Visiting Amsterdam? Get your Skip-the-Line Museum Tickets right now.
Home | Where to Stay | Amsterdam Hotel Alternative: Sleep on a Boat

Amsterdam Hotel Alternative: Sleep on a Boat

Amsterdam is often referred to as the “Venice of the North.” Small wonder. The city has always had a near-symbiotic relationship with water.

The very name ‘Amsterdam’ is derived from the fact that the city started out around a dam (the current Dam Square) in the river Amstel.

In time, the new city became an important harbor. As the city grew, canals were dug both as a means of defense, and a way to distribute products from around the world — cocao beans, spices, hides, wood, coffee, and what not — to their warehouses (many of which, by the way, have long been converted into expensive houses and apartments)

Nowadays, Amsterdam is criss-crossed by 160 canals, creating 90 islands, which are connected by 1281 bridges.

Seafaring Past and Present

Oosterdok, Amstedam

Oosterdok, Amsterdam

The area around Central Station provide lots of reminders of Amsterdam’s seafaring past and present. In the harbor, huge modern cruise ships share the water with freight ships from countless countries.

Floating hotels take hordes of tourists via the Rijn river as far as Switzerland. Private yachts and much smaller vessels sail proudly across the water — on their way to the North Sea, the IJselmeer, or simply back to the canals.

The water in front of the Maritime Museum — which is closed for renovation through the summer of 2009 — usually sports a 48-meter replicate of a VOC ship, the type of ship used to sail to the Far East. During the museum’s renovation the ship, the ‘Amsterdam,’ is berthed at the nearby NEMO museum. (See photo above)

Sailing Home — Bike & Boat Tours, Chartered Trips

Amsterdam: Westertoren old style

The starboard side of the Sailing Home faces old Amsterdam, including the Montelbaanstoren.

Right next to the ‘Amsterdam’ you’ll find ‘Sailing Home.’ Originally built in 1927 as a freighter, it was completely renovated in the year 2000.

The vessel emerged as a comfortable, 5-star passenger ship.

From April through September the ship fulfills various functions. When ‘Sailing Home’ is not carrying passenger on a week-long bike & holiday tour of Holland, it may be chartered for day trips or for on-board parties.

Sailing Home — Restaurant, Hotel

During the Winter months, the Sailing Home serves as a quality restaurant, offering a unique dining experience with a first class, four-course French or Italian dinner.

It also provides an excellent alternative to land-based hotels.

Amsterdam: Westertoren new style

The comfortable dining room of the Sailing Home also offers a view of the ‘Amsterdam’ — a replica of the type of ship used by the Dutch East India Company from 1602 to 1795.

The Sailing Home has 13 comfortable, 2-person rooms available, each with private toilet, shower, and air-conditioning.

After a good of night of sleep there is a buffet breakfast.

It pays to contact Sailing Amsterdam even during the summer months, as the ship may be at its home in the Oosterdok harbor during the time you will be in Amsterdam.


Berth 3, Oosterdok, Amsterdam [Google Map]


For information, contact Ilia Bendeler:,
or call Bas Tamis: 06 5257 3696 (Mobile)


Sailing Home (Dutch language only, at the moment)

Original content © Copyright
Do not republish or repost. Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Things To Do In Amsterdam

Why stand in line during your vacation? Beat the crowds by booking Tours, Skip the Line Tickets, Museums, Excursions and Activities online.
Affiliate Links
Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission — at no additional cost to you — for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate Dutch Amsterdam earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this service free of charge.

Naturally, as our Editorial Policy states, our content is never influenced by our advertisers or affiliates.
This post was last updated: May. 18, 2011