Amsterdam has always had strong ties to the water. Spread out over 70 islands, this cosmopolitan city boasts 60 miles of canals and 1 000 bridges. As early as the 13th century, tiny ships sailed from this port into the challenging Zuider Sea. Amsterdam rose to prominence in the 15th century when it became a major trading centre, steadily assuming commercial leadership and thus controlling the country’s finances, a trend that remains to this day.
Amsterdam is most famous for its narrow, gabled houses lining the canals. The historical Centre is full of interesting attractions such as the medieval weight house, the Royal Palace on Dam Square and the Nieuwe Kerk or New Church, which was built in 1468! The city is also renowned for its celebrated museums such as the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh and Stedelijk Museum.
It is also a shopper’s paradise, featuring everything from the famous flower market to glassware, Delft porcelain, cheese and wooden shoes. You will board a glass-topped canal boat at the cruise terminal that will take you on a 1.5 hour tour through the Amsterdam canals passing major monuments as the Maritime museum, the town hall, and the Anne Frank House. You will view the city centre from a completely different angle and glide past Middle Age corners where regular transport can’t come. Lined by numerous trees and monumental buildings, the famous crescent shaped Herengracht, Keizergracht and Prinsengracht canals provide the setting for your leisurely cruise. Although many canal-fronting houses have been converted into offices, shops and restaurants, there are still many functioning as private residences.
During the canal boat ride you’ll have the opportunity to drink wine, beer or soft drinks as you sample some Dutch cheese and crackers. Your canal cruise terminates again where it started, at the cruise terminal.