Monday, July 11, 2016

An Amsterdam canal tour with Those Dam Boat Guys

We've entered the peak of summer here in Amsterdam and that means it's the perfect time for a boat ride! Over the years, boating through Amsterdam's canals has become a one of my most frequent and treasured past times. Nothing beats a (preferably sunny!) day out on the water. Boating offers you a alternative peak at Amsterdam, where you can watch life unfold along the canals or just enjoy the company you're floating around with. As a frequent passenger myself, I can't emphasize enough that Amsterdam is best enjoyed from a boat, with good friends and bottle of bubbles! 

The only thing better than having your own boat is having friends with boats, or better yet, friends with a boat company! My buddies, Alec, Jesse and Neil are a high-spirited crew of Californian and Canadian expats who combined their boating expertise, wacky personalities and love for Amsterdam into a full time gig by launching Those Dam Boat Guys. I often spot the guys having a great time on the water while showing visitors around the city. So, when they recently invited me along for a ride, my answer was an enthusiastic, 'Yes!'

Whether you're a tourist or local, boating is the best way to leisurely enjoy our city's charming canals. In the quintessential gezelligheid spirit of Amsterdam, Those Dam Boat Guys offer local expertise with a light-hearted and scenic tour of the city. In other words, their unique, laid back tours are the complete opposite of those big, obnoxious tourist boats that frequently clog up the canals. Skeptical? Check out their Trip Advisor reviews

Those Dam Boat Guys encourage passengers to bring all their favorites on board (including babies and children). So, round up a few friends and prepare to make some new ones during the tour. Remember to bring your own snacks and feel free to drink and smoke what what you like on board (it is Amsterdam, after all).

 Seating 10 passengers, their open, electric boats offer a unobstructed, 360 degree view of the city during each 90 minute tour. Instead of being trapped under glass and plugged into a boring audio tape, you'll experience a cozy ride, interact with passersby and learn the history of Amsterdam from one of their entertaining captains.

The meet-up point is near Cafe Wester, so we kicked things off with a canal side picnic and grabed pizzas and prosecco nearby. Funny enough, we even spotted Captain Neil as he returned his current tour group the back to shore. With our bellies full, we walked over by the Westerkerk and Anne Frank museum before meeting up with the rest of our group.

We hopped on board near the Anne Frank museum and headed east along Keizersgracht. Not even five minutes passed before we cracked open a few bottles of booze and started getting to know the other passengers from Australia and Spain. Captain Neil, the Canadian funnyman in charge, answered our questions and kept us entertained with a humorous twist on the history of Amsterdam. 

Ready to boat like a local with Those Dam Boat Guys? Canal tours depart multiple times, daily from 12pm. 
Public tickets (€25 adults / €23 students) and private tours can easily be reserved online.

Haven't seen enough canal photos yet? Click the link below to see more of our tour ... Happy boating!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

An interview with Amsterdam Cycle Chic

July cyclist of the month 1

Wow, time flies! It's hard to believe my trusty yellow omafiets is already six years old. It's even harder to believe that I first moved to Amsterdam over six years ago! 

I've recently joined the Amsterdam Cycle Chic team and they featured me as their Cyclist of the Month. Head to their blog for my interview about life on two wheels in Amsterdam.

For more cycling fun, follow along with us on Twitter and Instagram. Happy cycling!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Around Town: Amsterdam Favorites Map

Amsterdam's unique atmosphere is evident in the renewal of old spaces with bold, new ideas. Along with important cultural and historical sites, there's an ever growing list of quirky spots to discover around the city.

Whether you prefer cozy corners, rough, industrial spaces or prefer to nestle in the grass under a tree, there are so many different ways to take in the sounds and scenic views of Amsterdam. I'm on a constant quest to find great places and discover a different perspective of the city.

After a few years of sharing my personal discoveries of Amsterdam through my blog, I'm often questioned for suggestions on what to see, eat and enjoy around the city. So, I recently teamed up with KLM to create an Amsterdam map with some of my favorite spots. This list includes great ways to engage with Amsterdam's rich history, along with excellent locations to sip a local brew, discover new tastes or catch up with friends to watch the world go by.

Late summer is a perfect time to enjoy all that Amsterdam has to offer and the flat city is easy to explore by bike, foot or boat. Feel free to share your favorite things to do, I'm always looking for new spots to discover a different view of Amsterdam.

Check out my map below and get exploring!

This map was made in collaboration with KLM who provide flights to the city.  
Come and explore Amsterdam!