If you are familiar with Amersfoort you have probably seen them passing by: the canal boats of Waterlijn Amersfoort. Although I was born and raised in Amersfoort, the last time I took a canal cruise was in my childhood. Time to change that. Together with guest bloggers Mylena and Chanou, I discovered Amersfoort from the water. And I can tell you, it is very different than from the mainland!

We went out with a great team of guides. Bob, Maria and Frans knew how to tell us something special about every canal, building and piece of nature. Their knowledge seemed endless; there was actually too much to tell. So much that I did not yet know about my own city. Amersfoort from the water harbors a lot of funny facts and exciting stories.

guided cruise

Gargoyles with a story

The route starts on the Langegracht where we soon encounter a number of water outlet sculptures, incorporated into the quay walls. These were made by Ton Mooij. Maria explains that these statues not only decorate the canals, but also have a function in drainage. In addition, they have a symbolic value. Each drainage statue tells something about the building behind it on the canal. The "Angel on the pot" is Maria's favorite.

gargoyle in the quay wall

Doing your part

We sail under idyllic bridges and past unseen corners of downtown. Looking up from the boat, the beautiful, historic buildings are especially imposing. Then we pass the spot where the old city wall used to stand. We dive into the history of medieval Amersfoort.

idyllic bridges downtown

Did you know that the old city wall (built around 1300) was largely demolished to make room for expansion of the city? Houses were built with the material from the old city wall. Unfortunately, they were short of stones. Those who wanted to build a house literally had to "do their own bit."

Green oasis in the city

For a change, we take another stretch of the creek route. We all lie steeply back on the benches of the boat as we pass under a very low bridge. When we get back on our feet, we marvel at our surroundings. From the historic city center, we find ourselves in a green oasis. Just imagine living here with a waterfront garden!

green waterfront from the tour boat

The timing of our boat ride couldn't be better, as Park Randenbroek looks extra bright in the warm sunlight. Every now and then we have to swerve for low-hanging branches of trees half hanging over the water. The guides said it at the beginning: the route only gets more beautiful. And they are right. I do walk here sometimes, but because of the densely vegetated waterfront and the different perspective, I imagine myself far outside the city.

Will you sail with us sometime?

If you're coming to Amersfoort for a day to experience the city, I can definitely recommend taking a cruise with Waterlijn Amersfoort. The guides not only have a bizarre amount of ready knowledge and fun facts, they are also incredibly passionate about our beautiful city. And the nice thing is: this year Waterlijn Amersfoort already exists 25 years. They are throwing a party on the canals with special boat tours and a surprise to the city.

historic buildings from the boat

I am sure that even as a seasoned Amersfoortter you will get off the boat enormously excited and enriched with new information. Or surprise a friend with a boat ride.

Get your tickets

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