Rent a boat in Amsterdam

By now you’ve probably heard about Amsterdam being a city characterised by the many canals. Thus a canal cruise is an absolute must-do when you visit Amsterdam. But how cool would it be to rent a boat in Amsterdam and discover the canals yourself? Guess what, you can! The advantages of a private rental boat are obvious: it’s just you and your group, going your own way, as long as you want, taking breaks whenever you want. If you want to hire a boat however keep in mind that you’re not the only one, especially if the weather is good, the companies where you can hire a boat sell out fast. Make sure that you make a reservation upfront to avoid disappointment. The rental boats have a capacity of up to 6 passengers. If you’re looking for an option with a larger group size, consider booking a private cruise on a boat with a captain.

Small electric rental boat in Amsterdam
Discover the Amsterdam canals by yourself in a small electric sloop.

Rent a small electric boat

In Amsterdam there are multiple companies that rent out small sloops with electric propulsion. The boats are really easy to sail and you don’t need a license to rent these boats.  The electric propulsion is zero-emission and provides a relaxed and silent ride. Before departure you will receive a personal instruction about handling, basic rules and possible routes. You’re allowed to take up to six people on the boat and you can bring your own food and drinks.  The designated driver however is responsible and not allowed to drink.

We think that renting a boat is a great alternative for the canal cruises in the classical canal boats, if the weather allows it. It gives you the  freedom to go wherever you like, for as long as you like. Besides it’s also fairly cheap compared to a normal canal cruise, that cost around €16,- per person for an hour. If you decide to bring food yourself you can also save out on a meal in a restaurant, and have a cosy picnic on the water.

When you rent a boat in Amsterdam please keep in mind the following things:

  • If you bring food and drinks make sure to bring plastic bag for the rubbish. Please don’t litter the canals you just enjoyed.
  • The waterways are super busy. Please keep right and allow big boats to pass.
  • In contrary to your small boat, bigger boats are not as manoeuvrable. Give them right of way and wait for them to pass.
  • Although tempting playing music on a boat is not allowed in the centre. Don’t play music if you don’t want to be fined.
  • Please be respectful to environment. Keep in mind that there are people living on the houseboats.

We recommend the following companies for renting a boat in Amsterdam:


Boats4rent is situated in the Westerpark

boaty amsterdam boat rentalBoaty

Boaty is situated South of the centre near the Okura Hotel

Rent a big boat with a skipper

If you have something to celebrate, you might want to rent a boat that carries more than 6 people. In this situation, you will need to rent a big sloop. This type of boat can carry up to 90 people, but it differs from boat to boat.  These boats are always rented out with a certified skipper. You’re not allowed to sail this type of boat yourself. However, this allows you the chance to sit back and relax while you enjoy the ride. Please have a look at our selection of private boat tours and find one that suits your needs!