Our Amsterdam Zoo mini cruise

A mini cruise to Amsterdam zoo makes a wonderful family short break and although you are only away for two nights, it feels as if you have been on a real adventure. Our family travelled together from Newcastle overnight in a refurbished 5 berth cabin and arrived in Amsterdam port the following morning feeling very refreshed after a smooth crossing. Upon leaving our ship, we were greeted by our friendly coach driver who handed us our zoo tickets and took us on a mini-tour of Amsterdam during our 40 minute transfer to Artis Zoo. We were given clear instructions to wait at the zoo entrance at 3pm prompt when we would be collected and taken back to our ship.

Amsterdam zoo is located in the heart of the city centre – it is easy to navigate around with lots of information signs in both Dutch and English. The zoo is completely flat too meaning that it is accessible for both wheelchairs and pushchairs. There is a lot to explore from aquariums to monkey islands however everything is relatively close together meaning it is easy for little ones to walk around without complaining they are tired.

Amsterdam Zoo Family Fun

The gardens and enclosures are beautifully manicured and very well kept – education is of huge importance and our children enjoyed reading and learning about the animals as we watched their natural behaviour.

Highlights for our family included watching a Zebra foal feeding from it’s mother, a giraffe drinking water from a pond, watching a lion prowl amongst the rocks, strolling past a Pelican who had decided to hop over the fence and walking amongst lemurs in their enclosure.

It was a very special experience being able to get up and close and personal to these animals – even if they did just want to chill in the sunshine!

Amsterdam Zoo Zebras

There are some fantastic indoor enclosures to discover too including a large aquarium and insectarium. You simply can’t miss experiencing butterfly world and as soon as you enter the doors you feel as if you have been transported to a tropical paradise. There are exotic butterflies chasing each other as you walk amongst the lush plants. You can even catch new butterflies hatching from their chrysalis if you are lucky. The whole experience was magical.

Amsterdam Zoo Butterflies

There are various dining options available at the zoo. We decided on the Cheetah restaurant due to it’s fantastic location. It was a sunny day and we were able to enjoy an alfresco lunch and a cold beer whilst overlooking a family of giraffes on one side and our children play in the adventure play area on the other. Bliss!

As we left to zoo at 3pm we certainly felt as though we had packed a lot in and learned a lot too. We had managed to see everything we wanted to without feeling rushed. A mini break to Amsterdam zoo certainly gets the thumbs up from us.

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