This Canal Cruise in Amsterdam Was Just Named the No. 1 Travel Experience in the World — and It Comes With Unlimited Wine and Cheese

You had us at "unlimited wine."

The boat from the Amsterdam Open Boat Canal Cruise - Live Guide - from Anne Frank House
Photo: Courtesy of Tripadvisor

When you're on vacation, time is valuable. There's nothing worse than spending a day (and your money) doing something that ends up being a total let down. That's where companies like Tripadvisor come in. Each year, they compile traveler feedback to highlight the activities that are well worth your time.

This year, one experience stood out, topping the list of overall experiences in the Tripadvisor Travelers' Choice Awards. With 9,529 five-star reviews out of 9,998 reviews on Tripadvisor, the Amsterdam Open Boat Canal Cruise with Flagship Amsterdam easily took the No. 1 spot.

A docked boat from the Amsterdam Open Boat Canal Cruise - Live Guide - from Anne Frank House
Courtesy of Tripadvisor

The cruise, which takes you through Amsterdam's iconic canals on an electric saloon boat, is not the sort of experience where you're herded on a boat with hundreds of other tourists. The capacity on the company's open-air boats is small, typically around 30 people. The entire one-hour experience is intimate and the level of service is top-notch — each cruise has a private skipper and an English-speaking guide who knows all the ins and outs of Amsterdam. Travelers also note that the crew is more than happy to dole out local restaurant and activity recommendations.

As you cruise along the canals, you'll pass the city's most famous landmarks — including the Jordaan neighborhood and the Rijksmuseum — while the guide shares insight into Amsterdam's rich trading history and culture. The waterway tour provides great photo ops — especially as you glide under the city's many bridges (including Magere Brug, a.k.a. Skinny Bridge) and pass by the swanky Golden Bend neighborhood, home to the city's most coveted canal houses.

The tour starts in front of the Anne Frank House, in the heart of the city, making it the perfect follow-up to a morning spent at the museum.

And while the experience of being out on the water is easily the highlight of the trip, the experience is only enhanced by the food and wine that accompanies it. As you board the cruise, you'll be greeted with a spread of Dutch cheese and unlimited beer, wine, and soft drinks. Travelers confirm that there's nothing quite like sipping on a glass of wine and nibbling on cheese while passing by the stunning canal houses lining the water.

Drinks on the boat from the Amsterdam Open Boat Canal Cruise - Live Guide - from Anne Frank House
Courtesy of Tripadvisor

The canal cruise with Flagship Amsterdam is currently $20.71 on Tripadvisor. You can also book directly through Flagship Amsterdam. If booking on Tripadvisor, you can cancel your trip up to two days before your experience without being charged. Those looking for a more flexible cancellation policy might want to book directly with Flagship Amsterdam, which has a 24-hour cancellation policy.

Updated by
Evie Carrick
Evie Carrick

Evie Carrick is a writer and editor who's lived in five countries and visited well over 50. She's skied out of a camper van in the Japanese Alps, overcome dengue fever in Indonesia, lived in a tent on a beach in Martinique, and studied yoga in India. Evie began writing for Travel + Leisure in 2019 while living in Paris. She started as a daily news writer and has since transitioned to becoming a regular contributor, covering everything from après-ski hot spots to tips for camping with your dog. Her true passion is affordable travel and travel hacks, especially when it comes to pricier destinations like Paris and Tokyo, two of her favorite cities in the world. She now splits her time between a small town outside Telluride, Colorado, and Paris, France. In addition to Travel + Leisure, Evie covers travel for BuzzFeed and Outside, and was a regular contributor to Vice. She is also the editorial director for magazines in Jackson Hole, Park City, and Telluride. * 10+ years of experience working as a writer and editor * 5+ years of experience covering travel — specifically ski destinations, flights, travel hacks, mountain town lifestyle, and all things Japan and France * Editor for print magazines in Jackson Hole, Park City, and Telluride * Studied journalism at the University of Denver and publishing at New York University

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