Passenger vessels (cruise excluded)
Do you sail commercially with passengers in Amsterdam's harbour waters? If so, you fall into the passenger vessels category. Here, you will find all the information you need to prepare your cruise.
What defines passenger vessels?
The public waterway of the City of Amsterdam is divided into harbour waters (seaport) and inland waterways (city waters). Do you sail commercially with passengers in Amsterdam's harbour waters? If so, you fall into the passenger vessels category.
Passenger vessels are subject to rules and guidelines for sailing in the port of Amsterdam. On this page, you will find all the information you need to prepare your cruise.
View the berths on the map
What types of passenger vessels are there?
Sailboat Charter (brown fleet)
The Brown Fleet is professional passenger shipping (charter) using traditional sailing ships in the Netherlands. There are two locations where Brown Fleet vessels can berth: Pontsteiger in Houthaven and De Knoop in Amsterdam Noord.
Pontsteiger in Houthaven
Vessels can berth here for a maximum of 3 x 24 hours. The berths cannot be booked in advance and are mainly intended to board or disembark passengers. There are no berthing charges. Passengers can stay overnight here as part of the journey. Since these berths are located in a residential area and nuisance must be prevented, a warning system featuring yellow and red cards is in place.
The facilities at the berths are being expanded in 2020 to include shore power points and drinking water taps. Once the shore power points have been installed, it will be forbidden to remain moored with an auxiliary or main engine running.
De Knoop in Amsterdam Noord
Vessels wishing to spend longer than three days in Amsterdam can use the moorings at De Knoop on Distelweg in Amsterdam Noord. The berths cannot be reserved in advance. Vessels can moor here for a maximum of 7 x 24 hours. However, passengers are not allowed to stay overnight at this location.
Charter motor vessels
By motor charter we mean motor vessels equipped to take groups on trips of several days. Charter motor vessels are different in type and size from a river cruise ship. Charter motor vessels can berth at "verlaagde Veemkade" in IJhaven.
Verlaagde Veemkade in IJhaven
This berth cannot be reserved and there are no mooring fees. Passengers are allowed to stay overnight as part of the journey. Here you will find a 160-metre quay where passenger vessels can moor for a maximum of 3 x 24 hours. At this berth it is forbidden to lie alongside with an auxiliary or main engine running. On the quay there are shore power points for moored ships to use. Since these berths are located in a residential area and nuisance must be prevented, a warning system featuring yellow and red cards is in place.
Passenger vessels > 25 metres, including party ships
Passenger vessels with a length of more than 25 metres, including party ships, can make use of the boarding and disembarking point at Danzigerkade in Nieuwe Houthaven.
Danzigerkade in Nieuwe Houthaven
This berth has a length of 60 metres. Vessels wishing to use this berth require an exemption from the ban on entering Mercuriushaven. In addition to the berth at Danzigerkade, it is also possible to embark and disembark at Steiger 14 at Ruijterkade. The use of both boarding and disembarking points is subject to charges and must be reserved via Easydock.
Canal cruise boats
By canal cruise boats we mean a passenger vessel with a length on the waterline of less than 25 metres, as developed for canal cruises in Amsterdam and defined as such in the Inland Navigation Regulations. Canal cruise boats can make use of the boarding and disembarking areas for small passenger vessels.
Ruijterkade West, jetty IJ RW1
At Ruijterkade West, jetty IJ RW1 can be reserved for canal cruise boats that exclusively board or disembark passengers of river cruise ships moored at Ruijterkade. This berth can only be used against payment after reserving it in Easydock. Consultations are being held the City of Amsterdam about creating a transfer location for coaches, buses and canal cruise boats at Ruijterkade Oost.
For passenger vessels smaller than 25 metres, including river boats, there are boarding and disembarking points in Minervahaven, Houthaven, IJhaven and at Eye.
Boarding and disembarking points
Minervahaven, Houthaven, IJhaven, Eye
Vessels wishing to make use of the boarding and disembarkation point in Minervahaven need an exemption from the entry ban in Mercuriushaven.
Scheduled services and water taxi
Scheduled services and water taxis include vessels that carry passengers on a scheduled service (sailing between fixed stops or in a fixed pattern according to a fixed route). Scheduled services can make use of the boarding and disembarkation points designated by Port of Amsterdam.
Port of Amsterdam is currently developing a policy for the operation of water taxis. There are currently no stops.
Laws and regulations
Are you visiting the North Sea Canal area? If so, you must comply with a number of rules:
Introduction of operating permit for harbour waters
In the foreseeable future you will need a municipal operating permit for the commercial transport of passengers. This will make it easier to manage shipping movements and to guarantee the fast and safe transport of passengers.
The number of vessels using the Amsterdam harbour waters has increased in recent years. This is mainly due to the intensification of commercial shipping and the increase in passenger traffic. This affects efficiency and safety on the Closed IJ and the passage of shipping traffic. There has also been an increase in the nuisance caused to local residents by passenger vessels in particular.
More information about the introduction of operating licences for passenger vessels is available.