Rotterdam Hot Tub Boat
I’ve never seen anything quite like the Rotterdam hot tub boat. Head out into the canals surrounding the Rotterdam Harbor with all your friends, in a hot tub…that is also a boat. HotTug is the perfect way to see some of Rotterdam’s architecture, enjoy a boat trip, and just relax in a hot tub with your friends.
The Rotterdam hot tub boat, HotTug, is easily reached by public transportation. We took the NS train from Delft to the Rotterdam Black station (15 mins, every 15 mins, a few Euros) and walked a few blocks to the boats. Rotterdam Black is the gateway to many of Rotterdam’s amusements.
HotTug is housed underneath the restaurant Vessel 11, which is in an old boat. Vessel 11 serves upscale pub food in a cozy atmosphere. We made a dinner reservation an hour and a half before our hot tub boat rental. (There is a 10% discount on food when you are also using the hot tub boats.)
The service at Vessel 11 is relaxed, so make sure to tell them you have a HotTug boat reservation. They were able to rush our service a bit to make sure we made it to the hot tub on time.
Once you’re done with dinner you head downstairs to the Rotterdam hot tub boat rental location. They have a bathroom and changing room right on the dock. We all piled in and left our clothing and bags in one of the cabinets in the changing room. Bring your valuables with you and they are placed in a dry barrel that comes along in the boat.
If you want to drink on board you need to buy the drinks from the hot tub rental place. They load it into your boat and you only pay for what you drink. We had a two hour rental and brought two bottles of wine out with us, which turned out to be perfect.
You get a small map and a briefing about where the low bridges are, where the currents can be rough and where you can stop to swim in the canal. You cannot moor the boat anywhere, so your path will be current dependent.
We had quite the current and prevailing wind for our trip. We made one full lap, which took about 1 hour and 15 min. We used the remaining time to steam up the canal and then rode back with the current. You have to put the smokestack down as you go under the bridges, so someone in the front will need to help the driver manage that. The driving isn’t difficult, but the driver does need to refrain from drinking.
There are not a lot of other boats in the evening in this area, although there are some water taxis that come into the area at a high speed. (Read all out our wild ride on the Rotterdam water taxi!) They know to look for the hot tub boat and kept their distance.
This was such a perfect way to send some time with the girls. We laughed and enjoyed the views as we navigated down the canal. We freely hopped in and out of the boat. The cool canal water was a nice relief from the hot tub water. It was fun to hold on and float with the canal boat.
You have to return your boat after two hours. There is no clock on board, so we were thankful for someone in the group with a waterproof watch. The staff met us on the dock with our towels, which was so nice. There is no shower there so you dry off and put your clothes back on to head home.
I highly recommend this unique way to enjoy the Rotterdam harbor.