Dine and cruise on the canals of Amsterdam

Dine and cruise on the canals of Amsterdam

by Stacy Roman
Stripes Europe

Since moving to Germany, we’ve had the good fortune to meet up with my husband’s family twice — last year in Barcelona, this year in Amsterdam. My father-in-law was the owner of a travel agency, so he’s well-versed in itinerary planning. About a month before our visit, I received an email asking if we wanted to join them on a dinner cruise along the canals.  We had the option of pizza or burgers. Not knowing how the burgers would be and having a ridiculously picky eater in our family, we chose pizza.

Cruising the canals

The company we went through was Lovers Canal Cruises.  We met on the dock near Amsterdam Centraal Station. My father-in-law had pre-ordered our tickets and meals, so our embarkation went smoothly. Since we had a party of 10, we were at two separate tables. Buckets of ice-cold Heineken and fresh potato chips greeted us. Once the boat was loaded and orders had been taken, we began our cruise through the Amsterdam harbor.

The timing of this cruise was almost impeccable. The sun was beginning to set, casting soft light on the shimmering water. Our guide, Andy, gave us the history behind each location we passed. After about 45 minutes of touring the harbor and nearby canals, we returned to the dock, and our freshly baked pizzas were loaded on to the boat.

I’ll admit that I am a bit of a pizza connoisseur. My first job was working as a pizza creation artist (I made pizzas), and I can throw pizza dough in the air like a pro. The pizza on the cruise was good, but definitely not the best I’ve had in Europe or elsewhere. Neither my husband nor I finished ours, to the delight of our 13 year-old who promptly inhaled the rest. As we glided through the canals, we had a small traffic jam caused by a doughnut-shaped boat with a rowdy crew. Once the traffic had cleared, we made our way back to the dock.

If you find yourself in Amsterdam with a free evening, I would highly recommend dinner and cruising. It’s a great way to get oriented with the city and also receive a crash course in Dutch history. Should we do it again, we would probably opt for the burgers over the pizza. For more information or to make reservations, visit www.lovers.nl/en.

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