Whenever I visit a city, a boat tour is always on my list.
My day trip in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, otherwise known as Den Bosch, was sealed with a Historical Boat Trip through the Binnendieze river operated by DagjeDenBosch.com.
Binnendieze refers to a series of hidden canals within the city fortification, running underneath Den Bosch. I am talking about deep dark inner-city underground waterways, with long winding narrow passages right under the hustle and bustle of the city center. Binnendieze started out as a regular river back in the medieval days where its 12km of waterways were used as transportation. It was also used as water supply, cleaning, laundry, fishing area and a waste yard. Due to lack of space within the city, many houses and roads were built over the this river. This was how the city of Den Bosch was shaped.
Eventually, the sewer system was rectified just 40 years ago and the restored Binnendieze river is now left with only 4 kilometers of waterways. The old city infrastructure was strengthened and kept intact as much as possible.My boat tour journey began and ended at a jetty located opposite Molenstraat 15a. It was an open electric boat with seating capacity of 14-16 people. The friendly skipper introduced himself briefly and told us to abide by his one rule – KEEP YOUR ARMS INSIDE THE BOAT AT ALL TIME!! The Binnendieze waterways have an average depth of about 1.5 meters and around a few bends, our boat fit tightly through.
We sailed quietly under bridges, streets, houses, shops, a gothic church and a museum. We had the best view of Den Bosch city’s nature reserve, ramparts, a bastion, floodgates and historical buildings. Along the way, we saw mysterious openings in the walls, art pieces at unexpected locations, glass tile looking up at the Town Hall, drain covers in the ceilings and old sewage pipes. We even passed a secret stream called a Hell Hole! There were several times when we experienced long stretches of near darkness under cobwebs and bat dwellings, guided only by a powerful torch. I squirmed a little. On a few occasions, we had to duck upon a turn or due to low ceilings. It was a little claustrophobic. The skipper went on and on telling us all kinds of tales and stories. All in Dutch language!
I always enjoy a relaxing boat ride at the last hour of the day to conclude my trip. This boat tour has been one of the most interesting ones. It has been a pleasure sailing through an oasis of stillness below the city, admiring 800 years old city walls, grasping unique insights into the history, architecture and culture of Den Bosch city. A great way to get to know a city from a water level perspective and under it.
If you are interested to go on this Historical Boat Trip, there are things you should know.
>> Boat tour season starts in April till October.
>> Tickets are available online for advance purchase the entire season.
>> Tickets are priced at €8.00 per adult and €4.00 for 4-12 years old.
>> A booking fee will be charged at €0.50 per person!
>> Payment can be done online using IDEAL, a Dutch e-commerce payment system.
>> Purchase tickets in person at one of the Kring Vrienden van ‘s-Hertogenbosch information centers; Kringhuis @ Parade 12 or Bolwerk Sint-Jan @ Sint Jansingel 25.
>> Duration of this boat tour is approximately 50 minutes.
>> Boat tour commentary is only in DUTCH!!
>> You can get the ENGLISH translation pamphlet at the information desk for FREE.
>> Possibility of German and French pamphlets available too. (Seen it online!)
>> Depending on the hour, the starting point of this boat tour could be at Voldersgat (Corner of Zuidwal – Oude Dieze). Double check!
>> The schedules are as follow:
Monday from 1400hrs – 1720hrs.
Tuesday-Friday from 1020hrs – 1720hrs.
Saturday-Sunday from 1000hrs – 1720hrs.
The departures are scheduled on the hour and on 20 and 40 minutes past the hour.
@Voldersgat: Monday from 1415hrs-1615hrs and Tuesday-Sunday from 1115hrs-1615hrs.
The departures are scheduled once per hour.
>> Restrooms are available across the jetty at Molenstraat 15a at Diezehuis.