FAQ’s about renting a boat in Amsterdam

General terms and conditions

1. Can I operate the boat myself? Do I need a license or boating experience?

Our boats are self operated. So you are the skipper. You don’t need a boating license or any boating experience. Before departure we will give you a short personal instruction. After that it is very easy and great fun to drive the boat yourself.

2. What is the maximum number people for this type of boat?

Our boats have an insurance and a license for up to 6 (six) people. Please be aware that we are very strict on the maximum of people allowed on the boat. Please note that also (small) children count as a person.

3. What is the minimum age for renting / operating a boat?

You need to be at least 18 years old to rent and operate a boat.

4. Does the rental include an insurance?

Insurance is included in your boat rental. In addition, we explain the most important rules to you before departure, so that you can enjoy your time on the water carefree.

5. What are the rules of navigation on the canals?

We will personally inform you about the most important rules before departure. A short glimpse? Stay on the right hand side of the canals and give way to others.

6. Do you take a deposit?

Yes, upon departure we ask for a deposit of €100 by debit or credit card, not in cash. The deposit will be released automatically after 24 hours, if there is no dispute. It depends on your bank institution when the amount will be back on your account. Usually this takes 3 to 5 working days.

7. How does your deposit system work?

The functioning of our deposit system varies based on how you have made your boat reservation. There are 2 possible scenarios in which you have made your reservation with us.

Scenario 1: You have pre-booked and paid your boat through our online booking system.

Scenario 2: You have rented a boat via phone, email, or in-person, and thus, no advance payment was made through our online reservation system.

Scenario 1: You have already made your payment online in advance and so you will only need to provide a deposit upon your arrival at the location. The deposit is held through a card reservation. A card reservation means that you have authorized the payment, and the funds will remain in your account but won’t be immediately available for other transactions. Rest assured that if there are no disputes or issues, the card reservation will automatically be released after 24 hours. This process is the opposite of what occurs in scenario 2, where the payment is actually captured.

Scenario 2: You have rented a boat through phone, email, or on-site, and did not make the payment online using our reservation system. In this case, you are requested to pay both the rent and the deposit in a single transaction as our payment service provider requires the complete amount to be processed in one go. After capture, the payment will be divided into two parts: 1) the rental fee for the boat, and 2) the deposit. The deposit will be refunded automatically after capture if there is no dispute whatsoever. Usually this entire process will take 3-5 business days. For further questions, please email to info@boaty.nl.

8. Where can I find the general terms and conditions?

Reservations and payments

1. How can I book / reserve a boat?

For a rental today, please call +3120 261 7061. For any other day please us our online reservation system. Here you can check the available time slots 24/7 and book the one of your liking.

2. How far in advance should I book?

You don’t have to worry about the weather. If the forecasts don’t look good for the day you booked (very dense fog, persistent rain, thunderstorms or storms) you can cancel free of charge even on the day itself. You will then simply receive the full amount back. In other cases, a cancellation period of 24 hours in advance applies. Of course you can always move your reservation to another date free of charge.

3. Why is my preferred time slot not available in the booking system on your website?

If the time slot of your preference does not show up, it is not available. Either because it is fully booked, or because we are closed. Hopefully, there is an alternative time slot that suits you. If not, please try our colleagues of Boats4rent Amsterdam Boat Rental.

4. Can I reserve in advance and pay when I pick up the boat?

We always ask for payment in advance, like concert or airline tickets. Therefore, we only confirm online reservations that are paid for by iDEAL (Dutch internet banking), credit card or Paypal. If you show up without a reservation, we cannot guarantee availability.

5. Will I receive confirmation of my reservation?

Yes, via email. When paying with iDEAL this may take a few hours. If you cannot find a confirmation in your inbox, then please check your spam box or junk mail folder.

Cancellations and rescheduling

1. What is your cancellation policy? Can I cancel? What happens with bad weather / rain? Do I get a refund?

In most cases yes. We use the following cancellation conditions:

  1. You can cancel free of charge up to 24 hours before the start of your cruise. A full refund will be provided.
  2. In case of bad weather (such as very dense fog, persistent rain or (thunder)storms) it is possible to cancel on the day itself. Also in this case you will receive the full amount back.

Note: During major events such as King’s Day and Gay Pride, different rules may apply due to the high demand for boats. Please contact us for this.

Opening hours and rental periods

1. How long can I rent a boat for? What time slots are available?

You can choose between a three or fout hour rental. Please check our pricing table for the corresponding rates.

2. Can I also rent a boat for less than three hours / for a one or two hour trip?

Our rates apply for a rental period of three or four hours. And we certainly recommend to use that time. But of course it is no problem if you decide to make a shorter trip

3. Can I extend my rental, before or during my trip?

That depends. Your booking is for a fixed time period. A next rental might start directly after yours. Or we might have to close directly after your rental period. If you make your request well in advance, we can let you know what’s possible.

4. What time do you close? Can I sail at night / after sun set?

We close half an hour before the sun goes down. So our closing time varies from 7 PM early spring and late autumn until 9.30 PM in June / July.

5. Are you open all year round? Can I rent a boat during winter?

Yes. We are open all year round.

Prices / rates / costs

1. What does it cost to rent a boat?

We have the best boat rental rates in Amsterdam. A three hour rental starts at euro 89, -. That is our morning rate, valid both weekdays and weekends. The afternoon and evening rates are slightly more expensive. And so is a four hour rental. See our pricing table. The local tour tax of 1,50 per person is added to your boat rental rate.

2. Will there be any additional costs / hidden charges?

The only additional cost is the local tour tax of 1,50 per person. This will be added to your rental rate. Apart from that, everything you need is included: VAT, insurance, ‘fuel’ (electricity), foam seats, life jackets and a personal instruction by a friendly Boaty employee.

The boats

1. What type of boat do you have? (size, type of engine, open or covered)?

All our boats have the same size, for a maximum of six people. They come in two versions: completely open or partially covered. The open boats are the best choice for sunbathers. The view is a bit better and they are very easy to get in an out of. The partially covered* boats provide some shade when it is sunny and some shelter if it is rainy. Both versions have an electric propulsion. The partially covered boats have canopy made of solar panels (a floating eco-friendly mini-power plant). *As of the new sailing season 2023, the covered boats are no longer available.

2. How big is the boat?

Our boats have the size of a small sloop, about 5.00 x 1.65 m. (16,5 x 5,5 ft). That’s large enough to sit up to six people, without having to squeeze.

3. How fast / slow is the boat? What is the maximum speed?

The speed limit on the canals is 6 km/h. Our boats go a little slower, approximately 5 km/h (a bit over 3 mph). This is the equivalent of walking. So our boats are easy and safe to sail for everyone, even without a boating license or experience. In three or four hours you can definitely make a relaxed trip on a nice part of the city center canals and the Amstel river (see our suggested routes).

4. Do you rent boats with a captain / skipper?

No, we don’t. The license we have is for self operated boats only. For a larger or luxury private boat with a skipper we recommend our colleagues of Sloepvrienden and E-Boats Amsterdam.

5. Where can I find pictures / photo’s of the boats?

On the page about our boats.

On board and on your way / during your rental

1. What should I bring along on board?

Your date/partner/family/friends/colleagues. Something to eat and drink. And, weather depending: sun glasses and sun lotion or a warm jacket. We take care of the rest: a decent boat, life jackets, a laminated map of the canals, foam seats and full batteries.

2. Can we bring a dog on the boat?

Yes, dogs are welcome. And we are happy to arrange a bowl of water on board.

3. Do you provide life jackets / life vests?

Yes, we do. Please let us know if you will bring any small kid(s). Then we will reserve the right size(s) for you.

4. Do you provide pillows or blankets?

We provide foam seats. They make up for a softer seating and also protect your bums from the heat or the cold (weather depending) of the metal boat. If you want real pillows or blankets, feel free to bring these yourself.

5. Do you provide a map of the Amsterdam canals?

Of course. A large (A1) water map with beautiful sailing routes and sights along the way.

6. Is there a sound system on board? Can we play music on the boat?

No. In order to reduce noise and nuisance on the canals, the municipality of Amsterdam does not allow music on board of rental boats. It is allowed to bring your own ‘silent disco’ 😉

7. What about alcohol and soft drugs on the boat?

The person operating the boat participates in traffic, like driving a car. Therefore, he or she must remain sober. This does not apply to the passengers.

8. What about smoking on the boat?

You may smoke on board. Please do not throw your butts in the battery boxes (danger of explosion) and also not in the water. Fish and ducks don’t smoke.

9. Can we stop somewhere along the way / can the boats be locked?

There are places where you can stop on your way. However, always keep an eye on your boat. The boat cannot be locked and we will hold you liable in case of theft during your rental.

Location / How to get to us?

1. What is your location? Where is your dock / jetty?

The Boaty dock is located on the south side of the Amsterdam city center. This is within walking distance from the Heineken Experience (a 15 minute walk), Albert Cuyp Market (a 10 minute walk) and the Rijksmuseum (a 20 minute walk). Please check out our location page for more detailed information.

2. Where can I park my car?

On the other side of the canal, on Amstelkade around house numbers 130-140, for € 4,50 per hour. The Flow Parking park house is 10-15 minutes by foot and offers full day parking for € 25,-.

Boating routes

1. Where can I go with my boat?

You may take our boats almost anywhere on the Amsterdam canals and the Amstel river. For safety reasons the following areas are strictly forbidden: the IJ (port area, including Amsterdam Noord, NDSM, KNSM- & Java-islands and IJburg), the Kostverlorenvaart and the Nieuwe Herengracht.

2. What routes do you recommend?

We have three route suggestions: two city center routes and one into the Amstel country side. No need to memorize them: they are on the map that we provide.

Catering / food and drinks

1. Do you provide catering / food and drinks on board?

We don’t, but we have partners for that. Please send us an e-mail to let us know your wishes.

2. Can we bring our own food and drinks on the boat?

Sure, good idea! There’s two Albert Heijn supermarkets nearby (Maasstraat and Cornelis Troostplein).

3. Can we have a BBQ / barbecue / grill on the boat?

No, sorry! That is a very dangerous combination with the batteries on board.

Company trip / group activity / staff event

1. Can you organize my corporate / staff event?

Yes, we can! Sailing the Amsterdam canals is a brilliant group activity. Especially when you book our Canal Cruise Competition. We are also happy to advise on other activities or venues before of after your boat trip (bars, restaurants, meeting rooms, et cetera). Please send an e-mail to tell us how we may help you.

2. Can I rent your boats for my hen party / stag party / bachelor party?

No, we’re sorry. We don’t welcome any bachelor parties.

3. Do you deliver or pick up boats at other locations?

Sometimes we do. Only by arrangement, for large groups and when our schedule allows. And we charge extra for that. Please send an e-mail to tell us what you’d like.

Renting a boat for King's Day or the Gay Pride

1. Can I rent a boat at Kingsday? Can I rent a boat for the Gay Pride / Canal Parade?

Yes, you can! Please check out our information about renting a boat Kingsday or for the Gay Pride.

Quiz tour / treasure hunt / gift voucher / gift certificate / punchcard

1. Do you have a quiz / treasure hunt?

Yes! For large groups we recommend doing our Canal Cruise Competition.

2. Do you have gift certificates / vouchers?

Yes, we have gift vouchers of different amounts. Purchasing a gift voucher is very easy. Choose a voucher of 3 or 4 hours and give an unforgettable experience as a gift!

3. Do you have punchcards?

Yes, we have punchcards of different amounts. Purchasing a punchcard is very easy. Order a punchcard and sail 5x for the price of 4!