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Amsterdam cruise ships ban

Amsterdam to ban cruise ships – a Bold Move for Sustainability and Overcrowding

In a bold move to curb tourism and reduce pollution, Amsterdam’s city council has voted to ban cruise ships from docking in the city center. This decision, driven by the Democratic 66 party, aligns with Amsterdam’s sustainability goals and efforts to limit tourism. Amsterdam cruise ships ban

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The ban is not immediate and requires further approvals before it can be enacted. If approved, the Cruise Port Amsterdam, located near the city’s main train station, Amsterdam Centraal Station, will be closed. Currently, ship calls are scheduled at this port until July 2025. The nearest alternative port is IJmuiden, situated 24 miles away on the west coast.

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), an organization advocating for cruise lines at the federal level, suggests that the existing facility could be relocated within the city instead of a complete ban. “As the port has publicly stated, cruise ships have not been banned from Amsterdam,” CLIA said. “Furthermore, the port and Passenger Terminal Amsterdam have already pledged to undertake investments worth millions of Euros in port infrastructure and shoreside electricity for the long term.”

Despite the proposed ban, cruise lines remain optimistic about their future in Amsterdam. “Holland America Line has been bringing guests to and from The Netherlands for 150 years, and that tradition will continue for many years to come,” the line stated. Other major cruise operators, including Royal Caribbean, P&O Cruises, and Cunard Line, also list Amsterdam itineraries.


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The ban on cruises is part of Amsterdam’s broader efforts to reduce tourism and discourage group travel. The city, known for its party town reputation, attracts around 22 million tourists every year. In recent years, city officials have sought to reinvent Amsterdam’s image by reducing party tourism and increasing sustainability efforts.

Amsterdam cruise ships ban the Impact on Tourism

Aside from the environmental concerns, the city council’s decision also aims to address another pressing issue – overcrowding due to tourism. Amsterdam is a popular tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors each year. Among these, a significant portion arrives via cruise ships docking at the city’s terminal. The council believes that by closing the terminal, it can significantly reduce the number of tourists in the city and alleviate the issues associated with overcrowding.

The terminal will be relocated, but the new location has not yet been specified. This decision was supported by members of the Democratic 66 party, including its leader, Ilana Rooderkerk. She stated that the terminal’s operations do not support the city’s efforts to become more sustainable, and its closure is a necessary measure to achieve this goal.

Mayor Femke Halsema has been a strong advocate for reducing “party tourism” in the city, stating, “We do not want to become Venice or Dubrovnik, where your historical center has become a closed theme park. In the future, it has to be a livable part of the city.”

While the closure of the terminal may have an immediate impact on the city’s tourism industry, it is a step towards a more sustainable future. In the long run, such measures can help preserve the city’s natural beauty and cultural heritage, ensuring it can be enjoyed by future generations of both residents and visitors.

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