Gay Travel to Amsterdam Pride and Boats on the Canal
Gay Pride festivals exist all over the world, but the Amsterdam Gay
Pride festival is among the best on the planet.
Since early days,
Amsterdam has been at the forefront in striving for
equality for the gay & lesbian communities. Amsterdam is famous for
it’s liberal mindset and by organising a yearly Gay Pride the city
welcomes a safe environment for gays, lesbians
and transgenders to both visit and live in Amsterdam.
and it’s gay and straight citizens really know how to party and turn the
Amsterdam’s historic centre into one big Gay Pride celebration for a
weekend in August. The entire city joins in the fun, with the the famous
Canal Parade being highlight of Amsterdam’s Gay Pride event.
popular Canal Parade is a floating event involving up to 100
spectacularly decorated barges, floating through Amsterdam’s
Prinsengracht (the canal of the Prinses) . The Gay Pride Canal Pride is a
celebration of devotion towards equality of the gay and lesbian
communities and as such many large Dutch institutions such as the City
Council including the mayor of Amsterdam, the Fire Brigade, the
Amsterdam police force and large Dutch corporates and employers such as
the ING insurances, ABN AMRO and Rabobank have their own boats in the
The festivities starts on a Friday night with two large outdoor
parties. On at the Gay & Lesbian Reguliersdwarsstraat street and the
other party at the Gay & Lesbian monument on the Westermarket in
the centre of town.
Gay Pride and the Canal Parade is the
biggest recurring event held in the city and takes place over the first
weekend of August
every year. On Saturday afternoon, the highlight of the Gay Pride
festivities is the Canal Parade which begins at 14.00 and goes on
until around 18.00.
The Canal Parade begins outside the Central Station,
sails along the entire Prinsengracht, the Amstel River
and finishes at the Eastern Dock. The participating boats are
spectacularly decorated and put on a show with their onboard DJs and lavish parties, guaranteeing unbeatable entertainment.
Canal Parade is open to all possible organisations, companies and even
private individuals. One needs to apply for a license from the city
council and one needs to rent a boat from one of the Amsterdam based
boat rental companies such as the Amsterdam Boot Huren boat rental agency. A quick look at this website shows the Ivan Frank open boat as pretty much ideal or one could consider the Avanti barge for it’s beautiful feminine curves. Another boat rental agency worthwhile looking at is Canal Cruise Amsterdam.
Both websites are in Dutch, but if you call the contact numbers, they
will answer in English, as nearly everybody in Amsterdam speaks fluent
The event still grows in size and in 2012 a total of
188 organisations and companies applied for a licence in the official
Canal Parade. 2012 also had a Turkish boat participated
in the Canal Parade for the first time. The Turkish boat represents the
20,000 odd gay and lesbian people living in the
Netherlands who are of Turkish descent.
The Gay Pride Canal Parade draws more than 500,000 gay and straight participants and
visitors to Amsterdam. The city gets very busy and most of
the Amsterdam hotels are fully occupied and may ask ridiculous prices
for their accommodation. as an alternative, one might also consider
renting an apartment in the city centre from Apartment Amsterdam.
Most of the apartments very high quality and are located on one of the
famous canals or in the Jordaan area of Amsterdam. If you do decide to
stay in an apartment in the Jordaan, don’t forget to visit the Anne Frank house or to have dinner in one of the many little restaurants close to the Noordermarket.