Some Boats Smoke Without Fire.
(At least In Amsterdam they do)
…It’s the height of the summer. The sunshine beats down on you while you relax on board a boat. You have a drink in one hand and a dooby in the other. Life is great. A soft reggae beat emanates from somewhere inside, where the bar serves chilled beer to go with your chilled mood…
Sound good? Sounds like the Smoke Boat, in Amsterdam, which is entirely, completely, and exactly what it sounds like. Trust us: you have never experienced true relaxation until you have sailed the canals of Amsterdam while toking under the summer sun. It’s one of those things’ money can’t really buy.
But in a city like this you can buy everything.
If boats aren’t to your liking – let’s face it, weed + cruising is a ticket to seasickness for many of us – then check out some of the other Lilly Likes Amsterdam adventures. There are so many things to choose from you are certain to find something you like.
The Museum Vrolik is one of the creepiest museums in the entire world. If that’s not to your liking, the Tulip Gardens are pretty and nice and won’t scare you with a half-a-finger or some other such nonsense.
Anyway… the Smoke Boat…
What is Smoke Boat?
The smoke Boat in Amsterdam is billed as a tour group, primarily. They take you through the UNESCO world heritage sight that is the Canal Ring in Amsterdam. You will pass some of the city’s 164 (ish) coffeeshops on your own floating piece of heaven. You will take in a little of the red light district, see some of the world famous sights that makes the city famous, and even get to do it all while you smoke. On a boat.
The boat has its very own bar which serves both hot and cold drinks. They are open year round – so if summer sun and marijuana don’t go together for you (you monster) then just substitute it for the cool winter air. It’s heated too, just in case you do want to go on a winter tour. There is something equally picturesque about the enchantment of a city shrouded in ice, too.
The Smoke Boat represents a lovely idea that opens up Amsterdam to people who might not otherwise see it. If you have every intention of going out with a full itinerary on your Amsterdam holiday, then great! What happens when you get there and smoke something is usually a totally different story. The Amsterdam Smoke Boat lets you combine the best of both worlds in a really refreshing way. You can sightsee while you do nothing and get high. Brilliant.
What’s on Board?
There is a bar, there is some heating, and you won’t find any kiddies play areas here. Nope! This is over 18’s only, for obvious reasons. It’s also tobacco free in accordance with Dutch regulations. You can, however, go outside onto the open air deck to smoke tobacco, if you so choose. We are of the opinion that tobacco is cheating…
The bar serves hot drinks in the winter and cold drinks in the summer. They also serve cold drinks in winter and hot drinks in summer, but that doesn’t work out as well for them. They very definitely deny being a coffee shop. But it’s a coffee shop. You can get beer there, so it’s kind of a bar, too. Argh. Call it what you want, it’s a boat you can smoke on.
Drinks are priced from € 2.50 so that should give you an idea of pricing. There are actually two smoke boats now since it was such a popular idea – but they are pretty much identical. The cruise starts in the Red Light District and winds its way through Amsterdam, usually while being hunted by tourists. If you can find it, you can get on it…but the departure address is Oudezijds Voorburgwal 195. That puts it right in front of the Hotel Sofitel Legend.
The Smoke Boat will pick you up and drop you off at the same place. This means that you won’t get too lost, given that Amsterdam is a bit of a maze. In addition, you will be able to orientate yourself in the city.
Things to Keep in Mind
The Smoke Boat does not sell weed. You have to take your own supplies. Make sure to stock up before you go and pay particular attention to the area. The boat leaves from the Red Light District, there are only a handful of coffee shops in the Red Light district so be aware of that. You are allowed to smoke pure weed or weed and a tobacco substitute inside the boat – but no tobacco. That can only be used outside.
Since they are strictly not a coffee shop, they are very definite on this. No selling or buying smoke on board so you need to bring your own. Like BYOB but with joints. A second thing to keep in mind about the Smoke Boat is that they only take cash payments on board. It is hard to get a signal for a credit or debit card machine when you are moving all the time, so they presumably just gave up.
Third – keep that 18+ age limit in mind. Adults only. The tour only lasts for around an hour, but it is worth it for the relaxation.
A Tour Guide for a Captain
One of the things the reviewers of Smoke Boat seem to be most impressed with is the Captain. It seems that the providers of this wonderful service like their captains to also be tour guides. This frees up space on board and leads to some fun times for everything.
The whole ride takes around an hour and makes for some of the most relaxing time you will spend on your trip. The canals they wind through focus mainly on the Red Light District – so don’t forget to stop off at the Red Light Secrets Museum while you are in the area. It has all sorts of history on the oldest profession in the world.
What People Say About Smoke Boat
Smoke Boat is nominated number 20 out of 200 boat tours in Amsterdam, according to the travel site Trip Advisor… that’s high praise, especially from a firm not usually associated with Amsterdam attractions of this err… nature. Of nearly 100 people to review it, 74 rated it excellent and everyone else said it was very good.
Reviewers commented on how friendly the staff were on board, how bubbly and accommodating the hosts were, and how informative the whole tour is – so it’s not just the novelty of smoking on a boat that attracts guests. We did notice that the only other way to smoke on an Amsterdam cruise is if you rent a boat of your own. This could come in at closer to the hundred euro mark than the 20 € price point that the Smoke Boat lets you spend.
Most reviewers agree on one thing; that more places in Amsterdam should be combining business and pleasure in this way. It’s no secret that people come to Amsterdam to smoke weed. They come from all over Europe to do it – and until the law changes, this isn’t likely to evolve any. The wisest of the city take advantage of this fact, go with the flow, and make a little money out of it in the process. Thus it is with the Smoke Boat. There’s really nothing wrong with it.
If anything, we would love to see the Smoke Boat sell their own weed. We think this tiny amendment would make a great change to the itinerary and attract some serious business. As it is though, why would you confine yourself to a coffee shop when you could just sail down a canal and smoke? We know where we would rather be… but as long as it is in Amsterdam we don’t really mind that much.
Booking and Ticket Prices
You do need to book since this is quite a coveted cruise. We recommend that you visit them online well in advance to make sure there is space for you. Tickets are 17.50 € and there are no child tickets because it is over 18s only. The combination of alcohol and being a smoker’s boat is too much to be child-friendly.
The boat runs every Friday to Sunday, but times will be given when you book. You can choose from an afternoon or an evening slot. Keep in mind that they own two boats nowadays, so you have the choice of multiple times. You can view all of them on your travel days by following this link and selecting the day you are interested in.
Here at Lilly Likes we have a whole range of different Amsterdam experiences for you to enjoy. Visit the De Ton Club, enjoy a Floating Chinese restaurant or go on a cruise… with PANCAKES. All things are possible when you like Lilies – and tulips – as much as we do! Stop by our HQ and browse some of our finest Amsterdam attractions.
Holidays are always better when you know what to expect… and what you can expect to look forward to!