Book a Tour Amsterdam

Recap: Amsterdam Light Festival

01 - Error - Copyright Janus van den Eijnden
"Error" by Vendel & De Wolf. Photographer: Janus van den Eijnden.

Another magical year of the Amsterdam Light Festival has come and gone. We’d like to thank to our amazing guests for joining us on the canals and brightening our winter nights. The sparkling artworks are always a delight to observe, but you are the true stars.

To show our gratitude, we decided to give a free tour this summer to one lucky winner. Did you take photos during your Light Festival cruise with us? Send them in before April 1st to be eligible for the complimentary tour! 

"Absorbed by Light" by Gali May Lucas. Photographer: Janus van den Eijnden.

Festival reflections...

The Book A Tour Amsterdam team had the privilege of guiding over 40 private tours during the festival this year! The tours were sailed by our trusted skippers: Paap, Deep, and Marcus. Were you among those who joined us on glittering canals? If so, we hope you had an unforgettable time.
One couple in particular had an especially memorable cruise with us. On January 1st, we were honored to assist with a wedding proposal on board!! We took a small detour to the famous skinny bridge, which is known to bring everlasting love to those who share a kiss there. Spoiler alert: she said yes.
To commemorate the last day of the Light Festival, we sailed the canals with our whole family. It was a cozy and special way to end the season. 

Edition 12 highlights...

This year’s light art installations were some of the best we have ever seen from the festival. The theme for the 12th edition was “LOADING…Revealing Art, AI and Tech”, which we found to be poignant for these fast tech-heavy times.

Artists this year were asked to “consider the effects of technology and artificial intelligence (AI) on our everyday lives”. We think they all nailed it.

We were impressed by each one we sailed past and found it hard to pick a favorite. We narrowed it down to our top five, which are pictured in order of mention below.

  • Artwork: IS IT REALLY YOU?
    This one interests us because of how the artist incorporates vibrant colors and movement.
  • Artwork: CHAIRWAVE
    This artwork incorporates chairs that light up and move up when you stand up, mimicking the wave they do in stadiums to cheer the soccer players.  
    This one stood out to us because it represents the feeling of instant connection to another person. We’re all about meaningful connections!
  • Artwork: LIGHT HIGH
    We thought the way this artwork plays tricks on your perception was so cool! When you stood on the platform, it looked like the space was bigger underneath and above you.
  • Artwork: PHYLLOTAXIS
    The word that comes to mind for this installation is mesmerizing. Flashing, colorful lights make you feel a bit like you’re being hypnotized!


You can view all of the artworks on the official Amsterdam Light Festival site.

How about you? Did one of the light installations stand out as a favorite for you? Let us know!

Guest reviews...

Mariska M
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"What a nice experience to experience the Amsterdam Light festival with Rederij Paping. We had booked a private 90-minute tour for our team. Everything was well organised: from the first communication moment to the end of the tour. Skipper Deep was extremely well informed about all the objects we sailed past. Highly recommended!"
Harald B
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"Sailing the canals with the Book A Tour team is always fun, and this time was no exception! Skipper Paap is such a pro. He always knows the best routes and is an encyclopedia of info about not only Amsterdam itself but also the Amsterdam Light Festival. I can see why they're official partners this year. It's by far the best tour with the most amenities all at a great price. Recommended!"
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"It was lovely. We had a great tour filled with information about the light display and the artists who created themas well as additional information provided regarding the city."

Guest photos...

Official Partner

Sailing the canals as official Amsterdam Light Festival partners for this winter’s edition was a dream come true. We’re honored to have held the title!

We loved seeing our official partner flag flying proudly on our boats. We work hard to find the best routes and create memorable guest experiences. It’s deeply satisfying to be recognized for our commitment to providing outstanding tours! 

See you next time...

Listen, it’s never too early to start planning. Good news too, we already have some details for next year’s edition. The dates for the next Light Festival are November 28, 2024, to January 19, 2025.

Keep an eye on our website or, better yet, become a member of our newsletter so you’ll be updated about available bookings.
We are already looking forward to the next edition. To the guests who joined us for this edition, thank you!
If you took photos of the installations, don’t forget to share them with us. Our favorite shot will get you a complimentary tour in the summer of 2024 🙂

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Picture of Marissa Lewis

Marissa Lewis

Hi y'all! I'm a native English copywriter from Texas who has been living in Amsterdam since 2017. I met Paap and Carla during my first King's Day canal experience (sorry about that :p) and I've been sailing with them ever since! My favorite things about Amsterdam include its architectural charm, rich history, amazing local parks, and the free-thinking community. I hope to spend many more years exploring this beautiful city.

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