FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT RENTING A BOAT IN AMSTERDAM
You bet renting and driving your own boat is more fun than doing one of the standard canal cruises on a large tourist boat. Wanna know why? Check out our article about the 7 reasons for renting your own boat.
Yes, you can drive the boat yourself! No boating license or previous experience is required. Prior to the start of your private Amsterdam canal tour you will receive a personal explanation by our enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff. The handling of our boats is very basic and easy. And the maximum speed on the Amsterdam canals is just 6 km/h. So you can steer your own canal boat with absolute confidence. After your canal tour make sure to include ‘skipper’ on your resume!
You need a couple of things to rent your own canal boat. To start with: you need some common sense, some responsibility and some respect for beautiful Amsterdam canals and the people that live and work there. Secondly, we ask you to bring one valid ID and a credit card when picking up your boat. This credit card can also belong to someone else on your boat. If no one of you has a credit card, please contact us in advance to find another solution.
You don’t need any boating experience, nor a boat license.
It’s good to be prepared! Please use our checklist to make the best of your Amsterdam boat hire.
You need to be at least 18 years old for renting our boats. If you’re not, please find an adult that wants to accompany you. Or grow up quickly!
Yes, you may smoke on board. However, don’t put your cigarette stubs in the battery boxes (this might get explosive) and please do not litter in the canals either.
There has to be one ‘designated driver’: the skipper of your boat is not allowed to drink any alcohol or use any drugs. Other people on the boat are allowed to do so, as long as they know how to behave as a decent guest in our beautiful city.
Remember Henry Ford? “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” Likewise, we have one type of canal boat. Our boats are all blank aluminium and built with one thing in mind: to take you on a relaxed and safe tour on the Amsterdam canals. There is enough space for six people and some luggage. The engine is electric, so very clean and silent.
6 people per boat is the maximum allowed, due to the insurance and the license of our boats.
Yes, that’s no problem. It’s best to take a travel cod or a Maxi-cosi, so the baby can sleep as you enjoy the Amsterdam canals. We have small life vests. Please let us know in advance if you need one ([email protected]). And please be informed that a life vest for a baby only works properly if your baby wears a special swimming daiper or no daiper.
Sure, fine with us!
The maximum speed on the Amsterdam canals is 6 km/h and our boats go 5 km/h, which equals the average walking speed. So you will get to see as much of the city as during a three or four hour walk, without having to walk for three or four hours… And believe us: there is a lot to see in three or four hours!
No, we only have open boats. If you prefer to hire a partially covered electric boat please check our colleagues of Boaty Boat Rental Amsterdam.
BOOKING, RESCHEDULING, CANCELING
On weekends and on holidays we are often fully booked. If the weather is good, weekday afternoons and evening are also in high demand. Our advice: always book your boat hire in advance, either by phone for today or online for any other day. Don’t worry about the weather when making your booking: in case of an unfavorable weather forecast (rain, storm, thunder or snow) you may reschedule your booking for free until 24 hours before the starting time of your rental.
You may find that your favorite time slot is already fully booked. Our online booking tool will show all available alternatives. If they don’t suit you, please check the availability at our colleagues of Boaty Amsterdam Rent a Boat.
In case of a bad weather forecast you may reschedule your rental for free, until 24 hours before the start of your rental. We cannot take responsibility for any other possible reasons for rescheduling.
Normally, we don’t cancel and refund. However, if you let us know far in advance we might be willing to make an exception.
PLANNING YOUR TRIP: RENTAL TIMES, LOCATION, ROUTES
You can choose between a rental period of 3 hours, 4 hours, or a full day of maximum 10 hours. For more information please check out our overview of rental times and rates.
For reservations we open at 9 AM. For two reasons it pays off to start early. Firstly, our unbeatable morning rates apply. And secondly, the canals will be much more quiet.
We close half an hour before the sun goes down. This means our closing time varies from 7 PM in early spring and late autumn until 9.30 PM during summer.
Your boat tour starts and ends at our dock at the Westerpark. In many ways this is an ideal location to start and end your canal tour. Firstly, it is close to the old city center, the most beautiful canal of Amsterdam (the Brouwersgracht) and the Jordaan area. Secondly, the Westerpark (with the popular and inspiring Westergasfabriek on it) is a very lively, yet still authentic part of Amsterdam. There are lots of nice places to enjoy food and drinks before or after your canal tour.
Our staff will show you the nicest Amsterdam canal routes before departure. Our dock is at the Westerpark, next to the Westergasfabriek. In less than 10 minutes you will be on the Brouwersgracht, the most beautiful canal of all Amsterdam. And from there you can see a significant part of the World Heritage Area by continuing your trip on the main canals, like Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht and Herengracht. A good impression of the majestic Amstel river is also possible within three hours. And so is a short loop into the Plantage area. If you hire your boat for four hours, you could extend this three hour itinerary with an additional large loop through the eastern city center.
It’s up to you when to take a break on your way. You can pull over for a toilet break or for buying some food and drinks. However, the boat cannot be locked. So please do not leave your boat out of sight. You will be held fully responsible in case the boat gets stolen.
No. Our boats are well suited to explore both the Amsterdam city center canals and the Amstel river. But the port area/the IJ and the Nieuwe Meer are strictly forbidden for your own safety.
RATES, PAYMENT, DEPOSIT, INSURANCE
Our rental rates are the best in town, guaranteed! They start at just 79,- all-in for a three hour morning rental, any day of the week. For an overview of all rates, please have a look at our pricing table.
There are no extra charges. Everything you need for a nice tour on the canals is included in your boat hire: VAT, insurance, tourist tax, full batteries, foam seats, life jackets, a map of the Amsterdam canals and a personal instruction by our staff. Just bring the right clothing and buy some nice food and drinks to enjoy on your way.
We highly recommend to book your Amsterdam boat rental in advance. For any other day than today your online reservation includes the payment, either by Ideal, Paypal or credit card (all methods of payment are free of surcharges). After that you will receive a confirmation via e-mail. Only same day rentals are being paid for when picking up the boat (either by credit or debit card).
Please mind to provide us with one valid ID (passport, driving license or ID card) and one credit card. We will use these for the deposit. It is also fine if the credit card belongs to someone else in your group.
Insurance is included in your boat rental. If you respect the basic rules that we will personally explain to you prior to your departure, the obligatory deductible excess is € 250,-.
EVENTS & CELEBRATIONS: CORPORATE EVENTS, KINGSDAY, GAY PRIDE, GIFT VOUCHERS
Absolutely! Renting our boats is a great activity for corporate events, both for your staff and your clients. It is the ideal way to relax, to socialize and to enjoy the Amsterdam canals in an authentic way. If you want to add some spice to this, we recommend using our quiz tour. This consists of more than 20 questions, including a lot of ‘nice to knows’ about Amsterdam and its canals, and some photo challenges. Let’s see how your teams compete!
Yes, we do! A quiz is a nice thing to do with a large group. You can have a competition with an attractive incentive for the winning boat. The quiz consists of some 25 questions about Amsterdam and the canals, partly serious, partly fun. And it also includes some photo challenges. At the end we have a bottle of German ‘champagne’ (sekt) in a gift wrap for the winners. The cost of this quiz is an additional 10,- per boat.
We don’t encourage bachelor parties to rent our boats. Our boat hire has a good reputation and we want to keep it that way. If you have any doubt whether your group will behave decently and respectfully, please find another more appropriate activity.
ADDITIONAL SERVICES: CATERING, SKIPPER, BOAT DELIVERY
We don’t cater ourselves. We prefer to focus on renting boats to you at the best rates in Amsterdam. You may bring your own food and drinks. We have a list of the best nearby shops to buy your provisions. If you want to outsource the food and drinks on board for your group, please let us know ([email protected]). Depending on your wishes we will recommend the best supplier.
No, sorry. We only rent boats to drive yourself. Don’t worry about that though: our boats are designed and built in a way that everyone is able to handle the boat with ease. Neither experienced, nor license required. A short personal instruction before departure will do!
That depends. Only for large groups and not on busy days. Please let us know your wishes ([email protected]) and we’ll let you know what we can do.