Tuesday, 15 December 2015

A sloop is no way to see the Amsterdam Light Festival

Through Groupon you can take a "discount" boat trip to see the Amsterdam Light Festival. For 20 euro instead of 40 you can see the lights with Amsterdam Boat Experience. Unfortunately you will find yourself hoisted aboard a noisy sloop (more like a second rate lifeboat with a plastic tent as a roof). When you have clambered aboard (no mean feat as you have a 50-cm step down), then you find yourself in a circle with about 30 others all looking at each other and over people's head through the plastic to catch a glimpse of the lights. You can only really look upwards, while most of the attractions are low on the water. 
A very bored helmsman reads the texts out loud from his smartphone - describing the works of art as if they were described in a manual for his noisy engines. Two girls have been hired to serve Gluwein and warm chocolate but they soon turn to discussing what they would rather have been doing tonight instead of shivering about a draughty sloop. When we were way past halfway, I heard the girls say that they had once had a lot of tourists and the texts had been read out in English. "But you can read them on your smartphone anyway. " 

I asked if they had told the English speakers on board this time. They hadn't. They hurried to try and help them find the right page, but had no luck before the boat trip was over. Not really very helpful. 

Anyway - why would you choose an adventure in a sloppy sloop when you could travel in the comfort of a real "rondvaart" boat for the same price and actually see what you came to see? And I really feel sorry for those who paid 40 euros. What a rip-off!

Groupon claim that 89% "recommended" the trip. I'd like to know where passengers can respond. I certainly wouldn't recommend it.

It's a better idea to go with Canal Company than with Amsterdam Boat Experience.  And the texts can be found here

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