Whether you are cruising the seas of Northern Europe or the rivers, Amsterdam is a great starting point. In addition to it’s convenient access to the north sea as well as Europe’s increasingly popular cruising rivers, it is home to one of the world’s busiest airports. You can easily have a hassle free start to your trip.
It is a quick transfer or train ride into the city and when it is time to board your ship the harbor is very close to the main tourist areas of the city, if your luggage is manageable, I would even suggest it is walkable. Just look out for bikes! Bikes are at the top of the pecking order in Amsterdam and they do not slow down for pedestrians.
The city itself has a lot to offer and I would recommend arriving a few days prior to your cruise in order to enjoy it’s charms or to perhaps get out of the city to see the beautiful Dutch countryside… if you have more time, day trips to Belgium are even possible.
I recently traveled with a group of thirteen to Amsterdam prior to embarkation on an AmaWaterways Rhine river cruise. We arranged some great private tours through Tours by Locals and our guide Frank was so great, everyone loved him. We felt like he really enjoyed showing off his country. In addition to Frank showing us his charming city, we also visited smaller towns close by to see more iconic Dutch scenery and culture. We also enjoyed some great meals and a private sunset canal cruise on a gorgeous classic boat with wine and appetizers. It’s not all coffee shops and the Red Light district, there is literally something for everyone.