For the fifth year in a row, Amsterdam will turn into a real-life fairy tale, sparkling and glowing with over 20 pieces of illuminated artwork from artists all over the world. The artworks, inspired by the festival’s theme of ‘A view on Amsterdam’, dot the Canal Ring, the River Amstel and other locations around the city to allow visitors to experience Amsterdam in a completely unique way. And the most enchanting way to take in the festival is with the Water Colors Cruise offered by Canal Company, the founding partner of the Amsterdam Light Festival.
Alongside the Water Colors cruise, festival visitors can also tour some of the works on foot. The Illuminade walking route, offered from 15 December 2016 until 8 January 2017, allows you to stroll through Amsterdam in a special evening tour that guides you through the centre of the city to view the interactive and innovative installations up close.
Amsterdam Light Festival boat tours with Canal Company
Water Colors Cruise
Watch the artwork of the Amsterdam Light Festival shimmer across the water on the Water Colors Cruise. As you sail down the canals, you’ll pass by dozens of illuminated works of art and listen to an on-board overview of each piece. Everyone is welcome on the Water Colors Cruise to enjoy this unforgettable experience.
When: The Water Colors Cruise departs daily several times every hour from 17:00 to 21:30 and lasts 75 minutes.
Where: The cruise departs at the Gray Line dock at Prins Hendrikkade 33a, across from Central Station.
How much: Tickets cost €21.50 for adults and €14.00 for children ages 4–12.
Water Colors Fast Track
Skip the queue and start cruising with the Water Colors Cruise Fast Track. With this option, you select your preferred date and time to cruise the canals and view the artwork of the Amsterdam Light Festival. Each passenger receives a complimentary book with information about the festival and its artwork.
When: The cruise lasts 75 minutes and departs daily every half hour beginning at 17:00. Reservations are required for the Water Colors Cruise Fast Track.
Where: Head to Pier 6, Damrak (near Central Station) to board your boat.
How much: Tickets cost €25.00 for adults and €16.00 for children ages 4–12.
Water Colors Premium
Elevate your evening on the water with the Water Colors Cruise Premium. This cruise enhances the Amsterdam Light Festival experience with the addition of a delicious meal and warm drinks to enjoy as you view the twinkling lights. With a Premium ticket, you’ll receive a cup of hearty pea soup, a traditional Dutch favourite, accompanied by warm, rustic bread. You’ll also receive a choice of a hot ham sandwich with honey mustard dressing or a mini quiche with roasted vegetables and ricotta pesto. Sip on a glass of Glühwein or hot chocolate to cosy up on the canal under the glow.
There’s no queueing for this cruise: reservations are required!
When: The cruise lasts 75 minutes and departs daily every half hour beginning at 17:00. Water Colors Premium ticketholders should arrive a half hour before departure to allow time to enjoy the meal.
Where: Board the boat at Gray Line’s Pier 5, Damrak (near Central Station).
How much: Tickets cost €29.50 for adults and €19.50 for children ages 4–12.
Water Colors Open Boat
Immerse yourself in the magical experience of the Amsterdam Light Festival on the Water Colors Open Boat! You’ll sit aboard a special boat with open decks, giving you an unencumbered view of the surrounding lights and artwork. The captain of the boat will not only guide the boat, but guide the experience with historical stories of Amsterdam and information about the light exhibits. The boat may be open, but it’s still cosy — each passenger receives a warm blanket and Glühwein or hot chocolate to sip as they sail. Reservations are required.
When: The cruise lasts 75 minutes and departs frequently every day.
Where: Hop on board the Water Colors Open Boat at the mooring at the I amsterdam Visitor Centre, close to Central Station.
How much: Tickets costs €21.50 for adults and €14.00 for children ages 4–12.
Water Colors LOOKOUT
See the lights from above as well as from the water! Head to the A’DAM LOOKOUT, which offers a complete, clear view of Amsterdam’s breath-taking skyline from the 100-metre tall tower. After admiring the lights from up above, the boat will collect you from the A’DAM LOOKOUT to cruise along the canal to view the artwork on the water.
When: The doors to A’DAM LOOKOUT open at 19:00, and a visit to the tower takes about an hour. The cruise departs at 20:30 and lasts approximately 85 minutes.
Where: Exit the A’DAM LOOKOUT at Overhoeksplein 5, next to the EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam Noord, and head to the mooring in front of the tower to board the boat.
How much: Tickets cost €29.00 for adults and €17.50 for children ages 4–12. Please note there are a limited amount of tickets available.
Group Events at the Amsterdam Light Festival
The Amsterdam Light Festival is the perfect place to enjoy the company of others — so make an evening of it! Invite your whole family or plan a group event to celebrate the end of the year with colleagues. The glittering lights and the cosy atmosphere of the cruise is a perfect backdrop to any event, especially when paired with a delicious meal, tasty appetisers and a good glass of wine. Find more information about Amsterdam Light Festival group packages.
Beat the queues and reserve your front row seats to the Amsterdam Light Festival with Canal Company today!