Departing from our base in Loosdrecht, you can easily sail north up to Amsterdam and its surroundings. Alternatively, go south and discover beautiful historical cities such as Utrecht or Gouda.

Amsterdam boat hire and Holland cruises in a few words…

As you travel along the canals, discover Holland’s iconic heritage: windmills, canal bridges, and tulip fields that inspired paintings by the Delft artist, Vermeer. After you have crossed the Loosdrecht Lake on your boating holiday trip, follow the River Vecht and tie up in the two capitals of art: Amsterdam and Utrecht. Stroll along beside the terraces beside the canals, explore hidden away shops in what used to be cellars and discover the authentic brown cafés, turned brown by the town’s chimneys. For mooring in Amsterdam, you are spoilt for choice: the marina in the centre of the town and two others on the outskirts. Taking a Pénichette® through the city’s canals is simple enough with a little care. In the Venice of the North, take a stroll through the Joordan, the trendy, former workingclass district, place of Anne Frank House. For an impromptu picnic, spread out your blanket in the Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s “Central Park”, a green haven in the heart of the city.

The
highlights of Loosdrecht

  • Cruise to Amsterdam and its canals on board your Pénichette®
  • Many round trips are possible, so you don’t go over the same spot twice

our routes departing from Loosdrecht

The routes shown are only suggestions; don’t forget that you can stop wherever you like on your cruise.

Canals for Rembrandt

Itinerary LoosdrechtAmsterdam UithoornWoerden Gouda Oudewater Utrecht Loosdrecht

Itinerary

Loosdrecht...Loosdrecht
Duration of stay
1 week
Navigation time
5h30 / day
Distance traveled
168 km return trip
Number of locks
14 + 48 lifting bridges
halte_nautique
Loosdrecht

Amsterdam

In Amsterdam, the marina is in the town centre, but it's peaceful. Separated from the central station by the grand canal, it's served by a ferry that operates day and night every 10 minutes. Cruising by Pénichette® on the town’s canals is easy but you need to be careful.

Woerden

As well as its rich heritage, you'll find one of the five traditional cheese markets here (Alkmaar, Edam, Hoorn, Gouda and Woerden).

Gouda

Historic Gouda is a town in Holland’s southern province, known worldwide for its cheese, candles and stroopwafels (caramel waffles).

Oudewater

Make the most of your cruise through Oudewater to visit the Waag Museum, better known as the Heksenwaag (Witch-weighing House), According to legend, before these "weighing houses" were used to weigh merchandise, they were used to check whether women were witches or not.

Utrecht

You'll love Utrecht, known as Holland’s cultural treasury, with its old castles and palaces, wildlife park and many shops. You'll also enjoy arriving in the town on your licence-free boat, past the terraces that border the canal.

halte_nautique
Loosdrecht

In the country of Windmills

Itinerary LoosdrechtAmsterdam Edam Alkmaar ZaanstadAmsterdam Loosdrecht

Itinerary

Loosdrecht...Loosdrecht
Duration of stay
1 week
Navigation time
4h30 / day
Distance traveled
164 km return trip
Number of locks
9 + 28 lifting bridges
halte_nautique
Loosdrecht

Amsterdam

In Amsterdam, the marina is in the town centre, but it's peaceful. Separated from the central station by the grand canal, it's served by a ferry that operates day and night every 10 minutes. Cruising by Pénichette® on the town’s canals is easy but you need to be careful.

Edam

Edam’s cheese is known worldwide. The town, 20 km from Amsterdam, offers a wealth of historic heritage, as well as many activities connected with cheese: markets, museums and cheese factories.

Alkmaar

The village of Alkmaar has 12 windmills, including the Roode Hert, a grain mill still in working order. On Fridays, one of the most famous traditional cheese markets in Holland is held in the village.

Zaanstad

Not far from Amsterdam, situated on the river Zaan, you will find Zaandam. a medium-sized city in North Holland. It is known for the Zaanse Schans, the river Zaan and the annual Dam tot Dam foot races from Amsterdam to Zaandam.

Amsterdam

In Amsterdam, the marina is in the town centre, but it's peaceful. Separated from the central station by the grand canal, it's served by a ferry that operates day and night every 10 minutes. Cruising by Pénichette® on the town’s canals is easy but you need to be careful.

halte_nautique
Loosdrecht

Northern and southern light

Itinerary LoosdrechtAmsterdam Alkmaar Edam Amsterdam UithoornAlphenGouda Oudewater Utrecht Loosdrecht

Itinerary

Loosdrecht...Loosdrecht
Duration of stay
2 weeks
Navigation time
5h15 / day
Distance traveled
250 km return trip
Number of locks
13 + 76 lifting bridges
halte_nautique
Loosdrecht

Amsterdam

In Amsterdam, the marina is in the town centre, but it's peaceful. Separated from the central station by the grand canal, it's served by a ferry that operates day and night every 10 minutes. Cruising by Pénichette® on the town’s canals is easy but you need to be careful.

Alkmaar

The village of Alkmaar has 12 windmills, including the Roode Hert, a grain mill still in working order. On Fridays, one of the most famous traditional cheese markets in Holland is held in the village.

Edam

Edam’s cheese is known worldwide. The town, 20 km from Amsterdam, offers a wealth of historic heritage, as well as many activities connected with cheese: markets, museums and cheese factories.

Amsterdam

In Amsterdam, the marina is in the town centre, but it's peaceful. Separated from the central station by the grand canal, it's served by a ferry that operates day and night every 10 minutes. Cruising by Pénichette® on the town’s canals is easy but you need to be careful.

Uithoorn

Uithoorn is a small town south of Amsterdam. There are cafés, shops and nice places to walk in the heart of nature and Dutch history.

Alphen

Alphen aan den Rijn is a lively little town with great shops and cafes, but also some fascinating old buildings to visit and some typical Dutch mills.

Gouda

As well as its rich heritage, you'll find one of the five traditional cheese markets here (Alkmaar, Edam, Hoorn, Gouda and Woerden).

Oudewater

Make the most of your cruise through Oudewater to visit the Waag Museum, better known as the Heksenwaag (Witch-weighing House), According to legend, before these "weighing houses" were used to weigh merchandise, they were used to check whether women were witches or not.

Utrecht

You'll love Utrecht, known as Holland’s cultural treasury, with its old castles and palaces, wildlife park and many shops. You'll also enjoy arriving in the town on your licence-free boat, past the terraces that border the canal.

halte_nautique
Loosdrecht

If you want to book this cruise
Browse online the availabilities

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Travel across the Holland region with canal boat hire in Amsterdam

Rent a boat in Amsterdam and explore the country from its waterways

In a city known famously for its canals and waterways, what better way to see the sights and hear the sounds of Amsterdam than from a river boat cruise. As Holland and the Netherlands have thousands of miles of waterways, seeing the country this way is naturally the best way to do it. Starting in the nation’s capital Amsterdam, boaters have the chance to cruise the city’s waterways, free from the traffic of the streets and huge crowds that adorn the pathways and cycle lanes of the city,

The majority of holidaymakers start their Holland canal boat holidays in Amsterdam. This international hub is ideal for getting to via plane or train and is ideally situated in the country itself. From the city of Amsterdam, boaters can head pretty much any direction in, using the multiple rivers and canals. Heading south-east will take you as far south as Utrecht and even on to the southern Netherlands. Leaving Amsterdam via its southwestern canal routes will take you through the green Dutch countryside and on to towns such as Leiden and The Hague.

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Rent a canal boat in Amsterdam and head south-east

Once you have secured your Amsterdam river boat, the next decision to make is, which direction you are going to go. Taking the canal route south-east out of the city will take you straight out into the idyllic green countryside of Holland to begin your canal cruise from Amsterdam. The first place you will arrive at once you have left the Dutch capital is the town of Loosdrecht. This region is famed for its many lakes and gives boaters a chance to immerse themselves completely with the countryside of Holland.

Among the picturesque lakes, dikes and countryside, the town of Loosdrecht itself is worth a visit. Mooring here is possible thanks to Locaboats canalside docks, which also provides a starting base if you don’t wish to start in Amsterdam.

One of the highlights of Loosdrecht is the Castle-Museum Sypesteyn, a stately home dated from the late 19th-century squire built by Henri van Sypesteyn. Standing a stone’s throw from the canal banks, the castle is a must-see.

Following on from the town of Loosdrecht, your canal boat rental from Amsterdam will take you further through the winding canals and to the city of Utrecht. Utrecht is the perfect stop-off point in your Holland canal trip, not only as a great place to stop lunch but as a place to explore in its own right. The city has its fair share of attractions, including the 14th century Dom Tower, an incredible neogothic style castle and a selection of interesting museums. The charming streets are worth a disembarkment from the barge, if only for a few hours.

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Discover the westerly route with your canal boat rental in Amsterdam

With canal routes flowing out of Amsterdam in every direction, it can be a difficult choice when deciding which route to take. Taking the westerly route on your Amsterdam barge holiday means you get to see some of the best of what Holland has to offer. As you carve your way through the Dutch countryside, you will drive your barge from Amsterdam all the way to another of Holland’s famous cities, The Hague.

Starting out from the capital, the Amsterdam river cruise will wind west and eventually come to the town of Aalsmeer. Nestled on the canal side, Aalsmeer is the natural first stop off from Amsterdam and it doesn’t take much to moor up on the canal side and begin a sightseeing tour of the town.

One of the most famous attractions in the town of Aalsmeer is the Aalsmeer Flower Auction, the largest flower auction in the world. Selling up to twenty million flowers daily, paying a visit here is worth it for all kinds of flower lovers.

Moving on from Aalsmeer, boaters will move swiftly westward, and the city of Leiden appears seamless on the right bank. One of the city’s popular attractions is the Leiden Windmill Museum, and you can’t say boating holidays in Holland any better than seeing your share of windmills. Apart from the windmills, Leiden is also home to the Museum De Lakenhal, a museum full of work by famous Dutch artists such as Jan van Goyen, Rembrandt and Jan Steen.

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Head north with canal boats hired in Amsterdam

Apart from the southern routes into the interior of the Netherlands, Holland’s canals run into the northern part of the country, creating a whole different landscape to explore. The north of the country is in stark coast to the south, with a narrow strip of land lying between the North Sea and Lake IJssel.

Travelling northwards from Amsterdam, holidaymakers will first come to the town of Edam, only a few miles north of the city. This town precedes itself and is best known for Edam cheese, a reputation that does not disappoint. The town was once famous for its extravagant cheese market, selling a range of Edam cheeses and more.

Although the cheese is mainly sold in more commercial sets ups, a revived traditional cheese market is held each July and August on each Wednesday, so be sure to check if your canal barge holiday coincides with this market.

Moving on from Edam, the canal winds north into North-Holland. The canal will open elegantly into Lake Alkmaardermeer, a beautiful expanse of water that will feel more like an open sea than a lake, purely from its size. Nestled on the western banks of the lake is the town of Akersloot, an ideal place to stop off and enjoy views of the lake and surrounding windmills.

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What to see on your canal boat holidays in Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s historical must-see landmarks

After you have secured your boat hire in Amsterdam, it is time to navigate the numerous waterways of the city and see what it has to offer. Among the manies of its different attractions, Amsterdam is a European city steeped in history and with the means to make your way around the city swiftly, you can see them all. Much like the Canal du Midi, boat hire sometimes enables you to see these historical landmarks from the water.

One of the city’s most famous historical landmarks is that of Anne Frank’s house, standing on the banks of the Prinsengracht canal. This house was the location and hiding place of wartime diarist Anne Frank and her family. Hidden in an enclosed attic space here for two years, Anne Frank and her family finally met a horrendous end in a concentration camp.

Visitors can now take a tour of this historic building viewing the well-preserved rooms as they would have been during the 1940s. The house also plays host to an in-depth exhibition about the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.

Another of Amsterdam’s more significant historical landmarks is the de Oude Kerk, one of the city’s oldest buildings. Hire your own boat in Amsterdam,  and you can pull right up alongside this 13th-century church and see it in all its canalside glory. Having gone under many renovations and redesigned over the centuries, the old church is a great example of the multi-layered architecture the city has as a whole.

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Take in Amerstadam’s artistic heritage

The best canal cruise in Amsterdam would not be complete without boating your way around the city’s artistic sights and institutions. In a country famed for its old masters and groundbreaking artists, there is much to see in the capital. No passage on Dutch art would be complete without mentioning the Netherlands favourite artistic son, Vincent van Gogh. The Van Gogh museum is one of Amsterdam’s most visited museums and most popular landmarks. The museum houses the largest collection of Van Gogh paintings and drawings in the world, including The Sunflowers, and no visit to the city is complete without a visit here. The artistic map of Europe doesn’t end with Van Gogh, as a short journey to Amsterdam’s central neighbourhood will bring you to the Rembrandt House Museum.

Navigate your canal boat in Amsterdam towards the Zwanenburgwal canal, and the Rembrandt House Museum looms large silhouetted against the Dutch horizon.

Taking your Amsterdam barge rental through the city’s canals will bring you to one of the city’s most iconic institutions, the Rijksmuseum. The Rijksmuseum is a Dutch national museum that holds exhibitions dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. The museum is a real Aladdin’s cave of artefacts and is home to nearly a million different objects. With only around eight thousand on display at any one time, returning to the Rijksmuseum is always a great option.

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Ensure your private canal boat hire is moored and seek out the nightlife

Amsterdam is not only famous for its high culture and thought-provoking history; it is also famous the world over for its hospitality and nightlife. Having toured the city and region’s canals during the day, you and your fellow holidaymakers will definitely be in the mood to seek out the city’s nightlife. Although the city has a reputation for being one of the hedonistic excess, Amsterdam has its fair share of restaurants and sophisticated eaters that rival the best in Europe.

If you do have a taste for something a little more lively, the city is renowned for its super clubs and all-night parties; just keep a designated boat driver for the morning after. No visit to the Dutch capital is complete without a glance at one of the city’s most famous areas, the red light district. This area has more of a carnival-feel to it rather than a seedy one, and although it is not to everyone’s taste, it is worth a visit.

Alongside the bars, clubs and windows, Amsterdam has its fair share of live music on offer; this takes the form of more live music orientated bars and venues. The former church venue of Paradiso is one of the city’s most popular live music venues, complete with stained glass windows and highrise balconies.

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Choosing the right barge for your canal boat trip in Amsterdam

Smaller boats for just the two of us

If you’re looking to take that romantic trip away or only have a small group travelling the Dutch canals, then opting for a small-sized boat like the Pénichettes Classique® is perfect. This boat is ideal for manoeuvring the waterways and locks with ease. This model is capable of holding two to five people and is great for small groups that don’t require a huge amount of space. Whether your private canal boat rental in Amsterdam is a luxurious one or an economical one, there is a smaller boat to fit the budget. Although these boats are great for playing host to small groups, their small space means that only a limited amount of storage space is available.

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Bigger boats for the whole family and more

If you are in need of a much larger boat, to carry the whole family or extended group of friends, for example, you will be in need of a model such as the Pénichette® Aft Deck. These larger boats are capable of carrying far greater numbers of passengers, with a capacity of around four to twelve. Each cabin is equipped with a double bed, basin, hanging space and storage, perfect for a long trip around the Dutch canals. Much like boating holidays in France, these larger vessels are more than capable of navigating the canal routes with just as much grace and finesse as their smaller counterparts.

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our boats available

Departing from our Loosdrecht base, we can offer the range of canal boats shown below. To see the full range of cruises available, please see our self-drive boat pages or contact our team who can help you to choose.

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Your departure
base Loosdrecht

LOCABOAT HOLIDAYS
Oud-Loosdrechtsedijk 249 A-D
1231 LX – Loosdrecht
NETHERLANDS

If you have already booked your cruise and you want to reach your departure base:

+ 31 (0) 294 237 742

[email protected]

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