Sailing in Amsterdam with your own boat: fun kids’ outing

Sailing in Amsterdam with our own little boat that was on our list to do in Amsterdam with our daughter for a long time. We have now visited the city dozens of times, but sailing through Amsterdam’s canals by our own boat had not yet been done. Amsterdam remains a wonderful family-friendly city and we already wrote about the city in the blog Amsterdam with kids, in which we listed all the activities you can do in the city with a family. Meanwhile, we have also added to this list the activity of taking a boat ride ourselves in Amsterdam. As a result of this activity, we are writing this comprehensive review.

Sailing in Amsterdam with your own boat-
Sailing in Amsterdam with your own boat-

Boat rental in Amsterdam

You have several organizations where you can rent a boat. We looked around on the Internet and came across the company of Canal Motorboats. Here the price for two hours of boating was reasonable, we could walk straight to the boats from Amsterdam’s central station and they rent out electric boats that have zero emissions and make little noise.

In addition, the company allowed our daughter to fish for plastic while boating, which in addition to being good for the environment, we thought was a fun activity for our daughter. We had rented the boat on Sunday morning and from Amsterdam’s central train station we walked in about 15 minutes through a nice part of the Jordaan to the boats.

We had a boat for eight people, so you can rent a boat here with larger families as well. You can also, of course, rent a boat with two families and then split the cost, making it another half the cost.

After we got some explanations on how to drive the little boat and the boat was equipped with cushions we could go out. We were given a clear map, which showed different routes we could sail. These were very simple, making it almost impossible to sail wrong.

Sailing in Amsterdam with your own boat-
Sailing in Amsterdam with your own boat-

Cruising the Amsterdam canals with your own boat

We sail a scenic route through Amsterdam’s canals with our boat, starting on the Prinsengracht. Through this canal we sail for miles and we fully enjoy the beautiful city of Amsterdam. We pass several churches such as the Westerkerk, for example, as well as the Anne Frank house where it is enormously crowded with tourists. Even though it is Sunday morning, there is already plenty to see in town.

Despite it not being a sunny day, we were glad it wasn’t raining. This did make it nice and quiet on the canals themselves, so we didn’t have to swerve much for other boats. Our daughter was busy looking for all the plastic in the water which she could fish out with a large landing net and put in a garbage bag.

When we had almost sailed the entire Prinsengracht, we arrived at the Amstel River, where we turned the boat around and sailed back via the Keizersgracht. It is also possible if you rent the boat to make a larger round and also pass by Artis Zoo, for example, but with our daughter we thought two hours was long enough.

We had taken a tour boat in Amsterdam before, but sailing through the Amsterdam canals in our own boat like this was also something we really enjoyed doing in Amsterdam. Before we knew it, the two hours had flown by and we were back at the boat rental company.

Sailing in Amsterdam with your own boat-
Sailing in Amsterdam with your own boat-


We thought it was super fun to sail through Amsterdam in our own little boat for once. We had a noiseless electric boat that was easy to drive ourselves and where we could see the city of Amsterdam beautifully from the water.

Our daughter enjoyed fishing the plastic out of the water in between and was proud at the end that she had pulled an entire garbage bag full of trash out of the water. We rented the boat in the winter months, but we can imagine that this is also a very cool thing to do in the summer months.

Check out the Canal Motorboats website for more information on renting a boat in Amsterdam with the family!

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