Seeing Amsterdam from the water is such a great experience. The city that is famous for its canals and has more bridges than Venice, is best explored on the water. Even if you’ve been to Amsterdam many times, or if you live there, it’s always nice to do a boat trip in Amsterdam.
Some people are lucky enough to own a boat, but most of us will have to rent one if they want to sail on the Amsterdam ‘grachten’ (canals). I think it’s quite scary to drive a boat myself, especially as it can get quite busy on the Amsterdam canals (and narrow too!). So I advice you to do a boat rental in Amsterdam with a captain.
I recommend Starboard Boats for renting a boat with a skipper in Amsterdam. They have an electric boat, so it means that you won’t be bothered by much noise when enjoying Amsterdam from the water. You rent the boat with your own group so you don’t have to sit with other tourists.
Their boat is very comfortable with a restroom, pillows and a covered area for when it’s cold or rainy. The boat tour takes between 90 and 120 minutes and drinks are included. It’s great to watch the city from the water while enjoying a nice cold beer or glass of wine.
Besides being more quiet, an electrical boat is also much better for the environment. Starboard boats takes its part in sustainability in other ways too. All the plastic on board for example is recycled into art, lamps and other objects and once a month they do a ‘plastic fishing’ trip where they collect plastic waste from the Amsterdam canals.
We started our boat trip right next to Central Station, although I believe other pick-up points are also possible. The boat came with a skipper and a guide. Depending on your desires the guide will tell you something about the things you pass by. As I went with friends that all lived in Amsterdam she didn’t have to tell us much.
We started our boat tour in the canal belt and went via the University and Artis Zoo (we actually saw animals from the boat). We also went by some iconic Amsterdam buildings like the Hermitage museum and the Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge).