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Ice grounds Amsterdam canal tour boats

DutchAmsterdam.nl — Several operators of boat tours through the canals of Amsterdam have halted services Wednesday.

The decision was made in part because most of the tour companies’ normal routes have been restricted in order to allow Amsterdammers the rare pleasure of ice skating the canals.

Tour operators Plas, Kooij and Canal Company decided against taking alternative routes for fear the thick ice may damage their boats.

Another consideration is that the sound of breaking ice makes it nearly impossible for passengers to hear the explanatory taped announcements on board.

Rederij Lovers braves the ice

Captain Ben Bootsman of Rederij P. Kooij, Amsterdam’s largest canal tour operator, told local TV station AT5 his vessel had become stuck on the Amstel river.

It is the first time in 15 years that Kooij’s ships have stopped sailing.

The boats of tour operator Rederij Lovers, across from Amsterdam Central Station, are still able to sail a shortened alternative route.

Lovers spokesman Peter Sul says the company’s berth is located above an underground parking garage, the heat of which keeps the water around the boats from freezing over.

Report by local news station AT5 (Dutch language only)

A tour of Amsterdam’s canals is among the most popular tourist attractions in the Netherlands.

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Last updated CET (Central European Time)

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