Spend a day on a semi-private canal cruise, drifting down the river, or otherwise enjoying being swept off your feet – all with a Pure Boats specialty cruise.
Amsterdam is already pretty inspirational and here at Lilly Likes, we have seen it all… except maybe this. The implications of being able to hire your own boutique boat are endless, and sound like whopping good fun. If you can’t enjoy a cruise in one of the most relaxed cities in the world, then where can you enjoy one, right?
But who are Pure Boats and what does it all mean? What’s a boutique boat, for example? When we found out that they were driving fully sustainable, electric-run boats that don’t dirty up the already degraded canals – we had to know more.
What’s a Boutique Boat?
Those who have never chartered a boat for a private cruise before (which is most of us, don’t panic) might be unfamiliar with the term. Pure Boats have personally redesigned and loving restored a collection of unique classic boats, purposely created for the Amsterdam Canals, allowing you to see and experience maximum enjoyment. They are also kitted out with all the mod cons, especially to make your trip as high-end and luxurious as possible.
What Pure Boats bring is a semi-private hire of a boat that is only a single step down from a super yacht. Don’t know what a super yacht is? It’s a yacht that does everything except fly. Generally speaking, the difference between a super yacht and a Pure Boats boutique boat is a few yards of space. Couple that difference with the sustainability of their boutique boats as opposed to the vast petrol consumption of a super yacht, and you begin to get the idea of why you might choose to hire one.
Tours are only Semi-Private?
So there are a few issues with the above statements. The first: that ‘semi’ in terms of privacy. Second is the ‘sustainability’ word, but we will cover that in a moment. First, let’s just confirm that the reason tours/hires/charters at Pure Boats are only semi-private is because they need to provide you with a captain. To be fair; you wouldn’t get far without one.
Luckily, reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Of the 429 reviews on Trip Advisor right now, 423 of them are marked excellent. The other 6 are all particularly good. The reason we are bringing this up right now is the fact that the ‘friendly and welcoming’ Captain is mentioned over and over again as an attribute everyone adores. He is so well loved that “Captain James” is a Trip Advisor tag all by himself!
There are numerous lovely reviews about the Captain, but we loved the review below. In it, the man booked a private 90 minute trip, enjoyed the Captain’s knowledge on local art and took in the bright lights of a festival, then proposed to his girlfriend. She’s now his fiancé…
“”I would really like to thank the “Pure Boat” team for the amazing opportunity they provided me to propose to my girlfriend. We had an amazing 90min trip with the amazing Captain Sir James, it was really great, he was a sweet and amazing guide to our trip, he showed us the view in the festival of lights and explained everything about the art pieces.
We had an open bar, nice music, and a cheese platter. It was simply amazing. And she said Yes. :)”
There is also the (affordable) option of booking an afternoon cruise of the Amsterdam canals for rates everyone can agree are great value for money. This can be done by booking a space on a mixed cruise, where you will be on board with a few other guests that you don’t know, which makes for a perfect social activity You can get to know some other fun travellers, learn some fun facts about Amsterdam and enjoy a local craft beer or 2.
Sustainable Boutique Boats
So we take that ‘boutique boat’ phrase and we whack ‘sustainable’ in front of it because this isn’t just boat cruising: this is sustainable boat cruising. If we want an indefinite future on this planet then sustainability needs to be a priority in all things as we move forward. How do they ensure this with canal boats? They make them electric… but that’s not all they do.
As well as limiting the amount of poisonous chemicals released into the water through fuel, the Pure Boats team have also chosen to be sustainable as part of their mission statement. They started with boats that were destined for the scrap heap and they redesigned them, repurposed them, and set them to good use. These boats haven’t been recycled – they have been upcycled. They have been star-spangled to a tasteful finish, given every luxury, and now stand only a breath away from the super yacht. That’s an exceptional feat from a firm we are coming to think of as exceeding expectations at every turn.
As a side note, that electric replaces the noise of a heavy motor. The tours are calmer, quieter, and more relaxing as a result. Frankly, we wish everyone would go electric. It’s easier to hear each other talk.
Several Options for Boutique Boat Brilliance
Another thing we loved about the Pure Boats is that they sell experiences on varying levels. IF you want a taste of luxury but can’t afford to splash out on a whole boat to yourself, then you can opt to go on one of their shared cruises which are much more affordable. They keep group numbers small especially, in order to give you a spacious, enjoyable time while you are with them.
On top of the more affordable option of the shared cruise, you have three different boats, all at different price points. The different boats have different sizes and come with all manner of options for snacks and drinks. Each has its own bar and includes a great snack platter and unlimited drinks as standard. Each boat has different features, all of which are designed with your comfort (and a little luxury) in mind.
“This was already the 3rd time we took a private boat cruise through the charming Amsterdam with Pure Boats. And it was even better than before.”
(Kathy Sevcikova, valued guest)
The Three Boats
So when you travel with Pure Boats you have the choice between vessels, each at different levels of expense.
This is the boat from which the standard is set. It holds a maximum of ten people, has an extensive onboard bar, and gets cheaper the more hours you rent it for. The cheapest offer they have is for a 90 minute charter deal costing €250. When you divide that among ten of your friends? That’s an unbelievably cheap private boat boutique, all to your very selves.
This is an antique boutique boat, having initially been built in the salon style of 1912. Arguably their most photogenic boat, this romantic ride has been redeveloped to include up to 12 guests, with plenty of space. It comes with an indoor area and comfortable couches, where the Geertje comes with a soft top cover that can be removed. Prices on the Schollevar start from 90 minutes for €285, which works out better when divided by 12.
The flagship of this three-boat-strong-fleet is the Pure Spirit. It is the biggest by far, holding 25 guests with ample room to swing any cats they bring with them. They supply onboard catering for all their charter hires – but on the Pure Spirit the spread is the same size as the guest list. It includes room enough for sun loungers, as well as the obligatory comfortable couches, and has just about the best floating bar in Amsterdam. It’s a hair’s width away from superyacht status. The best part is that you (and 24 of your best buddies) get all this for €330 for 90 minutes. That’s long enough to have a birthday bash, chill in the sun and to take advantage of their extensive bar area.
The Elegant Spread
We just wanted to talk a bit more about the food options. The firm’s founders provide seasonal tasting platters, all geared towards luxurious flavours, rich notes, and subtle spices. They provide food to your specifications, if you have dietary requirements, and their attention to detail puts them somewhere beyond the boutique boat brink of foody heaven.
The Open Bar
That’s not where it ends, either. Each boat domes with a wide range of bar and catering options, and each cruise has an open bar as an additional option. There’s no way you could drink them dry in 90 minutes… is there?
The Lilly Likes Verdict
As you might suspect, here at Lilly Likes we are half in love with the romantic idea of travelling round Amsterdam via high-class boutique boat. Even without the open bar or seasonal snacking, we still think this is an awesome addition to any trip to the city. Hiring a boat in Amsterdam and cruising the canals is one of the most relaxing things you will ever do in your life… more so, however, when you have an open bar.
We can’t help but wonder why more people don’t go all in on experiences like this. Pure Boats are definitely offering a five star excursion, destined to tip your trip over the edge of adventure. Lilly Likes boats, Amsterdam, and a little touch of luxury. We wholeheartedly believe that you will too.