A Boatload of Pancakes!
We love the idea that some entrepreneur looked at Amsterdam and thought about what it didn’t have… then came up with a pancake boat. That’s not a boat that has been made out of pancakes, FYI, it’s a cruise you go on, around Amsterdam, that also suppliers you with all you can eat pancakes. Although we have to admit that a boat made out of pancakes sounds fun… if a little soggy.
De Pannenkoekenboot combines tours of the glorious canals of Amsterdam – which are a UNESCO World Heritage site of their own – with an all-you-can-scoff pancake buffet. Want to know more? We sure did. Lillylikes sent some of our top agents to the scene, to find out more.
Needless to say, they came back a little heavier than they were when we sent them…
It’s not just Pancakes!
Now we have done cruise/food combos before and, from our past observations, they always worked out perfectly. Everyone but the seasick will enjoy this feast for both the eyes and the stomach. The pancake cruise will take you past some wonderful sights – and feed you, all at the same time. What more could any tourist want?
One of the first things we learned was that the boat contains more than just sweet treats. The pancake cruise doesn’t just provide you with two and a half hours of pancake heaven; they also offer hot sides. Again, the hot sides aren’t all sweet things… although they also offer stewed pears, cheeses and jams. They really go the extra mile and add in a full-on ice cream buffet (we’re drooling) and a variety of ‘real’ foods.
The pancake cruise has more than just pancakes on the menu. It also has:
- Natural, apple, or bacon pancakes.
- The Ice Cream Buffet
- Ice cream desserts – like puffs, fruit toppings, and whipping creams.
- Jams, cheeses, hams and eggs.
- Warm vegetable sides to complement the mains.
- The Main dishes include Chicken Shawarma, Pot roasts and meatballs.
- Allergen information is available here, but they are pancakes. They are very likely to have both gluten and lactose.
So you really do have an all-you-can-eat buffet on board a boat. The only foreseeable problems are a) the damage it will do to your waistline, and b) that it only lasts 2.5 hours. By the end of it, our reporters were “stuffed to the gunnels”… pardon the pun.
After that wonderfully wholesome – or at least devilishly tasty – feast, what else can you expect from the pancake boat? Keep in mind you will be cruising some of the oldest canal systems in the world. There are plenty of sights to see in Amsterdam, and on the pancake tour you have more than two hours to take them all in!
So as well as pancakes, a variety of delicious dishes… not forgetting the bar… what else does the pancake boat have going for it? Oh yes! It’s also amazing for the kids!
The Pancake Boat and the Basement fit for Kids!
There is a downstairs to the pancake boat. This downstairs has a ball pit, a play area, and, rumour has it, some portholes for them to watch the waves through. Not that we would ever condone locking the kids in the basement… but there is so much sugar on board this boat that we agree they will need somewhere to work off the energy.
The cruise itself is ideal for families and large groups of people. If you don’t want to let your kids out of your sight (which is perfectly understandable) they will bring crayons and colouring books to the table for you. So no matter whether you’re raising a little socialite or not, they will always be especially catered for.
You might want to watch the ice cream intake. The reason the kids need to play downstairs is the noise and energy level. It turns out they really do scream for ice cream. Persistently. For two and a half hours.
Upstairs, the atmosphere is pretty relaxed. They often run different types of entertainment so that the cruise is always a little different. Whether you have some music or an entertainer, it will always be suitable for families. There may be a small entertainment charge on the night, but it won’t be more than a couple of euros. It all just depends on the act.
Sights the Pancake Boat Passes
The pancake cruise weaves and winds its way through the canals of Amsterdam for a full two and a half hours… by night. Even in the summer, this allows you to see the sparkling lights of the lit-up city. In spite of the tulips, Amsterdam can be quite spectacular in the evenings.
The Canal Ring
The Amsterdam Canal Ring was finished in the 17th century and has long since been hailed as a marvel of modern(ish) city building. The canal district was engineered; emulating Venice in its likeness, but in reality, it extended the protection of the city for miles.
The canal ring was built to the west and south of the city, allowing for more staggered access to the port. Amsterdam was attacked many times throughout the years, but this network eventually worked to soften the attacks. It was the largest city extension of its time and allowed for massive amounts of new housing to be built.
From the water, during the pancake cruise, you will be able to see exactly where the old town ended and the ‘new’ houses began… although now none of it is truly new, anymore. The canal ring has been named as a ‘masterpiece of hydraulic engineering’ by UNESCO. We haven’t met a single tourist that has disagreed.
The EYE Amsterdam
While on the cruise, you will pass by one of the most stunning examples of modern architecture in the city. The EYE Amsterdam is the Dutch Centre for Film Culture and Heritage. This spectacular sight can be found on the IJ River, near the ADAM Lookout and perched on the edge of the water.
The EYE opened in 2012 and was the masterplan of a Viennese architectural firm called Delugan Meissl Associated Architects. They designed it to be a modern museum of film, which seems to be exactly what they have achieved. It includes four cinemas, too many seats to count, and a collection of any moving image ever taken in Holland.
The IJ River
Pronounced ‘Aye’, the river the pancake tour boats run on separates north from south in the city. You will find numerous urbanizations, commercial areas, and public parks along the shorelines. 6 ferries cross the river back and forth all day, every day. These ferries carry tourists and residents alike, for free, back and forth across the river. It is estimated that they carry some 80,000[i] passengers per day between them.
As well as free ferries and plenty of sights to see, the river offers access to the North Sea Canal. You can probably guess to which icy waters this leads. If you are a fan of ships, then get excited! The Ij has a dozen ports and quays, all capable of carrying some of the most interesting cruises in Amsterdam.
When does this Delicious Delight Run?
You can find a pancake cruise leaving Amsterdam north on the third Saturday of every month. They leave at 8 pm and last until half past ten. That sounds a little cryptic so we went ahead and brought you the actual link to the cruise departure times… you’re welcome.
As to the where, you can
find the pancake ferry pick-up point at Ms. Van Riemsdijkweg 33. They suggest
you show up 15 minutes before departure because they won’t wait for you if you
are late. They also advise you to book a ticket because there is often a queue.
The tickets that aren’t sold are first-come, first-served on the day.
How Much Does the Pancake Cruise Cost?
You can (and should) book the pancake cruise online. They will charge you an extra €2 per person if you want to pay for your ticket on the day so booking online makes sense. Children from 3 years are welcome and pay €22.50. Adults pay €27.50 – but where else in the world do you get all the pancakes you can eat for less than thirty euro?
The Pancake Cruise
The Pancake Cruise gets the LillyLikes thumbs up for great value, great entertainment, and a great night out for family fun. Fill the kids full of sugar and leave them in the ballpark while you and your partner enjoy an ice cream buffet for two. When you indulge in this particular boat ride you don’t get a chance to leave hungry. You also get to seem some beautiful buildings in a UNESCO rated setting.
So next time you’re in the city, keep an eye on the weekends. If you happen to be around the river on the third Saturday of each month then we heartily recommend you give it a go. The only thing they don’t have is an unlimited pass for the bar. (For that you want the Pizza Cruise… but there are a lot less pancakes.)