This December, Amsterdam will once again turn into a real-life fairy tale, sparkling and glowing with over 40 pieces of illuminated artwork from artists all over the world. The art, inspired by this year’s theme 'Existential' and created exclusively for the festival, will adorn the Canal Ring, the River Amstel and several other locations around the city, taking the city’s already stunning night-time sights to an entirely new level. And the most enchanting way to take in the festival is via the Water Colors Cruises, offered by Canal Tours Amsterdam by Stromma, a founding partner of the Amsterdam Light Festival.

Aside from the Water Colors cruise, festival visitors can also tour some of the works on foot. The 15km Amsterdam Light Walk (27 December) or one of the many one-hour Artifex Art guided walks (various dates) are excellent ways to view the interactive and innovative installations up close.

Amsterdam Light Festival boat tours with Stromma

Water Colors Cruise

Watch the artwork of the Amsterdam Light Festival shimmer across the water from the Water Colors Cruise boat. As you sail down the canals you’ll pass dozens of illuminated works of art, while listening to an on-board overview of each piece (in English or Dutch). A cold night, a heated boat, beautiful light-art and a cup of hot chocolate (or some Glühwein!); this may well be the best way to spend a winter evening.

When: The Water Colors Cruise departs daily, several times every hour, from 16:30 to 21:30, and lasts 75 minutes. Reservations are required.

Where: The cruise departs from Stromma, Central Station, moored at Prins Hendrikkade 33a.

How much: Tickets cost €22.50 for adults, and €14.00 for children ages 4–12.

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Amsterdam Light Festival Canal Company

Water Colors LOOKOUT

See the lights from above as well as from the water! Head first to the A’DAM LOOKOUT, which offers a complete, clear view of Amsterdam’s breath-taking skyline from a 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 and view the artwork from 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 €29.50 for adults and €19.50 for children ages 4–12. Tickets are limited, and reservations are required.

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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. And yes the boat may be open, but it’s still cosy, and each passenger receives a warm blanket to be sure. Reservations are required. 

When: The cruise lasts 75 minutes and departs frequently, every day, from 17:00 onwards.

Where: Hop on board the Water Colors Open Boat from the mooring at the Iamsterdam Visitor Centre, close to Central Station.

How much: Tickets costs €22.50 for adults and children ages 4–12.

Reserve your Water Colors Open Boat tickets now.

Amsterdam Light Festival open boat tour

Water Colors Luxury Drinks

Have a group of friends (say, about 20 or so) or colleagues and would rather have your own boat? Then experiencing the magically illuminated city via the private Water Color Luxury Drinks might be for you. On this cruise you’ll get a dedicated guide, exquisite drinks and snacks and – of course – all the photo-ops you’ll need to flood your social media channels. Reserve all this well in advance though.

When: You’ll need to book this one in advance, and the duration and departure time may depend on your preferences.

Where:  Get in touch to discuss transfer arrangements and departure points.

How much: On average tickets will cost €47.50 per person, and includes waiting staff. The price may vary depending on your preferences, however.

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Water Colors Exclusive Drinks

Fancy something a little cosier? How about a stunning, luxurious saloon boat straight out of a historical romance? Maybe you’re looking for the ultimate romantic evening or the perfect place to propose, but either way, the Water Colors Exclusive Drinks cruise is the answer. A great menu of tapas and appetisers, delicious drinks, dim lights and comforting music, all while you cruise through stunning light-artwork that cannot be seen anywhere else. It doesn’t get any better than this.

When: This is a customised cruise, so the duration and departure time will depend on your preferences. Call to discuss and book in advance.

Where: Discuss transfer arrangements and departure points when you book the boat.

How much: The 1.5-hour cruise is designed for six people, and tickets start at around €78.50. But depending on how many you’re booking for, and your preferences for the evening, the price will vary.

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Amsterdam Light Festival 2016  Flower Strip Aether Hemera

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 Stromma today!