Amsterdam

Atmospheric canals and trendy haunts
The Anne Frank Huis
The Van Gogh Museum

Find Northern Europe Cruises

Amsterdam

Remembering Venice

Amsterdam it’s a compact, instantly likeable city, that’s appealing to look at and pleasant to walk around.
During your vacation in Holland, as you arrive in the Dutch city with an MSC Cruise of Northern Europe, you will immediately feel at home and fascinated by this mixture of provincial and cosmopolitan elements, shaped by the liberal counter-culture that took hold in the 1960s.

Also engaging are the buzz of its open-air summer events and the intimacy of its clubs and bars, not to mention the Dutch facility with languages: practically everyone you meet in Amsterdam during your MSC cruise to Holland speaks almost perfect English.

Don’t stay on board, Amsterdam deserves a proper visit with an excursion, as it has world famous tourist sites such as: the Anne Frank Huis, where Anne and her family lived in hiding during the II World War, the Van Gogh Museum, with its vast collection of paintings by Van Gogh, hosted in a purposely built modern gallery, and the Rijksmuseum, with its extraordinary collection of paintings by Rembrandt.

And, after a pleasant cultural interval, before returning to your MSC cruise ship, you can take a stroll in the nearby Vondelpark, the most beautiful of Amsterdam’s parks. The greatest attraction however are the canals, as you won’t fail to notice during your vacation in Holland: take a cruise of the Grachtengordel district and you will see why.

You will find an incredible number of bars, clubs and coffee shops where you can have a drink, from the traditional bruin café to the many trendy haunts.

Must see places in Amsterdam

Discover our excursions

8 results found

  • CITY TOUR & ANNE FRANK HOUSE

    CULTURE AND HISTORY

    AMS07T

    Use the day to visit what is perhaps one of the world's most poignant sights - the Anne Frank Museum, where the courageous young diarist hid with her family from Nazi persecution. Before the museum visit, we will leave the port for a tour through old and new Amsterdam, viewing the famous tree-lined canals and soaking up the multi-cultural, cosmopolitan atmosphere. We will tour the famous Anne Frank Museum and see the movable bookcase that concealed the annex where the Franks hid for over two years. You will learn more about the history of this remarkable girl while visiting the museum. Back outside, you can appreciate the scenic side of this attractive city with a visit to the popular flower market. Free time is scheduled for strolling the city or visiting the ‘Bloemenmarkt’ which stretches for a whole block and where you can admire a huge array of flowers, plants and purchase bulbs of Holland’s national flower, the tulip. Please note: this tour is only for transit guests in the port of Amsterdam. The old part of Anne Frank’s House is not suitable for wheelchairs and there are stairs in some parts of the House.
    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4 h

  • CITY TOUR & VAN GOGH MUSEUM

    CULTURE AND HISTORY

    AMS02T

    Leave the ship for an enjoyable city tour through Amsterdam’s historical centre. Your route will take you past Dam Square and the Mint Tower to arrive at Museum Square and the famous Van Gogh Museum. You will have sufficient time to explore the museum, which has the largest collection of works by the renowned Dutch master. Following your museum visit, you will also have a chance to view some treasures of another kind: diamonds, a luxury product for which Amsterdam is well known. Enjoy your special trip to a diamond store and, if you feel so inclined, treat yourself to one of the shiny rocks. Please note: this tour is only for transit guests in the port of Amsterdam. Guests using a wheelchair are advised that they must be accompanied by a paying helper to provide assistance with getting on and off the coach and that wheelchairs must be collapsible/foldable since the coach has neither a ramp nor a lift. Guests using a wheelchair who would like to participate in this tour are requested to contact the Shore Excursions’ Desk promptly once they are on board so that arrangements can be made. On MSC Splendida calls, this tour is available in the morning; you can combine it with one of the night tours and with the afternoon tour AMS01T. If guests combine am/pm/night tours, time for lunch or dinner onboard will be limited.
    • Shopping

    • Wheelchair and disabled-friendly tour – Wheelchair guests must be accompanied by their own helper to get on/off the coach. Wheelchairs must be foldable as the coach is not provided with ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4 h

  • THE WINDMILLS & THE CANALS

    CULTURE AND HISTORY

    AMS08T

    Keen photographers will not want to miss the opportunity to take professional snaps in one of the most picturesque spots around Amsterdam. The excursion starts with a short drive to the traditional village of Zaanse Schans, one of the area’s top sights. Admire the well-preserved historic windmills and authentic traditional houses with free time to stroll around. We will then head to a cheese market before continuing the tour in the afternoon with an hour-long canal cruise into Amsterdam: enjoy the Dutch capital from the water, gently gliding along the canals with the best vantage point of this cosmopolitan city. Please note: this excursion is available only for transit guests in Amsterdam port. During the canal cruise, you will receive information through audioguides.
    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      5 h

  • WINDMILLS & THE DUTCH COUNTRYSIDE

    CULTURE AND HISTORY

    AMS01T

    Dutch traditions are the theme of this excursion that takes you from the port by coach for a guided tour of the windmill village of Zaanse Schans. The name derives from the defending wall “Schans”, which was erected at the end of XVI century for the war against the Spanish. Although the wall has since disappeared, the name was revived in 1950 when houses and small businesses from several neighbouring villages from the XVII and XVIII centuries were relocated here. Most of the houses are made of wood and sport the green painted façades typical of the Zaan area. The village is home to traditional Dutch craft production. From Zaanse Schans we will continue through the countryside to a local cheese farm to learn about the age-old process of cheese making. Please note: this tour is only for transit guests in the port of Amsterdam. On MSC Splendida calls, this tour is available in the afternoon; you can combine it with one of the following tours available in the morning: AMS02T/AMS03T. If guests combine am/pm/night tours, time for lunch or dinner onboard will be limited
    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4 h

  • CANAL CRUISE

    SCENIC ROUTE

    AMS03T

    Depart from the port by coach along the Dam Square, taking in the Royal Palace and Nieuwe Kerk, the museum district and Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the concert building and the lively Leidseplein district. On reaching the heart of the city, we will enjoy an hour-long canal cruise through the historic centre, admiring the gabled historic buildings such as Anne Frank’s house, Westerchurch, the Twin Houses and Amsterdam’s historic bridges from the water. We will end the tour with a visit to an exclusive diamond retailer. Please note: this tour is only for transit guests in the port of Amsterdam. This tour is not suitable for guests using a wheelchair. On MSC Splendida calls, this tour is available in the morning; you can combine it with one of the night tours and with the afternoon tour AMS01T. If guests combine am/pm/night tours, time for lunch or dinner onboard will be limited.
    • Shopping

    • Wheelchair and disabled-friendly tour – Wheelchair guests must be accompanied by their own helper to get on/off the coach. Wheelchairs must be foldable as the coach is not provided with ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      4 h

  • CANAL CRUISE & HEINEKEN EXPERIENCE

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    AMS10T

    Leave the port and enjoy a sightseeing coach drive on the way to Albert Cuyp open-air market, selling everything from fruit and veg to clothing and cameras. Enjoy free time among its 260 market stands or take a coffee in a traditional Amsterdam café or in a highly modern pub. The market is situated in the 19th century quarter “De Pijp”, Amsterdam’s “Quartier Latin”; it has been for decades a very popular quarter in town. Next, you will reach Heineken Brewery to live the fascinating “Heineken Experience”, a unique chance to learn about the history of one of the world’s best-known beer brands. Before returning to your cruise ship, you will enjoy 1-hour cruise along Amsterdam’s famous canals. Please note: this tour is available only for transit guests in the port of Amsterdam and is not suitable for guests using a wheelchair.
    • Shopping

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      5 h

  • SHOPPING AT BATAVIA STAD

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    AMS12T

    About a 1-hour coach ride from the port will see you reach the shoppers’ paradise of Batavia Stad in Lelystad, which is situated on the shores of the Markermeer and IJsselmeer. The attractive faux-historical feel of the purpose-built “outlet shopping city” provides a relaxing, car- and dog-free environment in which to indulge in a few hours of retail therapy – and bag bargains by the score. More than 100 shops representing the most iconic current brands offer discounts of between 30% and 70% off the recommended retail price, which make for a perfect shopping experience whichever way you look at it. Enter through one of the old-style city gates and then prepare to immerse yourself in a temple of purchasing delight, complete with the old-world appeal of shopkeepers with the knowledge and time to advise on the very best buys. You will also have time to enjoy a spot of lunch (not included in the price of the tour) before returning to the ship along with your chic new possessions. Please note: this tour is available only for transit guests in the port of Amsterdam. Guests using a wheelchair are advised that they must be accompanied by a paying helper to provide assistance with getting on and off the coach and that wheelchairs must be collapsible/foldable since the coach has neither a ramp nor a lift. Guests using a wheelchair who would like to participate in this tour are requested to contact the Shore Excursions’ Desk promptly once they are on board so that arrangements can be made.
    • No guide available

    • Wheelchair and disabled-friendly tour – Wheelchair guests must be accompanied by their own helper to get on/off the coach. Wheelchairs must be foldable as the coach is not provided with ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      5 h

  • WALKING TOUR IN JORDAAN DISTRICT

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    AMS19T

    When it comes to coupling civic beauty with historical appeal, the vibrant city of Amsterdam ticks every box and the pretty Jordaan district, established in the early 17th century as “Het Nieuwe Werck” or The New Work, is particularly picturesque. A coach will first take you to the Jordaan quarter to begin this entertaining walking tour. The streets and canals were built to replace the former ditches and pathways, which accounts for the quarter’s strange orientation compared to the rest of Amsterdam. Your walk will take you past such iconic spots as the Anne Frank House, the so-called Homomonument – a memorial to persecuted gay men and lesbian women – and some of the quarter’s quaint hofjes. These privately funded little almshouses with courtyards first appeared in the Middle Ages and once provided a rent-free home for elderly women. At the end of your informative walk, you’ll have some time to spend on your own before moving on to your last stop, the nearby Café De Prins – home of delicious Dutch apple pie – for a cup of coffee or tea. Your return to the ship then brings the tour to a close. Please note: this tour is only for transit guests in the port of Amsterdam. On MSC Splendida calls, this tour is available in the afternoon; you can combine it with one of the night tours and with one of following tours available in the morning: AMS02T/AMS03T. If guests combine am/pm/night tours, time for lunch or dinner onboard will be limited.
    • No guide available

    • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

      Difficulty Level
      Strenuous

    • Duration
      3 h

The excursions in the programme are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise. 
Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.
 
Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

Reach the port

Port of Amsterdam

This section contains information on how to reach the port.

Cruise Terminal:

Amsterdam PTA

Reach the port by

  • Car

    Exit the A10 Ring Road at junction S114 (Zeeburg, Centrum, Artis, IJburg). Turn left at the end of the exit slip road and continue straight ahead. When you reach the Piet Hein Tunnel, move into in the lane marked Centraal Station. The entrance to the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam is 1 km along the road on the right-hand side.
    Car
  • Train

    Leave Amsterdam Central Station by the North exit (Noord). Once outside the station, turn right and follow the IJ lake until you have crossed the bridge, when you will see the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam on your left. 
    Travel time: A 15-minute walk.
    Train
  • Plane

    Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is just a short journey from the city centre. 
    There is a direct rail connection from the airport to Amsterdam Central Station. 
    Travel time: about 15 minutes. 

    You can also take a taxi outside the airport. 
    Travel time: about 20 minutes depending on traffic.
    Plane

Netherlands

The land of the wooden clogs
The land of the wooden clogs

Although almost half of it was once under water, the Netherlands is one of the most urbanized – and densely populated – nations on earth, with a huge amount of interest packed into a relatively small area.

A holiday to the Netherlands will help you understand why it’s a remarkable country, a largely man-made affair, around half of which lies at or below sea level. One-fifth of the Netherlands is made up of… water. Without protection, two-thirds of the country would be regularly flooded.

The lowest point in the Netherlands – at seven metres below sea level – is also Europe’s lowest point. A cruise to the Netherlands means a fertile, pancake-flat landscape gridded with drainage ditches and canals, beneath huge open skies, while the country’s towns and villages are often pristine and unchanged places of gabled townhouses, pretty canals and church spires.

Despite the country’s diminutive dimensions, each town is often a profoundly separate place with its own distinct identity – indeed there’s perhaps nowhere else in the world where you can hear so many different accents, even dialects, in such a small area.

In spring and summer the bulb fields provide bold splashes of colour, and in the west and north the long coastline is marked by mile upon mile of protective dune, backing onto wide stretches of perfect sandy beach.