Amsterdam through British eyes

Review: Canal Company Water Colors Cruise


The Amsterdam Light festival is something I was really looking forward to, and so on Sunday evening we decided to go on the Canal Company Water Colors cruise to try and get into the festive spirit again. What’s better than being in a canal boat in the city at night?

If you’re thinking about whether to go on a canal cruise for the Amsterdam Light festival, it is EUR17.50 each for adults, and for children it’s EUR10. You each get a free glass of Gluhwein, or a hot chocolate. The pros of going on the boat are that it’s warm, perfect for smaller kids who don’t want to be walking around for a long time, and you don’t need to worry about navigating anywhere. It picks up, and drops off just outside central station. They also currently have a discount code which gives you EUR2,50 discount when you enter FBALF at the checkout screen on the Canal Company website.

I ordered my tickets online, and was surprised to find out that we had to exchange our vouchers for tickets in the queue. However, we weren’t queueing for very long before we got onto the boat, and it was quite hot in there (by the end I was sweltering and wishing that I was wearing summer clothes).

Depending on which side of the boat you sit on, and which direction the boat goes in, the view of some of the installations isn’t very good because there are people who are seated on both sides of the boat, so just by being there, they block the view. The other problem is, some of the installations are a bit too far away to see properly. The Flying Dutchman in the Sofitel was really difficult to see, and we went past it so quickly.

There were also some people whose windows had steamed up, so they had to keep clearing it to see. I think the best place to be is either upfront near the captain, or right at the back of the boat. This way you can look out of the back or front windows and see more.

When we could see, it was really great:

Drawn in Light – Ralf Westerhof. Photo: Janus van den Eijnden

This was one of my favourite pieces, and so beautiful.

Pas encore mon histoire by Vincent Ollinet. Photo: Joris van Kesteren

Flys eye dome by Xavier Boymond

When we couldn’t see, it was pretty bad:

This is supposed to be Big Tree by Jacques Rival

And this is supposed to be Astera by T.I.L.T

Next year, I won’t be going on the canal cruise again, as I thought it was a bit of a disappointment, especially for the price. I would much rather walk around using the walking tour map, see everything and take it all in at my own pace. For some of the installations, the view is better on foot than by boat, and although it could be a bit chilly, it’s free. You could even take a flask of hot chocolate with you too!

What do you think? Did you go on the canal cruise too? Did you enjoy it?


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