Amsterdam bans cruise ships to limit visitors and curb pollution
In an effort to reduce the influx of tourists and the resulting pollution, the municipal council of Amsterdam has barred cruise ships from the heart of the city.
The politicians all agreed that the ships didn’t fit in with the city’s green goals.
This results in the closure of Amsterdam’s principal cruise terminal on the IJ River, adjacent to the city’s central train station.
It’s the newest effort to prevent the city from being overrun by tourists.
With over a hundred cruise ships docking in the nation’s capital each year, these vessels have become a symbol of the issue.
The city council has been trying to clean it up by prohibiting things like smoking pot in public.
The mayor of Amsterdam launched an internet campaign in March to discourage young British men from planning their bachelor parties in the city.
Attracting 20 million tourists a year, some of whom are drawn by the city’s reputation as a party hub, Amsterdam has become a victim of its own success.
“Cruise ships in the center of the city don’t fit in with Amsterdam’s task of cutting the number of tourists,” said Ilana Rooderkerk of the liberal D66 party, which controls the city jointly with the Labour party and environmentalists.
Ms. Rooderkerk recently likened the influx of cruise visitors to a “plague of locusts” on the city.
The language used has been deemed unacceptable by some Amsterdam officials. However, Mayor Femke Halsema expressed dissatisfaction last year that cruise guests were given free reign for a few hours but did not contribute to the city in any positive way.
The elimination of cruise ships would also help reduce air pollution in Amsterdam. In 2021, researchers found that one large cruise ship released as much NOx in a single day as 30,000 trucks.
There has been discussion about finding other mooring locations outside of the downtown area for some time, but no decision has been made as of yet.
Separately, Amsterdam has declared intentions to increase youth-oriented nightlife.
To foster “creative young people who want to organize something at night,” the city has stated its intention to locate nightclubs in unused areas, such as tunnels and garages.