Amsterdam Red Light District cruise

Amsterdam Red Light District cruise

Amsterdam Red Light District cruise

Duration: 2 hours Lowest bridge no. 223 Kloveniersburgwal: 1.69 m +NAP Source: The Amsterdam sailing guide Download this cruise Back to all cruising toursAmsterdam Red Light District cruiseSailing through the Red Light District is sailing through the oldest waterway in Amsterdam. It is an unparalleled experience. Especially in the evening, you can be a spectator of unique scenes from the narrow, illuminated canals. Hordes of tourists walk past the pleasure princesses, giggling shyly or groaning in amazement. In long raincoats, with their heads hidden deep in the collar, are the men who know better than anyone that you cannot buy love. The red light district is one of the largest entertainment centers in the Netherlands. The typical red lighting, with which this part of Amsterdam is recognized worldwide, has its origins in the lights with which the women of pleasure used to beckon shipmen on the quay. It appears that these women wrapped red paper around their lamps, creating a much-needed distinction from the other lighting along the water.

We start our tour at the Schreierstoren.

This is one of the few remaining impressive parts of the old defense wall around Amsterdam. Centuries ago the tower was surrounded by seawater. The repeated raising of the road has meant that the defenses have only partially remained visible.

We leave in a northerly direction and pass bridge no. 299. After passing the bridge we immediately turn port in the direction of Central Station. Then immediately back to port side to the entrance to the Oudezijds Kolk.

There are a number of warehouses on the port side. The fifth warehouse, called Malaga, dates from 1617 and is the oldest warehouse in Amsterdam.

We are now sailing to the Kolksluisje.

N.B. Definitely don’t let yourself be rushed by tour boats coming from behind. The Kolksluisje was built in the fifteenth century and closed Amsterdam off from the sea tides until the arrival of the Oranjesluis. Although we sail along the Oudezijds Voorburgwal, it is worthwhile to pick up a piece of Oudezijds Achterburgwal on the port side. This beautiful part of Amsterdam can only be visited by boat. With their feet in the water, the buildings here give meaning to the slogan ‘Venice of the North’, a nickname that many romantic city poets have given to our metropolis.

We continue our journey via the Oudezijds Voorburgwal.

The café De Haven van Texel is located on the starboard side. In the distant past, this building housed a popular brothel. Inside the bar, one of the regulars may tell you the story of a Norwegian who, after being with one of the animating girls, driven by his conscience, grabbed a knife and slit her throat. Then, in a frantic attempt to cover his tracks, he threw her through the window towards the canal with a big swing. However, he did not know that there was a jetty there. Her body remained there as lifeless evidence. Just before bridge no. 207, the Amstelkring Museum, better known as ‘Ons Lieve Heer op Solder’, is located on the starboard side at number 40. In the seventeenth century, Catholics were not allowed to openly practice their faith. Catholic churches that could not be recognized as such from the outside, the so-called secret churches, were turned a blind eye. Today, this secret church is a museum and a popular attraction for day trippers. It has a beautiful organ and beautiful ornaments. We now pass the Pill Bridge, no. 207. The bridge owes its nickname to its reputation as a meeting place for dealers in and users of mind-altering and narcotic substances. The actual name is Oudekerksbrug, named after the neighboring Oude Kerk. Around this oldest church in Amsterdam there is a variety of dark, willing, scantily clad light cages. Some Amsterdam residents claim that corridors led from the Oude Kerk to the former Cellenzusterklooster on the corner of Oudezijds Voorburgwal and Molensteeg. These corridors formed a connection to the Minderbroederklooster, which stood on the south side of the Molensteeg. During the restoration of a number of buildings in the nineteenth century, a door was sometimes uncovered to prevent unauthorized access to this underground connection. On the starboard side is the Kontiki sandwich shop. A skipper with a strong appetite will stop here for excellent lamb sandwiches or spicy chicken satay. Just before the Oude Hoogstraat, the Peilsteeg is home to one of the oldest tasting rooms in Amsterdam, Wijnand Fockink. This successful alternative to the brown café is worth a visit.  Amsterdam Red Light District cruiseAfter we have passed under the bridge of the Oude Hoogstraat, we see Hotel Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam on the port side. From 1652 to 1655 and from 1808 to 1988, this building served as the town hall under the name Prinsenhof. The northern part of the former town hall complex is an old monastery and dates from the early fifteenth century. Please note: the jetty of Hotel The Grand is only intended for tour boats that want to stop briefly, not moor! Restaurant Roux has now made way for fish restaurant Bridges, where chef Aurélien Poirot is in charge. According to many, an enrichment of culinary Amsterdam. This part of the Oudezijds Voorburgwal used to be nicknamed Fluwelenburgwal. The name was taken from the wealthy families who lived here and could afford to dress in velvet. Where the Oudezijds Voorburgwal ends, we continue our journey via the Grimburgwal towards starboard and pass the Grimnessersluis. Be careful: the Rokin is a busy cruise route.

We continue our journey with a sharp turn to port. We are now on the Rokin and sailing in the direction of the Munttoren.

We pass the Doelensluis and sail on the port side onto the Kloveniersburgwal. On the port side we pass the Doelen Hotel. At the top of the facade we see two figures from Rembrandt’s well-known painting ‘The Night Watch’. The Doelen Hotel is built on the foundation of the former Schutterij Building. The original Night Watch was painted here. The canal boats of Amsterdam, now one of the largest tourist attractions in the Netherlands, originated at the Doelen Hotel. The city’s first tour boat, De Tourist, sailed from the hotel in 1909.

Just past bridge no. 222 we see the passage to the Oudemanhuispoort on the port side.

After the next bridge we turn sharply to starboard onto the Raamgracht. After bridge no. 230 we go port side out of the Antoniesluis (beware of tour boats in the lock, this is a confusing corner). Immediately after the Antoniesluis we turn starboard onto the Uilenburgergracht. On the port side we see the beautifully restored Gassan Diamonds building. This used to be a steam-powered diamond cutting factory, as evidenced by the enormous pipe in the courtyard. The steam engine powered the belts that connected to the many diamond cutting tables in the enormous building. Enthusiasts can stop here for a visit to admire sparkling diamonds. Just after the diamond cutting factory we see an old Jewish synagogue on the left. After extensive renovation, it was put back into use. The large hall can be rented for concerts, meetings, parties and receptions. At the beginning of 2003, the Uilenburger Shul was designated by the municipality as an official wedding location.

At the end of the canal we follow the route over the Rapenburgerwal. Arrived at the Oude Schans we continue our way to port.

 On the starboard side we see the Montelbaanstoren, originally an old defense structure. The tower is at the peak because of the clock, which used to transmit four different times, also known as ‘Crazy Jacob’. Unfortunately for local residents, the clock was linked to the chimes. Thus the hour and half hour resounded through the streets four times. Before bridge no. 286 we turn starboard onto the Recht Boomssloot. Pay attention to the vertical clearance! The neighborhood we are now sailing through was previously better known as the ‘Lastage’. The high quay walls on the left and right show that this part of the city was outside the lock ring and was therefore subject to tidal movement.

We have now returned to the Geldersekade.

On the left of the quay wall there are still some remains of the sandstone city wall from the fifteenth century.

We sail through Amsterdam’s ‘Chinatown’.

The Chinese in Amsterdam form a close-knit community with their own shops and even their own medical center (hospital) (see starboard side).

The Schreierstoren can be seen again in front of us. The end point of our journey.

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