Amsterdam Airport offers transit passengers a city tour by amphibious bus-boat

Airports that heavily depend on transfer traffic, such as Seoul Incheon and Hong Kong International offer layover tours of the city, so passengers with several hours to kill before their connecting flight departs can get a taste of their transit destination. Changi Airport and Turkish Airlines even offer passengers a quick tour of respectively Singapore and Istanbul for free. Now, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, where 40 percent of arriving passengers connects to another flight, has come up with a concept for passengers in transit to experience the city in a very original way.

Floating Dutchman
In a partnership between Schiphol Airport, local canal cruise company Lovers and the City of Amsterdam, an amphibious bus-boat vehicle, dubbed the ‘Floating Dutchman’, has been launched that offers travellers an opportunity to explore the city in a short span of time. Passengers with a layover of at least 4 hours can hop on to the bus-boat from the airport, take a tour of the city and return back to the airport for their connecting flight. The bus-boat has been built by a consortium of companies, called Dutch Amphibious Transport Vehicles, of which canal cruise company Lovers is a co-owner.

From July 20th on, the Floating Dutchman departs from Schiphol Airport by road into Amsterdam’s city centre, where it ‘splashes’ into the canals at a specially prepared zone to set off for a 45 minute boat tour of the city’s canals. After the trip, the vehicle emerges from the water and continues its journey back to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Images and a video of the tour here and here).

The Floating Dutchman has a capacity of 48 passengers and complies with all regulations for coaches as well as for canal boats, cruises the canals in silence and emission-free, as the bus- boat is electrically powered by 198 batteries. The amphibious vehicle is low enough to pass the bridges over the Amsterdam canals. During the duration of the tour passengers are asked to remain seated and can not leave the bus. In case of an emergency passengers can exit through a waterlocked door (without causing the bus to flood), an emergency hatch in the roof, or through the windows.

Transportainment
For Schiphol Airport, the Floating Dutchman ‘transportainment’ service is another way to let passengers make the most of their time when in transit at the airport, while the city of Amsterdam sees the bus-boat tour as an innovative way of introducing visitors to Amsterdam, hoping that they will come back next time for a longer visit.

The Floating Dutchman departs daily at 9am, 12pm and 3am from the central Plaza at Schiphol Airport and the duration of the tour is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes. Prices are EUR39 for adults and EUR19.50 for children. A 10% discount applies when booking tickets online.

Related articles:
Schiphol Airport’s ‘Holland Boulevard’ gives transit passengers a taste of all things Dutch
Schiphol Airport opens airport park with wooden benches and virtual butterflies
Airports in Europe entertain passengers in creative ways during summer travel season

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