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 19 ferries in use around Amsterdam. Some of the ferries are electric powered and the remainder have diesel engines – although the diesels will be replaced in due course by electric ones.
The GVB ferries can take up to 400 standing foot passengers at a time, although this being Amsterdam the ferry also allows cyclists and moped riders to 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 Amsteram. Line numbers of the GVB ferries are 900-915.
There are 3 regular ferry crossings running from Amsterdam Central station terminal wharf to the northern side. Note that lines 907 and 905 are special night services.
There are also ferries running north from the Western Islands area (Pontsteiger) and from Java/KNSM Island (Azartplein).
|Central Station to Buiksloterweg||901/907||5 mins
||5-14x hourly||24 hours|
|Central Station to IJplein||902||5 mins
||3-8x hourly||0600-0000 Mon-Sat, 0900-0000 Sun|
|Central Station to NDSM-wharf||906||14 mins
||2-4x hourly||0700-0000 Mon-Sat, 0900-0000 Sun|
|Central Station to NDSM-wharf via Pontsteiger
||2x hourly||0000-0200 Mon-Fri, 0000-0300 Sat-Sun|
|Pontsteiger to NDSM-wharf||903||7 mins
||2-3x hourly||0700-0000 Mon-Fri, 0900-0000 Sat-Sun|
|Pontsteiger to Distelweg||900||6 mins
||2-3x hourly||0630-1930 Mon-Fri|
|Azartplein to Zamenhofstraat||915||7 mins
You can find more detailed Amsterdam ferry timetable information at the GVB website here
A trip to NDSM wharf is also recommended – an old shipyard wasteland area being regenerated into offices and art exhibition/festival space.
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!
This map and article was originally published in 2010 and has been regularly updated. Last update 11 November 2020.