Amsterdam Canals at Night, Amsterdam

Amsterdam Cruise Port: Hassle Free DIY Transfers from Amsterdam Airport/City

Amsterdam has long been a beloved embarkation port for cruises to the Baltic Sea and Northern Europe. However, recent headlines might have you wondering about the future of cruising from this iconic city.

In July 2023, plans were approved to relocate the Amsterdam cruise port, following years of debate and concerns about the environmental impact of large cruise ships. While no firm date has been set for the move, it’s important to know that major cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America, Azamara, Seabourn, and Oceania still have sailings scheduled from Amsterdam in 2024 and 2025. Notably, Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Eclipse remains committed to using Amsterdam as its summer homeport in 2025.

I’ve certainly enjoyed sailing out of Amsterdam cruise port over the years. So if you’re one of the lucky souls scheduled to depart from Amsterdam cruise port, here’s how to plan DIY transfers to the cruise port.

Sailing from Rotterdam instead? Then check out my Embarkation Guide for Rotterdam Cruise Port for DIY Transfers from Amsterdam Airport or Rotterdam City Centre.

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Amsterdam Airport/City to Amsterdam Cruise Port: Is a DIY Transfer Easy? ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž (Smooth Sailing)

I Amsterdam Sign outside the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Photo by Pixabay

Transferring from Amsterdam Airport or Amsterdam City Centre to Amsterdam Cruise Port is easy and straightforward, thanks to frequent trains and trams that stop right outside the Amsterdam cruise terminal! Here’s more reasons I rated this DIY transfer as ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž (Smooth Sailing):

  • Seamless Train Connections: Frequent direct trains from Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam Central Station makes traveling to the Amsterdam City Centre super easy! Train station is also conveniently located directly under the arrivals hall.
  • Contactless Convenience: Ticketing is a breeze with contactless payment options now available (since June 2023). Simply tap your card or phone at the start and end of your journey for effortless travel.
  • Frequent Trams to Cruise Terminal: Once in Amsterdam Central station, frequent trams from right outside the station provide a direct link to the cruise terminal. Just one stop and you’ll be dropped in front of the cruise terminal!

Amsterdam Cruise Port Essentials: All You Need To Know

  • Amsterdam Cruise Port Schedule: Cruise Port Amsterdam’s official cruise port schedule
  • Amsterdam Cruise Port Address: Cruise Port Amsterdam, Piet Heinkade 27, 1019 BR Amsterdam, The Netherlands – see it marked on my Amsterdam cruise port map below ๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿ‘‡
  • Currency: Euros
  • Tourism Website: I Amsterdam is the official tourism website
  • Recommended Transport App: I prefer Citymapper for bus/tram routing and live departure times but Google Maps works just as well!
  • eSIM for roaming in Netherlands: For a great data connection without the huge roaming fees, use an eSim data pack from Airalo. I always recommend having a smartphone with a valid plan when youโ€™re at port touring independently. Get US$3 off your first eSIM data pack from Airalo when you useย ROXANN1666ย when you sign up or apply it at checkout

Amsterdam Cruise Port Map

  • My Amsterdam Cruise Port Map: ๐Ÿ‘‡ Click on the upper right hand corner to see a bigger version. Use buttons on bottom left to zoom in/out. If the map is not loading correctly, click here to see it directly on Google Maps

Amsterdam Cruise Port: Easy Ways to Port from Amsterdam Airport (AMS)

  • Distance: Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) is 22 kms (~13.5 miles) from Amsterdam Airport

If you’re flying into Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) on the day of your cruise, then here’s your DIY transportation options to get to Amsterdam cruise port:

  • Train to Amsterdam Central Station: The most common and budget friendly option is taking the train from the airport to Amsterdam Central Station. Trains run frequently, and the journey takes about 15-20 minutes. From the Central Station, you can take a taxi (around โ‚ฌ15) or jump onto Tram #26 right outside the station and it will take you directly to the cruise port. Interested? Then I have step-by-step directions for you below ๐Ÿ‘‡
  • Taxis from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport: Catch a taxi from the official taxi stand and do not accept rides from unlicensed taxis at Schiphol. You’ll sometimes see unlicensed drivers soliciting customers. The official taxis have a blue number plate. Taxis will 20-30 minutes and cost โ‚ฌ40-60 depending on traffic. All licensed taxis in Amsterdam will take credit/debit cards and provide a printed receipt.
  • Uber from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport: Uber is available in Amsterdam. Journey time should take 20-30 minutes depending on traffic and costs roughly the same as an official taxi (assuming no surge pricing).

Amsterdam Airport (AMS) to Amsterdam Cruise Port: Step-by-Step DIY Transfer Guide

Thanks to the great Dutch train system, traveling to Amsterdam Central Station from Schiphol Airport via train is very straightforward. So here’s the step-by-step guide:

1. Head to Schiphol Airport Train Station

The train station is located directly below the airport’s arrival hall. There’s great English signage, so just follow the signs. There are escalators and lifts if you have check-in bags with you.

  • Timetables: Use NSโ€™s English website to check timetables but it’s not necessary, as there is a train at least every 10 minutes. Look at the departure boards for the next train and the platform no. There’s departure boards on every platform showing the next train’s destination – info will show in English too.
    • Intercity Trains are usually non-stop to Amsterdam Central Station whereas Regional Sprinter services stop a few times before the final stop in “Amsterdam Centraal”.
    • Note that some trains from Schiphol Airport station travel to Amsterdam Zuid station. So make sure you catch a train that goes to Amsterdam Centraal.
  • Journey Time: about 15-20 minutes
  • Luggage: There are luggage racks on Dutch trains and bringing your luggage onboard is definitely not a problem. It’s an airport train after all! The trains are usually “double-deckers” but there’s an area at end of carriages too, so you don’t need to necessarily head upstairs or downstairs.

2. Pay with Contactless Card

The easiest way to pay is by using a contactless card, or the equivalent on your Apple Pay / Google Pay on your phones or smartwatches – called OV-Pay. You’ll be charged the same price as the e-ticket price you see online. The single one-way fare is โ‚ฌ4.90. Operating since June 2023, you can pay for all rail travel in the Netherlands using a contactless card. (Yes, even international credit cards and debit cards will work!)

To be charged the correct fare, each person needs to have his/her own card and must tap in and tap out at the destination. This is because train fares are calculated based on a set base fare plus how far you’ve travelled. If you don’t tap out, the system does not know how far you’ve travelled and will charge you the maximum fare. Use a Mastercard or Visa credit card if possible. Otherwise, you’ll see a small balance temporarily on hold for debit cards and refunded if not used in a few days’ time. Note that Amex is not accepted.

You can also purchase a ticket online using NS’s website or download its app but I think it’s just more complicated. If you want a physical ticket from the station, including one purchased from a machine, there’s a โ‚ฌ1 charge for using a once-off paper ticket.

Traveling with a child aged 4-11? Buy them a “Railrunner” ticket for โ‚ฌ2.50. This is valid for unlimited trains all day, all around the Netherlands! If you can’t be bothered with the fare difference, then give the child his/her own contactless card and they can tap in and tap out. Note only kids under 4 are free.

3. Arrival at Amsterdam Central Station

Amsterdam Central Station facade, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Image by Siggy Nowak from Pixabay

Amsterdam Central Station is huge and may look daunting, once you get onto the train platform and into the train concourse itself. Look for signs for station exit to Amsterdam City. Once you exit the station building, you will see an open courtyard with tram tracks. The front of the station looks like this ๐Ÿ‘†. The tram station is immediately on your left – also marked on my map above ๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿ‘†. You’ll notice the tram tracks straight away.

4. Tram to Amsterdam Cruise Port

Amsterdam Tram, Netherlands

Tram #26, departing from Platform A1 at the tram station. The tram is heading towards “Direction IJburg” and you’re only riding the tram to the next stop at “Muziekgeb. Bimhuis Amsterdam” stop – it’s the concert hall next to the cruise terminal.

  • Frequency: Tram #26 runs frequently and during the day, the next tram will be in a few minutes’ time
  • Tickets: Pay with your contactless card on board the tram. Note that you need to tap in and tap out to be charged the correct fare. The one-way ticket will be charged at โ‚ฌ1.33.
    • If your kids were traveling on a Railrunner ticket from Amsterdam Airport station, then they’ll still need to pay for the tram fare.

Backup Options:

  • Taxi: A taxi will cost around โ‚ฌ15 depending on traffic
  • Walk: Walking will take about 15 minutes – most of the journey is on flat ground but slight incline towards the end of the walk as you near the cruise terminal. I have done the walk, albeit with only a carry-on that time!

5. Ramp to Amsterdam Cruise Terminal Entrance

Once you get off the tram, cross the street and you’ll see a ramp down to the cruise terminal entrance. You’re there!

Amsterdam Cruise Port: Easy Ways to Port from Amsterdam City Centre

If you’ve spent time pre-cruise in Amsterdam and will be traveling from your hotel in Amsterdam to the cruise port, then you also have a few easy DIY options:

  • Tram: Wherever your hotel is, if there’s a tram stop nearby, it’s likely that there’s a tram route to Amsterdam Central station. Use Tram #26 to get to Amsterdam cruise port, as per above. Note the fare is variable, based on distance travelled so be sure to tap in and tap out for every tram journey to be charged correctly.
  • Taxis: Depending on where your hotel is, this may be your easiest option. Taxis are readily available in Amsterdam and your hotel can call one for you. I personally won’t bother to pre-book a private transfer for what is most likely a 10-15 minute ride. Taxis will take credit cards but check before departure.
  • Uber: Uber is available in Amsterdam if you prefer.

Featured Image by Iulian Ursache from Pixabay

No matter what your pre-cruise plans are, I hope that this guide has helped you plan your DIY transfers from Amsterdam Airport to Amsterdam cruise port. If this guide has been helpful to you, I would really appreciate if you can share it with your fellow cruisers in your roll-call groups! Bon Voyage and happy cruising!

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