Closure of cruise terminal to limit visitors and curb pollution
Amsterdam’s central cruise terminal near the city’s main train station is to be closed, though the date of closure is yet to be ascertained.
The move will "effectively ban large cruise ships from docking in the heart of the city", according to reports from CNN, which stated that the closure is part of "a plan for Amsterdam to limit the number and type of tourists visiting the city" each year.
The ban on cruise ships from the city centre comes as the Dutch city attempts to curb pollution. Cruise ships had become a symbol of over-tourism, and the motion to move them out of the centre passed by a large majority.
“Polluting cruise ships are not in line with the sustainable ambitions of our city,” the centre-right party D66, which runs the city along with social democrats and environmentalists, said in a statement quoted by AFP news agency.
The passage of cruise ships was also not compatible with plans for new bridge between the city’s historic southern district and the Noord district, the focus of recent development projects.
However, it is unclear when the closure will be enforced as Cruise Port Amsterdam on the River IJ has ship calls scheduled as far out as July 2025. The alternative port for the city is IJmuiden on the west coast, 24 miles away.
Amsterdam has been seen as becoming a victim of its own popularity, attracting 20 million annual visitors – some drawn by its reputation as a party city.
Spokesperson for Amsterdam Cruise Port said: “We have taken note of the council’s call that they do not see any room for sea cruises in the city of the future at the current location. There is no administrative response or proposal yet on how to address this call. There is certainly not an immediate closure of the terminal. We continue our business as usual.”