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Amsterdam’s Floating Dutchman amphibious tours to be resurrected

If you’re looking for the amphibious “Floating Dutchman” bus tour from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol through the canals of Amsterdam and back, look no more.

The tour — introduced in 2011 by Rederij Lovers — no longer exists.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tckW5eDvTUA
Video: A promo for the Floating Dutchman, whose maiden voyage took place in 2011. Cancelled in 2012.

What seemed like an interesting concept fizzled out and was eventually cancelled in 2012.

Splashtours coming to Amsterdam

However, the company behind the Floating Dutchman successfully operates an amphibious bus tour in the city of Rotterdam. Since 2011 its bright yellow Splashtours bus has been taking to the water in the neighborhood of Katendrecht.

The bus, with a maximum capacity of 42 people, makes 1200 trips a year carrying a total of some 40.000 passengers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hs7as8tk6J0
Video: The amphibious bus takes to the water in Rotterdam. The bright yellow vehicle may soon sail the River IJ in Amsterdam.

Now Splashtours wants to conquer Amsterdam.

Co-owner Christoffel Wielders says permits are are about to be issued, and the maiden trip is expected to take place in 2019.

The diesel-engine vehicle will operate on the city’s River IJ — not in Amsterdam’s canals, where emission free sailing is mandatory.

The Floating Dutchman came and went

In cooperation with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, trips with The Floating Dutchman were marketed by Lovers as a layover option.

Lovers (pronounced “loafers” — although they don’t mind hearing ‘lovers’ either) has ordered four buses. The first bus cost 2.5 million euro — three times higher than was budgeted.

Floating Dutchman tours

The Floating Dutchman in the waters of the Oosterdok, Central Amsterdam

Tickets for the 2-hour tour, 45 minutes of which actually on the water, sold at 39 euros per person.

However, Schiphol airport bowed out of the project when it turned out the amphibious bus frequently was grounded due to technical issues.

With the airport no longer in the picture, Lovers — one of the largest companies offering canal cruises in Amsterdam — pulled the plug on the ‘Most Splashing Way To See Amsterdam’.

A canal cruise (“Rondvaart“) remains Amsterdam’s top tourist attraction.

There are plenty of tours to choose from, from plain and simple to ones featuring pizza, wine & cheese, or dinner by candlelight.

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This post was last updated: Jun. 27, 2018