Amsterdam, Netherlands cruise holidays
Amsterdam is a uniquely beautiful city with its picturesque canal network, rich history and vibrant cultural scene. Amsterdam’s neighbourhoods offer distinctive atmospheres. The city’s famous red light district in De Wallen has a unique charm and history of its own – and standing proud in its midst is Oude Kerk (the Old Church), the city’s oldest building dating back to the 1200s. Capture its true spirit by exploring the narrow winding streets, bustling bars and eclectic shops of Joordan, its fascinating old district. Visit Leidseplein Square with its street performers and ice skating rink surrounded by lovely food stalls. Amsterdam Noord, meanwhile, has blossomed into a cultural hipster hub. The charming ‘village in the city’ is a green and family-friendly place for pottering with fun activities, street markets and fresh foodie venues.
Top Sights and Attractions in Amsterdam
Anne Frank House
For many, a trip to Amsterdam just wouldn’t be complete without seeing the secret hiding place of the young Jewish girl, Anne Frank, who wrote her way into history and our hearts with her wartime diary. Thanks to her brave and detailed account, we know what life was like in the city before she and her family were tragically sent to Auschwitz. Now the Anne Frank Museum, her home is one of the most popular places to visit in Amsterdam. To make sure you don’t miss out, why not pre-book your experience via poc.musement.com?
Van Gogh Museum
Arguably the world’s best-known artist, Vincent Van Gogh was immortalised in song and his paintings are instantly recognisable by young and old alike. Selling only one creation in his lifetime (to his own brother!), some of his most famous works are now valued at over £100m. You can see one the world’s largest collections of his masterpieces at Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum in the heart of the city, celebrating the life and works of Holland’s homegrown genius. It’s a great experience for all ages and you can pre-book your experience via poc.musement.com
Tulips of Amsterdam
Clogs and cheese, windmills and tulips all spring to mind when we think of Amsterdam. This exciting city’s favourite flower is an emblem that blooms everywhere, bursting with colour along the canals and gardens in all varieties, shapes and sizes. Between Muntplein and Koningsplein on the Single River you’ll find the famous floating flower market founded in 1862. Here you can buy your own bulbs to recreate memories of this vibrant vision when you’re back at home, dreaming of Amsterdam.
Things To Do
City and Canal Cruise
Amsterdam is a city of canals lined with cool cafés, bars and eateries. It's the perfect destination for a Short Break cruise and a popular stop on our Northern European holidays. A City and Canal Cruise here is the ideal way to see this exciting destination at a leisurely pace. Slowly drifting through the iconic waterways, you’ll get an up-close look at famous landmarks like Anne Frank House and Rijksmuseum, one of Holland’s most prestigious and best-known galleries, located in Museum Square. Relax and admire the beautiful bridges, stunning architecture and laid-back lifestyle of Amsterdam and her friendly people.
Take a journey through the history of Heineken beer and how it was first created here at its flagship factory in Amsterdam. Although it’s no longer made in the city, the A-yeast used in all production of Heineken beer still comes from its origins here in the Zoeterwoude brewery. You can taste different varieties in this interactive museum, learn about the brewing process and even design your own bottle label. Enjoy a lovely view from the rooftop where food and drinks – including of course, a nice cold Heineken - are also available.
Visit Zaanse Schans
See what the simple life was once like at the open-air Zaanse Schans working museum. Once of the most popular attractions to visit in Amsterdam today, Zaanse Schans lies just outside the city and is home to distinctive Dutch windmills, traditional wooden houses, and other historical buildings drawing visitors from all over the world to explore on foot or by boat. Activities on offer include cheese tasting, pewter casting, chocolate making and clog carving workshops. A fun and informative time in a beautiful setting!
Food & Drink
To say the Dutch are known for their love of cheese is a fair and famed opinion still today. Their capital city, Amsterdam, doesn’t disappoint when it comes to living up to the cheese-loving reputation - you’ll find cheesy delights and dishes of every kind in the bars and eateries, markets and stalls along the canals and all over the city centre. Allow yourself to give into temptation – you’re on holiday! – and indulge in a cinnamon and raisin ‘oliebollen’ or a scrumptious ‘stroopwafel’ Dutch pancake (the fluffy little ‘poffertjes’ varieties are a delicious sweet treat). If you’ve more of a savoury craving, then ‘bitterballen’ deep-fried croquettes filled with beef and vegetables and raw herring are popular traditional choices you’ll find on most menus.
Washed down with a Jeneva Dutch gin or a nice cold Heineken or Amstel beer, you’ll get a mouth-watering taste of Amsterdam to remember forever.
Shopping in Amsterdam
You’ll find familiar fashion chains and big brands to boot in Holland’s hip and cool capital city. From the jewellery stores of De Negen Straatjes (9 Streets)’ 17th century lanes to the unique antique shops with rare collectables and unusual finds, there’s plenty to choose from to remind you of your time in the ‘Venice of the north’. All the up-and-coming artists and designers want to be here, setting up independent shops and stalls with exclusive gifts and souvenirs galore. Haggle in the vintage flea markets and browse to your heart’s content in the chic boutiques of Oud Zuid. Remember to watch out for trams and cyclists zipping through the lively streets. Why not sit and enjoy a traditional Dutch drink with a nibble of famous cheese and let the world go by? Amsterdam is a shopper’s delight – and a vision to behold while you sit and catch your breath!
Culture & History of Amsterdam
While the Netherlands is known for its flatness, Amsterdam’s history has had many fascinating ups and downs. From little thirteenth century fishing village to colonial naval colossus in the seventeeth century’s Golden Age, the country and its capital have seen some major historical events like the Great Fire of 1452 and the Nazi occupation during the second World War. The now UNESCO protected world heritage canals constructed in the early 1600s host the huge Pride parades of today, reminding us of the vital role these waterways will forever play for the trade and travel, people and parties of lively Amsterdam.
To learn that Holland has more bikes than inhabitants (despite being Europe’s most densely populated country), we can imagine something of the lifestyle. People like to be relaxed and free, especially in Amsterdam, the cultural capital of the Netherlands. With a world-famous reputation for enjoying all things laid-back, this chilled and exciting city has art and entertainment at every turn in the many excellent museums, music venues and frequent festivals. You’ll never be stuck for something to see or do, more like spoilt for choice, no matter what time of year you come exploring.
Step ashore to the bright and modern Passenger Terminal Amsterdam where a wealth of welcome facilities such as bike rental, souvenirs, bars and shops, are all conveniently waiting under the wave-shaped roof. The lovely terraces on the promenade and panorama decks has great views over the River IJ and old Amsterdam. The heart of the city is easily reached by tram or train from Central Station, just a ten minutes’ walk away or stretch your legs all the way to the centre and enjoy an
ice-cold Dutch lager and famous cheese at a canalside café on arrival?