Work as

Canal Cruise Captain

Earn while you train as a Canal Cruise Captain and sail the magnificent Amsterdam canals combined with hospitality.

The freedom to sail the Amsterdam canals

As a Canal Cruise Captain you are the face of the city and our organization. You share your love of Amsterdam with our guests on a daily basis. You show our guests the city on classic canal cruises or on evening cruises with drinks or dinner on one of our party boats. You have plenty of freedom while you work and can choose your own work schedule. 

To enable you to work as a Canal Cruise Captain, we pay you a salary while you train. Of course, if you already have a Boatmasters’ Licence, you can skip the training programme and start working as a Canal Cruise Captain right away. If you want to get your Boatmasters’ Licence, you train as a Canal Cruise Captain at Nova College in IJmuiden one or two days a week. The rest of the week you gain practical experience on our canal cruise boats with our senior instructors.

The training takes about a year. Once you have successfully completed your training, we put you on our payroll and you can independently show our guests the beautiful Amsterdam canals on a canal cruise boat or party ship.


  • Earn while you train as a Canal Cruise Captain
  • Minimum salary while you train, competitive salary once you qualify
  • A chance to combine nautical expertise with hospitality
  • The most beautiful workplace in Amsterdam
  • Flexible working hours
  • Informal working atmosphere with convivial drinks and staff parties
Interview with Nicole - Canal Cruise Captain at Stromma Netherlands


Every day I enjoy being on the water and I love the freedom I have while sailing.

What is your name and what do you do at Stromma Netherlands?
My name is Nicole and I have been working as a Canal Cruise Captain at Stromma Netherlands for almost 2 years.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
Sailing is my passion, so I am very much in my element at Stromma Netherlands. I used to sail on the sea, now I sail the Amsterdam canals. After spending 22 years in an office, I longed to be back out on the water. In my experience, once you develop a passion for sailing, you want to be able to keep doing it. Fortunately, I landed my dream job at Stromma Netherlands. I have now been working for the company for almost two years and feel very much at home.

How did you transition from office job to Canal Cruise Captain?
My uncle, who also sails for Stromma Netherlands, told me about the training programme. He asked if I would be interested in training as a Canal Cruise Captain. I was, so I signed up.

What do you learn when you are training as a Canal Cruise Captain?
You learn practical sailing skills and sailing theory. Stromma Netherlands employs instructors: Stromma Netherlands captains who take you on board with them and teach you to sail. You learn the theory at Nova College in IJmuiden. It’s a bit like going back to school! I also sail in my free time, but when I’m at work I am responsible for the safety of our guests. You also learn how to provide hospitality.

It’s very different from working in an office. What is a canal cruise boat like as a workplace?
I used to have two screens in front of me all day long, now I am surrounded by a living panorama. I also have more contact with people (guests and colleagues): that was something I missed when I worked in an office. Never for a moment have I regretted making the switch.

What are your most impressive experiences at work?
In the morning, it’s very quiet on the water. It’s a wonderful feeling to have the canals all to myself. I feel as if the canals belong to me. In the evenings the bridges are lit up with fairy lights. When the wind dies down, the reflection of the lights on the bridges creates a complete circle in the water. I still enjoy it every time I see it.

What are some of the best things about your job?
Every day I enjoy being on the water and the freedom I have to sail the beautiful Amsterdam canals. I am essentially outdoors all day long and see the city from a different perspective. That makes my job very rewarding.

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