As we didn’t know Amsterdam at all before our visit there one of the stand-out benefits of the I Amsterdam city cards we purchased was that they included a free canal cruise excursion so after our morning visits to the maritime museum, the botanical gardens, the Gassan diamond manufacturing tour, and the Hermitage museum (all thanks to the card too) we picked up our tickets for the canal tour and sat down to wait for fifteen minutes for the next boat to arrive.

The round trip itself, despite what the brochure said, took around two hours to complete. English commentary played at various points but due to the nature of the trip where people could embark or disembark at different points of the circular tour of Amsterdam’s canals some of the commentary was repeated several times. It was, however, overall very interesting.

At one point we crossed the main canal in which we had come down the day before so we got to see the P&O cruise ship Azura docked at Amsterdam port.

In addition to the interesting waterways and very typically Dutch buildings alongside them there were some other fine examples of architecture on display, the best of which was a wonderful piece of brutalism with struts supporting the main structure jutting out over the canal water and some fabulous hexagonal windows.

A canal cruise excursion in Amsterdam seems like one of those things that as a tourist you simply have to do and we weren’t at all disappointed with it. We’re somewhat fond of water-based trips whenever we go on cruises anyway and on this particular day it was a very pleasant way to get out of the wind and occasional downpours of rain.


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