Experience Pride Amsterdam 2018 again with our 30 best photos taken from the Amsterdam – NYC & Company Canal Parade Boat. Last year we had the privilege to join a group of very enthusiastic co-workers from the NYC & Company and Amsterdam Marketing offices on their gorgeous float, showcasing the history that has connected our two cities and celebrating an LGBTQ+ and gay-friendly future. Diversity has always been a big part of New York City’s identity, with the Stonewall riots being the start of the Pride movement and with Amsterdam being the first city in the world to officiate four gay marriages on April 1st in 2001. You can imagine how proud we were to celebrate these two beacons of diversity and pride for our LGBTQ+ community. Pride Amsterdam 2018 also marks the first time ever that we celebrated Gay Pride in the Dutch capital together on one of the parade boats! Enjoy our best photos of Amsterdam Pride 2018 and see the biggest Dutch rainbow parade and LGBTQ+ summer festival through a Couple of Men‘s eyes.
Pride Amsterdam 2018 from a Boat
Singing, dancing, and having the time of our lives watching the colorful and happy crowd from along the Prinsengracht was everything we could have wished for! And it gave us the opportunity to take some great photos from the canal parade boat! Once again, Pride Amsterdam was a big success with an increasing number of visitors. Officials talking about more than 500,000 attending the annual pride event, also in 2018. For the first time ever there was an Iran boat among the parade which has won the “Best Participant” of Pride Amsterdam 2018 voted by the public!
Getting Ready to celebrate World Pride
But first things first: We had to make our way to the Amsterdam Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ on the IJ River to board the boat, so we chose to take the touristy way along the parade route, checking out the crowds while taking some shots with wonderfully dressed up people. Together with our lesbian travel blogger friends Roxanne and Maartje from Onceuponejrny, the guys from ManaboutWorld and NYC & Company, we boarded the canal boat starting to rehearse our Amsterdam Pride dance. We all were dressed in white “I am Proud” shirts and white toppers, getting more and more excited about our day on the Prinsengracht. The boat was decorated with an inflatable skyline of New York City and ready to impress the hundreds of thousands of spectators along the route through the heart of Amsterdam.
“Go West” from the Pet Shop Boys
The song for our Pride Amsterdam Dance was the summer hit from the Pet Shop Boys “Go West” which they covered in 1993 from the Village People’s original song. The original was actually referring to the nineteenth-century quote “Go West, young man” about the call for colonization of the American West. But the song is gender-ambiguous, it is generally understood as an expression of the 1970s sentiment of San Francisco as a utopia for the Gay Liberation movement (Wikipedia). It was the perfect gay pride song to motivate the LGBTQ+ community to come and visit New York (West of Europe) during World Pride 2019.
The Dutch capital is considered to be one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world. By legalizing same-sex marriage as the first country in the world already in 2001, the Netherlands and its capital offer a diverse LGBTQ+ friendly cultural program throughout the whole year. One highlight of the Summer is undoubtedly (Gay) Pride Amsterdam.
Up and Down with the Inflatable NYC Skyline
Another special thing about the canal parade is the many bridges all boats have to pass. This means: The inflatable NYC Skyline had to be brought up and down in between the bridges. Always accompanied by the singing and dancing crowd along the canals, called Grachten in Dutch, and on top of the bridges. But some bridges are even so low that everyone had to sit or even lay down not to bump their heads against the underside of the bridges. The reward for doing that: The view of the canals surrounded by peacefully celebrating LGBTQ+ people and allies is every time again spectacular!
Houseboats and private watercraft
Along the route, visitors and spectators getting more and more creative to get a front-row seat with a view. Of course, after entering the Jordaan, people living in their houseboats have the best time (and view) ever! But actually stretched over the whole Prinsengracht, everyone was welcome to celebrate in their watercraft, swimming rings, and rafts of any kind. In 2019, this is supposed to be different from a ticket system and zones since it became over the years quite crowded and therefore dangerous for the audience but also for the canal pride boat captains.
Amsterdam isn’t the only city in the world, where the LGBTQ+ community is demonstrating for equal rights, respect, and love. During our trips, we are attending LGBTQ+ and gay pride parade all around the world to stand side by side with the local lesbian, gay and queer people taking colorful pride photos!
Oosterdock – Amstel – Prinsengracht – Westerdock
The parade started once again around noon from the Oosterdock where tourists love to enjoy the science museum Nemo, the Scheepvaart museum, and some stunning views over the old town of Amsterdam. Leaving Amsterdam’s Botanical Garden Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam behind, the canal pride parade boats will have to cross the Amstel River before entering the Prinsengracht. The Amstel River is the widest part of the parade giving spectators great views and photo options with some of the most beautiful Dutch Houses, the building of the Dutch National Opera, the Hermitage Amsterdam, and, of course, the bridge Magere Brug as a backdrop.
Interesting Posts for your Gay Travels:
- GAY PRIDE Amsterdam TIPS & HIGHLIGHTS 2019
- Read all about our Gay Pride Trips around the world >
- All about our Gay Travels around the world as openly Gay Couple >
- Reviews of Hotels around the world: Gay-friendly tested Hotels >
- Gay Guides 2019: Best Gay-friendly Travel Destinations >
- Don’t miss out: The Top 5 Gay & LGBTQ+ Events in 2019 worldwide
The Netherlands is known for its cheese, bikes, and of course, its tulip and flower fields. Additional to the Dutch capital, the German neighbor offers a variety of exciting cities and islands along the west coast of Europe. Read all about Groningen, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam, Den Hague, and the Dutch island Vlieland.
Tips for your Pride in Amsterdam
Pride Amsterdam 2018 was once again a fantastic LGBTQ+ event bringing together lesbian, gay, and queers as well as its allies. Good to know: Gay Pride Amsterdam was held for the first time on August 3rd in 1996 and was meant to be a celebration of diversity and love rather than a demonstration for equal rights. If you are looking for this part of the Pride Amsterdam week, we highly recommend arriving already one week earlier in the Dutch capital.
The Saturday before the Canal Parade, the Pride Walk has been organized for the past couple of years. And it is a growing event with self-made posters, political messages, and tons and tons of rainbow flags. Pride Walk marks the actual pride demonstration in Amsterdam, making the Canal Pride Parade a huge celebration where everyone is welcome.
Do you want to know more about our gay travels around the world? Stay tuned on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. Enjoy the Netherlands and hopefully, we will see you all very soon again in Amsterdam, Holland, and Europe.
Karl & Daan.
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