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Amstel River Tours

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3,506 Reviews
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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80 Tours and Activities to Experience Amstel River

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Open boat tour - All drinks included - 60 Minutes - Live guideDay Cruises

Open boat tour - 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, several departure times throughout the day mean you can slot the cruise into almost any schedule.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$26.09 
From  
$26.09 
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Amsterdam Canal Cruise in Saloon Boat With Drinks and Dutch CheeseDay Cruises

Amsterdam Canal Cruise in Saloon Boat With Drinks and Dutch Cheese

star-5
Cruise down the famous canals of Amsterdam during this 75-minute boat tour. Hop aboard the classic wooden saloon boat and sit back and enjoy the beautiful city pass you by. See landmarks while nibbling on Dutch cheese and having a drink.
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$33.19 
From  
$33.19 
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Amsterdam 1-Hour Small-Group Canal Cruise in Open-Air Boat Day Cruises

Amsterdam 1-Hour Small-Group Canal Cruise in Open-Air Boat

star-5
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 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
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$20.60 
From  
$20.60 
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Amsterdam 1-Hour Canal Cruise from Central StationDay Cruises

Amsterdam 1-Hour Canal Cruise from Central Station

star-4
Discover the beautiful city of Amsterdam, known as the ‘Venice of the North,’ from the water on this 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 like the 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
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$16.02 
From  
$16.02 
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Amsterdam Sightseeing Canal Cruise by Semi-Open BoatDay Cruises

Amsterdam Sightseeing Canal Cruise by Semi-Open Boat

star-4
Discover hidden corners in Amsterdam’s scenic waterways unreachable by many boats on this canal cruise. Aboard a solar-powered vessel, hear tales with your audio-guide while snapping photos of the historical waterfront sights. Pass highlights such as the Anne Frank House and the Golden Bend district with its grand manor houses. A variety of departure times makes this a convenient sightseeing activity.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$16.02 
From  
$16.02 
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Amsterdam Highlights Canal Cruise with Recorded CommentaryDay Cruises

Amsterdam Highlights Canal Cruise with Recorded Commentary

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From the peaceful atmosphere of a luxury, glass-enclosed boat, enjoy the highlights of Amsterdam along its UNESCO-listed canals during this cruise. Hear narrated commentary on the sites along the way, including the Anne Frank House, the Golden Bend, the National Maritime Museum, and the Skinny Bridge. With a variety of departure times available, this picturesque and comprehensive overview by water is easy to fit into your day of sightseeing.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$20.03 
From  
$20.03 
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Amsterdam Combo: Heineken Experience & 1-Hour Canal CruiseDay Cruises

Amsterdam Combo: Heineken Experience & 1-Hour Canal Cruise

star-4
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
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$30.61 
From  
$30.61 
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures

Amsterdam Private Bike Tour with a LocalMountain Bike Tours

Amsterdam Private Bike Tour with a Local

star-5
Explore Amsterdam the way it was meant to be seen—by bike! On this private tour, hop aboard a quality rental bike and follow a local guide on a personalized tour of the city's most interesting neighborhoods, scenic paths and iconic attractions. It’s a great way to soak up the sights and atmosphere in one of Europe’s most bike-friendly cities.
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  • 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$78.96 
Price varies by group size
From  
$78.96 
Price varies by group size
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  • 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures

NEW: Evening Canal Cruise starting at Anne Frank HouseDay Cruises

NEW: Evening Canal Cruise starting at Anne Frank House

star-5
On our 1 hour 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
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$20.60 
From  
$20.60 
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Sebi Boat ToursDay Cruises

Sebi Boat Tours

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We are Sebi Boat Tours, two true Amsterdammers who want to share their love for this beautiful city. With our 100% electric boat which is open on sunny days and closed on rainy and windy days and has a toilet, we will provide a 2 hour intimate canal tour. We will pass all the highlights Amsterdam has to offer including the world famous canal belt, The Jordaan, The red light district, the river Amstel, the maritime area and places, where big tour boats cannot go. On the way we will make a stop at Amsterdam's best boat caterer, childhood friends of ours, to pick up some traditional Dutch snacks while you enjoy a wide variety of complementary drinks. All this while Captain Sebi will pass on his years of knowledge of the city and canals, on current events and Amsterdam people in Dutch, English and German!
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$55.67 
From  
$55.67 
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Amsterdam Super Saver: Madame Tussauds & 1-Hour Canal CruiseDay Cruises

Amsterdam Super Saver: Madame Tussauds & 1-Hour Canal Cruise

star-4.5
Maximize your time in the heart of Amsterdam with a trip to Madame Tussauds followed by a one-hour cruise through some of Amsterdam’s many canals. First, explore Madame Tussauds’ collection of life-like celebrities and historical figures. Then enjoy the city's 17th-century houses, bridges, churches and cobblestone streets from the unique perspective of a canal boat. Save time and money by booking these experiences together.
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  • 2 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$35.47 
From  
$35.47 
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  • 2 hours
  • Taking safety measures

Private Tour: Anne Frank & the Jewish History of Amsterdam (4 hours)Half-day Tours

Private Tour: Anne Frank & the Jewish History of Amsterdam (4 hours)

star-5
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. Tickets are not included, but we can advise you on the best way to visit after the tour.
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  • 4 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$104.13 
Price varies by group size
From  
$104.13 
Price varies by group size
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  • 4 hours
  • Taking safety measures

2,5 hours Amsterdam Pedicab TourCity Packages

2,5 hours Amsterdam Pedicab Tour

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This private sightseeing tour of Amsterdam takes you around the historic city center by rickshaw (aka pedicab). Travel with ease while your driver-guide narrates the highlights; you’ll pass by the Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, and other attractions. With a customized itinerary, your driver makes brief stops at Vondelpark or other scenic spots. Pickup and drop-off include hotels and cruise port.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$228.87 
Price varies by group size
From  
$228.87 
Price varies by group size
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Amsterdam Walking TourCity Packages

Amsterdam Walking Tour

star-4.5
See the HIGHLIGHTS of AMSTERDAM in a 2,5 HOUR Walking tour and be photographed at the same time? Shoot Me! Photography takes you to the most epic places in Amsterdam with a professional PHOTOGRAPHER. Tourists turn into models on this tour which takes you to all the famous places Amsterdam is known for. From a personal photoshoot with the Amsterdam skyline in the background, to a family portret near the canals in the city center. A perfect shot with your friends at Damsquare and a fun playful one of you on the Amstel. Its a guarantee you will go home with amazing pictures! The Red light district, Anne Frank House and of course the Jordaan are also part of this tour. The photographer takes amazing photos of you when and wherever you like. AND Yes! ALL PHOTOS are INCLUDED. You do not want to miss this…
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$43.37 
Price varies by group size
From  
$43.37 
Price varies by group size
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Private Tour: Champagne Canal Cruise in AmsterdamDay Cruises

Private Tour: Champagne Canal Cruise in Amsterdam

star-5
Sip Champagne as you glide along Amsterdam’s UNESCO-listed canals on a private, 1.5-hour salon boat cruise. Board a classic, electric 1920s salon boat with a private captain at the helm, and enjoy the sophisticated atmosphere as you explore the delightful De Jordaan neighborhood. Cruise the flower-lined waterways past 17th-century merchants’ houses, bridges and churches; and hear about the area’s history and landmarks. Along the way, celebrate the occasion with a complimentary glass of Champagne and unlimited free drinks from the open bar. Choose from different departure times during the day.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$112.89 
From  
$112.89 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

ONE hour !!€49 per hour!! Private boat hire! WELCOM BACK SPECIAL OFFER!!City Packages

ONE hour !!€49 per hour!! Private boat hire! WELCOM BACK SPECIAL OFFER!!

Only €45 per hour Private boat hire. COVID-19 safe!!! The boat hire includes... : A fully licensed captain : A fully licensed boat for your own private use for two people. : If you have more than two people in your group it will be + €10 per person for each additional person. Don't miss out on our COVID-19 safe special!! Join for a one hour cruise. Or book as may hours as you like, on our luxurious, electric handcrafted boat. Our professional captain will sail where ever you like. In the small secrete canals of Amsterdam and the Amstel. We can show and tell you about all the hidden gems that this wonderful city has to offer. Or just leave you to enjoy each other.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$56.07 
per group
From  
$56.07 
per group
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Amsterdam Light Festival Night Boat Tour with Drinks IncludedNight Cruises

Amsterdam Light Festival Night Boat Tour with Drinks Included

star-4.5
Enjoy the most popular Amsterdan Light Festival with true locals on a live guided tour with us on the newest and trendiest boats. Cruise through Amsterdam on an eco-friendly electric boat and be dazzled by the city's light festival. See the works of talented artists and their creations that play with light in the most unique ways to display this year's theme of "Disrupt." This mesmerizing experience takes you through the city so you can see its charming buildings lit up and beautifully decorated in the holiday spirit. While cruising through the eastern part of Amsterdam enjoy unlimited drinks and a taste of Dutch Christmas bread. See 20 pieces of artwork as you glide down the Heritage Canals of Amsterdam, sail along Amstel River, and pass by the Maritime Museum and Amsterdam Zoo. Enjoy the company of your local skipper and hostess as you explore the city from the perspective of the water.
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$46.40 
From  
$46.40 
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Amsterdam Canal Cruise by Small Open Boat from RijksmuseumDay Cruises

Amsterdam Canal Cruise by Small Open Boat from Rijksmuseum

star-5
Step aboard a small, environmentally-friendly boat to cruise the canals of Amsterdam on this 1-hour tour. Larger boats can't navigate the tiniest and most picturesque canals; booking a tour on this small-capacity open-top boat means you'll get the best possible experience and see sights off the beaten path. Listen to guided commentary on the city's architecture and history, a small group tour means you'll have plenty of time to ask questions.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$20.60 
From  
$20.60 
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation

Discover the best of Amsterdam's LGBTQ sceneHalf-day Tours

Discover the best of Amsterdam's LGBTQ scene

star-1
Join one of our hosts on a personalized experience in which you will explore the significant sites relating to the LGBTQ movement. Stroll from Amstel, a cornerstone neighborhood in the city’s LGBT history (might we suggest popping into Chez René or Amstel 54 - iconic spots) to Reguliersdwarsstraat, the heart and soul of Amsterdam’s LGBTQ scene. Within 24 hours after booking you'll receive a short questionnaire about your personality and interests. Based on your responses, you'll be assigned a like-minded host. Your host will communicate with you directly to suggest an itinerary to help you discover what makes the city unique. You will also agree on a meeting time and place. Your itinerary is flexible, so during the experience, you can always change your mind about what you want to do.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$77.13 
Price varies by group size
From  
$77.13 
Price varies by group size
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

NEW: 1,5 hour luxury canal cruise starting from Rijksmuseum Day Cruises

NEW: 1,5 hour luxury canal cruise starting from Rijksmuseum

star-5
Get yourself comfortable in our beautifully-designed boat named the MANA. She is fully electric to take you along the canals of Amsterdam for a clean and quite tour. There is a fully equipped bar on board where you can order from a wide variety of drinks, for example local beers, fresh cocktails and hot chocolate. As we are a small company, our tours are personal and we can guarantee a high quality. The skipper and hostess are passionate about the city and love to tell you all about it during the live guided tour. Don’t hesitate to ask questions along the way. See you on the water!
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$43.30 
From  
$43.30 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Amsterdam Super Saver: Red Light Secrets Museum & 1-Hour Canal CruiseDay Cruises

Amsterdam Super Saver: Red Light Secrets Museum & 1-Hour Canal Cruise

star-3
Save yourself any travel hassle, and purchase tickets to two popular Amsterdam attractions before you arrive. By booking both simultaneously, you’ll save nearly a quarter on admission costs. First, explore Amsterdam’s picturesque waterways on a canal cruise, which will whisk you past many of the city’s key landmarks and historical merchant houses. Then, learn the stories behind the city’s notorious Red Light District when you visit Red Light Secrets, a one-of-a-kind local museum.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$24.32 
From  
$24.32 
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

1-Hour Luxury Canal Tour starting at Rijksmuseum AmsterdamCity Packages

1-Hour Luxury Canal Tour starting at Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

star-5
We depart from the Rijksmuseum and sail through a beautiful area that was created by the Dutch in the 18th century. From here we will discover old Amsterdam and the beauty of the canals. The view from our open boats is amazing and a must when visiting Amsterdam. Sit back and relax on our boats and let our skipper and hostess guide you through the small canals where all large boats can't come. Relax with a drink and enjoy the best tour of the city!
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$26.89 
From  
$26.89 
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation

Lonely Planet Experiences: Amsterdam Bike Culture Off the Beaten Path TourMountain Bike Tours

Lonely Planet Experiences: Amsterdam Bike Culture Off the Beaten Path Tour

star-4.5
Enhance your sightseeing experience of Amsterdam on a 3-hour bicycle tour of the dazzling Dutch capital. With a knowledgeable guide, stray from the conventional tourist trail to explore lesser-known neighborhoods home to landmarks like the Maritime Museum and the Rikjsmuseum. Weave your way through charming districts like Jordaan; gain fascinating insight into the rich historical heritage of Amsterdam. Receive personalized attention from your guide on this small-group tour, limited to 12 cyclists.
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  • 3 hours
From  
$56.32 
From  
$56.32 
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  • 3 hours

Luxurious Flagship Canal Cruise starting at Anne Frank HouseDay Cruises

Luxurious Flagship Canal Cruise starting at Anne Frank House

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Amsterdam is a a canal city so see it the best way possible: from the water. Aboard a well-equipped boat, cruise through the city's canals, soaking up the sights, while your skipper and hostess provides background information about each of the landmarks.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$22.27 
From  
$22.27 
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Amstel River?