Your Amsterdam Canal Cruise route begins at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ concert hall (also called the Music Building on the IJ). This boarding location has ample parking and is close to the Central Station. From here, you follow the perfect canal route: Nieuwe Herengracht – Herengracht – Brouwersgracht – Prinsengracht – Amstel River – Oudeschans – Oosterdock – Zouthaven.
As you begin to cruise the Amsterdam canals, you will sail under the railway bridges by the Oosterdok and past the Maritime Museum. From there you reach the Nieuwe Herengracht, then to Artis Zoo, the Tropenmuseum (Tropical Museum) and along the Hortus Botanicus botanical gardens. Next, you cross the Amstel River and sail straight on
the Herengracht Canal where you will see the mayor’s stately residence, the picturesque Thorbeckeplein and many other grand buildings with beautiful facades. At the end of the Herengracht, you will see on your left Brouwersgracht or the Brewers Canal. This waterway owes its name to the many breweries located along the banks in the 16th and 17th centuries.
If you would like to see more, you can extend your trip with an exploration of the Western Islands. Through Westerdoks Island, you will get a full view of the Bickersgracht the Realengracht and Zoutkeetsgracht Canals. The sailing here is less-crowded and offers a fantastic view of the warehouses and shipyards.
At the beginning of the Prinsengracht, you will see Noorderkerk Church, built for the working-class families living in Jordaan. In Egelantiersgracht, you will spot the famous –and eerily striking – House with the Heads, named for the six classical busts at the entrance. Further to starboard you will pass the Anne Frank House and the Westerkerk Church. It is certain that Rembrandt van Rijn was buried here, but no one is sure where exactly. As you continue, on your right you will see successively Bloemgracht, Lauriergracht, Looiersgracht, Passeerdersgracht and Leidsegracht. You will then be in the vicinity of Leidseplein with its lively nightlife with the famous Hampshire Hotel Amsterdam American and the Lido Club. Continuing on Prinsengracht, you arrive at Restaurant Van de Kaart, with which Rederij Belle often cooperates. The restaurant offers perfectly prepared meals to be enjoyed onboard while sailing the canals.
After passing Amstelveld Square, you will leave the Prinsengracht and once again sail the Amstel River. You will pass the Skinny Bridge, Theatre Carré, the Hermitage Museum and the Stopera. Next you will sail down Zwanenburgwal, where on the banks Rembrandt and philosopher Spinoza once lived. You will pass the St Anthony’s lock and the Montelbaanstoren tower. In the Golden Age, this area was an important trade
center; cargo ships sailed the Geldersekade canal to the Nieuwmarkt (New Market) where their goods were weighed and sold. Finally, you will sail the Oosterdok, back to your departure location.