By Published On: 22 Jul 2023

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Municipal authorities in Amsterdam, The Netherlands have voted to ban cruise ships in an effort to reduce over-tourism and pollution.

On Thursday the local council voted to prevent cruise ships docking at Amsterdam’s famous riverside cruise terminal, located east of the city’s main train station. According to a city spokesperson, the timeline for the ban is yet to be determined. Indeed, there will be a period of consultation with stakeholders – including the cruise lines.

“Cruise ships in the city centre do not fit in with the task of combating mass tourism.”

Ilana Rooderkerk, local council D66 Party leader.

Amsterdam, which has a resident population of 800,000 people, has suffered under the weight of mass tourism. More than 1 million people visit the city each month. On average 700,000 cruise ship passengers visit every year. What’s more, the city has been actively discouraging visitors in recent times. Campaigns like “Stay Away” have sought to turn away unruly visitors.

Anti-cruise ship campaigners in Amsterdam also say the cruise industry contributes the same amount of pollution in the city each day as 30,000 trucks. 

Cruise ships reach the port of Amsterdam by navigating a series of locks at the North Sea before sailing 5 hours up the Noordzeekanaal to reach the city, which is located below sea level.

The cruise ship ban will impact all the cruise lines that visit Amsterdam including Azamara, Cunard, Oceania Cruises, Seabourn and Silversea. Not to mention Holland America Line, which home-ports from Amsterdam throughout the European summer.

However, it’s worth noting The Netherlands has other cruise ports at Rotterdam and also Ijmuiden.

The ban in Amsterdam follows similar restrictions placed on cruise ships around the world including bans in Tahiti, French Polynesia and Venice, Italy as well as limits on vessel arrivals in Santorini, Greece.

About the Author: Jason Kerr

Jason is the founder and Managing Editor of The Luxury Cruise Review. He has a passion for travel, a weakness for espresso coffee and a love of Greek cuisine.

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