Visit Holland - The Netherlands

Amsterdam to organise royal boat parade on 30 April

On 30 April 2013, Amsterdam will host a special royal boat parade on the River IJ to celebrate the inauguration of the new king and queen.

The royal couple will set sail from the EYE Film Institute Netherlands and travel past the Oeverpark, via the northern side of the River IJ to the Kop van Java and Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ. Well-wishers will be able to greet the royal couple from the quayside. A unique programme of festivities featuring art, culture and sport will take place at various locations along the parade route, providing entertainment for the whole family.

The programme will commence at 10:00 on 30 April with the abdication of Queen Beatrix at the Royal Palace on Dam Square, after which the royal couple will join the departing queen to make an appearance on the palace balcony. The inauguration will take place at 14:00 in De Nieuwe Kerk. This will be followed by a private reception at the Royal Palace, and then the new king and queen will depart for the EYE Film Institute Netherlands. The royal parade is planned to set sail at approximately 19:30.

Royal parade
Amsterdam is working together with the Sail Foundation (Stichting Sail) to organise a festive programme of events on and around the River IJ, allowing the public to join the new royal couple in celebrating the inauguration. After setting sail from the EYE Film Institute Netherlands, the royal couple will be joined by a number of other boats to form a parade. The aim is to create a royal equivalent of boating event Sail, combined with music in the spirit of the national Liberation Day festivals and the annual classical Prinsengracht concert in Amsterdam.

The boat parade will end at approximately 21:30 at the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ and will be concluded with a ceremonial salute from the boats in the parade. The new royal couple will then join their guests for dinner in the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ. Navigation along the River IJ will be temporarily blocked due to the event.

Additional visitors to Amsterdam
Attracting between 700,000 and 800,000 visitors, Queen’s Day is the most popular annual event in Amsterdam. The succession of the new king to the throne adds an additional element of festivity to this special day and Amsterdam is honoured to play host to the event. Dam Square is able to accommodate a maximum of 20,000 people looking to greet the royals on the balcony of the Royal Palace.

Those interested in following the proceedings are advised to tune into television coverage from home for the best view. Dam Square will almost certainly reach capacity. Large screens will be placed around the city so that those people who cannot watch from Dam Square can still view the ceremonial elements of the programme. Public transport providers will naturally do their utmost to accommodate the additional traffic, but visitors should allow for longer journeys when travelling to Amsterdam using public transport or when arriving by car, as is normally the case on Queen’s Day.

King’s Night
This year will be the first time that King’s Night will be celebrated in Amsterdam. Events running later into the night on 30 April will be organised at several locations throughout the city. This will allow visitors to head home at various times throughout the evening. A programme of events will be organised in the Oeverpark, close to the EYE Film Institute Netherlands in the Noord District of Amsterdam, and also at Kop Java. These will share the National Inauguration Committee’s key themes of sport, music, art and youth.

Orange Square (Oranjeplein)
In anticipation of the high number of visitors expected in the city, Museumplein will be designated as an ‘Orange Square’ on 30 April. During the day, visitors and their families will be able to follow the ceremony on large screens. This is naturally also the ideal place to join other well-wishers in singing the national anthem following the inauguration. A King’s Dance will be held here in the evening, featuring a varied programme of art and culture in keeping with the nature of day.

Part of the reason for organising the King’s Dance is to avoid an excess of visitors heading to the River IJ. Visitors to Museumplein are advised to travel into Amsterdam via Station Zuid. This provides quicker access to Museumplein and also relieves some of the pressure on Amsterdam Central Station, which is traditionally extremely busy on 30 April.

Safety measures
Amsterdam wants the celebrations on 30 April to be festive and open to all. The disruption caused by safety measures on the Dam and other locations in the city will be kept to the absolute minimum. However, numerous dignitaries will be visiting Amsterdam for the event and areas close to the official ceremonial locations will be closed off to the public. For the time being, it appears that closing off large areas of the city can be avoided, allowing visitors to move freely around most of Dam Square and the surrounding area.

Regular Queen’s Day celebrations
The regular Queen’s Day activities in the city will proceed as normal wherever possible, including the traditional street market. In due course, the City of Amsterdam will decide which of the more than 225 submitted event permit applications will be granted. The applications include approximately 10 commercial dance music events on the outskirts of the city, all requiring a ticket purchased in advance.

The traditional Queen’s Night celebrations on 29 April will also go ahead as planned, although festivities may not continue as late into the night as is normally the case. This is due to preparations required throughout the city in advance of the inauguration the following day. Amsterdam will also be continuing with the implementation of its alcohol reduction policy.

The latest information on the inauguration is available on (in Dutch).


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