When in Amsterdam … cruise the canals!

Amsterdam Canal Cruise.jpg

Amsterdam is a maze of circular canals—165 of them stretching more than 30 miles, to be exact. While exploring the historic city’s waterways via beautiful brick walkways and more than 1,200 bridges was a highlight for me, there is one quintessential way any couple on their honeymoon must see the “Venice of the North” (a.k.a Amsterdam): Via a canal cruise!

We booked our canal adventure as an excursion with U by Uniworld—the Rhine River cruise we took in July from Amsterdam to Frankfurt, Germany—and I could not have been more impressed with our tour operator: KINboat.

Our (truly) expert guide took us into every nook and cranny of Amsterdam’s canals, from Amsterdam Central to the Red Light District to the Anne Frank House (and everything in between). All the while, he pointed out significant markers and let us in on some of the city’s most fascinating history, like why the quirky canal houses are crooked, with many of them titling forward as if they’ll topple over into the water.

(Answer: The slant of the buildings is a combination of them settling unevenly into the soil; a way to create larger rooms on upper levels of homes without taking up significant street space, as well as prevent rain runoff from entering windows on a home’s lower levels; and, most interesting, a way as far back as the 15th century to hoist goods up from the street via a beam sticking out near the roof of most canal homes—the forward tilt of the buildings meant it was less likely for heavy items to hit walls or windows!)

Why I’m smitten with KINboat cruises:

  • Expert (and funny) guides FULL of intriguing knowledge about every facet of the city

  • Electric boats, which mean you ride is green, clean and quiet. The boats also are powered mostly on solar energy.

  • Comfy, padded seating with pillows

  • Refreshments! Many of the KINboat cruises include welcome drinks and snacks; Custom catering also is available. Our cruise included a stop at a local café on one of the canals for a fresh cappuccino, Americano or espresso, organized as part of your experience aboard U by Uniworld.

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