Every Amsterdam visitor is baffled by the sight of the city’s houseboats. They certainly form a great part of the city’s charm as they rest moored along most of the city’s canals. Visitors often wonder how the houseboats are supplied with water and electricity, whether used water is dumped into the canals, if it isn’t cold, damp and downright seasick to live onboard. The Houseboat Museum, opened in 1997, will provide answers to these and many other questions.
Hendrika Maria, as the boat is named, was a former freighter built in 1913. Into the early 1960s, the boat transported sand and gravel, following which was retired and converted into a houseboat. Whilst maintaining its exterior freighter appearance, Hendrika Maria has been a residence ever since, until the current owner decided to turn in into a museum. Its interior has been left intact after the last residents moved out in the late 1990s.