Travelling by ferry in the Netherlands
Our country is on the North Sea and rich in waterways. This means that public transport by water is an important feature in the Netherlands! We have summarised some of the prominent ferry services below.
Ferries of Amsterdam
Several ferry lines and water taxis operate in and around Amsterdam, such as the ferries that cross the body of water called the IJ from the back entrance of Amsterdam Central Station to the borough of Amsterdam-Noord. This particular ferry service is ideal if you want to visit the EYE Film Museum; just take the ferry from Central Station to Buiksloterweg! The ferries in Amsterdam are free of charge and you can find the departure times on notice boards positioned at the dock.
Waterbus Rotterdam & Dordrecht
The Waterbus is a quick ferry service between Rotterdam and Dordrecht. The service is paid, but you can use your OV-chipkaart. You can bring your bicycle free of charge. Please note that the Waterbus has a different schedule for the summer and winter, so you should inquire about the current departure times.
Water taxis of Rotterdam and Amsterdam
Watertaxi Rotterdam is ideal if you want to get around Rotterdam in a quick and special fashion! It has about 50 stops in the city and surrounding area and it offers a fantastic way to experience Rotterdam from the water. Fares depend on the size of your group and the distance travelled, so inquire about the possibilities beforehand.
Amsterdam also has a number of water taxi services, which let you travel the city's canals quickly and comfortably. You can board the water taxis at several locations throughout the city. Inform about the options at the VVV tourist office on Stationsplein square at Amsterdam Central Station. The tourist office can provide more information about the various service schedules and rates.
Driehoeksveer to Kinderdijk
The Driehoeksveer ferry offers a daily service between Ridderkerk, Krimpen a/d Lek and Kinderdijk. This ferry represents an ideal way to visit the famous Kinderdijk windmills. You can take your bicycle with you on board. Tickets cost €1.70 for adults and €1.10 for children. Inquire about the service schedule and current departure times beforehand.
Ferries to the Wadden Islands
Most of the ferries above allow you to travel short distances in specific areas, but the ferries to the Wadden Islands will let you visit a wholly different, waterlocked part of the Netherlands! The Wadden Islands were declared a World Heritage Site in 2009 and consist of the inhabited islands of Texel, Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog. These islands all have a unique, individual lifestyle and you can get there by ferry:
- Texel is accessible from Den Helder, with a double deck ferry departing every hour. It takes 20 minutes to reach the island. You are allowed to bring your own car to Texel.
- You can get to Vlieland and Terschelling by boat from Harlingen Haven. The regular ferry takes you to the island in 1.5 hours and the fast ferry will get you there in only 45 minutes.
- The trip to Terschelling from Harlingen by regular ferry takes 2 hours and the fast ferry about 45 minutes. The ferries make several round trips daily.
- Ameland can be reached from Holwerd, and the trip takes about 45 minutes. It is possible to take your car with you, but you need to book a place in advance.
- The ferry to Schiermonnikoog leaves from Lauwersoog and leaves about four times every day. Lauwersoog is easy to reach by car, train or bus from Groningen or Leeuwarden.