Amsterdam Light Festival

2021 marks the tenth year of the well-known Amsterdam Light Festival. It’s not difficult to understand why this festival is so popular. It’s literally and figuratively a light in the dark days of winter. During the months of December and January, beautiful light art is exhibited in and around the Amsterdam canals and city center. These incredible pieces of art are created by international artists. Visitors can walk along the works or choose to buy a canal cruise ticket to see the art from the water.

At Amsterdam Canal Cruises, you can of course book a ticket for an Amsterdam Light Festival Canal Cruise so you can admire all the light artworks.

History of the Amsterdam Light Festival

For decades, the GEB (the municipal energy company of Amsterdam) made sure that the canals would light up every year, until privatization of the company in the late 1990s put an end to this. Suddenly the canals were dark during the winter and locals considered this a real loss. In the following years, Amsterdam citizens organised multiple initiatives to light up the city, such as Yule and the Christmas Canal Parade with illuminated boats. In 2010, the Winter Magic Amsterdam was organised, during which the boat parade got combined with fun things to do and see. For the Winter Magic Amsterdam, light artist Rogier van der Heide turned the famous sight the Skinny Bridge into a true light artwork.

In 2012, the Amsterdam Light Festival was organised for the first time. The festival focused on the art and worked together with international light artists. During the winter months, people could walk along the canals to see the works, but they could also follow a route with a boat.

10 years later and the Amsterdam Light Festival is bigger and more popular than ever. Every year, there’s a new interesting theme that makes everyone ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’; whether you follow the walking route or admire the light works from the water.

Amsterdam Light Festival 2021

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Amsterdam Light Festival and revolves around the theme ‘Celebrate Light’. This winter, we’ll re-experience the most favorite, appealing, inspiring and popular light artworks of the past nine editions. Earlier this year, from 10 to 20 March 2021, Amsterdammers could choose their favourites from an array of works from the past years. The winning works will be exhibited during the 2021 edition.

It won’t be until December that we’ll all know which gorgeous pieces of art will be shown during the Amsterdam Light Festival 2021, but we already know from past years that they will be spectacular! And the best way to see them is from the water, so book your tickets for the Amsterdam Light Festival 2021 at Amsterdam Canal Cruises now!

The Amsterdam Light Festival canal cruises

Amsterdam Light Festival canal cruise
During this 90 minute canal cruise, you’ll sail along the beautiful artworks of the Amsterdam Light Festival in a covered and heated boat. This is especially nice during the cold Amsterdam evenings! Put in your earphones and listen to the explanation about the light artwork through our handy audio guide (available in Dutch and English). This cruise is fun for young and old – kids even get a nice surprise package with their Amsterdam Light Festival ticket.

Amsterdam Light Festival open boat canal cruise
We also offer an open boat cruise for those that would like to view the light artworks in a slightly more intimate circle. After all, you’re in a boat with a maximum of 25 people. Please make sure to dress warmly for this Amsterdam Light Festival cruise because this open boat is not heated. We do have some blankets ready for you to keep you warm. During this cruise, your captain will also be your tour guide and tell you all about the artworks that you see.

Amsterdam Canal Cruises Service

Do you have any questions about our Amsterdam Light Festival canal cruises? Then contact us; we’d love to help you.

Even outside of the period of the Amsterdam Light Festival you can book the best canal cruises in Amsterdam with us. You can also score tickets for museums and tours at Amsterdam Canal Cruises.