Amsterdam Doesn't Want More Cruise Tourists

Cruise ships are being banned from city center
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2023 9:45 AM CDT
Amsterdam Bans Cruise Ships in Bid to Cut Tourist Numbers
The Italian-built cruise ship MS Azura sails past the EYE film institute as it leaves the port of Amsterdam, Netherlands earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, file)

Amsterdam is trying to reduce the number of tourists that visit the city—especially cruise ship tourists, who have been likened to a "plague of locusts" by city council member Ilana Rooderkerk. The council has voted to ban cruise ships from docking in the city center and to close the central cruise terminal, the BBC reports. "Cruise ships in the centre of the city don't fit in with Amsterdam's task of cutting the number of tourists," said Rooderkerk, whose liberal D66 party introduced the motion. She said polluting cruise ships are not in line with the city's "sustainable ambitions."

Around 100 cruise ships dock in the center of the Dutch city every year. Mayor Femke Halsema complained last year that cruise ship tourists ate at international chain restaurants during the few hours they were in the city but didn't have time to do things like visit museums. She said Amsterdam "welcomes 22 million tourists per year, and that's a little bit too much," per Sky News. Amsterdam has also been trying to discourage visits from tourists who see the city as a party destination, especially young British men.

"The task for Amsterdam is now to reduce the number of tourists. All parties in the city must contribute to this, including the cruises," D66 said in a statement. Closing the central cruise terminal will also allow the city to build a new bridge over the River IJ, connecting the southern district to the Noord district, where the city aims to build much-needed new housing, Maritime Executive reports.

(More Amsterdam stories.)

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