Amsterdam bans cruise ships to curb over tourism
Friday, July 21, 2023
Amsterdam’s city council is taking a bold step to limit mass tourism and address pollution by closing a cruise ship terminal in the city center. The decision comes as part of the city’s sustainable ambitions and aligns with efforts to restore the tranquility of the historic center.
The closure is backed by the center-right party D66, which governs Amsterdam alongside the social democrats PvdA and the GroenLinks environmentalists. The authorities have cited concerns over the environmental impact of polluting cruise ships and their incompatibility with plans for a new bridge between the historic southern district and the Noord district, which is the focus of recent development projects.
The central cruise terminal, located on the River IJ near Amsterdam’s main train station, is set to be shut down. This measure follows other recent efforts to manage tourism and maintain the city’s cultural integrity, including a ban on smoking cannabis in the red-light district and a “Stay Away” campaign targeting tourists planning drug and alcohol-fueled parties.
The decision to ban cruise ships is also expected to contribute to lowering air pollution levels in the city. A study in 2021 revealed that one large cruise ship produces the same level of nitrogen oxide as 30,000 trucks per day, highlighting the significant environmental impact of these vessels.
With these measures, Amsterdam aims to strike a balance between welcoming visitors and preserving its unique cultural heritage and natural environment. By prioritising sustainable tourism and reducing pollution, the city is taking crucial steps towards ensuring a more responsible and enjoyable experience for both residents and visitors alike.