The Central Route begins at Zouthaven, the Restaurant within the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ concert hall. Boarding is convenient with a parking garage nearby as well as the Central Station. Would you rather park out of town? You can opt for the Park and Ride (P + R) site at the Piet Hein Tunnel, and from there take the tram to the Muziekgebouw.
After departure from Zouthaven, you will sail under the railway bridges in Oosterdok. This waterway originated in 1832 when part of the IJ River was dammed by the construction of the Oosterdoksdam. At the Oosterdok, there are several beautiful hotels including the Grand Hotel Amrath and the Hilton Hotel. Here you will also find the Public Library and the Maritime Museum which was recently restored and, in addition to its fascinating maritime collection, boasts a covered courtyard that can accommodate events and dinners for large groups.
The most remarkable building in the area is, without a doubt, the technology and science museum NEMO, resembling the bow of a huge green copper ship above the IJ. NEMO houses five floors of exhibits, experiments, demonstrations and workshops, and is the largest science center in the Netherlands.
From the Oosterdok you will starboard towards the open harbour front, to the port, and finally the Kromme Waal. This small, quiet canal is lined with stunning houseboats and old service vessels. Here the tour takes you along the former Shipping House, where the Grand Hotel Amrath is now located. This building is one of the most-famous examples of the Amsterdam School architectural style. At the end of the Kromme Waal, you will sail on the Oudeschans Canal, along Montelbaanstoren, towards the St. Anthony Locks and Zwanenburgwal, the most-central canal in Amsterdam.
At the end of the Zwanenburgwal Canal, you pass the Waterlooplein Square, which has been the bustling center of downtown Amsterdam for over 100 years. Here at the daily flea market you can find old books and second-hand clothes, bicycles, furniture, trinkets and sometimes treasures. The saloon boat continues its way past Café De Doelen and the five-star Hotel de l’Europe. At l’Europe, one of the best hotels in Amsterdam, Rederij Belle ships regularly dock to enjoy a delicious dish on board or to drop off guests during the Floating Dinner Package, where you move from restaurant to restaurant. The next destination is the heart of downtown, the Oudezijds Voorburgwal. Here, narrow arched bridges make the tour particularly special. Next, you will pass the Old Church and The Grand Hotel. The Michelin-starred restaurant Bridges at The Grand is also part of our Floating Dinner Package. Finally, you can sail through the famous Red Light District of Amsterdam.
At the end of the Oudezijdsvoorburgwal, you will pass through the narrow Oudezijds Kolk, a characteristic piece of old Amsterdam dating to the Middle Ages. You cross the promenade and come out in the Open Havenfront, the former border between the city and the water. Here the proud Schreierstoren, Amsterdam’s oldest defence tower and
part of the medieval city wall, stands proudly. Through the Oosterdok you return to Zouthaven where your beautiful cruise comes to an end.