In 2015 we pulled two former migrant boats from the Mediterranean to Amsterdam. To start the most inclusive, the most colourful and probably the most sympathetic canal cruise company of the city. You may decide whether we have succeeded in this. We – a crew with roots in Syria, Somalia, Eritrea, Egypt and the Netherlands – would love to sail and guide you through our beautiful Amsterdam.
Like to discover Amsterdam together?
You sail on our boat ‘Hedir’ through the canals of Amsterdam. A captain and a guide will accompany you on this tour.
Both have landed in Amsterdam as refugees themselves. They will tell you about the city, but then a slightly different story. They will tell you how a fishing boat from Egypt came to be used by people smugglers to transport dozens of people across the Mediterranean, and how these original refugee boats ended up in the canals of Amsterdam in 2015. And they tell you how they themselves became part of this refugee story.
Do you want to be on one of these boats!
Book a tour on our boat. We sail every Saturday at 11 in the morning (from 2 April 2022)
Book our whole boat (for example for a family trip, or a company outing or together with friends…).
Write us an email and we will give you all the information.
(we sail every day all season)
The official name of this Egyptian vessel is ‘Alhadj Djumaa’ (which translated means ‘Mister Friday’ in Arabic). Alhadj means a wise old man who has been on pilgrimage, and Djumaa means Friday. It departed Egypt on the 25th of July 2013, headed for Lampedusa. It’s only 12m by 4m, but it carried a staggering 282 passengers – 217 Eritreans and 65 Ethiopians. As far as we know, they all made it safely across the ocean.
The boat was seized the day after departure by the Italian authorities, who later gave it to us.
In between the oil barrels, life jackets and clothes left behind on board, we found a book of sheet music for guitar. One other line of text is written on the back of the vessel: road to freedom, way of peace.
We don’t know much about the history of our smaller boat, except that it was picked up by the Italian coast guard on August 29, 2014, about 18 miles southwest of the Sicilian town of Portopalo. We call it “Hedir”, the word that is written on the side, which means ‘thunder’ or ‘roar’ or ‘powerful woman’ in Arabic. Our only other clue to its history was a pair of diving goggles which were left on board.
At just 6m long, it’s well suited for slipping through the canals and under bridges. Since all new vessels in Amsterdam have to be electric, we refitted this former refugee boat, so now it moves along silently.
The ‘Gamela’ comes from Port Said (Egypt) and was built by order of a Dutch business man as a luxury saloon boat. The boat was made electric in spring 2018.
Maximum number of passengers: 12
We also call this boat “The Expat” because of its different background.
Yes please keep us sailing, feel free to donate something here – it’s donations from generous people like you that make the difference for us.
Rederij Lampedusa is a project of Teun Castelein, Hatim Sherif, Yusuf Adam Suali, Sami Tsegaye, Başak Layiç, Dorendel Overmars, Renze Mout, Felice Plijter, Mohammad Al Masri, Firoez Azarhoosh, Ellen Verkooijen, Fleur Bakker and Karl Giesriegl.
For more information please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
1019 BS Amsterdam
Stichting de Gelukszoekers
RSIN 85545319 | copyright Rederij Lampedusa 2022