That tour — introduced in 2011 by Rederij Lovers — no longer exists. But it’s back in a new form: Splashtour.
Old articles about the “Floating Dutchman” bus are still, well, floating around online. Therefore there is considerable confusion about this unique tour.
What seemed like an interesting concept fizzled out and was eventually cancelled in 2012 because there were too many technical problems.
Splashtours in Rotterdam
However, those early issues have long been fixed. And the company behind the former 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.
That bus, with a maximum capacity of 42 people, makes 1200 trips a year carrying a total of some 40.000 passengers.
Now Splashtours is available in Amsterdam as well. Its maiden voyage took place in 2019.
The diesel-engine vehicle operates on the city’s River IJ — not in Amsterdam’s canals, where emission free sailing is mandatory.
Half of the 60-minute tour in the amphibian bus take place sailing. The other half consists of a tour through the city of Amsterdam.
Buy your Splashtour Amsterdam ticket online. Mobile or printed vouchers accepted. The meeting point is at Bercylaan 1. That is behind the A’DAM Tower and the This is Holland experience. You reach both with the free, 5-minute ferry ride from behind Central Station. (Use the one that says ‘Buiksloterweg’).
The A’DAM tower is a must-see, by the way. High atop the tower is the A’DAM Lookout observation point from which you have 360° views of Amsterdam and beyond. (Plus you can swing over the edge of the tower — literally — on Europe’s highest set of swings).
Next door, This is Holland takes you on a one-hour, unique simulated helicopter flight over all the must-see attractions in Holland.
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 budgeted.
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 was frequently 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’.
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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