The Pirates Experience: immersive new adventure to set sail in Amsterdam

A swash-buckling new tourist attraction is coming to Amsterdam, starting July 2020. Part boat trip, part historical re-enactment and part immersive theatre, The Pirates Experience promises an adventure for visitors to the Dutch capital like no other.

Both day and night tours are available. Those opting for the latter can even sleep on the replica pirate ship that is central to the experience.


Here’s the pitch:

“Imagine you are wearing old pirate clothes, you board a pirate ship and set sail for an unforgettable journey. You eat pirate food with your ship mates, you walk the plank with them. Then the cannons blast, you feel the adrenaline rushing through your veins.

You reach a secret location, build a campsite and open a treasure chest. You share the booty with your mates, celebrate with them, drinking rum and singing along. After that, you have dinner aboard the ship, then go to bed in the lower deck or the Captain’s quarter.

The next day, back in the harbour, you look at your coins with your new friends and feel like a different person.”


The camp kitchen guests will encounter on their adventure

An interactive, collaborative experience

The Pirates Experience has been created by the Amusement Hub. This team of 37 amusement professionals, who have previously worked in a variety of attractions, is lead by Luca Liboa.

They aim to create an experience that leverages interactions between guests who have never met before. Yet it is equally well-suited to groups of friends looking for something out of the ordinary to do together. Ultimately it is about co-operation, collaboration and fellowship.

‘Arrr’ not VR

According to The Pirates Experience, the attraction allows guests “to daydream, to lose their grip on the real world and travel back in time. While technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) can isolate guests behind goggles and mobiles, our adventure is rooted in social dynamics typical of sailing, pirate life, of human nature. Pulling ropes together, sharing meals and singing along create a powerful sense of belonging and provide long-lasting memories.”

The first mini voyage will take place on July 11, setting sail from just outside Amsterdam. The boat used for the attraction is 23.5m long and made of oak, with a 19m long mast. Up to 27 people a day will be offered the chance to step on board.

The daytime experience, starting at €265 per person, provides clothes, sailing, lunch, snacks, fruit and alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages. The night experience, limited to seven guests, includes dinner, live entertainment and the opportunity to sleep aboard the vessel. Combination packages start at €565.


Accommodation for guests enjoying the overnight Pirates Experience package

Entertainment for social good

The Pirate Experience represents what the company calls ‘socialtainment’ – a social experience for social good. They intend to share profits from the attraction with charities such as Musicians Without Borders and Healing Helpers.

Furthermore, they also want to draw the public’s attention to some meaningful facts about the ‘pirate republic’ of days gone by. For example, an average ratio of 3:1 between pirate captain and crew is extremely democratic compared to some modern pay-gaps of 350:1 between CEO and workers. And while gender equality remains an issue in many European workplaces, almost four centuries ago women like Anne Bonny and Mary Reed commanded fleets of ships.

After Amsterdam, Amusement Hub has identified other locations for future expansion, either as directly operated or franchised experiences. In addition to The Pirate Experience, the organisation is developing new concepts such as The Bedouin Experience, Great Gatsby, Sherlock Holmes and The Secret.

In the meantime, you can view the official trailer for The Pirates Experience, directed by historical film-maker Angelo Guarracino, below.

The Pirate Experience

Imagine that you are wearing old pirate clothes, you board on an amazing pirate ship and you sail for an unforgettable journey. You are on the main deck with your fellows, you eat and drink rum with your friends. You feel the wind on your face, you feel free.The cannons start shooting: you feel the shock-wave, you are surrounded by smoke, you smell the gunpowder; you feel the adrenaline rushing through your veins. You reach the secret location, you build the campsite, you light fires and torches, you open the treasure chest. You share the loot with your mates, you celebrate with them drinking rum, sharing meals, singing under the stars.Then you sleep aboard this ship, in the lower deck or here, in the captain’s quarter. The next day, back in the harbour, you look at your coins, you look at your new friends, you are a different person now. This is the Pirate Experience!

Posted by The Pirates Experience on Sunday, 12 May 2019