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The Best Way to See the Amsterdam Light Festival

The Amsterdam Light Festival happens in Amsterdam from last week of November to the first few weeks of January with over 36 installations and artworks from national and international artists, designers and architects. As the name exclaims, all the installations and artworks have lights incorporated in them, which make them dazzling to see at night!

I’ve gone to the Amsterdam Light Festival for three years in a row now. The first year, I biked around the canal loop. The second year, mainly because of my fibromyalgia, I walked around the walking portion, and this year, I went on a canal cruise! Yes, I’ve pretty much seen the Amsterdam Light Festival in every way possible.

Of those three years, my favorite way to see the Amsterdam Light Festival was by boat. There are so many reasons why seeing the festival by boat was my favorite, but if you keep on reading, you’ll find out the exact reasons why seeing it by boat made this yearly venture of mine so special.

Decided you already want to see it by boat? Buy your tickets here.

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Top Notch FREE Drink Service

If you look closely at the photo, you’ll see everyone has a drink in hand!

You get free drinks included in your boat tour of the Amsterdam Light Festival and also top-notch service too!

As soon as we sat down, the hostess asked us what we wanted to drink. Mike got an espresso while I got a tea. We were barely done with these drinks, when we came around again. This time, we got warm gluhwein (aka spiced mulled wine). She kept on going around and around the group constantly refilling drinks, which were all included with our €20 canal ticket.

Over the whole night, Mike and I had Heinekens, hot Chocomel, glühwein, tea, and espresso. They also had soft drinks and wine as options!

Not only was she the drink hostess, but she also explained what the meaning behind each art installation to the group sitting on the inside of the boat. We couldn’t help but tip her €5 for the both of us for her fantastic service and attentiveness.

I didn’t expect more than one drink to be included with our canal cruise nor the excellent service so I couldn’t stop talking about this while on the boat, or even now– hence why it’s the #1 to go on a canal cruise with Boat Amsterdam. I’ve been on a canal cruise before and this for sure differentiates Boat Amsterdam from the other boat I was on.

Ok I guess it’s time to stop getting so excited about the drink service and move on…


Friendly and Informative Tour Guides

Both the drink hostess and the skippper, the guide driving the boat, were quite friendly and helpful. As we passed each light installation, they gave a concise but thorough explanation of the meaning behind it.

In the past couple of years, when I viewed the Amsterdam Light Festival on my own without a guide, I would start off looking at the lights, getting lost in them, and reading the full information boards that came with each installation, but as I moved on from each installation to installation, I would stop read the boards. They were information overload.

Our hostess and skipper gave us exactly what we needed to know about each piece in an engaging manner making this tour great for both adults and kids.

Book your boat tour now.


Comfortable and Intimate Boat Ride

I love that a boat tour only takes in about 25 people on their boat rides. It makes it feel so much more intimate when you’re not packed into a giant boat, and you have access to chat with the hostess and the skipper if you want. There’s soft cushions on the boat and blankets laying around everywhere so you can get really cozy with your friends and family while viewing the lights around the city.

I specifically decided to go on this boat tour because of their outdoor seating area, which is nice to sit out on to view the canals without a cover. But don’t worry! If it rains, their boat has a clear cover on the sides and the top making it so you can still see everything around you.

Book your boat tour now.


Do you think you’d want to see the Amsterdam Light Festival by boat? If so, you can get tickets here.

Enjoy! Please let me know if you go and what you think of it.

Thanks for stopping by my Amsterdam travel blog! xo.

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