide will combine beautiful sightseeing with exciting storytelling and cover everything you need to know about Amsterdam in one tour: history, modern life, culture, art, fun facts and personal stories for a unique insider’s perspective on life in Amsterdam. Be prepared to challenge all your preconceived ideas about this city because after this tour you will never look and think of Amsterdam the same way!Tip-based walking tour means you can join this tour basically for free (you will only be charged the booking and marketing fees) after which you tip your guide what you think the tour was worth. That motivates us to give you the best tour and you get the best possible value!
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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Luxury canal cruiseHoneymoon Packages

Luxury canal cruise

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Get the ultimate Amsterdam experience during this open boat cruise on the city's canals. With the hospitality of a captain and hostess, you'll enjoy the city's sights, such as the Magere Brug, the Amstel River, and the Old Church, with a drink in hand (available for purchase).
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  • 1 hour
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  • 1 hour
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Light Festival in small group on a Boat incl. Gluhwein/Dutch Cookies 2 hoursNight Cruises

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Light Festival in small group on a Boat incl. Gluhwein/Dutch Cookies 2 hours

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During the short days and long dark nights in Winter, Amsterdam becomes a place of Magic and Wonder. About 20 Light Art Works will be shown in and around the city’s Canals. A warm glass of gluhwein in your hands, the sound of water lapping softly against the sides of the boat as we drift beneath Amsterdam’s iconic bridges, Magical Artworks and past its magnificent 17th-century canal houses. On board this amazingly comfortable and quiet electric boat, you can go up close and even through these pieces!. We’ll discuss the artist’s inspiration, what moves them, and what they wanted to express through their work. We’ll share ideas, insights and opinions and hopefully we’ll all leave more inspired, knowledgeable and enthusiastic about art and what it can offer us. We also visit some of the main highlights that Amsterdam offers in the Evening. Like the Seven bridges, The Unesco world heritage Canal gordel and some of the most beautiful scenes at night.
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  • 2 hours
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$51
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  • 2 hours
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Amsterdam Evening Canal Cruise with 4-Course Dinner and DrinksDay Cruises

Amsterdam Evening Canal Cruise with 4-Course Dinner and Drinks

star-4.5
This Amsterdam dinner cruise pairs a freshly prepared 4-course meal with the illuminated sights around the city’s romantic canals. Dine on top-quality food—with your choice of meat, fish, or vegetarian dishes—on one of the few Amsterdam sightseeing boats to offer meals that are cooked on board. Sip a welcome drink from the bar and savor the sights, including attractions like the Anne Frank House and Hermitage Museum. Beer, wine, or soda are included along with coffee and tea on your excursion.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Amsterdam Hop-On Hop-Off Boat 24 or 48 hrs.Day Cruises

Amsterdam Hop-On Hop-Off Boat 24 or 48 hrs.

star-4
With the hop-on hop-off boat day pass, enjoy an easy overview of Amsterdam at a pace that suits you. Step aboard boats that operate along Amsterdam's canals and travel along the route that passes highlights like the Anne Frank House and the Heineken Experience. While on board, listen to engaging commentary on the city and sights you see along the way. Choose between a 24- or 48-hour pass, and get on and off as often as you like.
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  • 1 day
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  • 1 day
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Amsterdam Canal Cruise and Heineken Experience Entrance TicketDay Cruises

Amsterdam Canal Cruise and Heineken Experience Entrance Ticket

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Combine two Amsterdam essentials in one day with a canal cruise and skip-the-line admission to the Heineken Experience. Board a comfortable boat and admire the sights along Amsterdam’s UNESCO World Heritage canals on a 75-minute cruise. Waft by lovely canal houses, bridges and churches; and savor this delightful quarter from the water. Complement your cruise with fast-track entry to the Heineken Experience at the beer’s former Amsterdam brewery. See the vintage brewery equipment and learn about the production process on an interactive journey that finishes with a free beer tasting.
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  • 3 hours 10 minutes
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  • 3 hours 10 minutes

Amsterdam 1-Hour Canal Cruise from Central StationDay Cruises

Amsterdam 1-Hour Canal Cruise from Central Station

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Discover the beautiful city of Amsterdam, known as the ‘Venice of the North,’ from the water on this 1-hour sightseeing cruise. After reserving your preferred departure time, skip past any lines and set off on the UNESCO-listed waterways aboard a glass-topped canal boat. Glide under pretty bridges, past 17th-century buildings and landmarks such as the Skinny Bridge and Anne Frank House, and learn about the city’s history from the audio guide. Upgrade your canal cruise with a 1-Day Amsterdam Public Transport ticket which is valid on trams, buses, ferries and the metro.
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  • 1 hour
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  • 1 hour
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Amsterdam Super Saver: Van Gogh Museum Entrance Ticket & 1-Hour Canal CruiseDay Cruises

Amsterdam Super Saver: Van Gogh Museum Entrance Ticket & 1-Hour Canal Cruise

star-4.5
Home to some of the world’s most iconic Van Gogh paintings, Amsterdam’s Van Gogh museum attracts lines often in excess of two hours. Beat the crowds with this priority admission ticket that also includes an Amsterdam canal cruise, during which you get unobstructed views of the city's waterside attractions. This stress-free combo ticket is an ideal choice for first-time visitors with limited time in the Dutch capital.
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  • 3 hours
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  • 3 hours

Amsterdam Dutch Wine and Cheese Candlelight CruiseDay Cruises

Amsterdam Dutch Wine and Cheese Candlelight Cruise

star-4.5
Unwind from busy sightseeing or set the mood for a romantic night with this relaxing candlelight cruise along Amsterdam’s fabled canals. Aboard a glass-enclosed boat, admire beautiful waterfront views of the UNESCO-listed canals as you sip wine and enjoy delicious snacks. It’s the perfect way to wrap up a day and cozy up with that special someone.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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Private Tour: Anne Frank & the Jewish History of Amsterdam (3 hours)Historical & Heritage Tours

Private Tour: Anne Frank & the Jewish History of Amsterdam (3 hours)

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Learn about Amsterdam's Jewish history on this private tour. Visit what was once the Jewish Quarter, with its old Synagogue and former Jewish theater (Hollandse Schouwburg) before heading to the Anne Frank House via tram. Here you have the option of going inside to see where the famous diarist hid until she was finally captured during WWII.
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  • 3 hours
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  • 3 hours

Amsterdam Hop-on Hop-off Bus & Boat Tour for 24 or 48 HoursHop-on Hop-off Tours

Amsterdam Hop-on Hop-off Bus & Boat Tour for 24 or 48 Hours

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Discover Amsterdam by both land and water with a hop-on hop-off boat and bus ticket. Choose a 24- or 48-hour ticket and let your customized sightseeing experience begin. The comprehensive canal and bus routes allow you to reach all of the city’s top attractions easily, affordably, and comfortably. Learn more about the many sights of the Dutch capital with on board multilingual commentary and courtesy earbuds.
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  • 1 day
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  • 1 day
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Amsterdam City Sightseeing Tour with Optional Canal Cruise or RijksmuseumCultural Tours

Amsterdam City Sightseeing Tour with Optional Canal Cruise or Rijksmuseum

star-3.5
Perfect for first-time visitors, this Amsterdam sightseeing tour takes you past major city landmarks. From your comfortable coach, view sights such as the Royal Palace, National Monument and Albert Cuyp Market, with onboard commentary from your professional guide. If desired, select the option to add on a visit to the Rijksmuseum or an 1-hour cruise exploring the majestic canals of romantic Amsterdam.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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Luxury Canal Cruise starting in front of The Anne Frank HouseHistorical & Heritage Tours

Luxury Canal Cruise starting in front of The Anne Frank House

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Step aboard a luxury canal cruiser for a tour of Amsterdam's canals over the course of an hour. This short tour time allows you to easily fit this activity into your tour schedule, and you'll have the benefit of seeing many of the city's highlights from the water. The electric boat remains silent as you cruise and listen to commentary from your host/hostess.
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  • 1 hour
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  • 1 hour
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Early Morning Cruise Amsterdam— Canals all to ourselvesWater Tours

Early Morning Cruise Amsterdam— Canals all to ourselves

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This top-rated Amsterdam canal cruise departs in the early morning, before the city comes alive. Discover the stillness of the canals while enjoying the morning fog or sunlight, as your Amsterdam-raised and entertaining captains narrate. Marvel at the clear, mirrored reflections of canal homes on the water while you float past landmarks. Coffee, tea, and snacks are provided along with a cozy atmosphere on this small-group tour.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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