Living the Magic of Amsterdam Canal Cruises (Interview with Amsterdam Boat Center)

Private boat cruise in Amsterdam

Welcome back! In our first 2021 episode of #ExperienceOfTheWeek series, we travel to Amsterdam, Netherlands. This time we hopped on the private boat with Iris from the Amsterdam Boat Center and we talked about how a canal cruise can show you a totally unique view of the city, in this case, Amsterdam. Read our latest interview and learn more.

Q1: Hi Iris, how are you doing?

Good! Although business is quiet at the moment. 

Q2: Tell us more about the Amsterdam Boat Center. How long have you guys been in business? How big is your team? 

Amsterdam Boat Center is a small boat company in the midle of Amsterdam. We organize private boat tours for all kinds of occasions (business, family outings, weddings, birthdays, etc) and provide information and tickets for canal cruises.


Henk Jan Buchel, the owner of Amsterdam Boat Center, started the company in 2012 with just 2 boats. We expanded over the years to the exploitation of 6 boats. I, personally, started to work at Amsterdam Boat Center in 2015 and have been taking care of all the organization, planning, sales, and administration. In total, there are 3 of us at the moment. Before the corona time, we had a few part-time employees on the weekends, so we could be open for 7 days per week. 

Q3: Amsterdam is one of the most popular destinations in Europe and the love for boat cruises is pretty big here. How do you make these experiences special?

We offer a unique boat tour experience for people to see Amsterdam in a more special, local, and personal way; the Classic Canal Cruise


This boat cruise takes you through the enchanting and small canals of Amsterdam on board of one of our authentic classic salon-boats. The captain will be the guide and gives a personalized tour of the canals, monuments of the golden era, and many other beautiful sights along the way. During this 1,5-hour tour, coffee and tea are included and other refreshments are available in our bar. 


For our private tours, we can recommend the perfect boat for every occasion. Let us advise you on everything from catering to boarding locations and cruise routes, to ensure your day is a success! All of our boats meet local licensing and insurance requirements.


We offer romantic tours in a beautiful salon boat for 2 people, or a comfortable boat cruise in the summer in an open sloop, large groups with dinners on board, everything is possible!

Canal Cruise in Amsterdam Boat Tour in Amsterdam

Q4: Your selection of tours includes everything from regular cruises to cruises with special food experiences. Which cruise deals are the most popular among travelers who book with you?

The Classic Canal Cruise is the most popular cruise for travelers. The travelers who would like to have a private tour, mostly book our smallest salon boat Tzar (for a maximum of 6 people) with a drink and bite or dinner onboard.

Q5: Today many people travel and plan their itineraries on their own. Can travelers rent a boat on their own via your center?

Not yet, at the moment we can only offer private boats with a captain, but we have some future plans for travelers to rent their own boats. 

Boat Tour in Amsterdam

Q7: With 2021 here, and hopefully the travel industry rebounding, do you have any new exciting plans? New ideas? Menus?

Yes! We would like to expand our business with more possibilities such as: rent out electric, small boats which travelers can take by themselves, SUP and kayak rental and tours, B&B boats, etc. Let’s hope the travel industry rebounds as soon as possible so that we can start!

Q8: And last but not least, tell us 3 things you simply love about Amsterdam and why 🙂

First and definite number one: All the canals, they are living history and you can go everywhere by boat, Amsterdam looks different and even more beautiful from the water. We, as real boat lovers, see Amsterdam as the Venice of the North. Something everyone should see at least once in their lives!

  • So many diverse cultures in one city! And everyone lives peacefully together.
  • Architecture, from the most authentic canal houses and parts of the old city wall to the new innovative architecture buildings around the IJ. Very diverse and both beautiful!

Private boat cruise in Amsterdam