As part of efforts to halt the influx of tourists and minimize pollution from the giant vessels, authorities in Amsterdam have voted to ban cruise ships.
According to a municipality spokesperson, Amsterdam’s council voted on Thursday to restrict the jumbo ships from docking in the city while the Netherlands’ capital also aims to close its central cruise-ship terminal.
However, the spokesperson said that further details regarding the issue will be decided following consultations with several stakeholders.
“The polluting cruise is not in line with Amsterdam’s sustainable ambitions. Cruise ships in the city centre also do not fit in with the task of combating mass tourism,” the local leader of the socially progressive D66 party, which introduced the motion, Ilana Rooderkerk, pointed out.
A report from Deutsche Welle says that about 300,000 cruise ship travellers head to the Dutch capital every year.
The same source emphasises that the IJ Terminal, located on the waterfront near the capital’s rail station, will now have to move outside the city.
Dick de Graaff, the director of Cruise Port Amsterdam, which operates the cruise terminal, stressed that the company had taken note of the vote and is now waiting for the municipality’s next move.
“There is no immediate closing of the terminal. The council’s call is to relocate the terminal, and we await a follow-up from the alderman on investigations,” de Graaff told the Associated Press.
The changes come at the time when Amsterdam has been announced as Europe’s best capital city to be a tourist in by VisaGuide.World, leaving behind capitals like Rome and Paris.
According to Amsterdam’s Research and Statistics unit, the city is estimated to attract a total of 20 million passengers this year. In addition, according to a report by Bloomberg, the Dutch capital attracts over one million tourists on average each month, thus surpassing its population of over 800,000.
Previously the Mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema, introduced a campaign in order to discourage travellers from taking what she called a “vacation of morals.”
Amsterdam is not the first city that applies such changes. In 2021, authorities in Venice, Italy, announced decided to ban large ships from anchoring in the centre.
Besides, the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, stressed that she plans to limit the number of cruise passengers in the city if she is re-elected in May. In addition, the Mayor of Marseille, France’s biggest cruise port, also talked about cruise lines, stressing that they are suffocating the city with air pollution.
Authorities in Amsterdam have intensified their efforts in order to reduce the influx of tourists. Earlier this year, officials in this city decided to ban outdoor marijuana smoking in the red-light district.
Furthermore, in March this year, authorities in this city also introduced a new campaign targeting young Britons, which was aimed at keeping rowdy travellers from descending upon this city.