Thursday, June 12, 2014

Amsterdam - the houseboat Prins & Brouwer

Bet you're wondering exactly what it's like to stay in a houseboat in Amsterdam.  If you've ever stayed in a houseboat on a big lake (Shasta, Powell, etc), well, it isn't anything like that!

I didn't see any two houseboats that were alike.  Some are built on a cement float (sounds like an oxymoron but it's true - at least according to the canal cruise guide we had one day) and others are remodeled cargo ships from the early 1920's.  The latter is what we stayed on.

A little background on how we came to be staying on this particular houseboat, as the story is kind of interesting (at least I think so!).  Mom tasked me with finding a houseboat that would sleep 6 adults and had room to sit outside in order to watch the world go by.  Not an easy thing, it turns out.  Not many sleep 6 and those that do don't all have their own private rooms, or space to sit outside, and some are far outside the city center (I was determining that by distance from Centraal Station).  I did my usual and compiled a spreadsheet to track all the houseboats I was researching.  I went through a number of rental websites, but found THE houseboat of all houseboats on  The Prins & Brouwer Houseboat appeared to have everything we needed.  The photos on the website showed a very nice home and when I emailed them I received a response promptly.  Rene (the manager) answered all my questions (and I had quite a few) and the owner of the boat responded once when I asked about the size of the beds (my brother is 6'3") and he let me know he was the same size and could sleep in all the beds.  So, where it turns really interesting though, is when I emailed Mom.  I let her know I'd found the PERFECT houseboat and sent her the link hoping she'd agree.  She said she took one look and realized it was the houseboat they'd stayed on about 8 years ago and they'd LOVED it!   She had heard that it wasn't a rental any more.  It was what she and Dad were using as their 'ideal houseboat' when they were telling me what to look for.

And the reality, 8 years later, was as good as they remembered.

On a previous post you saw the pictures I took when we were on our canal cruise, so you saw how pretty it looked in the morning the day before we checked in.  We could see the picnic table on top (that was added sometime in the previous 8 years) and it certainly looked nice from the outside.  We all looked forward to getting on board and we all enjoyed our time on the Prins & Brouwer.  Highly recommend this houseboat if you want a wonderful vacation in the heart of Amsterdam, while still having your own oasis.  We all commented on how nice it was to stay somewhere central, with access to markets and restaurants so we didn't have to cook (unless we wanted to) and where we could hang out in our own little oasis (as opposed to in a hotel lobby).

I send a big thank you to the Prins & Brouwer owners and manager for an absolutely divine vacation in Amsterdam!!!!

Please enjoy my photos:

Here's a picture I took while we were walking up to it on the afternoon of the 7th 

The building on the left is the pub Ken and I hung out at, and where we met the Amsterdamer couple.  On the far right is the Prins & Brouwer

A view from the bridge, looking at the Prins & Brouwer

Approaching the boat.  The front door is on the very far right of this photo.

A double bed in one bedroom (Ken's and my room). The high windows let in lots of natural light. 

The master bedroom - a King sized bed, with an en-suite bathroom including jacuzzi tub and shower - this is at the front of the boat

Third bedroom had bunk beds that were over 6 feet long.  The top bed had less room though because of the low wall.

Washer and Dryer in the master bedroom/bathroom - and you can see the jacuzzi tub/shower

The second bathroom.  The shower had a hand held shower head as well as a rain shower head and a bench.  Great water pressure and hot water!

The view from the bedroom hallway towards the back of the boat.  The table extended so all 6 of us could eat at it and still walk by the hallway.  Looking to the back is the stairs to the entrance on the right and to the left is the entrance to the den with the huge TV

Part of the kitchen - the oven/micro combo is just barely seen on the right, the dishwasher is the cupboard to the left of the sink

The rest of the kitchen - the fridge and freezer were plenty big and the stove was an induction with a vent hood that rose up from the surface.  Worked perfectly for our dinner one night.

The TV in the den.  The windows at the top middle are to the top den and entrance

The rest of the den.  This is the very back of the boat and all the panels are cupboards.

The upstairs entrance, looking to the front of the boat and you can see the picnic table where we spent a lot of time hanging out

the upstairs den - we all enjoyed time up here.  There is even power access so I could power my laptop and write my blog while watching the world go by.

The view while sitting on deck - this is what it looked like all day Saturday and Sunday

Dad, Mom and Ken - they don't look too miserable do they?

The flowers Ken bought.  It was such a nice touch to have them on the table whenever we were on the boat.

Another view of the daily activity - and even though it seems like it would be noisy, ship swaying in the water, or whatever, I can assure you the boat barely moved and the sound didn't carry to inside.  It was a peaceful oasis inside and a great time outside.  The perfect combination for a fun vacation.

The building that housed the pub - it was leaning to the left.  Seriously leaning.

A look over my shoulder down Brouwersgracht from our spot on Prinsengracht

Sunset over the boat

Moonlight view from the picnic table

Dinner our third night on board - I didn't have a tripod so I couldn't set up a timer photo with all of us

The building across the canal as seen through our flowers and the trees

The bridges had such beautiful flowers that it screamed for pretty pictures.  This one I took in the early morning on our way to visit the Anne Frank Museum

Sunset through the boat

The bell at the front of the boat

Peaceful sunset our last night on board

1 comment:

  1. We were actually docked on Brouwersgracht not Prinsengracht.