Amsterdam is best seen from the water and to rent a private boat in Amsterdam is a fantastic way to spend a warm day. To go cruising in the 17th century canal belt in your own rented boat with your own group of friends, you don’t need licences or experience. If you rent your own private boat in Amsterdam, you can bring your own food and drinks.
There are several different companies in Amsterdam that rent private boats. You can rent a small boat from about €80 for 6 people (3 hours, in the morning). Boats are all electric and you’ll be given a personal instruction so you know how to handle the boat. Also all boats come with life jackets and a canal map with routes. Boating in the Amsterdam canals can be an adventure on busy days, when hundreds of small boats hit the waters!
How to rent a private boat in Amsterdam
Renting your private boat in Amsterdam is best to be done with a group of people. By splitting the costs, you can hire the boat for a good price. On weekends and in general when the weather is nice, be sure to reserve your boat in advance, because everyone will hit the water to enjoy that cool breeze.
The boat of Boats4rent are small and cheap. Max 6 people fit on the boat. Boats4rent rents out electric boat that sail on green electricity. That means that they don’t pollute the city and make no noise. You won’t need to worry about have enough gasoline.
Don’t worry about you operating the boat. With Boats4rent will get a personal instruction and you’re off. Renting your own boat at Boats4rent comes with soft pillows, life jackets, a water map with suggestions for the route. Insureance is included.
Boats4rent are located at Amsterdam Westergasfabriek. That’s 30 minutes walk from Central Station or a short bike ride. The boat is very simple and the prices are good. Cheapest are the morning hours on weekdays when you can rent a boat for 3 hours for €79. Most expensive are the evening hours (€107 weekends).
Some of the rental boats of Boaty are roofed with solar panels. That means you have shade on the boat. A personal instruction about the boat, basic rules and nice routes is included.
Boaty Bootverhuur is located in Amsterdam South at Jozef Israelkade (near Pijp district), reachable by public transport, tram 4 and 12 or train/metro station Rai.
About the same prices apply to renting a boat in Amsterdam with Boaty: from €79 to €105,-.
3. Canal Motorboats Amsterdam
Canal Motorboats is the oldest boat rental company in Amsterdam, so they claim on their website. Just like the other companies, a navigation license is not required on these boats, which can take up to 7 people.
Canal Motorboats is opened the whole year round from from 10.00 am till sunset or 10.00 pm. You can use the online reservation system to book a boat in Amsterdam. The boats are aluminum and powered by batteries, which makes them silent and eco friendly.
Canal Motorboats are a little more expensive:
- the first hour is € 50,-
- the second hour is € 40,-
- the third hour is € 30,-
- the fourth hour is € 20,-
You find the boat at Western Islands. This is about a 20 minute walk from Central Station.
Ecoboats is the newest boat rental company in Amsterdam. The boats are bigger and can hold up to 12 people. On weekdays, you can rent a private boat for €50 per hour. Friday, Saturday and Sunday they are €60, for a minimum of 2 hours. Ecoboats are also located at Westerdok/ Western Islands, a 20 minutes walk from Central Station.
4. Sloepdelen: Private boats for 12 people
Is your party bigger than 6 people, you will need a bigger boat. A cheap way of renting a quiet, electric boat is Sloepdelen.
At Sloepdelen you can rent a boat in Amsterdam for 12 people.
Hiring a boat is fully online procedure. You can book a private boat online in Amsterdam, Utrecht and Leiden. After booking on the internet, you will be given a code.
After arriving at the dock, choose your boat and follow. Possibly there is no personal assistance.
You will have to make a phone call to the company and use your personal code to start the boat.
Where to find Sloepdelen
The boat of Sloepdelen are located at Nassaukade 69, a central location just outside the Jordaan (near the Marnix swimming pool). Renting a boat for 12 people costs €60 per hour (minimum of 2 hours) in Amsterdam with a €150 deposit.
If you’d like to rent boat more often, you can become a member of Sloepdelen.nl and enjoy reduced rates. Rates go down to 30 on off-peak hours and 40 for peak hours.
Sloepdelen wants to be an alternative option for people who would like to boat more often, but don’t want the hassle of owning your own boat.
Renting a boat and skipper
Only the larger Amsterdam shipping companies have a license to rent out a larger boats with skipper. The boats can be big enough to hold 42 people.
There are more and more private owners of boats who rent out their boat and captain their own boat for the party. Most of these people don’t have a license to rent out there boats and services, needed from the council.
Halted by the water police
Obviously, people who don’t have a license charge much less and these deals are more attractive. But the risks are high. The water police (Waternet) is very active on checking these boats and it’s very likely you will halted by the police. That means the party is finished.
Can I bring my own drinks?
Almost all official shipping companies will charge you with extra costs if you want to bring your own food and drinks. Drinks and food supplied for by the rental company can rather expensive.
Tips for renting a large boat in Amsterdam
- Book in advance!
- Renting a licensed boat is less risky. Ask them if they have a license.
- Some boats have a toilet on board and some don’t.
- Be sure to check the time you need to have the boat back. Usually the boat has to be back some time before sunset.
- Ask if you can bring your own food and drinks.
- Some boats can be roofed in case there is a sudden rain or if you need shade.
- Ask what the minimum rental is.
- Be there on time, so you don’t pay for hours you didn’t sail.
Tips to rent a private boat in Amsterdam
- Bring coolers for the food & drinks.
- Keep to the right.
- Boats from the right take preference.
- Canal boats have preference!
- Don’t drink and drive the boat. The Waternet police is actively fining drunk drivers!
- No loud music is allowed.
- There are special water maps available and there is a VaarWater app for your phone.
- Make sure you bring warm clothing when on a private boat in Amsterdam, it’s much colder on the water.