Standard Canal Cruise in an Open Boat

A standard canal cruise in an open boat: how does that work?

More and more traditional canal tours are offered on large open air lifeboats or longboats. Some of these are completely renovated, others are newly built for this purpose. Compared to standard canal cruises in large tour boats, the seating in these open air boats is less rigid and the sightseeing information is more personal, though sometimes also more difficult to understand.

In order to compare the standard canal cruises in small open air boats please check the overview below. Further below are short profiles of all individual companies, including pictures of their boats. You can find the locations of these companies on Google Maps at the bottom of this page.

Pros of a standard canal cruise in an open boat

  • Efficient: good impression in a short time
  • With skipper and guide
  • Drinks on board

Cons of a standard canal cruise in an open boat

  • More expensive than a large tour boat
  • Dependent on the season
  • No fun in the rain

Overview of standard canal cruises in open boats

Company Location Times Duration Guide Rates (Ad./Ch.) Online booking Online discount rate
Boat Amsterdam Hermitage 11.00-21.30 70 Live English 20,- yes 17,50
Lovers Small Boat Cruise Anne Frank 10.00-21.00 60 Live English 18,- yes no
Stromma Open Boat Tours CS, Rijksmuseum 10.00-17.40 75 Live English 19,50 / 9,75 yes no
Blue Sky Boat Leidseplein 10.45 – 17.15 75 Live English 18,- yes 15,-
Friendship Red Light 10.00-23.00 60 Live English 15,-/8,50 yes no
Those Dam Boat Guys Anne Frank 11.00 – 21.00 90 Live English 25,- / 23,- yes no
NB 1: All open boat tours are highly seasonal and weather depending. In case of bad weather conditions and during the winter season these boats do not go out at all or less frequently.
NB 2: Scheduled times are the regular peak season times. Always check the current schedule at the tour company itself.

The companies offering standard canal cruises in open boats

Flagship Open Boat Tour from Rijksmuseum

Flagship Open Boat Tour from Rijksmuseum

This one-hour canal tour on Flagship’s open boat is very popular and highly rated. The location is close to the Museum Quarter, Vondelpark and Leidseplein. The view from the open boat is always good, the cushions are comfortable, and the guides are extremely nice and informative. There is a bar on board where you can purchase drinks and snacks. Truly relaxing and comfortable!

Book the Flagship Open Boat Tour from Rijksmuseum
Boat Amsterdam

Boat Amsterdam

Boat Amsterdam offers relaxed 70 minutes open boat tours from its central location in front of the Amsterdam Hermitage. Free drinks and a guide on board are included.

To Boat Amsterdam
Friendship Open Boat Canal Cruises

Friendship Open Boat Canal Cruises

Friendship Amsterdam offers canal tours in a relaxed atmosphere on four distinctive open boats. Each boat can take up to approximately 50 people. The location of Friendship stands out: their boat tours start and end in the Red Light District.

To Friendship
Blue Sky Boat Canal Cruises

Blue Sky Boat Canal Cruises

The Blue Sky Boat is owned by Blue Boat Company. This is a refurbished lifeboat that goes out several times a day during summer. The 75 minute tour starts and ends at their dock near Leidseplein, Museum Quarter and Vondelpark.

To Blue Sky Boat
Those Dam Boat Guys Open Boat Tours

Those Dam Boat Guys Open Boat Tours

Those Damn Boat Guys are the most unconventional and slightly rebellious canal tour company. They offer an entertaining, humorous and relatively long (90 minutes) boat tour that starts and ends near the Anne Frank House. Open boats in summer, covered in winter.

To Those Dam Boat Guys
Stromma Open Boat Tour

Stromma Open Boat Tour

The Stromma Open Boat Tour departs near Central Station and takes 75 minutes. On top of the main canals it also includes some smaller canals. The skipper is your guide, providing interesting information about the Amsterdam canals in English. 

To Stromma Open Boat Tour
Lovers Small Boat Cruise

Lovers Small Boat Cruise

On a Small Boat Cruise by Lovers company you will be guided though the nicest canals on an open boat. It starts from the Anne Frank House, takes about one hour and includes part of the Red Light District.
To Lovers Small Boat Cruise