Amsterdam has a number of local ferry services on the IJ river which connect the city centre to Amsterdam Noord (North). The ferries are run by the municipal transport company GVB.
Amsterdam Ferries – introduction
GVB has a fleet of 13 ferries in use on the IJ river in Amsterdam. The latest series of ferries (IJveer 60-66, delivered between 2016 and 2021) use hybrid electric power.
The older series ferries are being converted to hybrid power. By 2025 all ferries will be running electrically without requirement of the hybrid diesel back-up engine.
The GVB IJveer 60-series ferries can take up to 310 foot passengers and bikes or 400 foot passengers only. Motor scooters and invalid ‘micro-cars’ are also allowed on board. Each ferry has open decks at either end with a covered section in the middle.
A number of ferries operate from the northern side of Amsterdam Central station and can get you to the likes of Eye Film and NDSM-wharf.
To reach this main GVB ferry terminal on De Ruijterkade head to the northern IJ-side (‘IJzijde’) exit of Amsterdam Central either via the station or the eastern foot/cycle tunnel.
Do I need a ticket for the Amsterdam ferry? No! The ferries are FREE and you can simply hop on board as soon as the arriving passengers have come off. Note, that smoking is prohibited on all Amsterdam ferries.
Amsterdam Ferry Map
Below is our Amsterdam GVB ferry map showing the inner harbour network and some places of interest:
GVB Amsterdam Ferry services around the harbour area
Here is a listing of the ferry services which operate around the IJ harbour area of Amsterdam. Line numbers of the GVB ferries are F1 to F7.
There are 3 regular ferry crossings running from Amsterdam Central station terminal wharf to the northern side.
There are also ferries running north from the Western Islands area (Pontsteiger) and from Java/KNSM Island (Azartplein).
|Route||Line No.||Journey Time||Frequency||Runs|
|Central Station to Buiksloterweg||F3||5 mins||5-14x hourly||24 hours|
|Central Station to IJplein||F2||5 mins||3-8x hourly||0600-0000 Mon-Sat, 0900-0000 Sun|
|Central Station to NDSM-wharf||F4||14 mins||2-4x hourly||0700-0000 Mon-Sat, 0900-0000 Sun|
|Central Station to NDSM-wharf via Pontsteiger (night service)||F5||17 mins||2x hourly||0000-0200 Mon-Fri, 0000-0300 Sat-Sun|
|Pontsteiger to NDSM-wharf||F7||7 mins||2-3x hourly||0700-0000 Mon-Fri, 0900-0000 Sat-Sun|
|Pontsteiger to Distelweg||F6||6 mins||2-3x hourly||0630-1930 Mon-Fri|
|Azartplein to Zamenhofstraat||F1||7 mins||3x hourly||0630-2230 daily|
Take the Buiksloterweg ferry to get to the striking EYE Film, a film exhibition space and the adjacent A’DAM Lookout tower.
A trip to NDSM wharf is also recommended – an old shipyard wasteland area being regenerated into offices and art exhibition/festival space. The STRAAT Museum can be found there.
GVB also operates other ferry services across various points of the Nordzeekanaal (North Sea canal) such as Velsen Zuid-Velsen Nord – although these are of less interest to city visitors.
The GVB ferries provide a good opportunity to get out on the water and see Amsterdam from a different perspective. And you can’t beat a free ride!
If you are looking for multi-day transport ticket options for trams/buses/metro then consider the following:
|Unlimited GVB Day/Multi-Day tickets||Amsterdam Travel Ticket||Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket|
|1-7 days||1/2/3 days||1/2/3 days|
|Valid on all GVB transport (trams/metro/buses) in Amsterdam||Valid on GVB transport in Amsterdam + airport train/bus||Valid on GVB transport in Amsterdam + regional train/bus|
|24 hour basis||Calendar day basis||Calendar day basis|
|Order here||Order here||Order here|
We highly recommend the GVB 1-7 day tickets as it can really improve your stay in Amsterdam giving you the flexibility to just hop-on and hop-off public transport as required.
This map and article was originally published in 2010 and has been regularly updated. Last update 31 December 2022.