*Edit: Canal Company has been rebranded to Stromma! All references and links are now directed to Stromma Canal Tours.
To be completely honest, until I met Richard from the Stromma Canal Cruises at the STAY WYSE conference in January I thought only old people and families with young children toured the Amsterdam canals by boat.
I was wrong.
As a full day ticket for the hop-on hop-off Canal Bus was gifted to all of us that attended STAY WYSE I thought I may swell give it a go. Especially as one of my last days there was overcast and raining.
I’m so glad I did, because I found out that the Canal Cruises are a fantastic way to see Amsterdam!
5 Reasons to Tour the Amsterdam Canals with Stromma
1. They will keep you warm
Coming from England, everyone I know the world over complains about the British weather. But I can tell you something – Dutch weather in Amsterdam is just as bad the weather we experience in the South of England.
Just wait until you feel the wind!
So to be able to hop-on and hop-off at various Amsterdam canal docks in the city, instead of walking from site to site in the wind and rain, is absolute heaven!
2. The drivers are friendly
We actually had two experiences with Stromma in January, as we were gifted to a candlelit evening tour of Amsterdam at the end of one of the conference days.
So after both trips on the canals, my personal opinion is that the drivers and staff on board are some of the friendliest (and knowledgeable!) tour guides I’ve experienced!
Chatty, both on and off the microphone, and welcoming – they also add their own anecdotes when describing certain parts of the city which is a personal touch that I really enjoy.
3. Multiple languages
When you take walking tours across any city, there tends to be only two main languages supported: English and Spanish.
But when I hopped-on a canal boat outside the Rijksmuseum I was surprised to hear the driver ask what languages were preferred. As if they had a back up stock of languages ready for the guests!
P.s. Stromma also has a great mobile app that comes in six languages too.
4. See more in one day
Amsterdam isn’t all that big, but if you want to see as much of the sites that lie around the outside of the city (such as Museumplein, the Heineken Museum, Anne Frank’s House, etc.) then you’ll find yourself adding a lot of steps to your pedometer.
So for those who’d like to enjoy their sightseeing at a more leisurely pace (which I often do!), then touring the Amsterdam canals with the Canal Company is really the best way to do it. The boats definitely aren’t speedboats, and between docks you get fantastic explanations of other sites that lie along the canal.
Sights you would miss if you were rushing from sight to sight by yourself.
5. Get special offers on certain attractions
Stromma has some of the best connections across the city and offer great prices on tickets for many museums and attractions including the Van Gogh Museum, the Heineken Experience, Rembrandt House and (my personal favourite) the Hermitage.
So if you choose to combine entry to one of these museums or attractions with your canal cruise then you can save money and even time with their ‘skip the queue’ tickets!
Final tips on touring the Amsterdam Canals with Stromma
- The easiest way to book a canal cruise or buy a hop-on hop-off canal bus ticket is to visit one of their many shops across the city or through their website.
- You can also call them to book or with questions on +31 20 217 0500
- Stromma offers day cruises, evening cruises (including a Pizza Cruise which sounds amazing!), closed and open boat tours, private and public tours and Canal Bikes – as well as the hop-on hop-off Canal Bus
- For a full list make sure to visit their website
- All canal cruise boats have on-board toilets and there is free wifi available at the shops in the map above
- A day ticket for the hop-on hop-off Canal Bus costs 21 EUR (or 19 EUR if booked online in advance), and a 24-hour ticket costs 24 EUR (or 21.50 EUR online)
- As you can see, discounts are applied when you book online rather than in their shops
- The Canal Bus runs on two lines around the city (Green and Orange) which run from 9:35 until 18:40 between the two daily
- The two lines offer a total of nine hop-on hop-off stops across the city
- Make sure to download the free Stromma app to get the most from your experience with them
— Katie Dawes (@the_hostelgirl) February 1, 2016
Whilst I received a hop-on hop-off Canal Bus ticket as part of my delegate pack from the STAY WYSE Conference, no commitment to write about them was required. I just think that this is a great way to see the city and wanted to tell you guys about it so you have another option aside from walking tours!